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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Schmata, Or The Annual Warehouse Sale

Union Square Jazz
Photo by myself tonight at the Union Square subway station.

There are musicians all over the place, but this jazz ensemble was especially animated and fun. On the walls, a Mini Cooper ad campaign.


Apparently, it's that time of year again, The Barney's Warehouse Sale. It's going on until March 2nd.

I used to pay attention to these things. Over the years, I've become *snort* a jaded New Yorker. I know too much.

I written here before that 'sale' in the phrase 'Barney's Sale' does not mean 'sale'. It means 'brainwashing', in the way that 'three-fifty for a pair of hot pants' becomes acceptable after seeing racks upon racks of overpriced clothing. And not just clothing, but generally pretty bland clothing.

I'm over it - the crowds, the lines, the half-dressed women battling over designer t-shirts. (There are no changing rooms, so women disrobe wherever they can find a mirror).

Mark laughs when we pass nightclubs with queues behind velvet ropes. We both pass on opening nights for movies, or movies at all, for that matter. It's a rare occasion that we brave the crowds, high prices, lines, sold out shows and cellphone interruptions to see a movie on the big screen.

It's ironic because before I moved here, I didn't buy into the fashion thing. I was down to earth. I wondered why people lived in New York at all, paying the rent they did, competing for everything from jobs to apartments to significant others.

But then I moved here after graduate school and something changed. I wanted to be where the party was. I wanted to see what the hooplah was about. Now that I know, I'm over it. My trajectory was akin to poor Andrea in 'The Devil Wears Prada', only not so glamorous.

It's a matter of values. I will stand in line for a New Yorker Magazine-sponsored night with David Byrne playing the acoustic guitar and reflecting on his years as a performer. I will stand in line for an on-stage interview and banjo performance with Steve Martin. Once-in-a-lifetime moments, yes. Movies and clothes, no.

I guess I'm either growing up, or growing old. I don't know which.


Noah said...

Your blog, and the photos on here, just make me want to be here so much more! x

Kitty said...

Hi Noah!
Well, isn't London similar? I love London.
Ever think of moving there?

fishwithoutbicycle said...

I hear you. I'll stand in line for the Theory - $230 trousers for $80 and they have changing rooms - and Satya sample sales - jewelry at a 70% discount - but I can't be doing with the Barney's sale either.

BrianC said...

Another Barney's "sale" veteran here. But the appeal wore off quickly, probably because of the crowds, jostling, and noise. But watching the herd try to trample each other for over-priced clothes, one would think they were handing out free drinks or cocaine. No more lines and elbow-to-elbow crowds for me, unless it's really something incredible.

Rather than say you're "growing old" recognize that you're "maturing" and recognizing what's important and meaningful. Leave the shallowness and faux "cool" to others.

Spandrel Studios said...

It's all just about Marketing (capital M), creating that excitement that makes the sale a must -- even the the artistic, quirky window-dressing, it's all lovely showmanship... Although I can never resist seeing what Simon Doonan's come up with.

Bravo to you for deciding not to succomb to it.

Mom Knows Everything said...

The only I stand in line for is for lately are tickets to see Thomas the Tank Engine Live. LOL!

Kitty said...

Fish, Theory sale sounds great...as long as they have changing rooms, lol.

Brian, I'm dying to know what it's like on the mens' side. I bet it's quieter and less violent!!

Spandrel, there must be something to the marketing. After all, there are tons of sample sales around. Why is this one so well known?

lol Tammy! It's great that you at least get out to the movies!

Olivier said...

dans le métro New-Yorkais, je trouve qu'il y a toujours de superbe musicien, je suis resté souvent pour écouter des petits concert.
in the subway of New York, I find that there is always superb musician, I often stayed to listen of small to concert.

Kitty said...

Olivier, I wish I could document all the great musicians. There is one female folk singer who plays on the platforms who is great. Another guy who plays the Chinese pi-pa. One fellow who plays the cello quite well. Several impromptu groups that beat on plastic containers as drums (and are very loud).

The groups that play boom boxes and break dance aren't for me.