03/08/04 - posted by Paul
Boy, what a walk down memory lane! We used to go to Stonestown almost every Saturday (they were closed Sundays in those days, of course). My parents prefered it to downtown since parking was free at Stonestown and was an astronomical 15 cents an hour at the 5th and Mission garage downtown. I remember the Big E had a cafeteria in the basement but it was a real treat when mom took us to Blum's for CoFiesta Sundaes and Hysterical Shakes (where they lined the glass with hot fudge before pouring in the milkshake. Joseph Magnin was located on the corner of 20th and Winston but later moved to their own building north of the Emporium (now Tower Records). I do remember going with my father to Hastings, Roos/Atkins, and Bruce Barry and then to the wine shop at the Emporium so he could buy vodka for his martinis. That store had everything: books, records, fabrics, notions, washers and dryers, televisions, and the aforementioned smoke shop. Not like today where it's just clothes and a smattering of household furnishings. The City of Paris was very hushed and a bit little-old-lady, not at all fun like their main store downtown with that wonderful rotunda and Christmas tree. And yes, the roof rides at the Big E were eagerly anticipated every fall. If it was just a father/son day it was usually followed by tamales at the Hot House at Playland but that's a subject for a different page, right?
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