Shoe shopping by flashlight

I walked over to Northgate Mall Saturday afternoon with the intention of swinging through Nordstrom to pick up some shoes (part of the Anniversary Sale). Once I got inside the mall, though, I got sidetracked by the “70% OFF SALE!” sign outside Ann Taylor Loft. I ended up picking out a few items to try on. Went into a fitting room, took off my T-shirt, and then whoooosh! The lights went out! Some back-up lights popped on right away, but it was definitely dim. (Nobody screamed, for those who’re wondering. There were just a lot of “Whoa!”s and laughter.) I decided to go ahead and try on a couple of the tanks, and then wandered out. Turned out power had gone out across the whole mall, and stores were asking people to leave and pulling down their security fence things as customers exited.

I was of course bummed that I hadn’t gone directly to Nordstrom (the sale shoes tend to go quickly during the sale, and I have an average shoe size), but I decided to wander on by there just in case they weren’t kicking people out. Well, Nordstrom employees and customers sure are a hardy bunch! The lighting was even worse in the shoe area, but it was business as usual — though everyone was using either flashlights or cell phones for light. The store was unfortunately out of the color of shoe I wanted (burgandy), but had my second choice (black), so I tried those on, using the helpful employee’s flashlight to check myself out in the mirror. I ended up buying that pair; they had to ring me up using an old-school carbon-copy receipt thing. (Of course, I was still obsessing over those red shoes [the color is much better in person], so the next day I called the Alderwood store and had them try to order a pair from another store for me. Fingers crossed! They’re so classic and classy, I know I’ll get my money’s worth.)

As I left the mall around 2:30, I heard that power had also gone out at the Target/Best Buy complex across the street. The traffic light at the busy intersection of 5th and Northgate was also out, leading to lots of honking and bad driving (i.e., three drivers going one behind the other, rather than treating it as a four-way stop as you’re supposed to). I read later that some City Light workers had inadvertently caused the outage; not totally surprising with all the construction going on in the area. Apparently the power finally came back up around 5:30 p.m. By then, I’d long since left the mall and headed to the U District for some medicinal bubble tea ;o)

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