Saturday, August 01, 2009


I was one of the first employees at the first American Girl Place in Chicago over a decade ago.

I was an easy-hire because I had the Kirsten doll when I was 9, back when Pleasant Company was a mail-order catalog with 3 dolls to choose from. Oh yeah, I'm a vintage costumer. And yes, I have met Ms. Rowland.

This past year AGP moved a block away to a new location in Water Tower Place. I knew my girl's interest in American Girl Products was inevitable, but I never would have imagined it happening so young. As I spent my weekends working at AGP, I sometimes wondered what it would be like to have daughters and to come into the store with them, and what that would be, and who I would be and what would happen.

The day finally arrived.

Of course we have been to AGP NYC a few times, but never bought anything, just browsed around. In Chicago, however, we not only shopped, but we dined as well.

The ladies in mi familia gathered together and had a proper ladies lunch, and yes our dolls accompanied us. My girls brought their Kit and Julie dolls and cousin V, borrowed her mom's old Molly doll. The girls got AGP Chicago tees to wear and a few for their dolls to match.

Back in the day, my view of the cafe was quite closed: CHAOS.

Today, however was nothing resembling chaos. We were seated orderly, the waitstaff got us all set up with doll chairs, high chairs, doll tea, food, extra utensils and napkins and we only heard Happy Birthday sung 3 times. The pace was just right, the food was good enough and my favorite part was the conversation starters. Phoebe reached into a black and white striped box and posed questions for us to discuss: What actor would play you in a movie about you? Which teacher is most memorable to you and why? If you could choose to be an only child or have 10 siblings, which would you pick? You can't pick a number in between...etc.

Lolly added one: Which American Girl Name are you, I'm Kit, so you can't pick Kit.

I have had enough time and space from the retail job of my college days to appreciate the institution that AGP is. Is it commercial? Can it be a bit over-the-top? Are some of the products of dissappointing quality? YES. Today, however, we squeaked by all that and had ourselves a time that I know Ms. Rowland would smile about, it was indeed pleasant.

(Lolly and I spied these doll-hoook-holders in the bathroom at AGP NYC last week, and were pretty psyched to try them now that we had a doll with us):

(We think we have finally found a photo in which we resemble each other.):


Lisa said...

This was definitely a highlight of the trip. We were 8 girls of different ages and we all loved it!

Abbe said...

The American Girl Place NYC was the highlight of our NY trip last year. The dinner was so fun! Seeing your pictures made me smile.

A-me said...

Uhhh oh. As soon as I show Ms. Izzie-bizzie this post she's gonna want to see my cousin Kage in NYC.

She still comes up to me at the most random times saying we need to go to NYC to see Phoebe. Very cute :)

Anonymous said...

my daughter and i had lunch there about a month ago with some friends and had the best time. i was surprised how good the food was! great fondue! she wants to have her birthday lunch there so we will be back in november! love your pics!!

Catherine said...

love this post! AG is big in our house! Paige has a bitty baby, ruby, who she took to AG in NYC last August w/ close friends of ours.......and Molly is hidden in my closet for her, a bitty twin is hidden at my mil's house, & Rebecca is also hiding at my mil's house........we have a bitty baby crib & high is such fun craziness!!! love your pig tails! or as paige would call them "boney bones"........we were sooooo enchanted by the doll holders in the bathroom too! I've got a couple of pictures of her ruby in it!!!
so glad you are enjoying your time w/ your family!
catherine & paige

Rhonda said...

Oh my goodness - that looks and sounds like so much fun! Maybe i can take my two girls if we ever make it up to NYC. Great pigtails, btw!

MB said...

I'm seriously jealous. I went to browse that AGP store in Chicago with my Mom a few years back...I dream about it sometimes. I have Samantha at home, she was my fave.