S's particular horror of this place is the awful chemical smell exhaled by thousands of imported fabrics, linens, place mats and miscellaneous knick-knackeries. Mine is its acreage of garish colour, and the aisles of essentials for faintly alarming female hobbies, like scrap-booking and lampshade-making.
After that, we were drawn like moths to a flame into The Fabric Warehouse, in all sorts of ways a refreshing contrast, and where, tellingly, S is on first-name terms with the jovial proprietor.
I love this place because it's exactly what its name suggests - a warehouse, with a concrete floor and hundreds of rolls of fabric stacked around the walls and propped up in the middle. It steadfastly refuses to "sell" itself. And the customers, mostly but not all women, prowl about, eyes narrowed, one hand extended to sample weight and texture and general appeal. What they're really doing is imagining, and these days, in apparel as in other fields, that's something to respect.
The store has a glittery selection of buttons and trims that I would once have reeled away from. Tango now dictates otherwise.
And the proprietor has recently recently installed this splendid rogues' gallery of tailor's dummies, although the bloke doesn't fit in and is due for eviction, he says.
(I apologise for the quality of these last two images - they were taken on my new phone, which pretends to have a camera.)
Also spotted in the store, this wonderful pair of PVC - "my partner hates them" - boots.
The upshot of 30 minutes absorbed browsing was that I fell for a delicious length of blue and white silk to sew into god-knows-what, and S bought a dress's worth of stretchy teal velvet for a tango dress. I suspect, though, that we both had Buenos Aires in mind.