Tonight these ladies are standing outside one of the tiny clothing stores on Milwaukee Avenue here in my neighborhood, Logan Square. (Yes, still no measurable snow.) Every day when the weather is clear, these mannequins live outside, enticing the world with their offers of “ten colours 5.99.”
Logan Square still has quite a few businesses like this – small family-owned shops offering modestly priced products to shoppers who live in the neighborhood. People don’t travel here from miles around to take advantage of a vast, elegant selection. They walk here from nearby, or take the bus – yes, the bus – to spend a few careful dollars eked out from a tight budget on inexpensive, practical stuff. Milwaukee Avenue, by Diversey, is lined with tiny shops each of which offers one type of thing to this target audience – clothing, shoes, bright flouncy nylon curtains, a bit of tired produce, some low-cost alcohol.
Yes, these businesses are relics of another time and yes, they are slowly being replaced by shops catering to a different class of shoppers, with plenty of disposable income.
But when the new world has moved in and tastefully eradicated all these down-market storefronts, won’t you miss views like this?