Monday, December 31, 2007

Paul Smith - Covent Garden

Another nice holiday window. Understated, but nice.

40-44 Floral Street
Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DG

020 7379 7133

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Post Christmas Window at Ted Baker- Covent Garden

This is a nice variation on Ted Baker's Christmas window, for the after Christmas sales.

9-10 Floral Street
Covent Garden

020 7836 7808

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Disenchanted - Oxford Street

The slogan's just a little bit too long, the design's not quite up to the quality of the rest of the decorations on Oxford Street. Wait, it's an add for Enchanted. Shame on you Disney! Double shame on the Oxford Street Merchant's Association!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Santa Baby - Oxford Street


Marks and Spencers

Instead of wasting time on elves and Christmas villages, some stores get straight to the point: New Years frocks for those who'd rather ornament themselves.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas at Heals - Tottenham Court Road

You would think that Heals would have a better selection of Christmas ornaments. The after Christmas sales are pretty good, though.

The Heal's Building
196 Tottenham Court Road
London W1T 7LQ

020 7636 1666

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Worst. Shopping Day. Ever. - Oxford Street

This photo was taken at Selfridges on Boxing Day. Debenhams was even worse. At one point, I was stuck in a stairway were the people going up the stairs collided with the people going down, in such a way that we were all jammed up and no one could move. Scary! Even worse, the escalator was so overburdened that it blew up (when I was on it). People kept crowding onto the escalator, despite the billowing smoke that smelt like a burning vacuum cleaner belt. The fire brigade was called.

If the crowd doesn't convince you that shopping on Boxing Day is a bad idea, here is a photo of the merchandise. The observant will notice that some of this is from several seasons ago. Espadrilles in winter, anyone?

I had to do it once, but never again. In a city like London, where every brand has it's own boutique, there really is no need to brave the crowds, even for the allure of the yellow bag.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas at Paperchase - Tottenham Court Road

One of the best selections of Christmas ornaments in London, It's also a good place to buy artificial trees in unnatural colours.

213-215 Tottenham Court Road
London, W1T 7PS

020 7467 6200

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas at Debenhams - Oxford Street

A few nice ornaments are available at Debenhams. Overall the selection is like the rest of the merchandise at the store. A bit pricey, considering it's middle of the road.

34-348 Oxford Street
London, W1C 1JG

084 4561 6161

Friday, December 21, 2007

12 Days of Christmas - Covent Garden

This appropriately named Christmas market at Covent Garden offers all sorts of prepared food, fresh fruit and veg and, of course, gingerbread men and Christmas pudding.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

House of Fraser Christmas - Oxford Street

Understated, but nice. The House of Fraser x-mas ornament section fits well with the overall theme of the store.

318 Oxford Street
London, W1C 1HF

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Macys Open 24 hours - Manhattan

Macys, Manhatten is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week this holiday season. See the full story here..

This brings to mind the Christmas that I was a student teacher and worked at Macy's, San Francisco, to supplement my meagre income. I worked the Christmas ornament department, called Holiday Lane. I called it Holiday Shantytown.

All day, every day, I picked up broken ornaments and repackaged the houses from Santa's village ripped apart by shoppers who, if they liked what they found after tearing apart the packaging, would pick up a pristine, unopened box to buy. Never mind that the whole village was already set up on display. The only time I could get the mess under control was during the short lull that led up to closing. Later as the shopping frenzy heated up, we had to clean up after closing.

The power went out once and shoppers refused to leave the store. In fact, they were mad that the cash registers didn't work and we couldn't ring up their purchases by flashlight.

151 W. 34th St.
New York, NY 10001


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ornaments at Heal's - Tottenham Court Road

These ornaments are pretty enough, but mostly plastic. I'd expect more from a store that positions itself as an arbiter of style.

The Heal's Building
196 Tottenham Court Road
London W1T 7LQ

020 7636 1666

Friday, December 07, 2007

Covent Garden's Winter Wonderland - Covent Garden

The Market Hall at Covent Garden, decked out in Christmad finery.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Black Sunday - Oxford Street

December 1st is the English equivalent to the day after Thanksgiving in America. It's the official first day of the holiday shopping season. Oxford street is closed to vehicles and the crowds take over.