This Bird's been aflutter all week and wanted to share just a short peep about the new shopping/restaurant center, The Bravern. Per the Neiman Marcus preview post, I had promised to do a recap of the overall tour. We were given a sneak peek at the shops prior to the grand opening weekend, and several of the stores were still getting their final touches, as were the restaurants. It's amazing what a few days can do, as the whole complex looked completely finished upon returning over the weekend. The Magpie was treated to an evening event, after the grand opening crowds had gone, and had a chance to leisurely wander the floors again. In the calm of night, the structure felt like a sleeping giant, with the soft glow of finished storefront windows bathing the walkways in light. It had been filled with people only hours before. I confess to a strange, jaunty love of walking through an empty space that is normally full of crowds. A bewitching hour, indeed, being able to quietly commune with the displays and quietly admire all the pretty baubles.

I could wax poetic over the luxury brands that now reside in Bellevue, and the fact that we now have an Anthropologie within a few minutes' drive from work (danger!), but the Magpie would instead rather say that it was the invisible things that impressed her the most. Having seen the construction crews working so hard only days before, still hanging signs and finishing up the facades and interiors, stores with no shelves, much less the merchandise to place on them -- so many people worked amazingly hard to give everything a proper finish. Having seen the "before" stage, and then being able to see the "after" state in such a quick turnaround, the people who worked on these stores and got them up and running deserve a Jaunty nod.

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