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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Shops at Fashion District

Although I may hate to admit it, I am a stereotypical girl when it comes to shopping. So when my parents were coming to visit and they told me they wanted to take me shopping, I couldn’t say no. I imagined spending the day with the family at the nearby mall, or even stores like TJMaxx or Khol’s. But when they told me they wanted to go to an area they’ve heard about called, “the Fashion District,” I was a little less than excited.

My mind was now filled with dirty streets and people who followed suit. We’d get pick pocketed or robbed or kidnapped. No one would know where to find us. I tried to persuade them this wasn’t the place to go, but they weren’t budging. They were going to go, with or without me. My closet was begging for new residents and there was no real reason that was holding me back from going. We hopped into the rented SUV and the Griswolds headed downtown.

Our first adventure was finding parking. The streets were packed with cars and our last resort was to pay for a parking lot. As our car climbed up the steep hill to the top of a building, we came to a lot crowded with so many cars they were double parked. Then I got nervous. That means we have to leave the keys to our car, what if they steal it? The sign read “Not responsible for any lost or stolen items,” did that include the vehicle itself? My mind calmed when I looked around to see a Bentley and a few Mercedes parked on the other side of the lot. If they trusted their precious cars at a parking lot like this, then maybe I didn’t have anything to worry about.

We left the keys with the attendant and began our four hours of shopping. Contrary to my belief, the streets weren’t as dirty as I’d once imagined. Neither were the people, who we stood out from. There we were, five of us, white, the majority blonde haired, hazel eyed, walking down the sidewalks trying to look like we belonged. It was quite obvious we didn’t, but none of us cared. The first store we went into was loaded with purses, just what I needed. And to my surprise, and to my parents’ pleasure, I was the first one of us to buy something. “See, we told you that you’d like it here.”

They weren’t shy about showing off their amusement as the day went on, and as I continued to purchase two pairs of jeans, a pair of boots and a shirt. Then, my bladder kicked in. I’ve been known to ruin a trip because I am in need of a restroom. My little brother heard me exclaim that I needed to go, which triggered his bladder. A frustrated father walked us into a store where we asked the directions to the closest bathroom. “Upstairs on the roof,” was what we were told. Little did we know that meant climbing five flights of stairs to an unkempt bathroom in which you have to pay fifty cents in order to use. Well, at least I can say I’ve had to pay to pee?

Needless to say, we had an entertaining day. No one stole from us, we bartered our way to better prices, and we left in our rented SUV with our new goodies in hand. And much to my dismay, I have even gone back a time or two, or five, with my friends. If you haven’t been, I suggest you go. It’s a journey you’ll never forget, or regret.

--Jackie DiBiase


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