Thursday, September 22, 2005
Save Marshall Field's
If you don't live in Chicago, this won't matter to you. But it's so typical of New York's attitude toward the rest of the country.
Recently, those condescending, arrogant bastards made a pre-emptive strike on a Chicago institution. Marshall Field's will change its name to Macy's. They've also done the same thing to Portland, St. Louis and other cities with famous destination department stores. But everybody in Chicago is fed up to here with their attitude and the fight has just begun.
I hate New York. Compared to Chicago it's filthy and mean. Every time I've had to spend time there the garbage has been piled up on the sidewalks because of a strike. And the double parked delivery trucks out front tying up traffic all day? WTF? Didn't anybody realize that one of the most populous cities in the world might need a place to leave its messes and drop off its stuff?
Chicago was built on a grid. We utilize a remarkable concept -- alleys -- to run between and behind the buildings for deliveries and garbage. You don't put your toilet out in the living room, do ya?
The fathers of my city, as opposed to the wankers of their city, preserved the extraordinary beauty of our waterfront instead of letting it be defiled with docks and industry.
As a matter of fact, back in the 1800's Chicago passed New York in size, as it rebuilt itself from the ground up after the fire. So New York, like a jealous bitch, annexed Brooklyn to remain the largest city in the country.
As if by some inalienable right, New York has always flaunted its size and allegedly cosmopolitan status and shoved it down Chicago's and everybody else's throats. To them we're second class. The Second City.
So, like Avis, we shrugged our shoulders and embraced the designation. When you're number two you try harder. And it keeps paying off. For example, where would the phrase LIVE FROM NEW YORK be without all the actors from Second City to say it?
But New York doesn't like it when anybody shows them up. So, instead of just wishing us well, they keep trying to horn in on our turf. The Donald started pressing the envelope when he put one of his casinos in Gary, Indiana, which is right in our backyard. Then he had the balls to announce plans to put a huge skyscraper on the Chicago River, something akin to bringing a stripper home to meet your mom. Nobody in Chicago wants any fooking Trump Towers here.
And now this latest insult. When the president of Federated Department Stores announced that Chicago's 140 year old shopping institution, Marshall Field's, will have its name changed to Macy's next year.
With the kind of patronizing audacity you might expect, he went on to say that two thirds of the people they surveyed said they would not mind the change. Who did they talk to? New Yorkers?
As Roger Ebert put it, changing the name from Field's to Macy's is like coming to Chicago and changing the name of the Cubs to the Mets. Roger Ebert? Pissed? You know when you get a movie critic incensed about something that has nothing to do with, well, movies, the gloves are off.
My personal feeling is that all the flagship stores that have been swallowed up by these and other huge buyouts ought to revert back to their original names. Hudson's in Detroit. Famous-Barr in St. Louis, Marshall Field's in Chicago, the list goes on and on.
Return the original flagship store to its home. Honor its heritage and meaning to that city. Each town can have that one store restored to its former look and feel. Bring back its glory. People used to come to those cities just for the chance to shop at these legendary department stores. Let's return to the good old days.
What exactly does the name Macy's bring to the party anyway? The thought of giant balloons floating above the street? Yeah, that's classy.
Personally, there is only ONE Marshall Field's store for me. It's on State and Madison in Chicago with the big clock marking its presence. Restore it to the grandeur it had in the old days. Before it got sold. Harrod's has nothing on that magnificent place. The tradition of the Walnut Room, the window displays, and The 28 Shop, the first of its kind, made it a one of a kind place. So make it one of a kind again. Then bring back its old tagline, "There's nothing like it back home."
That's what they ought to do. But they won't. They're New Yorkers.
Looking for the name of the the president of Federated, so I could write and tell the guy he was FOS [thanks Mo] I found this web site:
Fields to Become Macy's in Fall 2006
Just noticed the Trib has a breaking news story - In the fall of next year, all Marshall Field's stores will convert to Macy's. This includes all 62 locations in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Indiana, Ohio and SD. So.. Marshall Fields on State St. becomes Macy's on State.
Federated, who bought the May chain that Marshall Field's is a part of, says that they respect the legacy and traditions of Field's and that they researched customer preferences and studied alternatives before making the decision to incorporate Marshall Field's into the nationwide Macy's brand.
They say that while the store's name will change, much (how much is "much"?) of what customers love about Field's will stay the same. They add that they'll do everything they can to "honor the Marshall Field's heritage, particularly in its Chicago birthplace."
Chicagoist asks, "Why not honor the Field's heritage by leaving it's name the same!?"
To let Federated know you're not down with this name change, head over to KeepItFields.org and sign the petition or as we've suggested in the past, let's fill the Federated CEO's mailbox with mail by writing him at:
Mr. Terry J. Lundgren
Chairman, President and CEO
Federated Department Stores, Inc.
7 West Seventh St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
[Don't let the Ohio address fool you, these are New Yorkers]
Roger Ebert, in a moment of protest, cut up his Marshall Field's charge card.
It's a start.