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Friday, November 24, 2006

Westfield Shopping Center

(Double click on pictures to enlarge)
(Cliquez sur les photos pour les agrandir)

Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving officially launches the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. In fact, I read this morning in the paper that people even lined up overnight in front of Best Buy (an electronics store) in San Francisco, to be sure to be first in line to take advantage of the bargains! I sure hope it was worth it to them! If you are curious, check out the pictures taken by the Chronicle's journalists. The one of the guy running down the isle is priceless! Damn, I must be getting old or something cause I really can't imagine wanting anything THAT BAD that I'd have to sprint to it after waiting in line, outside, for 24 hours!!

Le jour après Thanksgiving marque l'ouverture officielle de la saison des achats de Noel. D'ailleurs j'ai vu ce matin dans le journal que des gens ont fait la queue toute la nuit devant Best Buy, un magasin d'electronique à San Francisco, pour être certains d'arriver aux soldes les premiers! J'espère que ça vallait le coup! Si vous êtes curieux, allez voir les photos prises par les journalistes du Chronicle. Il y en a une d'un mec qui court à travers les rayons du magasin qui vaut le coup d'oeil! Peut-être que c'est l'âge, mais franchement je n'arrive pas à imaginer avoir envie de quelque chose au point d'avoir envie de passer toute la nuit à faire la queue dehors, mais bon.

You can see the Metreon in the back /Au fond, à droite, c'est le Metreon

This story reminded me that I have a few photos to share with you from the time I went South of Market to buy a piece of hardware for my computer, got lost, and ended up instead at the back entrance to the new Bloomingdale mall they talked so much about recently. A blogger is a blogger (luckily I had my camera in the back-pack that day), so I went in.

Ca m'a rappellé que j'ai des photos à vous montrer depuis la fois ou j'étais allée me promener au Sud de la rue Market pour aller y chercher un morceau d'ordinateur, m'étais perdue, et étais tombée par hasard à l'entrée arrière du nouveau Mall de Bloomindale dont on a tant entendu parler dernièrement. Un blogueur reste toujours un blogueur (par chance, j'avais l'appareil), alors je suis rentrée pour voir.

Inside, everything is new, shiny and spotless. What a sharp contrast with the outside! They put in a lot of thought into making attractive, modern-looking yet very comfortable resting areas for the shoppers. The decorations they used are in excellent taste. I was really impressed.

A l'interieur tout est propre comme un sous neuf, ça brille et c'est beau. Quel contraste avec l'exterieur! Ils se sont vraiment donné beaucoup de mal pour créer des espace modernes, agréables, et cependant confortables, pour que les gens puissent se reposer entre achats. Les décorations sont de très bon gout, et le tout est très impressionnant.

These pictures were taken in the evening with minimum light, and clearly do not do the architecture justice, believe me, but you can probably still get an idea. If you want more pictures, videos and information about the Westfield Shopping Center, be sure to check out the links below for additional resources; there is quite a bit of information available online.

Ces photos ont été prises le soir avec peu de lumière et ne mettent pas l'ensemble vraiment en valeur, croyez moi, mais vous devinez sans doute quand même l'allure générale. Si vous voulez voir d'avantage de photos, des videos et plus d'informations sur le Westfield Shopping Center, allez cliquer sur les liens ci-dessous; il y a des tonnes d'informations sur la toile.

Of course, I hadn't come in to see the high-priced, elegantly displayed goods, but what they did with the original Emporium dome. What they did is a damn good job!

Bien sûr, ce ne sont pas les produits de luxe, élégamment disposés, que j'étais venue voir, mais ce qu'ils ont fait de l'ancien dôme de l'Emporium. Ce qu'ils ont fait, c'est du beau travail!

The dome was part of the original Emporium store built in 1896 by San Francisco architect Albert Pissis. Pissis, by the way, was one of the first Americans to be trained at Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris. The original building was destroyed, but they kept the dome.

Le dôme faisait partie du premier grand magasin à cet emplacement, l'Emporium, construit en 1896 par Albert Pissis, un architecte de San Francisco. Pissis était d'ailleurs l'un des premiers Américains à avoir fait les Beaux Arts à Paris. Le batiment original fut détruit mais le dôme fut conservé.

Again, my pictures can only give you an idea. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, I'd suggest you walk in and see it for yourself. It really looks impressive in person. And now, the pièce de resistance, as we say in French. Look up (or in this case, double click)... here you go:

Comme je vous disais, ces photos ne peuvent que vous donner une idée. Si vous passez dans le coin, allez le voir en personne car vraiment ça vaut le coup. Et maintenant, comme on dit, la pièce de resistance. Levez la tête (ou plutôt cliquez dessus)...:

I suppose I'll have to go back and see what they did in terms of Xmas decorations, but since I'm not yet ready to transform my blog into a Xmas card, you guys will have to wait a little bit to see that! :)

J'imagine qu'il va falloir que j'y retourne pour voir ce qu'ils ont fait comme décoration pour Noel, mais comme je ne suis pas encore prête à transformer ce blog en carte de Noêl, vous allez devoir attendre un peu avant de voir ça! :)

* * * * *

Westfield San Francisco Center article and related pictures

Check out the video showing the lowering of the Dome and the virtual visit / architectural fly-through from the builder's website, Forest City.

Also, there are tons of photographs of the Westfield Shopping Center, many taken during the day (it makes a difference)

Last but not least, the San Francisco Chronicle photo gallery of the construction, especially the dome and related articles.


Blogger Michael said...

Wow, this kind of story makes me really homesick. Not that I would like to spend too much time in the malls, but the "Centre Commercial" in France just can't compare. Tomate, do you think that if we built something like this outside of Paris people would come?

My mom used to always make it a point to be at the after Thanksgiving day sales. But for her it was more of a chance to be out with people, not necessarily buy anything. She used to gather all of our relatives together to go en mass to "attack". She carried a big sign to distract the other customers while the family went in for the kill!

I realise that's impossible to describe in writing, but thanks for giving me the space to do so just the same!

10:04 PM  
Blogger lynn said...

Great post! I, neither, have time nor energy anymore to go rushing around shops to save a few pennies here and there on some item you don't particularly need. Rather, i save some pounds on not buying it at all! Well, that's the theory anyway; sometimes i weaken... perfume, that's my thing. lol

5:12 PM  
Blogger Tomate Farcie said...

Michael: I think you can find the same stuff at the Galeries Lafayettes and other such stores (Grand magasins) behind the Opera Garnier, and upper Rue de Rivoli, no, or are they all gone the way of the BHV by now? Sorry you feel homesick, though. I imagine the holiday season is not helping. Truth be told, it's not my favorite season either. Is there anything you'd like to see maybe to help you feel better? I'm sure I have a couple of cable cars I haven't posted yet, if that'll make you feel a little better :D Just joking, but you know what I mean. Ask away, if you think of something.

Lynn: As long as it's French perfume, then it's OK ;) Better spend money on something you really enjoy, even if it's not on sale.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Thanks for the offer Tomate, but no, there's nothing special to post for me. GL, Printemps, BHV are all nice individual stores, but there are no classy malls in France (that I've seen). Of course, I like the individual ones as well...just not the billions of people. Did I say "billions"? I meant "quazillions"

11:01 AM  
Blogger Tomate Farcie said...

Oh, I see.. you miss the *upscale* malls. Well, I don't quite know what to tell you. Maybe you're right, the concept isn't quite the same in France. I have really no idea how French people would react to having one of these, but I'm guessing that if the prices are high, people might stay away from it. Factory outlets, on the other hand, would definitely work, I'm sure.

I always thought of the Grand Magasins behind the Opera as some kind of mall because you can just walk from the one to the other, it's all right there (and truthfully, the goods you will find there are the same as the imports you find in many "upscale" stores here in California).

What about the Halles shopping district underground? That's kind of a mall, no?

11:17 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Les Halles is a bit grungy if you ask me. I'm not complaining, just noticing that there really aren't any fancy malls here. On the other hand, Johnny Parsons published a photo today of the Palais de Congres de Paris which has what I'd consider to be the closest thing.

Anyhow, I'll be over on that side of the Atlantic for Christmas and will surely be happy to come back after one trip to the mall. They all tend to look the same anyway....except for the one you posted! ;-)

12:58 PM  
Blogger Dr. A. said...

I know you like really good photography so check out this blog great digital photos

2:24 PM  
Blogger Tomate Farcie said...

I did, Dr. A, thank you, and thank you for your visit to my humble little blog! I see from your profile that you like St. Exupery. So do I. I read Le Petit Prince when I was about 10 or 12 y old, and have read it again once every 8 to 10 years, and every time, I see something new in the story. I read other text he wrote when I was young, but no other story touched me the way the Petit Prince ever did.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Hello Tomate! Just putting in my request for your next blog insertion. If you have time to tell us what is going on in SF for World Aids Day, it could be interesting. If you already have something planned, don't worry about it.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi people
I do not know what to give for Christmas of the to friends, advise something ....

6:06 AM  
Anonymous SandyGestif said...

Coucou !!!
Oui c'est moi !
Well, this dome reminds me of the one of the Printemps LAfayette les grand magasins so Michael I think you should check it out, it's really beautiful and up scale!
THere is a great thing to see in Paris that could be like a mini mall in old times and is really gorgeous, it's la galerie Vivienne, look it up, go and go back in time...it's quite a journey there...
Et bien petite Tomate, ne crois pas que je t'ai oubliee...
Long time no...read...
Me revoilou...
J'espere que tu vas bien...

10:35 PM  
Blogger blueVicar said...

"...got lost, and ended up instead at the back entrance to the new Bloomingdale mall they talked so much about recently. A blogger is a blogger (luckily I had my camera in the back-pack that day), so I went in."

That's the spirit! Even in the wrong place, there is something to see, something to write about!!

I spend so much time looking at France through American eyes...I love to see the USA through yours.

Meilleurs voeux!!

11:28 PM  
Blogger Tomate Farcie said...

Anonymous: iPod stuff is always popular.

Sandigestif!!!! Holy sh@t!!! Long time no type, girl!!! :) You need to email me and give me your phone number again! Seriously! You have no idea how good it felt to see your name up here :-D Hope your little one is doing good. Talk to you soon, hopefully, OK? :-)

Blue Vicar: Thanks for the kind words! You have an iteresting blog, by the way :-)

9:24 PM  
Blogger Tomate Farcie said...

Michael: I'm not aware that anything specific went on for Words AIDS Day in the city, but the efforts towards AIDS awareness are ongoing in SF, as you can imagine. There is an incredible amount of resources at the LGBT center alone, and many ways to reach out online. Almost everybody here in the City knows someone who has lost a friend to AIDS. Terrible.

9:29 PM  

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