I should preface this: I spent the majority of my life in the Midwest. My formative years. From the first Christmas in our new house, to buying school supplies each year, to the first year in a dorm at college… these all are bound by one magical Midwestern experience: Shopping at Target.
Upon age 8 I entered my first Target. The only other superstore I had been to was K-Mart. I knew Target was different. It was… more pure. And YES, I MUST PUT ASIDE THE ULTIMATE EVIL OF MOST LARGE BUSINESSES FOR A MOMENT. Because there is no place so practical yet indulgent, so optimistic yet attainable, than a Midwestern Target.
All your dreams were within reach. And then, when you had exhausted the $1 bins, you could have a hot-dog. Maybe you shouldn’t eat a Target hotdog. But you could. Yes, everything that money could buy was in one organized place.
Enter New York.
NEW YORK CITY, THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD, GARBAGE MOUNTAIN OF AMERICA, SEX AND THE SHITTY, NEVER SLEEPING, GODDAMNED CITY, RUINED TARGET.
There is no space. There is no order. There is no…thing? They simply don’t have the real estate to accommodate the mileage of a suburban Target. And worse, they lack the wherewithal the understand what is absolutely NECESSARY for the target experience.
Variety. You cannot only have Glade candles. GLADE?! GIVE ME A VARIETY. A SCENT-SCAPE. THE BURDEN OF CHOICE LIES IN THE BEAUTY OF TARGET.
Order. You cannot have stairs in your target. No. Target is a flat, midwestern FIELD. We had order. We had structure. We had THINGS! But no. Not in a New York Target. There are about 30% of the items needed organized in about 70% of the correct locations across 2-4 floors of chaos.
Familiarity. You must run into at least one of your teachers while running errands. It will happen. It will feel awkward and terrible. But, you’re okay. You’re safe… it’s TARGET.
Convenience. There must be the opportunity to use a restroom. It does not have to be Nice restroom. But it must exist.
There is no such comfort in a Big City Target. And say you DO find the 6 pack Swifter wet jet infinity expandable ottoman you’re looking for… Hey. Hey, buddy? WHERE YOU GONNA KEEP THAT IN YOUR REFURBISHED URBAN LOFT?
Big City Target. THIS IS THE TRUE CRIME OF EAST COAST INTELLECTUALS.
If you live in NYC, you come to terms with a certain amount of public crying (no? just me?). And about 60% of my public crying has happened inside a New York City Target. (30% Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and 10% public transit---thanks for asking)
Big City Target. It's all the rage.