observing, the second.

this observance is a far less serious one.

last week, between london and ottawa, i stopped in toronto, the city with which i have a love/hate relationship to end all love/hate relationships. though, i think it was at this point, here, that my relationship with toronto, the city, became more of a coexistence than much else.

on my way to london, i discovered that toronto had (1) a whole foods and (2) an anthropologie. i made it my mission, in a sort of eeire, brand-obsessed, kind of way* to visit both of these on my way back to ottawa, because god knows that we are such a small, provincial town when you compare us with the big smoke.

cookies from whole foods

for the last few months, ottawa has been whining about how it needs a whole foods, in the same way that a child whines for a new stuffed toy. it turns out, like the stuffed toy, that we don’t need a whole foods. we have plenty of good, local, stuffed toys that provide us with everything we need. which, is to say that everything whole foods had, i knew exactly where to find when in ottawa.

when i shop in a city that is not my own, i look for things that are different and unique. the same holds true of stores that i cannot visit in my city. whole foods didn’t provide me that experience. it was a bit saddening, given how much fuss this city is making about having a whole foods location.

mass marketing bread, or something more, at anthropologie

anthropologie was an entirely different experience. i didn’t know much of anything about the store, only that its displays made my heart flutter. oh, you pretty things. i think the wikipedia page does a good job of describing anthropologie’s target audience: 30- to 40-something affluent professional women with total family annual income above $200,000. which, is pretty much not me. at all.

but, anthropologie does an incredible job at mass-produced pretty. also, mass-marketing mass-produced pretty.

and, there’s nothing wrong with that. except that, like whole foods, it left a strange mass-produced pit in my stomach when i left.

*i really don’t like that i’m so brand loyal. i’d like to be more of a skeptic about brands, but i can’t be. note that today my outfit is comprised of 90% gap and or gap subsidiaries. gap clothing just works for me and there’s nothing wrong with that.


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