Fashion & Lifestyle from HETAIL


Smart ways to honor, or apologize.


Assiduously edited by TWIG & GRASS



Confronting My Pessimism

Friday, November 28

To get a gauge of this "Black Friday" business, I took a stroll around my neighborhood shops to get an idea of consumer enthusiasm. I live in downtown Chicago, so my "neighborhood" shops, along Michigan Avenue, Oak Street and State Street, may differ from yours, but I tried to be as comprehensive as possible.

Please note, Michigan Avenue is universally considered on of the world's top ten shopping addresses, so expectations were higher than normal.

I captured the afternoon on film to share with you and all pictures were taken between 1pm - 230pm, usually the busiest time of day.

Click on pictures to enlarge for better detail:

Pessimism be damned! UGG Australia has a rope line to get in. Average wait: 15 minutes

Optimism squashed, I notice there is not one person in the check out line at Urban Outfitters:

Kate Spade was trumpeting their $50 price point ON OAK STREET!

The undeniable elegance of Trabert & Hoeffer:

Even Luxury houses such as Chanel and St. John were pushing Sale, it's not even December for goodness sake:

Louis Vuitton is always bubbling with enthusiasm:

A While the 6o-foot Christmas tree at the 900 North Mall is always breathtaking,

The Lack of foot traffic to get in the mall left much to be desired, 

For even Santa was feeling a bit forgotten today (notice there is no line at the bottom right of the photo:

People were not fighting to get in Neiman Marcus:

Or Saks Fifth Avenue

But crowds at Apple let me know iPods, iPhones and Macs are still on everyones wish list: 

The overflow crowd at Garmin let me know there are still lots of people trying to find their way in the world:

There were two separate massive protests. One for Chicago Public School Funding picketing in front of Water Tower Place:

Another against wearers of fur marched, about 500 strong, up and down the Avenue:

They had a few escorts too:

But DJ in the window at Nike Town was there to remind everyone, the Holidays are about peace:

There were a few very serious shoppers out:

But the overwhelming majority of people, as evidenced by these crowd shots, were walking around empty-handed. And that's after the stores had been open for well over 5 hours:

So with such photo evidence, I need not wait until Monday's reporting period to say this weekend is hinting at Waterloo. I will post Saturday on "What's Next", so look for that.

Since it is the Holiday Season and I want to end on a high note. Treat yourself to one of life's great treats.

If you are in the vicinity of the Peninsula Hotel, just a block west of Michigan Ave. at Superior, there is no way you should pass up Pierrot Gourmet's, WORLDS BEST HOT CIDER!

They regulate the temperature of the cider to the outdoor temp. So if it is very cold, the cider is made very hot. However, if the temp is more mild like today's lows 40's, the cider is served hot, but at a drinkable temperature.

The crew knows a bit about the temperature because the drink stand is OUTSIDE the restaurant. Warm friendly faces and attitudes to match make this a stop every Chicagoan and tourist should put on your schedule.

The Hot Cocoa, served with a semi-sweet chocolate plastic stirring spoon, also cannot be beat.

Notice also, they maintain their 5-Star standards (hello authentic sterling silver carafes), even outdoors.

So even if you cannot afford the splurges of holiday's past, you can always afford to treat yourself to 10 minutes of civilization, if only in the form of a warm drink in your belly.



2009 ·clean needles by TNB