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06-03-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by young_princess
oh i guess now's not a good time to take them then. is it really that cold there right now?

btw, is there an anthropologie store near newbury/coppley are? thanks!
it shouldn't be tooooo bad weather-wise anymore (it's unusually cold this week but that's abnormal). the thing about the duck tour is that it goes into the water, so if it's a gross day it's kind of not pleasant. I'd still take one for the experience though, it's fun.

anthropologie is on the corner of boylston and fairfield, just a couple blocks away from the entrance/exit to the prudential mall (connected to the copley mall). that's just a block away from newbury st as well.

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06-03-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mundodabolsa
it shouldn't be tooooo bad weather-wise anymore (it's unusually cold this week but that's abnormal). the thing about the duck tour is that it goes into the water, so if it's a gross day it's kind of not pleasant. I'd still take one for the experience though, it's fun.
after I typed this I realized, idiot, the river is still frozen and thawing out, clearly the duck tours can't go in...so I looked it up and duck tours start again on March 26.

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06-03-2007
  303
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does anyone know if any boston stores carry k jacques sandals?

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07-03-2007
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Oh, I keep forgetting that there is a Barneys there.

God, I can't wait to move. Just for the shopping.

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07-03-2007
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I must admit, I was born in Boston and I have never been on a Duck Tour or a Trolley Sightseeing tour Well, I have been on one of those trolleys, but not for Boston sightseeing :p

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08-03-2007
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I can't believe I just found this thread I'll have to come visit more often!

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09-03-2007
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i went into the filenes basement downtown and they had completely switched things around. theyve also taken over the first floor of filenes dept store which was previously empty.

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10-03-2007
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they did a whole lot of work with the filene's base. haven't been in a while but they usually have some good finds.

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13-03-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @~PinkCouture~@
I must admit, I was born in Boston and I have never been on a Duck Tour or a Trolley Sightseeing tour Well, I have been on one of those trolleys, but not for Boston sightseeing :p
when we lived in DC we did the DC one, and I learned alot about the city that I lived in. It was pretty cool. We wait until someone visits to do those things, so we have an excuse to play tourist for a day.

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13-03-2007
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^ HEHEHEH...I hear you

I probably should do one of those tours soon since I will be moving to another states by the end of this year

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14-03-2007
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More (or less) than they bargained for

With the landmark Filene's Basement set to close temporarily, fashion experts comparison shop at 6 of the store's other locations

By Christopher Muther, Globe Staff | March 14, 2007
If the plebeian reviewers on the website Yelp.com are to be believed, there is no substitute for the grubby, disheveled, fluorescent-lit paradise of the Filene's Basement at Downtown Crossing. When Filene's Basement opened its gleaming new store on Boylston Street last year, flooded with natural light and manned by a polite doorman, hardcore Basement shoppers on Yelp turned up their noses and dispensed verbal snipes such as "The only upside I see to this location is that you don't lose your cell [phone] signal" and "It seriously lacks the discounts and bin-rummaging charm of the original."
But as these shoppers are now well aware, they will soon have to live in a world without the enormous Downtown Crossing Filene's Basement -- at least temporarily. The Basement, which first opened its doors in 1908, will close this fall for up to two years as the building is renovated for new shops, offices, and condominiums.
It will be a long two years for Basement heads such as David Andrew Trust, a former marketing director at Abercrombie & Fitch who now runs his own interior design firm. Trust is fond of the ambience of the Basement -- the water-stained ceilings, the bins that look like they were constructed in a vocational high school wood shop class, the sales lady who still proudly sports her Ann Landers coif, and, of course, the bargains.
"The Downtown Crossing store definitely has better designer labels," Trust says. "They get some great stuff from Louis Boston and Bergdorf Goodman. But you've got to hunt. You need to get in that center bin and dig through these mysterious brands. Joseph Lyman? Who is this? Even with bogus brands the downtown Basement is the most fun place to shop. You can go to Neiman's or Saks or wherever and buy things on sale. First call, last call, call it what you want, but the best thing is to find something at the Basement."
Shoppers like Trust may have no choice but to say goodbye to their beloved Basement. According to Charlotte Brewer, vice president of advertising and marketing, Filene's Basement has been unable to find a temporary location while the building is being renovated , but she said they're still working with the city on relocating.
If the store is gone for two years, do shoppers need to say goodbye to the high-end bargains? Filene's Basement has eight other stores in Massachusetts. These stores are not only cleaner, they also stock merchandise differently. While the Downtown Crossing Filene's Basement is primarily known for selling the clothes that did not leave the racks of posh stores, the suburban Basements are run more like department stores, selling designers' secondary lines, such as Michael by Michael Kors or Max Studio. Another key difference is that the suburban stores do not offer the beloved automatic discount, the system of marking down clothes the longer they sit on the sales floor.
"The trick with the Filene's Basement in Downtown Crossing is that it's one of the few places where people without a lot of money can find clothes that are well made," says Pamela Parmal, curator of textiles and fashion at the Museum of Fine Arts. "That's why I shop at the Basement. It's getting harder and harder to find well-made clothes that are affordable."
Basement heads are now left to find bargains elsewhere. There have always been rumors that the nicer clothes are sent to Filene's Basement in Newton to appeal to monied residents there (Brewer acknowledges that merchandise is tweaked to accommodate neighborhoods). More recently, a cult has formed swearing that the best finds are now sent to the Back Bay Basement. To cut through the urban legends, we assembled a team of fashion experts -- designers, shop owners, image consultants, and clothing curators, to grade six of the eight Filene's Basement locations (sorry , Peabody and Hyannis, maybe next time). Their grades are based on direct comparisons with the merchandise in the Downtown Crossing store. Most of our expert shoppers were looking for the high-end brands carried in the Vault section of the Downtown Crossing store. Many of the suburban stores carry racks labeled "The Vault," but in some cases, our experts were not impressed.
BACK BAY
EVALUATED BY: Denise Hajjar, clothing designer
GRADE: B+ /A-
The racks are neat, the floor is clean, and the walls are not yellowed with age -- which confirms that the Back Bay Filene's Basement is, at least physically, nothing like Downtown Crossing. But Hajjar, a local designer with a boutique inside the Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston, is impressed with the multiple racks of high-end designer clothes. She pulls a pair of $950 Dolce & Gabbana wool pants from the clearance rack. They're marked at $300, and they have been further reduced to $207. "It's nice that they carry this and have different labels versus some of the suburban Basements," she says. "If I want kids' stuff, or baby gifts, I'd go across the street to Marshalls. There's nothing there that's going to excite me . But if I'm going to shop for something and spend the dollars -- if I want something that's unusual, and designer -- I would look in here." On the first floor, she gives high marks to the large men's section, which has racks of merchandise from Mr. Sid and Louis Boston. "It's very smart of them to do this," she says. "They're on Boylston and Newbury, and they have people coming here from all over the world. They would obviously need to do something special here to make it work, otherwise people would just head downtown."
SAUGUS
EVALUATED BY: Gary Ritacco, owner of Uniform
GRADE: D-
There was no love lost between Ritacco, owner of the South End men's store Uniform, and the Saugus Filene's Basement. About five minutes into the shopping trip, he compared the store's atmosphere and selection to Kohl's, and the comparison was not intended as a compliment. "When I go to the Basement, I think 'Oh, designer deals,' and there are no designer deals here," he says. "It's like going to Macy's. I could go there and find similar stuff at a similar price, but probably displayed a little better." There were no men's Vault racks, and a limited number of Vault racks in the women's department. But overall, Ritacco found the selection to be homogeneous and bland. It was only when he hit the fragrance department that he found some bargains. "This is an awesome fragrance," he says, smiling over a bottle of Boucheron for men. "This is 40 bucks. It's a good deal. OK, this lifts the grade from an F to a D- ."
WATERTOWN
EVALUATED BY: Pamela Parmal, curator of textile and fashion at the MFA
GRADE: C-
Parmal, who spends her days surrounded by the MFA's extensive collection of couture and historical clothing, admits that her expectations are high because of her vocation. To find well-made, designer pieces, she shops in the Downtown Crossing Filene's Basement for labels such as Jil Sander and Prada. "The high-end designers are the only ones who can still make interesting clothes," she says. "Part of the problem with the clothing industry today is that it's difficult to make good, well-designed clothes that actually fit the body. It just takes more time and effort, so most of the clothes that you see are very simply made and constructed. That's 99 percent of what's out there. Very simple clothing." Parmal uses her time at the downtown Basement to seek out garments with interesting cuts or clothes constructed with unique fabrics. She doesn't seem to be finding either of these things in the Watertown store. "The fabrics all look cheap, the cuts are all very simple, and there's not much here that's very interesting," she says. "The labels are kind of boring, too. I didn't see any designers that interest me."
BRAINTREE
EVALUATED BY: Robin Chalfin, owner of Toolkit
GRADE: D
Chalfin, who runs a custom alteration service in Jamaica Plain, usually heads straight to the Vault when she visits the Downtown Crossing Basement. For the uninitiated, the Vault is the section of the basement where labels such as Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino are stocked. She begins her trip to Braintree looking for the Vault section, and is only able to locate a single rack labeled "The Vault." "It's pretty disappointing," she says. "I don't really see anything here." At the Downtown Crossing store, Chalfin has found incredible bargains, such as a pair of Helmut Lang boots for $100. She is not impressed with the shoe selection in Braintree. "The nice thing about Downtown Crossing is that they carry high-end brands," she says. "This is just like a chain store. I don't see any good deals here. There's nothing special about it."
NEWTON
EVALUATED BY: Nirva Derbekyan, a Lexington-based fashion designer
GRADE: B+
As a student, she shopped at the Filene's Basement in Downtown Crossing, but because of the chaos, Derbekyan says it was hard for her to spend any significant amount of time there. So she started shopping in Newton. At one time, she worked at the Filene's Basement in Watertown, but continued to shop in Newton. "The last couple of times I've been here, there were ball gowns and some great couture pieces," she says. "This time there are fewer of those things, but I'm impressed by the labels." Derbekyan has spent as much as four hours at a time here shopping with friends. At one point they were even timing their trips to merchandise delivery days. She doesn't spend that long evaluating the store, but still manages to find a white BCBG bikini for $29. She gives high marks to the store's petites section, and then spots an $840 ball gown that a friend paid full price for. The Basement is selling it for $43. "I'm not telling her," she says. "She would be devastated."
FRAMINGHAM
EVALUATED BY: Susan Mullins, wardrobe consultant
GRADE: B+
Mullins is quite taken with the massive, gleaming Framingham store. As someone who spends her time shopping for others, she is impressed with the range of brands, and especially a few racks carrying merchandise liquidated from Louis Boston. "It's nice because they carry a lot of designers out of the mainstream," she says. "But this is an area that's becoming known for retail, so it makes sense they would have this kind of selection here."

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15-03-2007
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I agree w/ the ratings except for Braintree and Saugus.

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19-03-2007
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I went to both the north shore mall and liberty tree mall this weekend. the liberty tree mall was dead - lots of shuttered stores.

north shore mall was packed! they have recently opened up a c.o. bigeloe and jasmine sola and a coach store in there. passing by where the old macys used to be there is a sign saying "nordstrom - coming in 2009".
before it was coming in 2010! yay....im glad the wait is slightly shorter.
i still dont know what is going in the lord and taylor space.

i was shocked to see that filenes basement at the north shore mall is closed. and wont reopen until next fall! maybe they moved their merchandise to the filenes in downtown crossing.

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22-03-2007
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Yeah, the Liberty Tree Mall is pretty "blah!

Nordstrom @ the North Shore Mall in 2009---nice!!!

Thanks for the update lucy92

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29-03-2007
  315
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when's the nordstrom in the braintree plaza being opened?

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