I usually save any “Throwback Thursday” posts for the actual date, Thursday. But even though it’s Tuesday, I don’t want to wait until Thursday, even though the subject in question is, sadly, not going anywhere. Back in October, I talked up in this post Mallatt’s Pharmacy, which has… er, rather, had two locations here in Madison, the older west side location on Monroe Street and a more generally recent east side location on Williamson Street. Mallatt’s had a couple of locations outside the Madison city limits, but they were no national chain, that’s for sure. Since it was established in 1926, Mallatt’s had been a nice, convenient corner pharmacy, one who’s much more intimate than those national chains (like, say, Walgreens) whose stores are sterile, antiseptic clones of each other.
Despite the title of this post, I’m devoting this post less to fashion and more to catching up on a couple of comings and goings (literally) at the mall a mile from where I live (West Towne Mall, for the record). Well, it’s not so much comings as it is comings, as it involves two formerly-significant clothing stores that have fallen on hard times as brick-and-mortar entities and have left the mall, and two stories that I’ve been meaning to bring up on here.
Let’s begin with Aéropostale. If you recall this post from last October, I mentioned that Aéropostale was in the process of closing many of its stores as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. And though it wasn’t part of that early list of closures, the Aéropostale at West Towne turned out to later be among them. It was a weird sight strolling past the mall during the last holiday shopping season and seeing not only signs saying “Store Closing!” and Entire Store 50-70% off!” but also “New Arrivals!” Oh, and a “now hiring seasonal help” sign as well.
If you’ve haven’t yet read my previous post where I reviewed Stage Q’s “Queer Shorts 2.1: Queer Love,” go ahead and do so by clicking on that post here.
[hums contently to myself]
Oh, you’re still here yet? You mean you (*choose one* did/did not) read that post yet? Well, I did redirect you back there not so much because you can’t read this post without reading that post first, but more to remind you that live, local, LGBT-oriented theater does exist, and that organizations such as Stage Q put on great work, with “Queer Shorts 2.1” being evidence of that.
Rather than let that post go on for too long, I wanted to devote this follow-up to a couple of aspects of my evening at “Queer Shorts.” One was a thrilling moment, the other an “oops” kind of moment, but both, for sure, were part of a pretty good night at the theater.
Just a couple of posts back, I noted that in these dark and scary times, it’s good to get away from it all and indulge in things that are nowhere near dark and scary. And that’s exactly what I did Friday night.
The first thing I did Friday morning was reserve a seat for Friday night’s performance of “Queer Shorts 2.1: Queer Love.” And as I indicated by the above tweet, it was indeed a pleasant evening to do so, weather wise; it was a springlike day in Madison (sunny skies, temperatures just above 50 degrees, not a drop of rain or flake of snow). Continue reading
I want to devote this quick post to a comment a reader left on a couple of my posts this week. I did not approve their comments as I thought the comments section wasn’t an appropriate place to address their pretty good inquiry. Luckily, I’m one to think long and hard about their questions can devote a new post to the answers.
I won’t single out this person by name or gender, but I will describe what they said they were: They are into crossdressing; they had recently relocated to the Madison, Wisconsin area; and they were inquiring about crossdresser-friendly social groups and organizations in Madison. They also asked about any places in Madison where a crossdresser would be socially accepted.
My previous post was rather obliquely about the Women’s March that occurred here in Madison last Saturday (January 21), but… wait, you thought the only Women’s March occurred in Washington last weekend? I’ll just presume you weren’t paying attention to the news, because in nearly 600 locales here in the United States and worldwide, millions of people took to the streets to highlight very important issues in society, including but not limited to health care, environment, and women’s and racial issues, as well as stand up to the very ugly, hateful, and misogynistic culture that the new leadership the U.S., fronted by a certain thin-orange-skinned leader, is so easily propagating.
Just a very quick thought about something I did (and didn’t) do over the weekend. What I did do was attend Madison’s very own version of the Women’s March. Perhaps you’ve heard about the gigantic march on Washington that happened on Saturday. You may have heard, too, that DC wasn’t the only town where it took place. Several other cities around the country and even around the world held their own Women’s Marches, including right here in Madison, where an estimated 75,000-100,000 folks braved a little bit of drizzle to show defiance against He Who Must… well, you know who I’m talking about.
By now, we’re all getting used to a certain very-thin-orange-skinned businessperson being elected President of the United States. It’s still a bit hard to contemplate what happen and what is about to happen, especially for those who loathe the man and are truly afraid of how he may govern. Yeah, the next four years are a rather scary thing to think about.
For certain, us grownups have various feelings about what happened on Election Night and what’s yet to come. But you also have to look at the feelings and concerns of those who are not yet old enough to vote… as well as the various teachers and educators whose job is to not only teach them math and reading and comprehension, but to also help mold them and guide them into the responsible adults they will become. It’s a safe bet that on November 9 and ever since then, they have all had their own individual worries, concerns, or whatever about this monumental moment in our nation’s history.
Okay, just a quick tidbit I wanted to include in yesterday’s post about one clothing store in Madison opening and another closing, but thought it best to save for this separate post. When I was at West Towne Mall on Saturday, I ventured into Sears and noticed this:
I’ll get to the “Sears” part of that tweet in a moment, but I want to discuss the Lands’ End part first. For the uninitiated, Lands’ End specializes in (very comfortable) clothing, outerwear, luggage, and even some home furnishings. Lands’ End is a Wisconsin-based retailer; in fact, its headquarters are just down the road from Madison (it’s a roughly 25-minute drive from here westward to Dodgeville).
If you recall from August of last year, I had plans to march, as Allison, in Madison’s LGBT pride parade. However, a very last-minute familial situation scrapped those hopes. (At least I did dress up for the public one month later.) But I still love a (pride) parade, and I wanted to take in this year’s edition of Madison’s pride parade, which took place on August 21.
The event is technically billed as the Outreach Pride Parade & Rally. The Outreach of the name is the LGBT community resource center here in Madison (mission statement: “To promote equality and quality of life for LGBT people”). Outreach, which just moved to a newer, more expanded office in Madison earlier this summer (memo to self: check it out very soon), puts on noteworthy LGBT-oriented events in the Madison area every year, including an awards banquet that is scheduled to take place this coming week, and, since 2014, a parade and rally every August.
You’re probably seeing that “since 2014” part in that last paragraph and are wondering to yourself, “Really? Madison is so open and progressive, yet they’ve only had a pride parade since 2014?” Well, that’s not true. Other groups have put on pride parades in the past, including a group called Capitol Pride that put on a small parade in the late 2000s/early 2010s. Those groups, for various financial and/or organizational reasons, have come and gone. Some of the previous pride parades and rallies in Madison have been different than what Outreach puts on. Some years it was just a parade; a parade followed by a picnic or rally; and, as I recall one year, just a picnic since there wasn’t enough money in the budget for a parade (a city parade license and police logistics can cost a pretty penny).