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Friday, November 24, 2017

Remembering San Francisco’s Market Street EMPORIUM

by HomeRearedChef (writer), San Jose, November 12, 2012

Though that night, up on the rooftop, we were chilled to the bone, experiencing our first real winter, to me and my brother the night was pure magic, and we were glad to be living in America!

I came to this country in the winter of 1964, at the age of eight. And on that very first American winter, my adopted American grandfather took me and my younger brother to The Emporium, on Market Street, in San Francisco. We saw our very fist American Christmas display, met Santa Claus for the first time and sat on his lap. And then we saw our very first American Christmas Carnival, of all places, on the rooftop of The Emporium. We rode a Ferris wheel, tasted yummy corn dog on-a-stick, and fell in-love with cotton candy—a cloud of pink, sugary delight.

Over the years we often shopped at The Emporium, for Christmas, birthdays, school clothes, or just window shopped when we didn’t have money to spend. Oh, but I remember those basement sales…the women were unbelievably vicious! It was like watching the animal channel; observing a pack of hyenas fighting over dominance or meat. The women were vicious, to say the least; they shoved, pushed, grabbed, yelled, and even slapped one another. The only rule that applied was she who grabbed first or intimidated the best, then the item just might be yours—or if someone tugged and pulled harder, yanking it right out of your hands, then it just might be theirs.

Basically, if you found an item that you really wanted to keep and buy, you ran like fire was lit under your butt. And let me tell you, I learned a lot about the English language hanging around the Emporium basement during those first few years in America. But it wasn’t words my mother and father would have wanted me repeating!

The Emporium was opened for almost 100 years; it will always have a special place in my heart. It was yet another piece of history that closed—it opened in 1896 and officially closed in 1995.

We dream a life to be; we live to dream that life! (vka)



About the Writer

HomeRearedChef is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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9 comments on Remembering San Francisco’s Market Street EMPORIUM

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By Barbara MacDonald on November 12, 2012 at 07:42 pm

You describe this so wonderfully that I felt like I was there... I do not know The Emporium but I have witnessed that behavior at sales...when I was at the drop-in, we had a free day to give out clothes...they were lined up around the block...and some people were insane...we had to limit what they would take...just so everyone at least was able to get some things...nice memories..thank you for sharing them with us Virginia...

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By melanie jean juneau on November 12, 2012 at 08:53 pm

poignant, moving

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By Uttam Gill on November 12, 2012 at 09:31 pm

Virginia you write so well...I can float on your words to reach far distant land into a time which is gone...Why, don’t you write your memoirs...It is so relishing to pen down the beautiful part of our life and to recall that how our innocence met the life...excellent article...KUDOS TO YOU

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By HomeRearedChef on November 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm

You are very welcome, Barbara. But I am so honored that you read my post and liked it! :)

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By HomeRearedChef on November 12, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Thank you, Melanie!

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By HomeRearedChef on November 12, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Dear Uttam, thank you so much for your wonderful words! You inspire me to believe that anything is possible. :)

I have a lot of great childhood memories; I also have a lot of childhood memories of when I got into much trouble. Perhaps I may share those too. Let us hope I don't chase you away. lol!

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By souschef on November 13, 2012 at 11:43 pm

There is really nothing like a good "Memory jog" and you did it great here! Brining back memories of childhood Christmases and even my first corndog. I never had one back in New York.

Very nice job!

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By HomeRearedChef on November 14, 2012 at 12:28 am

Thank you, Souschef, I will never tire of hearing someone say that my stories bring back fond memories of their own. :)

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By Wirginia88 on May 21, 2014 at 06:43 am

That is really important pozycjonowanie

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