Saturday, July 28, 2007

Curiosity just got the better of me, I guess...


I've made a point of shrugging off the Ikea mania that's been swirling around Portland for the past few years. I mean, really... People here get up in arms over Wal-Mart (as well they should), and have fended that company off on any number of fronts, thankfully. But when Ikea wants to open a store in Portland, it's the red carpet treatment all the way. We even gave them an exemption on our sign ordinance, to the consternation of muralists all over Stumptown. Now, I know, Ikea treats its employees a bit better than Wal-Mart, and goes to at least reasonable lengths to operate in a somewhat environmentally responsible way. But if you're going to get your knickers all in a bunch over one big box retailer, then they really should be in a bunch over them all, I say.

That said, I felt compelled to give Ikea a look. They just opened a few days ago and well, I've never been in one. So off I went. It's a pretty impressive place. If you've never been, the way it works is this: You snake your way throgh a byzantine display of swedish living rooms, swedish kitchens, swedish rec rooms and swedish bedrooms, passing through the occasional swedish bathroom as well (not functional, unfortunately), noting the price of various items along the way. Then you're dumped into a Costco style warehouse of merchandise, where you actually pick the stuff up and drop it into your cart. Your job at this point is to resist as much of the ridiculously cheap nordic housewares as you can. I managed to stave off temptation... until I got to the kitchenwares section. I immediately went back for a cart. And I should say, it was the most maneuverable shopping cart I've ever pushed. It was the General Lee of shopping carts. Seriously, I could do one-handed 360s with this thing. Maybe it was just because it was new, I don't know. But that cart alone made the experience worthwhile.

I did manage to behave myself, more or less. I made it out of the place for around forty bucks, quite an accomplishment considering the mountains of modular furniture surrounding me in the checkout lanes. I picked up some wine glasses, a few glass jars, a mesh strainer, some compact fluorescent light bulbs and of course, a bag of frozen swedish meatballs. I also picked up a wall rack to ease my potrack's burden a bit:


The ski goggles are for chopping onions, by the way. Now go, have a look at this place. Marvel at its grandeur. Enjoy the Dukes of Hazzard shopping cart.... Just promise me that you'll resist as much of the scandioporn as you can!

4 comments:

Trisha said...

I have yet to make the pilgrimage to the one that opened in
Canton. I hear the meatballs are delish though. Are they made from real Swedes?

tommy said...

Yes. Swedish industrial designers, no less. And they're entirely fish-free! I think...

The Pastry Pirate said...

if there's no ikea in heaven, i'm not going. well, not that i'd be invited, anyway, but still... reading the annual ikea catalog is like porn for me. oops. oversharing. sorry. back to pastry.

tommy said...

I figure Hell probably has better restaurants...