J.Crew's tribute to Canada and Canada's revenge

As summer droops to a close here on the East End of Long Island, newcomers to the area are again surprised by the fact that notwithstanding the mega-mansions clogging the fields and over-entitled sports car drivers clogging the roads, there remains - nature! We look skyward, and there we see the familiar V, reminding us that to everything there is a season... and this is the season of the migration of the passing ducks and Canada geese along the Atlantic flyway.

Except  - Canada geese are too smart for that! They don't migrate any more! Like many people who pass through this part of the world on a brief vacation, they were attracted to the beaches, the seafood, the fields and marshes... and they have stayed. They used to spend winters further south, summers back home. No longer. Even the Long Island winters are tropical compared to those of their native habitat. (Long Island Duck: Look, two inches of snow! Canada Goose: Yah, and your point is?) And our summers? When Jimmy Buffett, bard of paradise found, bought a home out here, the geese felt their decision to become year-round residents was validated.

And so now, every autumn, every spring, they go up in the air, form the V, one wing longer than the other, squawk like European ambulances, and go right back down where they were 5 minutes ago. Our Canadian neighbors are now our Canadian next-door neighbors.

The wild ducks were once passing strangers, and they too have stayed. They're not the chubby Long Island duck that gets roasted but only for people you really love (messes up the oven beyond belief). They're a mixed set of fowl, some prettier than others. They also mark the changing of the seasons by forming Vs and landing again. Their Vs are not as dramatic as those of the geese, but they have the pretty habit of making little splash landings when they spy something edible...

Now to be honest, many local residents have had some problems with the geese. We are by and large a welcoming group out here, especially since being welcoming was enacted into law in 1964, but if your property is of a great size and abuts water (Flintstone Manor fails on both counts), you are liable to cuss if you go outside and step into something that indicates a goose has been there before you. And they have been there a lot. They are, as Rumpole of the Bailey would say, astoundingly regular.

At the moment, the American U.S. retailer J.Crew has opened a store in Toronto, Canada, its first venture abroad, and has simultaneously created Canadian and UK websites. One might consider this reason for congratulation - international friendship, venture into cross-border trade, la la la. One would be wrong. The non-US websites wind up charging the non-US purchasers up to twice as much as the US purchasers are charged. This seems to be based on the erroneous assumption that arithmetic is not taught outside the US, which is a corollary to the belief that all non-English speakers are hard of hearing and will understand you if you shout. Gad! Don't we need all the friends we can get?

J.Crew Migration Wear
Naturally, the Canadians and the Brits are outraged. If I lived anywhere near Forts Ticonderoga or McHenry, I'd be worried. However, I think I see a possible flag of truce on the J.Crew website. At some point when they redid their website, they paid tribute to the migration of the Canada Geese. The Plumage Vest, No. 37928, which is made of FEATHERS and has been marked down for quite a long time, has MIGRATED from the Blazers and Vests part of the Sale Section to Outerwear.

J.Crew Flag of Truce
As tributes go, this is less than heartfelt. Canadian nature-lovers, there's an opportunity here. The owner of J.Crew also owns a very large piece of property at the tip of Long Island. So large that it made headlines when he bought it. Would this not be a great place for the Canada Geese to do their necessary? All over it? Surely they can be trained. If they're smart enough to know when migration isn't fun any more, they've got to be smart enough to learn a teeny pattern like "East to dump, West to pose picturesquely."

And so I raise my glass in a toast to International Trade and Parity in Cross-Border Transactions: May the Canada Geese J.Crap all over your landscape architecture!


  1. Yes Cheers to that!!

    Thank you Fred for recognizing your friends to the North. We are most grateful!
    JCrew may find that Canadians are very nice indeed until crossed. It musn't be forgotten that we are tough nuts who are used to freezing cold, bare tundra and are probably the descendants of French pirates and criminals!

  2. Salut, Dani, vivent les voyageurs!

    I thought those geese were here for a reason! Too bad my last pair of J.Crew mock wellies arrived in 2 different sizes, I'll have to stay indoors til the crisis is resolved.

  3. brilliant- I love that the Canada Geese have lazily forsaken our harsh winters, and heartily recommend that they take their half-hearted migratory V's to the north end of Long Island!

    That sweater, and the tale of its migration, is shocking.

  4. Hi, thatdamngreendress, there's also a feather miniskirt that seems to match the vest in case you want to be a very expensive flamingo this coming Halloween.

  5. Hi, Gigi, thanks, glad you enjoyed!

  6. J Crappery indeed. Nicely put.

  7. Hi, Dinster, welcome back! glad you enjoyed...

  8. Wellfedfred, you have made me laugh... but I must share a sad tale of woe - a little town 30 minutes up river from me has had to cull its Canada Geese - too much mess on the water front, always squacking, etc... I sure hope that doesn't happen to Big Brother,..Although I do feel we have been cut down in our prime when we were just starting to spend some hard-earned money!

  9. Hi, WMM, somehow I think we're safe from the sight of the Merchant Prince stalking wildfowl with a Remington 870. Unless there's a JC partnership with an ammo belt maker?

  10. OMG - the next partnership? Spanx and Remington 870? LOL!

  11. Very funny post. I think it is too bad that our Canadian sisters (and brothers) have to suffer this unfair deal. They are likely to vote with their feet and who'd blame them?

  12. WMM - if you think about it, there's BRIGHT ORANGE and CAMO all over the website already.

  13. Lane, I held my breath when Ralph Lauren opened in Paris, but the company had done its homework, and RL is beloved beyond belief. And by the way, the RL store in London is always mobbed. So I am selfishly grateful that if JC had to insult a foreign power, it did not choose a country that already has a RL presence. There's a limit to the electoral power of my feet.

  14. Hi, ClosetCrisis, glad you enjoyed!

  15. lol loved your comment about Jenna Lyons on the Bourbon & Pearls blog today, what exactly is so great about her? I'm a bit underwhelmed.

  16. Welcome, LR, working on that one.


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