Black Friday Blues

In Arnott Mall, Black Friday, Myeongdong, shopping in America on November 28, 2010 at 3:12 am

V. Michelle Bernard photography, empty street of DCBlack Friday provides a fun, festive kick-start to holiday shopping in America. Call me crazy, but I love the hustle and bustle of shopping in a packed store.

This past Black Friday, as the Bernards‘ always do, we headed up to the Arnott Mall in Horseheads, NY.
Of course the holiday sales are nice and the Christmas music loud. But, what really makes the day special is the business of it all.

A lonely 7th Street in Chinatown, Washington DC.

I recently realized that a shopping trip in Seoul on any day of the year makes Black Friday look boring.

I still get sentimental thinking about my time in South Korea and often find it hard to articulate why I loved it so much. But, Black Friday 2010 helped me put those feelings into words.

Shopping in Korea, and life in general, are always busy. Myeongdong, one of the busiest areas in Seoul, is always crowded with teenagers, Japanese tourists and ex-pats looking for a good deal, eating tasty street food, and enjoying the activity of it all.

Even in my little neighborhood in Seoul I could grab coffee, Indian food, buy produce, hike up a mountain, and hit a karaoke room.

I wish that more shopping areas in America had that kind of energy and connectedness, and a solid stream of shoppers– as do the business owners. Yes, some malls in the city are busy, but it feels so contained.

Get in your car, drive to the mall, shop, go home– done.

Even in my beloved DC it’s hard to find a busy area downtown at night (minus Georgetown, of course).

Maybe it’s time for a trip to New York City.


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