Tuesday, January 23, 2007

And You're Pretentious Why?

Obbie and I went to Lancaster, PA this past Saturday. Yah, I know you're thinking, "Lancaster-Amish-Buggies-Shoo Fly Pie-Outlets" You're partially right. Lancaster has been touted as having a very interesting Central City area, with little shoppes surrounding the Central Market. Obbie was in town a couple months back and picked up all kinds of tourista brochures and flyers showing all kinds of things to do in center city Lancaster. By now, you all know that I have a soft spot for farmer's markets, so the Central Market caught my eye.

So on Saturday morning, we packed up our coffees and headed to Lancaster to explore 'In Town'. We got there around 9:00 am, which is late by market standards. We parked in a nearby garage, and trekked to the market in the bone chilling cold. The place was JAMMED with shoppers. We walked around in the throng, stopping and commenting on various tasty things. We brought home two whole wheat pizza crusts, some whole wheat dinner rolls, a quart of mushroom soup, a box of jalapenos, and a box of strawberries (From Florida, but they looked so good!) and whole wheat pasta shells.

The irritation began when Obbie tried to buy the pasta shells from the crunchy, hippie organic bulk foods lady. She looked right thru him. TWICE. So he went up and stood directly in front of her to pay. Strike one. (Market vendors are supposed to scan the customers looking for people to help, it's a no-brainer) Then we went to the bread people, who were very nice, and very helpful, except when I asked if there was anything besides white bread baquettes, she all but rolled her eyes. We got what we needed from her, not that she was grateful or anything, and continued on. (Later, I made a grievous faux paux by throwing a half eaten kumquat in what I thought was her trash bin...it was the bin the pack up all their non-sold items in...Whoops, sorry) By now, the crowd had grown, and there were lots more people. Many with their SUV baby carriages, pushing Precious thru the crowd, expecting people to part for them. "Make way or I'll run right up over your selfish non-kid having ass" And the groups of Lancaster Hipsters, clogging the aisles looking bored while holding their nonfat-no dairy-half-caf lattes. Trying to be polite, yet trying to be heard over the din of the market, I asked 'EXCUSE ME, PLEASE'. And they looked at me like I was wearing a scarf made of dead kittens. The first generation hippies, now retired and dabbling in the arts, were also in attendance, loudly debating the merits of Spanish paprika over Hungarian paprika and blocking the aisles. (What is this about standing in the aisles??! Move over to the side so people can pass!)

After an hour of all this, Obbie and I decided that we'd seen all we needed to see at the Central market, and left for breakfast. A diner half a block away was running a Saturday special of 1.95 for two eggs, home fries and toast. We had breakfast (worth all of the 2 bucks) and left to explore the quaint shoppes advertised in the glossy brochures.

The first one was a little store called "Details". They had a very nicely designed front window display, and it looked like they had cool stuff inside. Alas, anything cool was negated by the shopgirl. A blonde horsey little thing, she looked at Obbie and I and sniffed, curled her lip and turned away without so much as a "Good Morning" Someone really should tell Miss Thing that one should be more courteous to customers, because even if they don't look like they could afford anything in her store, they just might. This kind of pissed both of us off, but we wandered around and looked at the shit in her store. Ok, Crane Stationary is wonderful, expensive (but worth it) stuff, and I really REALLY liked the thank you notes they had there, I will buy them online and wait for their delivery before I'd buy anything from this store. I just can't get past that girl's attitude. Guess what, Miss Thing. Your shit does so stink, and furthermore, for the record, you're getting paid just barely over minimum wage to work in an overpriced, dime a dozen gift shop. Hopefully you'll meet Mr. Right soon, because with your attitude, you'll never going to make it in retail. Have a nice life.

Ahem. After that little experience, we went to the Quilt Museum Store and looked around. They had lots and lots of cool stuff, and the shopkeeper there was super nice, engaging, and knowledgeable. We had a lot of fun looking at all sorts of things there.

We then moved on to a couple buildings they're allegedly renovating with 'exclusive shoppes'. Which was very disappointing. Only a couple of the stores were occupied, one had really cool handmade glass items. I love glass, so I had to browse their items. Too bad Morticia the clerk was so engrossed in dusting some bric a brack, because I really wanted to ask her some questions. She did speak to the two women who came in behind me, wearing ski jackets and chic oversized sunglasses. I guess my hiking boots and leather coat didn't catch her eye. Again, we left, my money still safely in my pocket.

By this time we were both getting pissed and decided to leave town. We headed North and visited Ephrata, where we stopped in a neat consignment art gallery, and saw some nice jewelry. We talked with the woman, and she gave me the contact of the store so perhaps I can get some of my stuff displayed there. Yeees!

We left town and found the only Sonic in the tri-state area. Obbie was most impressed, but wanted to go inside and sit down. No dear, Sonic is a DRIVE IN. But that was okay, we had a laugh, and chowed on some good Sonic food and he finally understands my craving for Cherry Limeades. He's got it too. HA!

Then a stop at the Wilbur Chocolate Factory in Lititz (Better than Hersheys, and smaller...if you ever get the chance, try Wilbur Chocolate, and thank me later) for some Wilbur buds, and dark chocolate covered pretzels, then home!

And that was our Saturday around Lancaster. We'll go back again, I'm sure, but we'll be sure to wear our tuxedos and ball gowns if we're going to try and shop at the Shoppes in town.

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