{Chicago Edition}: RIP Marshall Field’s

Marshall Field’s became Macy’s in 2006, much to the chagrin and disgust of many Chicagoans. I love that my mother saved this old Field’s bag. Someday it may be considered an antique. I need to convince her to shrinkwrap it and put it away as part of my inheritance. Between that and all the artsy duck decoys she has (thanks, Wisconsin), my inheritance should be about $147. Barely a decent pair of jeans.

Anyway, I’m still in Chicago. Lots of memories come flooding back when I come home. It doesn’t help that I sleep in the same room where I slept  as a teen-ager. Thank God my parents painted over the Pepto-pink walls, though. And threw away all my half-naked pictures of David Lee Roth.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I have lots of shopping memories. My earliest is of my friend B and I taking the bus to Ford City Mall on the South Side, and spending every single penny of our money, including bus fare, forcing us to walk home. In those days I wasn’t allowed to wear high heels. Now I proudly walk from Soho to the UWS in my fabulous platforms after I spend all my cabfare.

I loved Marshall Field’s. My mom took us downtown every Christmas to sit under the tree and eat snowman sundaes. To my eyes, it looked like the fanciest store in the world. High ceilings, gilt everywhere, marble floors. The building, with the clock on the corner, was just such a Chicago icon. Now it’s Macy’s??? Ick.

After I moved to New York, my friend T and I always made plans to meet in the shoe department of the Marshall Field’s in Oakbrook Mall whenever I was in town. That’s where she told me she was pregnant with her first baby. We still meet at the shoe department at Macy’s, but immediately leave for greener pastures, such as the inoffensive Starbucks.

Globalization and capitalism are unstoppable forces. But if they ever touch Portillo’s Hot Dogs and turn it into a Famous Ray’s Pizza, I’m going to be pissed.


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