Helen laid the foundation for this chapter way back in the first and second chapters (Parts One and Two). That was fifteen years ago. She threw out her first ‘appraiser’ for calling her a “clutter bug”, wearing Eileen Fisher clothing and being from Scarsdale, New York. It was clear to me then that Helen knew well of her “clutter”, of Eileen Fisher and... of Scarsdale, New York. Fortunately for me that morning I knew enough to know that what she knew was an ...imperative for ME to understand. I also... had the good fortune of ‘knew well’ myself... these... these.
When I say I must stand behind Eric Sloane at Kent, Connecticut and look, with him, south-southwest... it is ‘these’ THERE that I am, from Kent, looking at. A line south-southwest leaves Kent, clips Sherman, enters New Fairfield (all in Connecticut) and then ...enters New York state... to cross ...as a diagonal cross-section slice-in-half... Westchester County, New York. The slice line ends when it plunges into the Hudson River. From a Maine (northern New England) vantage, the Hudson River is ...an edge of an earth.
This diagonal slice line crossing Westchester County passes witch pie close to both Irvington, New York on the Hudson and “The Westchester” (shopping mall) in White Plains, New York. Eileen Fisher headquarters is in Irvington. “The Westchester” has an Eileen Fisher retail store on the second “level”. Aside from THIS STORE, a store in Westport, Connecticut and a smatter of right located stores in the Boston area, Eileen Fisher stores are not found in New England. There are none in Northern New England; Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Reminding of my turned up side down line of fortifications resisting the progression of congestion (Part Six [D]) in New England, that line from Kent... to Concord, MA and on to New Castle, NH... ‘is north’ of all Eileen Fisher stores. It is north of “The Westchester” (shopping mall) too. At “The Westchester” the Eileen Fisher store represents its offering as “Beautifully simple womens’ clothing designed to move with real life”. This is a very fine and very true representation.
Until one shows up at Helen’s mansion “dressed in” ...it?
“The Westchester” is a premiere shopping mall; a ‘wish we had one like THAT here’ grade NATIONAL (global?) peak quality showcase ...of what a shopping mall can be, should be... and... if ways may be had... WILL BE... in Northern New England? I first ‘my credit card’ embraced “The Westchester” as a private citizen shopping with my family. They love it. I sit reading rare booksellers’ catalogs and drinking ice coffee outside Nordstrom’s while they....: I have to do that ‘until the end of time’...it seems. I hear and have heard ‘people’ regularly ‘speak of’ “IT”. In the last decade I have... had personal contact... in Maine... with those that:
Will drive from Maine to “The Westchester” to “go shopping”. They will drive to White Plains, shop, stay overnight and... “drive back to Maine the next day”. This is because “The Westchester” mall is “BETTER” and that stated better includes ALL of the shopping in Boston. “The Westchester” is the “easiest way” to “shop in New York”... I am told. Greenacres, in Scarsdale, bordering on White Plains, is... about (if not less than) five miles from “The Westchester”. IF Helen knows of Greenacres (Part Two), then she ‘know of that’; “The Westchester”. She... knows of Eileen Fisher clothing too. And has ...probably been to “The Westchester”... and goes there... the whole ‘this whole time’ (fifteen years)... I best assume?
FROM Westchester County, New York... spreading east-northeast... comes this “IT”. “The Westchester” is a pinnacle. Barges of congested like intended detritus are ‘pulled behind with it’ (the intellectual “IT”; the premise, the taste, the ... “services”. The ...stores... in “The Westchester” I have had stated to me as being “the services they have”). Like rectangular sheets of plywood laid down square, this “IT” moves into New England laying a false floor of this “IT” ...upon... New England. It is greeted and received warmly by the populace and the false floor expands and extends. Soon... a ‘more’ is ‘floored over’... ‘too’. And more... of the more who live there... now... go there... more...TOO. But, we are assured, ‘they will preserve’... old New England TOO. And they do. And we then have... New England... right side up: “Its right over there. Isn’t that NICE!”. “I just LOVE the OLD CHURCH when they LIGHT IT AT NIGHT!”. Etc.
“Etc” works until one shows up at Helen’s... “The Savage Mansion”. All of a sudden one steps off the edge of the false floor that is ...New England right side up. “(SHE) STARTS SAYING I’M A CLUTTER BUG” (Part Two).
In Helen’s view... Boston is a village “where my bank is”. To Mainers, Boston has ALWAYS been a village that one can “go to”. That’s it. “New York, to Helen, is NEW YORK CITY and that one GOES THERE to... “to shop”: SHOP in NEW YORK CITY. Not... at “The Westchester” IN Westchester. ‘Scarsdale is in Westchester’. One ‘takes the train’ (from NYC) to get there. “The Westchester”... in Westchester has only become a shopping destination from Maine for Mainers “because”... “it will do in a pinch” (especially if one “has high school [age] girls”)... and... the accommodating dexterity purveyed by the interstate highway systems that helps in maneuvering in and through congested New England: The white SUV rides by old cow paths to ‘go shopping’. “Don’t forget your sunglasses, Dear”. Helen not only knows all of this but IS all of this too... including ‘living in Maine’ in her family’s “old sea captain (Savage) mansion.” Helen knows all about congestion in New England because she ‘lives that’. She knows it is NOT clutter.
Westchester county is the source of congestion in New England. It is ...and supplies.. the model. Even New Jersey... a region the is ‘very good’ at congestion... cannot... and does not... equal. The construction of the false floor of congestion extends steadily east-northeast upon old New England. Toward Maine. Toward the Savage mansion. What will happen to the Savage mansion? Will it be pitched? Will it be turned up side down? Will it be rummaged, ransacked, looted and carried off. Or will it be ‘right side up’ and ‘they light it at night’? Or both?
Three weeks after my first visit to the Savage mansion, now over fifteen years ago, I went back ...for my second visit.