Sunday, February 22, 2009

Shopping in the Rain

This is loyalty. A straight male friend persuaded me to make my way downtown in the rain today to help him renew his wardrobe. The building above was not one of our destinations, but it caught my eye anyway. De Beers Diamonds occupies the ground floor (they are paying $400 per square foot for their 3200 square feet of San Francisco retail space in this renovated 1908 building at 185 Post – recently encased in tinted glass by local architects Brand + Allen). My daughter is particularly fond of this building in its renewed state because it changes color according to the weather.

No, our principal destination was the vast flagship Banana Republic store at Grant and Sutter, which for a Sunday afternoon (even in the rain) was eerily deserted. But no real surprise there, since everywhere one turns there is more evidence of the New Big American-Generated Worldwide Depression.

Aside from clerks and mannequins, the place was depopulated. So we got offered a lot of help. My friend likes to shop for clothes only once a year, then buys a lot, and throws out the old ones, and then is joyful not to have to think about it for another year.

I stayed outside the dressing room, making the best discriminations I could every time the dressing room door popped open to reveal another outfit. Then I'd serve as middle-man to request additional sizes and colors. Altogether it took only a couple of hours to find perhaps fifteen well-fitting, workable, non-dull but non-strange garments.