Monday, June 9, 2008

In my wildest dreams

Howard went to Kmart yesterday to buy curtains for Big Blue. Last week he restored one of the glass windows that used to be boarded up and now it is time to put curtains on it.

At the rate we are going the house is scheduled to be completed by June 13, 2056.

But that's OK, because we will always have Kmart. The Kmart near us has survived all kinds of Kmart downsizings, including the legendary purge that happened three years ago or something that took out the Kmart that was across the street from the Broadway Market. Our Kmart is great. It is an urban Kmart, near the corner of Elmwood and Hertel -- a great slug atmosphere, with kids screaming and parents swearing. The plants are kind of bedraggled, though I admit I have bought them. The store also carries Martha Stewart items, hilarious in such a setting.

Here are a few other urban stores that I love.

1. Lorigo's Meating Place. Under certain circumstances. This tiny food store is wedged onto Grant Street next to the Wilson Farms, near the M&T Bank. They have cheap pies that my brother George loves and they also have Fleischmann's Yeast at $2.15 a pound, if I remember correctly. But you cannot, cannot go there when the kids get out of school. It is just too little and crowded and you will go crazy when you are stuck behind 50 kids buying candy.

2. Caruso's on Hertel. A fine port in the storm when a blizzard is blowing in and you need Parmesan cheese and a squash or something.

3. Frontier Liquor. I love the baskets of marked-down wine at the front of the store.

4. The dollar store at the Main Place Mall. Has anyone else ever been here? Such an atmosphere! Narrow aisles, all full of Rain Bonnets, scarves, umbrellas, pads of stationery, kitchen stuff, cheap pens, what have you. Most memorable item I bought here: two headbands that Howard and I both use to keep our ears warm when we go cross-country skiing.

5. The Antique Lamp store on Hertel. Amazing, a store devoted to antique lamps.

6. The spice store in the Broadway Market. It took over the space where a little drugstore/herb place used to be, and you can now get all these herb teas and mysterious remedies as well as hippie food like kasha, sea salt and smoked paprika.

7. The mighty Amvets at the corner of Elmwood and Hertel.

8. The mighty St. Vincent de Paul at the corner of Main and Riley, is it? Everytime I go here I find something. I have a frequent shopper's card and they actually think to ask me for it.

9. Budway's, on Kenmore. Today when I walked in they were playing the Moody Blues' "In My Wildest Dreams." I had just been joking about that song with my brother George not two days ago! I had been saying, you never hear that song anymore. And we were laughing and singing it. Then I walk in today and I'm picking out broccoli crowns for my mom (98 cents a pound, such a deal) and I hear it. I couldn't believe it. There was this guy yakking on a cell phone and I had to get away from him and walk over to a speaker just to make sure. Yep, there it was. "In My Wildest Dreams." How about that?

10. Classic corner store at the corner of West Delavan and Baynes. I used to live right near there and go to that store all the time. I wonder if they still have that classic wooden floor.

Why would anyone shop in the suburbs?

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