Life's too short to eat bad food - Me

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shattered Glassware

"....octagonal plates and silver domes....conceal the minute portions of food in snooty restaurants run by egomaniac chefs." - John Mortimer
The BuffNews reported this week that Pitt Petri - a purveyor of expensive gifts and tableware was closing after 87 years.  Several reasons were cited, including the lack of foot traffic these days at the original location and the financial hit the Williamsville store took when Tiffany's ceased working with local merchants.

It's kind of ironic as a day or two before we were discussing with the girls what locally owned Department Stores were like.

I have to be honest, when I stopped in there it was just to browse - the stuff was primarily overpriced tchotchkes. I once had a gift certificate (it may have been a store credit for a gift I returned) and I couldn't find anything.  I ended up buying a couple of cigar accoutrements, and spent the balance on a couple of tubes of Wenol metal polish.

Look at it this way, I have two sets of fine crystal - one from my Mommy and one from my Mom (no it's not weird.  Mommy is my Mother, she died when I was 13.  Mom has been my Mom for almost 40 years since).  We don't use them - I just don't want even one to break (if you look close you can see we don't clean them often either). The real problem is that they are just not me (or us).  I am just as happy with the 12 for $10 glasses from Linens n Things, and dishes from there too.  Also platters from the Buffalo China "seconds" sale.

It's just an observation, with no empirical evidence. Beginning with my generation, and increasing with successive generations, interest in much of what PP sold is waning.  People have far less tendency to spend money on tableware that is only used a couple of times a year, or to invest the time to do things like polish silver.

It's not that they don't spend on luxuries, it's just that the luxuries have changed:  iPad's and flat panel TV's, Wii's or Xbox's, shoes and clothing and better foodstuffs.

This, I think is the real explanation for the end of PP.  The local Department Stores fell victim to national chains, which are now becoming victim to Superstores.  PP though fell victim to evolving tastes and desires.



Tom said...

I would imagine the wares of these types of stores are being handed down to next generations and therefore, affecting sales. I remember when my parents would host dinner parties for my dad's business peers, so having formal dinnerware was a neccesity. Not much today.

I prefer basic bistro dinner whites and Reidel's most basic wine glasses. You can't see much of the wine through cut crystal.

I stopped in a similar store to Petri to look at an interesting European butter dish. The price was $50, about $43 more than I wanted to spend. Whoa.

Natalie Sztern said...

Allow me to tell u that my mother handed down to me crystal glasses she used to use all the time for 'yontiff' holidays and it is because she used them, that each time I use them, it brings a warm fuzzy feeling to me.

So when I give them to my daughter I will hope she uses them and gets the same feeling...hence, you should be using them!!

It was always my job to set the table with the glasses.

Scotty said...

Natalie, they are just not us (and frankly cut crystal in odd shapes would not be a choice for wine in any event). To me the only use for fancy crystal is wetting ones finger and rubbing it around the rim.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke

Life's too short to eat bad food -