Okay. First you break my aspiring fashionista's heart by telling me that the Filene's Basement in Downtown Crossing is closing for two years for a remodeling job like so many of the women who shop there have done to their faces. Fine. Except it seems kind of sketchy and maybe Filene's won't ever open again, leaving me bereft.
But the real kicker is this bit of news:
Filene's Basement, the Boston landmark that birthed the bargain, said it will close its original downtown store this year, and it's unclear whether it will retain its famous "automatic markdown" system when it reopens after two years of renovation.
What? What is Filene's Basement without the Automatic Markdown? It's like peanut butter without jelly. Sonny without Cher. Mitt Romney without his hair. It's just not the same. I walk by the Filene's Basement on Boylston Street on a daily basis and I never go in. To me, Filene's Basement isn't plasma-screen TVs, mannequins and doormen who aren't homeless guys looking for T fare. Filene's Basement means waist-high bins full of coal with the rare diamond somewhere inside. Filene's Basement is a bunch of bargain-hungry bitches burrowing through clothes like starving animals tear through prey. Filene's Basement is the paper signs with the same handwriting on each. Filene's Basement is the torture of bearing your cellulite to all the other women in the dressing room in the hopes of looking great in that bargain-basement find you tore out a chunk of some bitch's hair for. That is Filene's Basement to me, not this glorified Marshalls angle they've recently taken.
I don't know what's wrong with the Basement as it is now. It is not a thing of beauty but it's not meant to be. Since the Basement as it is now remains one of Boston's top tourist attractions and is recommended by endless local magazines as the best place to find a steal on designer clothes, I don't see why Filene's Basement needs to fix what ain't broken. Why can't the Basement elect to age gracefully?