No, I’m not in New York, nor is it time for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s nearly the end of summer, and though the sky belies the season by offering me a grey chilly day, all I can think of is Autumn and everything that it brings.
I read that Macy’s was closing many of it’s stores, and although the NYC mother ship had already gobbled up all of our beloved Marshall Fields & Co. stores, I can’t help but feel melancholy about this withering season of retail life.
I’m not much of a stroll, shop, look languidly, repeat kind of a gal – that wasn’t really in the picture for single parent & work from home me. But if this were still the year in which I was sprung, in 1959, I’d imagine an enormous fascination with putting on heels, a smart suit, jazzy capris, gloves & a jaunty beret, and do it up right. City smart shopping, lunch out at Sardi’s if I was in NYC, or a bite at The Walnut Room at Marshall Field’s on State Street in Chicago.
It’s the stylishly sophisticated epoch that I was born in, and born for. Which is why my illustrations just seem to get more affixed to earlier decades than this haphazard, discount-driven, strip mall, Amazon one we’re currently existing in.
It’s a matter of taste, and for me, the grand salons, the great retailers in the U.S., London, Paris gave architects some doozies of projects. These edifices, many still standing, bring me flying to another era where life was more genteel, clerks & sales girls were polite, informed, friendly, neat as pins, and the ritual of a day out to go to the department store (even that name is fading and sounds archaic) was something worthy of an extra dab of lipstick, a fashionable pocketbook and the sweet immersion into a lovely, lovely day.