one very obvious difference as you travel between different parts of this fair city of angels is the shopping bags. there are some parts of town where plastic top valu bags are the norm. other parts of town see a lot more paper trader joe's bags. and somehow, forever xxi transcends territorial boundaries. i'm sure there's something very deep to be said about demographics, geography and class regarding the what, when and where of shopping bags, but one fairly obvious one (at least once you know to look for it) that was pointed out to me by a close friend can be illustrated by these pictures.
as nice as it would be to believe that this woman is returning home from her trip to restoration hardware, i'm quite certain this just isn't the case. we're actually travelling towards the nearest restoration hardware and it's miles and miles away. returning something perhaps? at the time of day this picture was taken, there's no way to reach restoration hardware via train before closing. here, we have another similar story with victoria's secret.
now i'm not suggesting that victoria's secret is not within the reach of this woman nor that any such shopping she might do there is unexpected. however, i have been to the lingerie shop enough to know that when they pack the bag, it's never that full and they always top the bag with frilly-looking tissue. also, as it just so happens, while i wasn't taking this photo, i noticed the contents of the bag were definitely much more suggestive of a hoodie than anything victoria's secret sells.
nothing says "i love my farmer's market" quite like a plastic bottle of coke. well, nothing but a bag with "i love my farmer's market" actually printed on it anyway.
now, why all these shopping bags from places most likely not shopped at? the nearest i can tell is domestic help is returning home with some gifts from residents of helped domicile. after all, just because you're paying someone slave wages to clean up after you and look after your offspring or step-offspring doesn't mean you aren't racked with guilt over it. the feeling is easily assuaged by sending the help home with a little not-good-enough-for-me-but-you-might-find-it-nice care package once in a while. "here, put it in this restoration hardware bag i happen to have lying around. that way, you can feel fancy on the train without blowing the thousands of dollars i made my husband spend on doorknobs and drawer pulls."