In some small, possibly sad, way buying my boots at Redpaths in Civic has been a part of my own self-identity for more years than I care to remember. 15 years maybe.
A series of ten-hole Doc Martens was followed by a love of black RedBacks. All lovingly fitted and often worn out of the poky little store on Garema Place. Even before I had the money to buy my own boots I can remember pressing my nose against the glass of the store and marveling at the booty goodness while waiting for my bus home.
And then a couple of weeks ago the glue holding the sole on my old RedBacks went for the last time, I realised the worn, dog-toothed leather was drinking polish, and it was time for a new pair of boots.
The homing instinct kicked in just right. I drove towards Civic unthinkingly. But then I had to park and the Canberra Centre parking was so very convenient.
And then, making my way on the top level towards Garema Place I walked by the Rivers store, and a pair of their boots caught my eye, and I bought them instead.
On the one hand it’s just a store. It’s not like I’m the only consumer in the world. Redpaths boots are hardly locally made.
On the other hand I feel like I’ve betrayed a good friend.
But I also think the Garema Place traders have been very badly done down by the changes wrought on the city in the latest re-configuration. My superb new boots and I are part of the problem.
I don’t like that very much.