Monday, July 28, 2008

Hey Big Spender...

Who said the economy is in a remission?  Not the people that were at the Southcenter Mall in Seattle this weekend. 

It was a zoo.  I have never seen so many people in one place since I was at the free Second Monday at the Chicago Field Museum.  First of all, we had to fight for a parking spot in the lot of a Target that is in a strip mall across the street from Southcenter and its lots!  Parking for mall was all the way to the streets/highway, and there were cops and traffic directors everywhere trying to tame some of the madness of people trying to turn into already full parking lots and garages.  

The Bubba and I went to the mall to celebrate the opening of Seattle's first H&M store by  madly stuffing things in bags and throwing money at the cashier.  (Tad made out like a bandit - neither Bubba nor I got anything for ourselves!  Side note:  I can't remember the last time I looked at clothes for myself - maybe month 5 of this pregnancy?  I just don't even want to think about it!)  Sigh.  I love H&M.  That Ikea of clothing stores.  Come to think of it, I love Ikea too.

But back to the crowds.  It was kind of fun to be in the big crowds and feel like we were being part of something.  I'm always surprised that when people get into a crowded situation, they seem to act even more like there the only ones present than if that were actually true.  It took a bit of patience at some points.  But there was certainly a high degree of people-watching potential since there seemed to be one of everyone on the planet in this space.  

The quintessential teenaged girls were tightly grouped laughing into their hands as boys with low-slung pants and boxers hanging out sauntered past the too-loud, too-scented Abercrombie store.  Moms and dads were dragging crying kids that obviously detested the limited freedom the crowds and new shiny things brought with them.  Women were fighting over bags and scarves and earrings.  There were even old people waiting for lunch with their grandkids at the Raiforest Cafe.

Also, Seattle has never been so diverse.  There were African Americans.  There were Hispanics. There were Asians.  There were Caucasians.  Milling around all spending money together on smoothies and shoes and pretzels and ensembles!

Seattle is a big-ish city.  But I always expect it to be more diverse than it is.  One does not see many African-Americans or Hispanics just around.  Asian-Americans are the exception.  But every time I'm out and about I expect Chicago-like proportions of diversity and it just doesn't seem to exist here.

Until you open a new mall, anyway.  Nothing like consumerism to unite the masses!  Isn't America grand?


Carrie said...

I was there Saturday as well! Didn't see you at H&M though. We went to see Mamma Mia at the new theater and then had lunch at Joey's (yummy!) and then got the courage to brave H&M. I got one shirt, but my friend got nothing, which seemed like a waste after all that energy spent fighting the crowds. I agree with you, outside of sporting events, I've never seen that many people in one place in Seattle! Daniel wanted to go to the Torchlight Parade that night and I nearly cried at the prospect, because I was so tired of people by then!

Hopefully the H&M downtown will open soon, so we wont have to travel quite so far. And you'll be able to wear normal clothes again by then!

maggie said...

My first week at UW was a big shocker after growing up on military bases. I called my dad and whispered, "THERE ARE NO BLACK PEOPLE IN THIS CITY." Many years later I got up the nerve to tell Phillip I had never seen so many Asian people in one place. :)

I was at the mall Saturday too! But earlyish, before it got krazy. And I resolved not to go in H&M until I can fit back in my old clothes!

Kate P said...

Wait, wait, wait. . . Seattle didn't have an H&M until now??? I really am surprised to hear that. Then again, there's one across the street from my office and I haven't been in it in a year probably. My sister likes to shop there--she's taller than I am!