With store-closings and business-bankruptcies in the news every day, it’s easy to forget that some favorite shopping destinations disappeared years ago. Remember, for instance, when downtowns featured thriving and vital department stores and it was a Big Deal to go shopping there? When we’d visit my grandparents in Illinois I’d wear my best dress (this was when blue jeans were for playing outside only) and go with my grandmother to shop in downtown St. Louis. We’d admire the department-store window displays and then ride the elevator upstairs to the tea room. Tres chic! Read more shopping memories at http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20090320/ARTICLES/903205000
Oh, the days of going downtown! We ‘tweens and teens would take the bus and spend the day downtown every Saturday. There were three movie theaters with cheap matinees, the Empress, the Palace and the Imperial. And they were as lovely as their names sounded with marble floors and velvet curtains and gilt columns. And there were two 5 & 10 stores, a record shop, a couple of diners and a bakery.
If we forgot to save that last dime for the bus home, we would walk back home which meant hiking about three or four miles.
I remember my mom taking me into downtown Seattle to shop at Nordstroms. Back then it was the only one in the world and a huge deal. I miss that experience.
And there was a five and dime store that you could go in to buy your gold fish and school supplies? Gone are those days, and kids growing up today will never know the sense of excitement of downtown shopping, as opposed to mall shopping. I do everything I can to help keep the small shopkeeper in business. It’s a necessity nowadays. I like walking in to hear the bell above the door jingle.
Oh, thank y’all for sharing these memories! These shopping experiences are gone forever. I wonder what our children will remember in their places?
I try real hard to stay out of malls, and to shop the locally-owned boutiques. However, a lot of times they are more expensive than the chain stores, so I don’t get to do it as often as I like.
We do still have a dime store in Alexandria, Virginia. It’s on Fort Hunt Road, and it’s simply called the “Variety Store”. Yes, you can still buy things for only a dime. They have more expensive things, too, of course, but nothing over the top. Plus, they have the best fabric in the world.