Monaco at Twilight
Summer's Bounty & Loss

My Alter Ego

If you've been reading my "Tales" for any length of time, you know all about my predilection for old~world style & fashion.  The way things were.  Ladies dressing like ladies.  Gentlemen holding open the door for said well~dressed ladies.  Bartender's who know how to shake up a true Negroni Capriccio.  Main streets lined with small shops & boutiques that open at 10:00 am and close at 5:00 pm, except for Thursday nights, and  are never, ever open on a Sunday.  Well~dressed and well~mannered shop clerks who greet you and are eager to provide the best customer service in town.   A new window display every Saturday morning to tempt all the ladies in town as they cruise down Main St. in their husband's new Chevy get the idea.

(photo courtesy of 

While the chance that all my dreams of yesteryear will converge upon me and life will, at last, be the way it "was" is practically null, there is one small part of it that seems to be making a comeback:
 (image courtesy of

"The Boutique"

The 1980's are guilty, not only of some really horrible fashion trends, but of introducing "The Mega Mall" shopping concept.  Yes, The West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, opened in 1981 - with more than 800 stores and a hotel, amusement park, miniature-golf course, church, "water park" for sunbathing and surfing, a zoo and a 438-foot-long lake.  Not to be out~done, the US hired the builders of that monstrosity to design the infamous "Mall of America" and it was down hill from there.  Small, family owned shops & boutiques couldn't compete with "The Mega Monster Mall" concept of shopping and one by one, they closed their doors.   With more than 16,000 similar shopping centers/malls built in the decade from 1980 to 1990, it is no wonder we drive down Main Street after Main Street in small town America and see this:

Deserted Main St. shops 

Saving some wonderful brick & mortar building from this fate by giving The Red Velvet Shoe a "proper" home is my dream.  And, apparently, I am not alone.  Apparently, way over on the other side of the USA, in Porltand, Oregon,  lives a gal named Liz, who, after hours of studying her blog, appears to be my very own "Alter Ego".

 Xtabay Vintage (4)

This is her shop: 
Xtabay Vintage.  

Xtabay Vintage (2) 

From the silk taffeta curtains on the dressing room

Xtabay Vintage (8)

to the antique French settee....

Xtabay Vintage (3) 

From the gold gilt mirror & leopard print rug

Xtabay Vintage (5)

to the Pomeranian perched on the perfect antique french~blue chair...

Xtabay Vintage 9 

I wouldn't change a thing...not to mention the amazing vintage frocks she manages to get her hands on.  So insist the children ARE taking a nap today, fix yourself a cup of tea (or a glass of something else), and treat yourself to a virtual tour of Portland's amazing Xtabay Vintage.

Liz of Xtabay Vintage Michelle of The Red Velvet Shoe
(photos courtesy of Xtabay Vintage)

Just promise me you won't leave me for my alter ego!

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