I've always been fascinated by commerce.
As a child I dreamt about my neighborhood, its movie theater, clothing stores, taverns, and coffee shops. I loved the show window in the mom & pop grocery store where trays of jelly doughnuts and cheese cakes appeared each morning.
I grew up in St. Louis ...
and everywere I lived -- the city, Maplewood, Clayton, Webster Groves -- I was near a neighborhood shopping area. I walked or biked to the stores often. As a child I saved my allowance to buy doll house furniture from the Ben Franklin dimestore. In Webster, there was a fresh fruit and vegetable stand with fabulous Arkansas and Missouri tomatoes.
When I was 13 I finally earned the right to go downtown with a friend. We rode the bus and went to the three big department stores, Famous-Barr, Vandervoort's, and Stix, Baer & Fuller. Each store took up a full block and, like true rubes, we got lost when we came out a different door than we entered.
Now I live in Massachusetts.
I'm still within 20 minutes walking distance of downtown. Even though I live in a small town, I enjoy a shopping area that is lively and interesting. There are plenty of restaurants, food stores, bakeries, theaters, and still an independent bookstore or two.
Exploring American -- and world -- consumerism
If you are interested in the history of department stores, tea rooms, and restaurants, you may enjoy looking at my website and some of the historic images I've collected.
And ... should you wish to buy a book or magazine, please consult the Quick Links at the bottom right of each page. Also, clicking on the covers will take you to Amazon.com.
For more information on Service and Style or Tea at the Blue Lantern Inn, click on their titles to the right.