Tuesday, October 10, 2006

When Towers Fall

It was a Saturday morning ritual throughout the early '90s. Take the B train from Grand Army Plaza into Manhattan and spend a good hour or more at the Tower store on Lower Broadway. It was the beginning of my first inklings that if California could produce this kind of a store the state could not be all that bad. Boxed sets, imports, Janus films on VHS would eventually go home with me back to Park Slope and remain among my more vibrant tangible memories of living in two of the five boroughs.

The place had its own smell, different than the antiseptic HMV or Virgin Megastore that could be a Best Buy in Detroit or a Nobody Beats the Whiz in Newark. Was it all of that shrink wrap or the somewhat feral and at times appealing boys that worked there. All I know is that you find that same smell whether at the store near GWU or on Sunset Boulevard – the Tower smell. Now it’s all going away, I made a brief trek there and saved perhaps $20 on a three figure purchase. There was finally the satisfaction of having my own copy of The Rules of the Game and In A Year of 13 Moons, but there was no joy in finding bargains. I don’t know why I’ve delayed getting copies of these two films on DVD, especially the former, which I’ve long said would be a desert island disc but just wouldn’t take the time or expense to actually purchase it. My life doesn’t feel anymore complete, and I don’t see myself going back in the weeks ahead to rob the grave. Having gone through a year of deaths, I don’t need to see the store on its last gasp and grabbing the last gems from the tomb. Unless, of course, beneath the Jessica Simpson CDs and boxed sets of Desperate Housewives there are cat mummies. Ah, yes, what I would not do to get my hands on the cat mummies…

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