Where to start with my New York City style reports?
I could tell you about the spook-tacular Ghostland Observatory concert on Saturday night with enough laser light and stage smoke to make you think Jennifer Lopez was re-shooting her Y2K send up video Waiting for Tonight in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. I could tell you about discovering Preloved merchandise at Alter in Greenpoint (Toronto's new Preloved is set to open on August 8, by the way) and swelling up with that schmaltzy sense of Canuck clothing pride.
But let's talk about Lord & Taylor instead. The big U.S. department store chain's parent company, NRDC Equity Partners, has bought ye olde Hudson's Bay Co. and will be opening 10 to 15 Lord & Taylor's in larger flagship locations across the country.
The ten storey Lord & Taylor flagship on New York's Fifth Avenue makes an impressive first impression. A greeter ushers me into a ground floor jewellery and cosmetics gallery with crystal chandeliers hanging from its vaulted ceiling. Up and up the escalators, there is more designer focused fashion from labels like Donna Karan, Anna Sui and Toronto's own Pink Tartan. A $4000 Didier Ludot cocktail dress hanging on the third floor hints The Bay's St. Regis Room salon might find a spot in a store full of fresh ideas.
The size of each floor, divided by product category or price point is definitely more manageable. The lack of electronics, furniture, housewares and appliance departments also keeps me focused on fashion.
As I spun out the revolving door back into the midtown heat, another Torontonian behind me says "See you in Canada" and I ask her for her take.
"It was nice but I don't really shop at department stores," she said suggesting that Lord & Taylor's toughest task is going to be getting people through Bay doors again.