Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just Call Me Sherlock

It's not like I go to Target every day. But one has occasion to stop in at least once in a while. I visit the store at 777 E. Colorado Blvd. (there's another at 3121 East Colorado). You'd think somewhere in five years of shopping one would notice hundreds of little hand prints on the sidewalk outside, and if not, one might at least be struck by the giant footprints beneath the signature "Abdul Jabbar" and the number 33.

Not I. Until yesterday I managed to walk past these prints without seeing them. But yesterday I keenly observed them, took their picture and came home to search the web for clues to their origins. Not a trace. For now, I can only make an educated guess as to what they're about.

A plaque was dedicated there on March 13, 1994 for Target's grand opening. The plaque says "Lend us a hand." Well, it actually says "Lend us a" and there's a picture of a hand. Then there are hand prints all over the place, then Abdul-Jabbar's hand prints, then his foot prints, presumably for good measure, and all this is presumably for charity. And from this I deduce we're talking the Lakers' Kareem, because what other Abdul-Jabbar would one have hired for the dedication of one's store in 1994?

Heh. See? All you have to be is observant.

25 comments:

Dina said...

Even more than the hands, I like the feet, the graceful step of the lady and her stubby shadow.

Good work, Detective Petrea.

Lynn said...

Sweet :)

Bellis said...

Great bit of detective work! But you know, there's something odd going on. I've walked into Target many times over the years yet only noticed those prints the other day. They're pretty obvious, so why did we both miss them before?

Petrea said...

Thank you, Dina.

Hi Lynn!

Bellis, there's more than one entrance. I often use the top floor. Could that be it?

-K- said...

"...All you have to be is observant."

That's a very definite reward to having a blog and from reading other blogs. It's a good motivator to just paying attention to stuff that's surprisingly easy to miss.

Kat said...

I've been going to that Target for years and I've never noticed that either... How cool!

Petrea said...

K, I was thinking I'm not that observant at all, because I missed it all this time. But these comments are making me wonder if these prints haven't been there all this time. Seriously. This is weird. But there's a little garden there, it looks weathered, and there's nothing on the internet about it. Huh.

Petrea said...

Lynn, if I don't enlarge your profile pic, in its tiny form it looks like you have cute little devil horns.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I think it has something to do with a program Target was running where a percentage of each sale went towards community schools. I think. Then again, if I'm wrong, then maybe it's something Target should consider.

pasadenapio said...

PA's on the right track. For the grand opening of the first and only downtown/two-story Target store in the nation, our Planning and Development Department and the Public Affairs Office (yours truly)) worked with Target on what was/is considered an unofficial public art event in which families were encouraged to participate by leaving their handprints in the cement. A percentage of sales during the first week went to local community-based organizations, including several non-profits and PUSD.

Petrea said...

PIO, if I didn't know you're a busy person I'd call you before I post anything.

Target is known for giving millions to charity. Check Wikipedia's article about Target, scroll down to "philanthropy."

Steve Scauzillo said...

I've been to that Target many times and I never noticed the public art display, either. I'm with Bellis. Perhaps I'm always like rushing to get my shopping done??

Susan Campisi said...

I have to add my voice to the chorus: I've shopped their numerous times but never saw the public art. I love how you reveal so much to us about Pasadena's hidden gifts! Really nice that PIO has the story details too. And... like Dina, I love how you caught the woman's steps at the top of the photo.

Petrea said...

Maybe it's like K says. When you get out there with your camera in a purposeful way, you start paying attention in a different way. (And in this case, I exited the store in a different way than I ordinarily do.)

I was making fun of myself with that "observant" comment. Because NOT.

Bellis said...

There are chairs and tables out in front of those handprints, and often staff sit there for their break. My feeling when I saw the piece a few weeks ago was that I could only see it because there was no-one sitting there - but it's got to be more than that - perhaps they've moved the tables and chairs recently? I'm going to ask next time I'm in the store. "Oh no, here's that crazy lady again...".

J+P said...

"Chance favors the prepared mind."—L. Pasteur

Petrea said...

I had to walk around an employee moving carts, Bellis. Maybe the rerouting rerouted my eyes.

J, since we've been talking about being observant, it's interesting that the full quote is translated thusly: "In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind."

Greg Sweet said...

I remember shopping this Target shortly after it opened (I believe the building was previously a Robinson's). There had been much pomp & circumstance upon opening, but by the time I got there - a week or so later - the bloom had faded. The first thing I noticed was the garden where the hand prints are, 'cause I'm a plant guy. The next thing I noticed was a behavior of the young male Target employees. They had figured out something that musta been happening since the Robinson's days: that the open stairways between the two shopping levels and the three parking levels are ideal for looking up ladies' skirts. I swear, really, that I only know this because I did see those employees elbowing each other and looking... and I only shop the east-side Target @ the old Fedco.

To this day, nothing has been done to cover the bottom of the open stairs.

J+P said...

"About that which we cannot speak, we must remain silent."

—L.Wittgenstein, Tractatuc Logico-Philisophicus

Bellis said...

Greg and J+P, that's hilarious! I will always wear pants when visiting Target, thanks for the warning. In Sydney in the 1800s, men would hang around on steep steps with mirrors on their shoe buckles so they could look up women's skirts, which were down to the ground in those days. Nothing has changed in 100 years! Men will always be men (except Greg and John).

Shell Sherree said...

Sherlock!

Petrea said...

I could swear those steps are solid and not see-through. I am no Sherlock.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed the handprints since first going there when it opened, but I don't think I've ever noticed that Kareem's footprints were there.

The steps are see-through, but I think you'd have to look from the side, throught the railing, to see up women's skirts.

Nick

Petrea said...

Thanks, Nick. Maybe I'll go back with my camera and get a skirt shot.

Nah. That's just not right.

mark said...

Two great Minnesota institutions, Target Corp. and the Lakers in this post. Im pretty sure Jabbar (Lew Alcinder) wore #33 when he starred for UCLA. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks. I still remember watching him play his first professional game on TV.