Cutesy Shop Liberated Me from the Bush Years

Not even the shopping column provides escape from liberal politics in the Times. Thursday Styles section featured a "Critical Shopper" column by contributor Mike Albo, who wroteabout an annoyingly cutesy shop in the hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint called Fred Flare. Albo impressively gotsome liberalpoliticsoff his chest without using the words "George," "Bush," or "W."

...everything here is just so CUTE! And cool and fun and witty! Band-Aids that look like strips of bacon ($9)! A make-your-own-fashion origami kit ($12)! The actual cheeseburger phone from Juno ($26)! It's totally weird, but after a quick promenade through the store, some deeply repressed part of myself that has been buried for years under a morose cloud of apocalyptic doom was finally freed. The boppy tween girl inside me was unleashed!

I didn't realize I was so starved for lightheartedness. But it makes sense: If you feel as if you have been emotionally, professionally and politically run over by a tank for the last, say, eight years, then the well-selected, fun merchandise and carbonated energy of Fred Flare will bring a smile on your cautious, crabby face.

Barack Obama must be a co-owner.