I have been thinking about stores lately, which is better than spending a lot of money in them, I guess. I have been known to do this too and that can be disastrous in a New York apartment about the size of your average closet. But it began because the other day I passed the scene of the opening of the new Apple store on Fifth Avenue. I am rarely on Fifth and when I’m there it’s usually for a different store, American Girl Place (I have nieces, nieces who have well-marketed hundred dollar dolls). But this time I was there to get a mammogram. Don’t worry, this post will NOT be about my breasts (gentlemen: sorry, this post will not be about my breasts).
So, a block away from there, I pass this huge glass cube with the Apple logo on it. Now, I had read about this but I still couldn’t figure out why it was such a momentous occasion. Yay, there’s an Apple store on Fifth. Tourists can now buy the same iPods they can get at their local Best Buy (or Apple store if they have one). Whatever. But there was a big crowd and lots of press. I know this is a continuing theme with me, but once again, I was caught without my camera. I mean, who would have dreamed there would be anything to take a picture of at a mammogram besides a bunch of women sitting around in hospital gowns? Stupid, stupid me.
Anyway, in that room full of women in hospital gowns, I had a lot of time to think about stores. This is because there were no magazines. None. Come ON. These women had all come prepared with work or a book or a paper but you could tell I was a rookie because I had nothing. I first filled my time by gazing at the inoperative stereo system across the room and trying to guess which knob had which function. OK, the slidey things are the EQ and the big knob is the volume and the buttons go with the CD, blah blah blah. Yeah, you know I was bored.
But then I realized, hey I don’t smell! The reason this was shocking is you’re not allowed to wear deodorant or powder in your pits when you have a mammogram. I have no idea why. Don’t bother to tell me in a comment, I don’t really care. But this was a lunchtime dealie and so I had spent the whole morning in the workplace with, you know, other humans. I did think that through in advance, finally deciding on a giant sweatshirt that I’ve had since about 1989 when giant sweatshirts were in fashion for women. I figured it would absorb my stink in its thick folds. (Before you ask, yes, we have a casual workplace – you couldn’t get more casual unless you came in nude).
As I mentioned, I had more than a few idle moments to think about why I didn’t smell. I came to the conclusion that it was the soap given to me by Kay from a store called Lush. I used to buy stuff at Lush when I visited the UK regularly. Then it seemed novel and fun to buy overpriced soap by the slice from bins under handwritten signs with clever descriptions on them. Once Lush came to the Upper West Side I stopped buying. I seriously have never bought a single thing from Lush in New York despite the fact that I pass it two or three times a week. Of course I do; it’s on a block with several other attractions. Shall I list them? Sure, everyone likes lists.
1. Dale & Thomas Popcorn. Holy crap, that stuff is good. Sweet, salty, fantastic.
2. Zen Palate. So good you forget it’s vegan. And you can get high from the herbal iced teas there, I swear.
3. Beard Papa cream puffs. For the strictly Orthodox, I must warn you, there’s no hechsher but what could they put in there? For anyone else, best.cream.puff.ever. And seriously, all cream puffs are good so you can only imagine.
4. Fairway (OK, it’s a couple of blocks away, but close enough). Best/cheapest grocery store in NY.
So into this mix comes Lush. But all those overpriced cleansy things just don’t have that thrill when you’re not on vacation. Everyone swears by their “bath bombs” but I don’t take baths so I don’t care (and I even have a jacuzzi bath courtesy of the previous owners who thought it’d increase the value of the apartment). And a shower is just a ten minute affair that is over before I can get to the fourth song on Turn On the Bright Lights and I skip the first one because it’s too slow for my chop-chop shower routine. It just slows me down. So, whatever. But Kay got me this nice lavender bath slice which lasted me all day. Excellent stuff. I highly recommend it for when you are going to get felt up by a machine and want to stay shower-fresh.
But this got me thinking. Maybe Steve Jobs figured people on vacation who have just overspent at Prada and FAO Schwarz will be willing to shell out for the same iPod boombox that was too extravagant at home. I, of course, will be gazing at it across Fifth trying to guess which button does what.
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Oh, and I really did want to link to The Smiths’ Handsome Devil. If you know this song, well, you’ll know why. If not, Google the lyrics! Isn’t the chorus perfect, wink wink wink? But alas, I guess licensing their songs to online services was just another issue that Morrissey and Marr could not agree on. Blast those eccentric geniuses.