Friday, September 08, 2006

The Death of a Giant

It was with great sadness that the 'chick read in Pound of the passing of a giant. Marshall Field's department store will be changing over to Macy's this Saturday (9/9). Roadchick heard rumors of this about a year or so ago and panicked. Flat panicked. Relatives still living in the Great North were contacted and dispatched to go collect Marshall Field's swag...and RIGHT NOW!

You see, Patient Reader, Roadchick is a Chicago girl, born and bred. And if you're born and bred in Chicago, Marshall Field's is a presence in your life. You may not go there very often, but it's there, like a security blanket.

As a child, Roadchick was treated to trips Downtown, usually on days when school was closed for teachers' meetings. A Trip Downtown meant getting up early in order to catch the Rock Island train to The Loop.

Sidebar note: Oh, wow, this is making the 'chick nostalgic and misty-eyed. And craving a Chicago-style hot dog.

On the day of the Trip, the 'chick would wake up and be filled with a sense of self-importance. She Was Going To The City. On The Train. Special care would be taken with getting ready, especially when she hit the tween years. After all, it was pretty much guaranteed that someone would mistake the 'chick for a model on her way to a photo shoot, just like those girls in Seventeen magazine. (Did the 'chick ever mention that she had [and still has] a vivid imagination and delusions of grandeur???) This impression of self-sufficiency was marred by the fact that Roadchick's mom was also coming to The City.


The train would pull into the LaSalle Street Station and Roadchick would descend, bag tossed over her shoulder, skin-tight Jordache jeans tucked into the sock/Reebok combination, blonde hair whipping in the wind. SuperStar!

During her day in The City, Roadchick would visit a great many places, but her main destination was ALWAYS Marshall Field's. ALWAYS.

Probably to this day you could blindfold the 'chick and set her down in the State Street store and she would know instantly where she was. There was a scent. And the scent was Marshall Field's.

Lunch was always eaten here. There was an entire floor of restaurants to choose from. Not McDonald's. Not Burger King. There was The Walnut Room. The English Room.

And after lunch and a leisurely tour through the book department, the 'chick would adjourn to the Crystal Palace. The Crystal Palace was an ice cream shoppe (had to put the pretentious extra PE on the end) that was modeled on a 1920s ice cream shoppe. And, was amazing. Delicious. Unbelievable. The 'chick still has a beverage napkin from there tucked into a scrapbook.

But, all good things, even things that have lasted as long as Marshall Field's, must come to an end. All of the Marshall Field's stores will be converted to Macy's as of tomorrow. And the 'chick will mourn. It just won't be the same.

Because is Chicago.

Unless noted otherwise, all images are from Wikipedia. Images are hosted on this blog - don't steal bandwidth!


tinker said...

Even though I've never been to Chicago, I feel for the Roadchick - really; I understand. Our hometown had its own iconic department store, that was swallowed by another store chain. It's just never been the same since.
I still shop there in my dreams, though. Those are really good dreams, too.
I'm sorry for your loss, Roadchick.
Wishing you sweet shopping dreams.