Shopping 2015


Think of St. John’s: high end women’s clothing shops have long been dedicated to the idea that more is less. The austere displays send the message the items for sale are unique, rare, and not available to everyone. The second message is that smart people know immediately what they want and trust these stores to set forth choices that come to the point of fashion without fanfare, exhibiting the old school virtue of taste without flaunting privilege.

The issue is not inventory but organization, selection, and size. I love Ethiopian coffee; I know its growing regions and co-ops, whether its sun dried or water washed; I esp. enjoy Harrar, Lekempti, Yirgacheffe, Sidamo. Try finding these beans in the coffee sections of mass merchandisers, on shelves loaded with beans whose packaging blares irrelevance!

The last time I tried to buy a two-prong electrical adapter for a three prong device, the clerk at Wal-mart had no idea what I was talking about and assured me the item I later found was not there. Uninformed help, undesired goods and an utter lack of imagination about the shopping experience (dressing rooms a quarter mile away), endless aisles without demarcation (the store looks the same, whether you are in automotive or kitchenware!) and the lost sensation of getting off an escalator and being dazzled by artful displays highlighting goods in a comfortable setting or having lunch (not in a fast food chain!) are solid reasons for me to stay home. I order online.

Walmart Can’t Escape Clutter. Can You? – The New York Times


I weigh and balance facts carefully, without false comparisons and provide key words for fact checking! Ethiopian is priced in the normal range for coffees (slightly more expensive than mass brands like Folgers, less costly than Starbucks Yukon blend (Yukon?) a blend of Latin American, Ethiopian, and Sumatra (described as “rugged!”) or Starbucks own unnamed Ethiopian house brand (by description, probably a Yirgacheffe or Harrar, both have hints of cocoa Starbucks identifies.) For the same money, Counter Culture Coffee tells me the name of the farmer, reports on the year’s harvest, and shares a site visit! Or I buy from an Ethiopian-owned shop. (Christians, by the way.)

I thrive to keep comparisons fair and proportional. Space may limit a fuller explanation or added details. But also know my coffee is never pre-digested!

I miss the real dining rooms that department stores once housed. Cracker Barrel has a different kind of buzz.

If you buy coffee, you can readily afford Ethiopian–and also help the farmer whose sole family income is often its harvest.

Walmart Can’t Escape Clutter. Can You? – The New York Times



St. John Knit Suit.


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