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Sunday, March 25, 2007

My wallet is shrinking! My wallet is shrinking!

Oy. The new Borders that's about 1.5 miles from Minas Jaquandor has opened. It's what they call a "soft open" -- when they open the doors before their anticipated "Grand Opening" -- but I don't care. Open is open. If I can walk in and buy stuff, you're not softly open, or kinda-sorta open, or in a state that resembles openness. You're open.

Anyway, their parking lot is still unfinished -- the islands have no grass in them, the surfacing of the lot is rough and uneven (they striped it anyway), and two other buildings on the same parcel (one a restaurant, the other something else that nobody knows yet) are still unfinished -- but Borders is open. Aieee, and all that.

What of the new Borders, then? This was obviously a shakedown cruise, so there were tons of employees generically milling about, looking to show people where stuff was, sometimes with comical results (I heard at least two employees, when asked where certain topics were, respond with something along the lines of "Uhhh...I think I saw it over there."). The music section is smaller than it used to be at the old Borders; but then, music sales are down these days and I suspect these sections will only get smaller with time. The manga section is surprisingly large, making me wonder if there are that many manga fans in Buffalo! The graphic novel section, like the older Borders, is great if you're after standard superhero fare from DC and Marvel, but mildly disappointing if you're after any of the non-superhero stuff. The Fantasy and SF departments are fine. Nice children's section. Didn't sample the coffee; the cafe was packed. I'll save that for when they've been open for a while and I'm there on a weekday.

The woman who checked me out at the counter was very nice; and refreshingly enough, she wasn't terribly apologetic about the fact that she was brand new on their register system. She just said "OK, bear with me, since this is still all new to me!" And that was fine with me, since I was armed with a Borders Rewards card, a gift card, and a coupon for twenty percent off one item. You shouldn't be churlish with your checkout person when you're the one gumming up the transaction with all manner of ancillary stuff.

Oh, what did I get? Well, The Daughter got to pick out five books for herself, because I'm a softie. (Hey, at least I made her whittle down her original picks from eight!) I bought Lost by Gregory Maguire for The Wife (I'll probably read it too at some point), and for myself, I finally grabbed my own copy of David Dubal's The Essential Canon of Classical Music (reviewed here), a novel by Steven Brust (never read any Brust before), and a study Bible with lots of maps and cross-references and notes and a giant concordance (this will supplement my KJV, which is my "main" copy of the Bible).

And now I'll be eating Ramen noodles for the rest of the week. Wow, I'm glad I get paid weekly.

(Surprisingly, the shopping complex in question -- Quaker Crossing, for you locals -- has all manner of Big Box Retail going on. The oldest tenants are Target and a Regal Cinemas; there's a Premier Liquor (where I'd shop more but there's a liquor store that's just as nice even closer to Minas Jaquandor -- how great is that!), a Kohls, a furniture place, a Marshalls (whatever that is), and some other stuff that's as yet unbuilt. But as of this writing, this particular retail complex violates what I've come to believe is the First Commandment of Retail Complexes:

Thou shalt include on thy property a dollar store.


I can only assume that the dollar store is to come at some point. I don't know about any other major metro areas -- feel free to weigh in on this point, readers -- but in Buffalo at least, if you were to fly a Cessna at a low altitude in a straight line over our metro area from North Tonawanda to Hamburg and chuck one hundred rocks out the window of your airplane at an evenly-spaced rate, I suspect that at least eighty of your rocks would hit a dollar store.)

3 comments:

T. Jaxon said...

Which Brust??? Which Brust???

Jaquandor said...

The Phoenix Guards. Apparently it's the first book in a series, and they didn't have the first book in that Vlad Taltos series.

Tal said...

Um, as your resident Canuck who travels the border to shop in Buffalo, Marshall's is the shopping equivalent of Mecca. It is awesome. Not quite as awesome as Traget, but pretty darn awesome. Great prices, very sale-friendly.