Off To Whole Foods…and infinity!
Okay, last time I left off with us having finished our steak...but, then, amazingly enough, still being hungry. Or, rather, knowing we would be hungry in a couple of hours. So, gathering up our kit and caboodle (and particularly the caboodle. You just can’t noodle without a caboodle), we headed off to find a grocery to get a snack for the late night hotel room munching.
Turns out there is a Whole Foods in the Domain, or, at least, on the fringes of it. If it had been less hot, and Martha hadn’t already been standing for a big chunk of the day, I suppose we could have even walked to it. But, it made way more sense to drive given the temperature and our fatigue.
About the picture: Once more, nothing to do with the story, but I love the photo. This is of Martha when we were at Sandiago’s, a restaurant at the Tram Station (i.e., the base of the cable car that goes up the Sandia Mountains) in Albuquerque. This was 2018, and we were about to celebrate our anniversary that year. We became quite fond of Sandiago’s while we were in New Mexico, and I was sad to hear that it had recently closed. Here’s hoping that someday, somehow, it will return.
The Whole Foods in the Domain is really rather an interesting place, and I would suggest visiting it if you have the chance and are interested in the changing American scene. It is a grocery store, but a trendy one, and one that fits well into the general Domain ambiance. It is large, quite well-stocked, a bit pricey, and frequented by a lot of young people and young families who (probably) live near-by in one of the housing complexes.
It was the “families” that intrigued me. There were quite a few of them, couples with school-age or pre-school children. They came to do their grocery shopping, but also to eat and hang out. You can get prepared foods at various places in the store (there’s even a bar, for heaven’s sake, where there’s beer and wine), and take them to tables located near the front of the store, or upstairs in a sort of balcony area.
In other words, the store isn’t just a trendy grocery store, though it is definitely that. It is also a place where people go, play, meet, chat...and just generally chill.
I know that this isn’t particularly new. But, still, I think American retail is changing radically even as we watch. The downtown died...killed off by the Malls. Then, the Malls began to perish...killed off, in turn, by online shopping and, frankly, the decline of the Middle Class in power and wealth (something I don’t see changing so long as billionaires continue to call the shots. But that’s a story for another day.)
But, here, in stores like this Whole Foods, we may discern the future. You see, retail was never just about buying stuff. It was a social experience. You went with or went to see your friends and/or your family. There was a lot of interaction with other people. And there was a lot of sensory stimulation involved. You touched things...saw them...smelt and tasted them.
None of this is yet possible shopping online...not yet, anyway.
So, it’s in places like this Whole Foods...where living and shopping are combined...that old-style retail might actually survive. Or, at least, among the affluent.
Or, that’s my humble opinion, anyway.
The question, I suppose, is if I’m right...what happens to the people who are excluded from that shared space? Because of poverty or class or whatever?
How will they respond?
But I’m getting sidetracked. Anyway, we bought our wine, cheese, and bread, and then headed back to the hotel where we tried to find something on TV. (As usual, we failed.) So, we ate and then read the books we’d brought with us.
Then we went off to bed. We had, we knew, a busy day to come.
It would involve, in fact, a man who had loomed large in our lives during our distant youth.
Specifically, a president.
More to come.
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