Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, July 25

Gapers Block

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jennifer / November 28, 2004 9:38 PM

chinatown. cheap. funny gifts.

Ruthie / November 28, 2004 9:44 PM

I went shopping. I braved the crowds. I brought home... a few items... for myself.

I like to call these "scouting missions."

Andrew / November 28, 2004 9:50 PM

I thankfully avoided it. I'll be doing most of my shopping online and in small shops, neither of which require me to shop on Black Friday.

heather / November 29, 2004 8:43 AM

I didn't buy anything, but I love crowds (it's one of the zillion reasons why I love the city!) so I just walked around the mall (and the Mag Mile!) and enjoyed the people watching.

robin.. / November 29, 2004 9:00 AM

in wisconsin on saturday, meaning that i shopped at the mustard museum, an independent bookstore, and penzey's. (apropos of penzey's, and the board a few weeks back on fave indie shops: penzey's and the spice house are owned by the same family. so they're not the same company exactly, but they are allied.) i'm making most of my gifts this year, and giving donations in the names of those hard-to-buy-for relatives.

Pete / November 29, 2004 9:08 AM

Avoid at all costs. Which will continue throughout the shopping season, with me (or more accurately, my wife) buying virtually everything online.

Thurston / November 29, 2004 9:37 AM

I did some on line shopping on Friday but that's it. I will go to some of the brick and mortar outposts though this season. Sometimes I have to see and touch a thing before I can buy it. I also like shopping on Michigan Avenue during the week at lunch time - I like the way it is crowded but not overwhelming at those times.

Carly / November 29, 2004 10:01 AM

I staved off til Sunday, but only managed to get one gift...and two pairs of shoes for myself. It was surprisingly quiet.

Perhaps I should do more shopping online to avoid buying myself stuff.

Benjy / November 29, 2004 10:11 AM

I love the whole festive holiday spopping atmosphere and usually try to hit the Mag Mile, Old Orchard or Woodfield on "Black Friday" but didn't this year. To avoid getting stressed out and all, I just go for the experience and not with any set goals for finding gifts, etc.

I did hit the Premium Outlet Mall in Aurora yesterday. Just to shop for myself. Not too overcrowded...

Eamon / November 29, 2004 10:58 AM

The only shopping I did was for washers, single-strap hangers, and a 200-ft fish tape. Not much of a crowd at Clark and Devon Hardware.

steven / November 29, 2004 12:01 PM

did some shopping on friday, but stayed in my neighborhood (lakeview) to do so. also took care of things online. gotta love that internet.

steve_sleeve / November 29, 2004 12:29 PM

i was back visiting the folks in minnesota, and i made a conscious effort to go nowhere near the mall of america. great success/

i did, however, stop by marshall field's with my mom so we could get my dad a birthday present ... and discovered that THIS is an actual product. think of the marketing possibilities!

in related news: an AP story about some kids who went all around lafayette, louisiana and super-glued the door locks at all the major retail stores.

Mike / November 29, 2004 1:44 PM

I too was up in Minneapolis, though the only thing I shopped for was a couple bottles of Grain Belt and a jukebox at the Triple Rock.
I did get to see the lines at the Mall of America on TV and it was massive! There must have been 100,000 people there.
Everybody in my family has made a deal to do something nice for each other instead of just punting on a gift that no one will want. I'm still working on something for 3-4 people.

Krissy / November 29, 2004 2:02 PM

The Mt. Horeb mustard museum is the best!!

But doesn't everyone do shopping online, at work, like me?

paul / November 29, 2004 3:30 PM

I avoided all the traffic and crowds in Chicago by going to NYC for the weekend.

Seriously though, Chicago has it good - there are way too many humans in NY.

lynn / November 29, 2004 3:52 PM

I was in strict observance of National Buy Nothing Day.


Steve / November 29, 2004 4:03 PM

Shopping, on Friday? Only for our Xmas tree, bought from the friendly fellow selling just west of the Irving Park-Ashland intersection in an old Meineke parking lot. As usual I vowed not to spend more than $40 but ended up paying 62 bucks for a nice 7-footer.

Saturday did a bit of big box in the rain -- Cost Plus in Evanston (hardly crowded at all), then Target and Costco on Touhy. Very few gifts, mostly bought party supplies. Found out that Target now has wine, though I had already bought mine at Costly Plus and Costco.

I'm with the shopping online crew for gifts. It's weaselly, but Scamazon saves you a mint on sales tax....

Ann / November 29, 2004 4:08 PM

I took part in Buy Nothing Day as well.

Anonymous / November 29, 2004 5:08 PM

I got dragged to a small mall in Ohio with my faux-mother-in-law. I spent an inordinate amount of time in an over-packed department store listening to "This is why I love coming here, the prices are so wonderful." I tried very hard to not explain that it's because the average salary in this small town near the Appalachian mountains is less than 1/4 that in her own hometown and that all the items she was purchasing were made in China, Pakistan, and the Phillipines where the workers have no rights and may or may not be paid for their work. I did walk away with one gift that was made in America and seemed of decent quality. Otherwise, I purchased a soda and a buttery-pretzel. But I did manage to get it through to her that I would not be wearing a scarf made out of bunny tails and almost unintentionally turned one of her sons into a vegetarian in the process. "You mean leather comes from cows? And steak too?" I got the death-glare and backed off.

Mike / November 29, 2004 9:52 PM

Stayed up to 2 am Thanksgiving. Made the faux pas at the dinner table, in two households no less, of talking trash about the stupid idiot 6 a.m.'ers who invade the malls and WalMarts with glazed eye and stagger step like brainwashed zombies, not knowing that a number of cousins look upon Black Friday the way some look toward Super Bowl Sunday. Now I'm a bad boy. But I'll never understand Rambo shopping. Stayed in my warm, dry BED until 10 am on Buy Nothing Day.

waleeta / November 30, 2004 9:07 AM

online, online, online.

Well ok I bought myself a new dress at Streets of Woodfield. But it wasn't as packed as Woodfield, I swear.

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