Sunday, September 18, 2005

some places you feel strange being an adult man unaccompanied by a daughter, especially a man so enthusiastic about wanting souvenir photos

I've done a good deal of sightseeing around Manhattan the last couple of days. However, even if Madison is now my once-and-(presumedly)-future home instead of my current one, I would not want Madisonians to think I would make a first trip to Manhattan and shirk the duty of checking in to see how our city's most famous girls were getting along:





The American Girl Place celebrates the American Girl dolls, and includes a cafe on the top floor where you can take your seven-year old girl for her first high-end meal, as kind of pre-finishing girl fieldtrip toward the twin merit badges of cultural refinement and conspicuous consumerism. I won't profess to know the American Girl world very well, but, as I understand it: there are these nine different dolls that are supposed to be real girls associated with different historical periods in American history, and then they have these period-appropriate and politically-neutral adventures, which show off that girls with confidence, optimism, perseverance, and other broadly accepted virtues will triumph over any adversity. The dolls originated in/near Madison (see here), and are associated with the family that donated over $200 million to build Madison's new culture center. (Me, if I had $200 million dollars for philanthropic giving, I personally wouldn't use it to find a cure for the poor acoustics of the evenings out of Madison's professorial and other middle and upper classes, but I recognize diversity of opinion on this issue.)

4 comments:

Agee said...

I think those dolls are reproducing as we speak...

eszter said...

Wow, I had no idea about the Madison connection! Funny timing, just this week I finally decided to go inside AGP-Chicago. I often pass by the huge crowds and have wondered what was inside. I had a visitor and since we were walking by anyway I thought it was a good opportunity. (Plus since it was the middle of the week we didn't have to fight any crowds.) I'm sure people just figured you were shopping for your daughter.. then again, the photo part does add an interesting dimension. It reminds me of a SATC episode.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

I didn't realize they were so intimately connected to Madison, either.

I desperately wanted one as a child. My parents, as you might guess, never granted this wish.

atlantaga said...

Loved your post with the dolls at the American Girl place. I can imagine how you must have felt alone with no little miss along. I took my 10 year old granddaughter 2 summers ago where she demonstrated her consumate consumerism in figuring out the buy another get one free and did the arithmetic. I am very interested in dolls, specifically international souvenir dolls and will be photographing my collection from 186 countries at last count. However, it is hard to know what to make of American Girl Dolls. Thanks for the description.