There are some back-to-school rituals I’m absolutely glad to be shed of. Buying new jeans, for instance. (I’d honestly almost rather go shopping for a bathing suit.)
But give me a dorm room to furnish again, and … well, just take a look:
First I’d swing through Target and grab a touch-screen alarm clock they’ve advertised for $12. Setting the alarm is one of my least favorite daily chores — it can wind up feeling like a fingers-only game of Twister, what with holding down the “alarm” button over here and clicking “forward” over there, and then “reverse” because you never hit the right time exactly on the first try. This one, you just tap the screen. So simple.
Target’s also got two-drawer file cabinets for cheap — about $23 — that aren’t necessarily much to look at, but could double as a bedside table. Not that your average college student would actually use them to file stuff, but those drawers are really big and deep and would be great for last-minute get-it-out-of-sight cleaning jags.
I was also going to suggest this really cute robot desk lamp they had at Lowe’s — basically a chrome-and-black stick figure with a light bulb protruding from its face — but when I called to see if they’d let us come take a picture of one of them, the manager told me they’d all been recalled because they were catching on fire. So yeah, don’t go buy one of those.
• Felt your toes a-tingling lately? Could be that they’ve sensed the imminent arrival of not one but two new shoe boutiques in our fair city. Solemates, in space next to Thread on Kavanaugh in the Heights, should be the first one to open, around the first of September. The owners — Terry and Shelly Steed and their daughter, Beverly Steed — were out of town at a shoe market in Las Vegas (as was everyone else I needed to talk to for this column) but their new next door neighbor, Carol Fulmer at Thread, filled me in. The store will have shoes ranging from $59 to about $250 (heavier on the $59 end) and you’ll be able to walk between Thread and Solemates without walking outside.
The second store, Sana’s A Step Above, is opening in the former So, Shoe Me location at 11400 North Rodney Parham Road. Owner Sana Alley was in Vegas too, but word is the store will open later in the fall — possibly in November. More details as I can get them.
• If you’re lucky enough not to have to spend all your money on equipping a rugrat for the return to scholarly pursuits, the Design Center’s running a half-off sale on The Thymes bath and body products — in scents of lavender, eucalyptus, filigree, olive leaf, verbena, amber and Cyprus. A limited supply of Sasaki Colorstone black-and-white dinnerware is also 50 percent off.
Go do your homework!
Also, Red Octopus at the Public Theater, Alcee Chriss III at First Presbyterian Church, Harvestfest in Hillcrest, the Arkansas Times Hog Roast, Wildflower Revue at South on Main and Made By Few in Bentonville.