Thursday, October 20, 2005


Almost cold nights, not-quite-warm days, when the sun heats up the house enough to keep the interior above 65 F (our night setting in winter) for most of the night. Now if this could only last until April.

I did some looking around, and noticed that this article of mine is up on the web, though I haven’t received a paper copy of the magazine just yet, which is published by the International Council of Shopping Centers. The article’s of interest if you’re interested in the fate of mid-market department stores, which is dim.

Went to Maggiano’s in Oak Brook for a luncheon today, to eat and listen to a panel, make notes and write it up for filing tomorrow. The subject was office condos, which seem to appeal to doctors and other practice-intensive professionals. One speaker developed a group of office condos built according to the principles of vastu shastra, the Indian equivalent of feng shui, since his clientele included a fair number of doctors from the Indian subcontinent.

It was my introduction to the concept. You never know when you’re going to find out something new. If office condos are going to be developed along vastu lines, it can’t be long before there will be vastu how-to books, calendars and community-college night classes. America is an expansive place; it has room for more Wisdom from the East, surely.

The Asian concept I want to graft on North American soil isn’t either of these, though. I’d like to see people build spirit houses, an idea I encountered in Thailand. I’m sure there are details to spirit houses that I don’t appreciate, but the idea seems a lot simpler than aligning your house so it isn’t downwind of the wrong flavor of chi. You have a house, so the resident spirits need one too, but much smaller, maybe birdhouse sized. To give it an American twist, someone needs to sell spirit-house kits, available in a number of styles.


At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dees - I am unfamiliar with Mervyn's. What is the concept which, allegedly, would have been better in Calif.?
Thanks for the link to the Frog Bridge. Do make a detour there sometime. You would like it. I made a mistake in my original email to you. It was 4, not 5, years ago that I came upon it, because I remember now that I was pregnant at the time. MT

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Dees Stribling said...

Mervyn's is a store with some history in California, apparently. It had no history in the Twin Cities, but large minds in the industry imported the name there not too many years ago, where it refused to take root. I've never been to one, but I understand it's an ordinary sort of mid-market department store.

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Mervyn's moved into Texas sometime in the early eighties; there was one in El Paso when we were there, I remember, but I don't recall seeing or hearing about them before that. I don't recall their merchandise being anything out of the ordinary. What I do recall is that their advertising campaign at the time featured Dick Van Patten. For that reason alone, I did my best to stay out of their stores. ANK


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