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The Crap, The Creme and The Kitsch

Tuesday 03/14/2006 12:51 PM

Apart from the restaurants, bars and art galleries, there are approximately three different types of shops along Main Street in Park City, Utah. First, you have your tourist trap crap. I can smell these places a mile away. The odor is a mixture of cheap overseas solvents used in the knick-knacks, grease-splotched over-folded dollar bills that children forked over in exchange for that little something they had to have and, last but not least, fudge. Why is it that amongst every stretch of stores with overpriced cheesy crap for the visitors, there is at least one place selling fudge by the quarter pound? It's as if there's an overwhleming need for a sugar-laden, fat-drenched alternative energy sources for the people struggling up and down the way with their bags of crap that will be, at best, forgotten or, at worst, broken and discarded by the time their next trip rolls around, where they can buy more quarter pounds of fudge and the EXACT SAME souvenirs but with an Alaska sticker on them instead of Utah.

When I was a kid, I loved these types of places. My grandparents lived in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and nothing, I say NOTHING, thrilled me more than running down Portage Avenue in the Soo seeking out free fudge samples and trying to figure out what I was going to buy as the perfect memento for my trip. Now, though, I have a highly developed sense for the very thing that used to over-stimulate my adolescent consumer brain. It was the five alarm ringing of my subconscious tourist tackiness detector that caused me to make that comment when we first got to Main Street.

The second type of shop on Main Street in Park City, Utah, is at the other extreme: namely, 'spensive. Over-priced clothes, shoes, jewelry, furniture, etc., etc., etc. Seems lots of wealthy people come visit this little ski resort town and, over time, a considerable percentage retail space has bene reconfigured just for their tastes (or at least their wallets). I have a picture I'll be posting soon of a simply outrageous chaise lounge that blew me away. More on that later.

The third and final type of shop can be summed up with a single word: kitsch. You know those shops that only sell Christmas ornaments? Or the ones with crystals and meditation supplies? Or how about the collections of silly, risque and retro greeting cards? Well, they had plenty of these types of stores as well. The image for this post has some snapshots from a store that had quite a bit of dog paraphernalia.

You got your wall of dog stuff (click the larger image link for more details). And then you got your wall clocks shaped like dog heads, complete with tennis ball on tongue for the pendulum. I threw in the pillow only because it made Candy and I laugh out loud in the store.

File Under: Dog Stuff; Park City; Sault Ste. Marie; Shopping; Travel
Music: Betty Davis "Nasty Gal"

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