My Crate and Barrel is closing in two weeks. I learned this just before Christmas when I stopped in to pick up a last minute gift, and saw the sign that said "Good-bye Cambridge."
"How could this be?" I asked the nearest salesperson. "Aren't you doing well?" She assured me that sales were fine, but the rent had become prohibitive.
Other Crate and Barrels are not closing. But this particular one is close to where I work, and I can dash over there at a moment's notice. I've probably spent the equivalent of a couple of years of college tuition there since it opened 30 years ago.
I must admit, I couldn't believe it when its predecessor, Design Research, went out of business either. The original building opened in 1969, and its architects later won the American Institute of Architects' prestigious 25-Year Award. I spent a fair amount at Design Research as well, especially on their Marimekko fabric.
Yesterday Peter and I made our farewell visit to my Crate and Barrel. We bought nothing. When we left, I told him I was very sad to see it go. He responded that he knew that since this was the third time I had mentioned it.
I hope this is my biggest disappointment in 2009. Still, I feel sad.