Sunday, June 21, 2009

Two Words: Fred Meyer

If you've never been to Portland or Oregon, for that matter, these are two words you'll come to know quickly. It's the one stop shop for virtually everything. At first glance, you might think it's a really big super market with a few extras, but alas they sell TVs, music, storage, paint - really, anything for the home. I think I must have went to the mother ship yesterday - it's the store in Hollywood. (Side note: The neighborhoods here sometimes take their names from somewhere else - thus Hollywood. There's even one called Brooklyn, but it's not anything like Brooklyn. You don't even need to take a bridge to get there.) Anyway, this store was easily the size of two football fields with plenty of room for visitor and home benches. It was freakin' ginormous. It had clothes, BBQ's - gas and charcoal - a large gardening center, and of course tons of food and a fabulous wine selection. I think the only thing it didn't sell was wood, so you can build a house. I only went for a few items, but I was in the area - so clearly I got a bit of exercise while I searched out and selected my items. 

Here's the thing for me about Fred Meyer: I like to shop. I really, really do. It's an activity and part of the activity for me is discovering new little finds in random places. There's something extremely gratifying for me to go to a few speciality shops to seek out special ingredients for something I want to make later that day - the bakery for bread, the cheese shop, the corner vegetable stand/bodega. Though it inevitably creates more bags to carry (new or recycled), there's something magical to me about the whole process -- bags and all. So, this one stop shopping is not really for me. It makes me think I should be in some snowbound town found in Minneapolis where these kind of stores are needed since you usually get so snowed in you can only make it out to one place and that place better have everything you need.  Yet, that's simply not the case here in Portland and so the need for an  institution like Fred Meyer puzzles me, but it is indeed a defining Oregon attribute. 

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