Tuesday, December 23, 2014
More Main Street and Christmastime
Earlier this year the NY Times published an article with the preposterous title, "Maplewood, NJ: If Brooklyn Were a Suburb." I like Brooklyn and I like Maplewood -- I protest against the reductionism that can equate America's Fourth Largest City with a small suburban town. Putting that issue aside for the moment, Maplewood and Hoboken are my favorite places for Christmas shopping. I hit Hoboken on Sunday, Maplewood today. My grandson Javi and I went to get a present for his aunt. We wound our way through the traffic, found a place to park and thought all the people would be in the toy store. But they weren't. We breezed in, got something special and got out quickly. Instead, all the people of Maplewood were in the BOOK STORE, Words. I ran into a friend and we chatted about last minute shopping as a curse of busy people. Javi and I got on line with our purchases. It was LONG. Not surprising -- the whole town was there. I couldn't resist saying to the woman on line behind me, "I think it says something about Maplewood that there are more people in the bookstore than the toy store." She looked a little shocked, and then replied, "It does say something about us." Then I noticed The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. I showed it to the lady behind me who said she was de-cluttering. I pointed out that it said in the blurb people who used Kondo's method didn't relapse. She seemed a little annoyed by my observation -- we buttinskis get that some times, and I haven't even tried the method so how do I know if it's true? I thought of getting the book, but I've requested it for Christmas, so I didn't. Finally I got to the checkout and had that simple moment of family pride: "Are you Carolyn or Mindy?" This, of course, refers to the frequent buyer bonus program. Returning to the annoying article in the NY Times, Maplewood is great -- it's just not Brooklyn.