Saturday, October 02, 2004


I visited Target today and once again feel the sense of peace and balance that only Target can bring to a suburban dweller these days. Target always has what I need. Plus, as a Craigslister recently noted, Target is always thinking of what else I might need/like/want, and thus has even more wonderful things each time I visit.

Living where I do, the closest Targets are the two in Culver City, one on Jefferson near Sepulveda and the other at La Cienega and Rodeo. However, upon a single visit, I think anyone would agree that both of these locations leave much to be desired in selection, customer service, and frankly, cleanliness. There are too many screaming, runny-nosed children and disaffected mothers. Workers are sullen, even though they probably get a really good discount. Quite often, if there is only one sale item left, it is dented, broken, or missing a piece. If the item should happen to be liquid, it is generally leaking or already spilled upon the floor. This is not the Target experience one expects or desires.

However, there is a dream Target in the Los Angeles area: the Pasadena Target. I can hear women actually sighing with lust as they read those words. A full two stories of Target joy! Three levels of parking! This is the very pinnacle of surburban shopping. This should be the flagship Target, the Mecca of Target shoppers everywhere. Alas, since I am now a Westsider, this store is no longer geographically desirable. I still make occasional trips just to reassure myself that it really exists and caress the elevator buttons.

I am fortunate that there is a sister store on the Westside that is not quite as perfect, but has many merits: the Manhattan Beach Target. It has a large surface lot, the carts all have wheels, and there are almost always quick-moving checkout lanes. Shoppers seem more orderly, more patient, more friendly. Workers are quick to assist with requests (although they are also quick to try to get you to apply for a Target card) and knowledgable about the store. I highly recommend this location to my fellow Target lovers on the Westside.

I sometimes succumb to expediency and shop at the less desirable but closer Targets and despite my complaints, I have found in the end that Target is like sex: even when it's bad, it's still pretty good.

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