Friday, August 10, 2007

Sea Change or Just Climate Change?

Twisters are hitting Brooklyn. Quakes are shaking up L.A. and Indonesia. The Dow is in crisis (and that's not even counting Murdoch's devouring of the WSJ).

And yet it seems so calm here in San Francisco as we enjoy calming foggy days and now nearly perfect Tuscan sunny weather. Warmish but not steaming urine stew hot like the MTA in Manhattan is right now.

Ah, and even if the American economy is teetering on collapse again, Union Square is starting to make you think that this is, you know, like a city or something. Just look at the signs on Stockton Street where I was last night. Forget Grace Cathedral, since we'll soon have the annex of a temple more holy than that as seen at the top of this post. And, yes, I couldn't resist stepping into the Ben Sherman store, but it's really not that much more than what you could find for 75% less for six month old versions of the same things at Nordstrom's Rack. The whole idea of Ben Sherman is that it' timeless vintage, so what half a year for chrissakes?

My first lusting for Ben Sherman goes back to the summer of love when, before going to see Dr. Doollittle with my cousin and my infamously manipulative aunt at the Continental Theatre with its famed reclining seats, we went to Catherine Lype's Canterburry Shop. Both my cousin and I tried on identical Ben Sherman Nehru blazers. My cousin thought they were kind of fruity but went along with the game, but I was overcome by how astonishingly cool and hip I looked. My aunt agreed as we walked to the register. When the clerk rang us up, she looked at me with mock concern and said, "Oh, your mother didn't give you money to buy one? Well, then it appears we'll be buying one not two today, after all."

Needless to say, I've been scarred ever since and have made up with it by purchases ever since becoming a wage earning adult. Perhaps that's why my number of shoes is in the three digits (sorry, I won't reveal how far up into the three digits). Even though I work for an organization battling the evils of the World Bank, IMF, globalization, consumerism, sweat shops, corporate colonialism and Americanism, I fall into the trap of shameless bourgeois consumer many times. Hey, I've slept in huts in Mali and Ha Giang Vietnam, but that doesn't mean I have to buy into the Birkenstock, Tom's of Maine and patchouli/B.O. "aesthetic". That too is a form of branding, just not ones that particularly appeal to me.

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At 4:48 PM, Blogger rich bachelor said...

It mirrors my own twin loves of Ben Davis and Nat Sherman.

My, that aunt sounds wonderful, doesn't she, folks?

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Oh Gregg. I simply can't get enough of you... more pictures of YOU please!! Also your 'icon' picture, too! Tres kool! You're a hoot! [And that's a great thing!]

Have a great weekend sweetie! xoxo

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Gary said...

Barney's does truly rock. So does Nordstrom's. Your aunt sounds delightful -- I hope you gave her a what for as an adult.

Love the new profile pic.

At 7:21 PM, Blogger marxsny said...

Earthquakes, Tornados, Collapsing Mines and Bridges, all tragic but, you know, the whole world can go to hell as long as I can spend an afternoon at Barney's buying shoes and overpriced toiletries.

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Oh, we're in agreement, Mark. Overpriced toiletries? Is there such a thing? Only if it's from Walgreen's. At Barneys, Saks, et. al., no price is too high!

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Joy said...

Hmmm. Your aunt sounds like my family...

I love your new design!

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

That is a most wonderful photo. Your expression while holding the shopping bag seems to tell your bitchy old aunt exactly what you still think of that remark.

She was probably just jealous that you looked better in a nerhu jacket than her own kid. ;)

At 11:41 AM, Blogger WAT said...

Knock on wood that the supposed calm of SF isn't soon disturbed by something bad. But gee golly, what a beautiful city San Francisco truly is.

Lovingly yours,

WAT -The Pessimist.


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