Friday, July 16, 2010

Splash at the Boat House in Burlington.

I just returned from a two day 'shopping spree' at Burlington, Vermont. I hadn't been there for a while, what with our dollar being so low and the border hassle. Well, now you need a passport to cross, but that pretty city is still very close to Montreal, a short two hour drive, if you go in off-times.

I forgot how pretty Burlington is. New England towns are all pretty, but Burlington has those wide open streets in the center of town, an especially eye pleasing mixture of old and new building. (The vintage homes are used for sororities and fraternities, I noticed.)

And it has a street mall, Church Street, with great shops. And it has diners. Old fashioned diners. Henry's (where we didn't eat) and Sadie Something's, Katz, I think, where we did eat. I loved the 20's style, yellow vinyl and chrome stools and formica.

(I actually have a round chrome 50's or earlier table in my garage. It belonged to my husband's family. I kept it because I love kitch. He wanted to ditch it. But I have no place for a kitchen table.)

I didn't bring my camera. What a bummer.

And everything in the stores is cheap. Real cheap. Pretty summer clothes at 70 percent off an already low price. You have to wonder who is paying for these clothes? What overworked, underpaid citizen of where. A child?

And still, I bought some of them.

Should I feel guilty? These inexpensive items can't be good the the environment either.

I figured, being a university town, there are a lot of young women wanting nice clothes, cheap. And I suspect young women want lots of different clothing items that they wear once or twice.

Imagine, Flo, of Flo in the City, my novel in progress about a young girl coming of age in the 1910 era, Flo had only a few items of clothing, and only one 'good dress' which took her two days to wash and dry and iron. (The Nicholsons were 'middle class' but didn't have servants, or the money to send clothes out, I guess.)They made their own shirtwaists, the blouses that were in style. Or they got someone more skilled, like their mother Margaret, to make them.

Makes me think of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire. In 1912, many young women, some very young, died in a New Jersey? fire, because the back doors of the factory where they worked was locked. Many of these girls were underage. This fire sparked the union movement in the U.S.

YouTube has quite a few videos about it.

Oh, the wine is really inexpensive too in Burlington. Which makes me want to cry. Quebec must have the most expensive wine around, but we still buy it :)