Saturday, April 19, 2008

This city is by no means Superior

I had time to kill yesterday. Time to kill in the City of Superior.

Normally, this is when people start producing razor blades and bottles of booze from nowhere. I really do try to give a town the benefit of the doubt but I have lived in this area for the past thirteen years and the city of Superior never fails to amaze me with its depressing vistas, barren downtown, and people that seem to be wading in the shallow end of the gene pool.

I will just say this right here...The Superior Library ROCKS! This means only one thing. Someone in the city of Superior is literate.

I hope to meet this person someday.

Anyway, I was near the Mariner Mall and I had an hour to kill. Not enough time to see a movie, not hungry enough to eat at Guadalajara's (Usually yummy but don't always bet on it), and not rich enough to waste gas cruising in the parking lot. Instead, I went inside.

Now, if you're not from around here, you might wonder what the big deal is. I went to a mall. Not a mall in a bad part of town, just a mall. It is here that you fail to grasp the wonder that is Superior.

If there is a chance that it will succeed, Superior will find a way to make it fail.
If there is a chance that it will be fasionable, Superior will find an old coat from the 70's to put on it to make it hideous.
That is just how things work there.

The mall has one anchor store with fashions aimed at the swinging 70 year old set. Seriously, I am by no means a fasion diva but when I walked through the store, all I could thing of was the setting in Harry Potter Book 5, Purge and Dowd's Department Store. The department store that was ten years out of date but it was really just a front for St. Mungo's Hospital for Medical Maladies and Injuries. I stood in front of the mannaquins and waited for one to wink at me but I was sorely disappointed.

As I left that store, I stood in the cavernous hallway which was completly empty. Not a single soul in site. My Ipod then kicked in with "Highway to Hell". I started giggling and thus must have looked totally insane but thankfully, NOONE WAS WATCHING.

I passed a few stores that looked mostly like craft booths and finally came to the one store that I used to visit occasionally, the old Ben Franklin's space. Ben left town awhile back but there was actually a store in there. I looked for a sign but there wasn't one and I hesitantly walked in because half the lights were on and half the lights were off. I asked the lonely employee if they were open and she acted as if I had just asked her if the Pope was Catholic. "Of Course!"

What a silly question!

So this store, which had no name, had three or four cases of bolts of quilting fabric, quilting notions hanging on the wall, sewing and quilting books and patterns, and a bunch of stuff that looked like it came from an antique store. Very pretty stuff mind you, valaises and old button jars, but were they for sale? Were they decore? I couldn't figure it out. There was also a vintage kitchen set up with old linens and ephemera but some of it was priced and others were not.

I ended up wandering to the back of the store where there were piles and piles of fabrics and patterns, some fabrics from other quilt stoers with the tags still on it, jars of beads and bobs, just like a garage sale or something. I ended up picking up a few pieces of fabric that were cut and not marked and when I came up to the front desk, I asked the lady if they were for sale or what.

"Oh, that's the owner's work space. These are from her stash..."

I was absolutely floored. Why didn't this woman tell me I was in a place where I shouldn't have been? I started to turn around and take them back where I got them but she said she would sell them to me anyway.

It was 6 pm and I'm guessing I was her first sale of the day...

So yeah, after going to the Blue Bamboo and being faced with stacks and piles of crap to sift through, I guess I thought it was my perogative to sift through crap wherever I go.

Wow, that sounds a lot like the definition of my life...

1 comment:

Mary said...

Oh, the Mariner. Back in the day (i.e., the 1980s), it was quite the jumpin' place, from what I remember--probably as busy as the mall in Duluth, actually. But then the whole Miller Hill boom happened, businesses moved across the bridge (and further south along Tower Avenue in Superior), and now the Mariner's just like a giant lobby for the movie theater & the Guad. Truly, only a mere shadow of its former self.

It's too bad, really, because there's nothing really wrong with that building--with some elbow grease it could perk up pretty easily, I think--but there's just no incentive for businesses to move back in there the way it is.

I do love that they're still using the same nostalgic/creepy Christmas decorations as they were back in the day, though. Those things are really freaky.