Saturday, 1 May 2010

Grahamstown, City of Saints, pt. 2: Signs

The local newspaper in Grahamstown had this stunning entrance, a little worn out, but completely beautiful. I would very much like an entrance like that to my own publishing house/book shop one day. Shops nowadays just don't have the same signs as they did back then, at least not most of them. Now it's more about the brand than what the shop actually sells, which I guess isn't all that bad in general: you usually know the stores you need to know in your neighbourhood/city/country. But for visitors, or newcomers, it would come in handy to know what they can find inside other than the obvious things they might see in the display windows.

As for myself I like the browsing part of shopping, even though it means sometimes going in the "wrong" store and hopefully realising it sooner than later, before a store clerk gets to you asking if you need any help. Having moved to another country I've still got plenty of shops I've obviously not been to, as I have back home in Stockholm, but I do feel I've got a pretty good grasp of the most common chain stores, and some small independent places around Durban at least. What I don't know is if there are any vintage clothing stores for example, if there are they're pretty well hidden.

I went into a hospice charity shop in Grahamstown, but it was pretty far from vintage. They had some nice books, that pretty much didn't cost anything. Another catholic charity shop looked slightly more promising, but was closed on Mondays, which was our only opportunity for shopping while there. I did however fall in love with a winter jacket during our stay, from Truworths, and seeing as it was a cool 27 degrees outside I thought it seemed like a good idea to at least try it on! They didn't have my size, but that's the beauty of chain stores: there's always another one that might keep your size. Some people might argue that that would be one of the few advantages of chain stores, but I find that the best way of keeping up a vintage wardrobe is by adding new pieces to complement them.

This pretty butterfly was on top of the Butterfly Snack Bar, as seen above, a bit curious seeing that the bar itself was kinda shabby. But maybe it used to be a fancier place, back in Grahamtown's history, when the churches were still filled with people on Sundays, listening to priests that now have moved somewhere else, and the churches have been turned into lawyer's offices and whatnot. On the other hand I really appreciate the contrast between the beautiful signs, and the rundown place. It's not all about the facade.

Curiously enough, when we got back home, I got this lovely gift from my mother-in-law. I'm gonna put it up in the kitchen, and create my own Butterfly Snack Bar, where I'll serve chilled white wine or cool beers, with cheese flavoured microwave popcorns, pickled cucumbers, and cream cheese filled roasted baby tomatoes. In fact, I'm gonna do just that right now.

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