Sunday, May 31, 2015

"Souvenirs are perishable;

fortunately, memories are not."
       ~Susan Spano 

A collection of post cards of New York City that I bought at the flea market got me thinking about souvenirs.  With Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, does anyone even send postcards?  I see racks of them in shops on the Boardwalk or on the streets of New York City.  I guess there are still some who receive postcards, but I wonder if any of those people are under 80 (just kidding).   

Souvenir is French for remembrance or memory.  In doing a little research for this article, I found it interesting that there were numerous articles on how to budget souvenir cash at Walt Disney World.  Based on what I read, it seems several hundred dollars is the usual amount spent on "stuff".

The tourism industry designates tourism souvenirs as commemorative merchandise associated with a location, often including geographic information and usually produced in a manner that promotes souvenir collecting.   Think shot glasses, plates, magnets, mugs.  Ashtrays used to be big, but I guess the demise of smokers has impacted that production.  The research indicated that throughout the world that the souvenir trade is an important part of the tourism industry serving a dual role, first to help improve the local economy and second to allow visitors to take with them a memento of their visit, ultimately to encourage an opportunity for a return visit, or to promote the locale to other tourists. 
All the cards I bought had never been used, and that always fascinates me because I wonder why they were purchased...with the thought of sending them?  or for a scrapbook?  You ever wonder how many pieces for scrapbooks live their lives in shoe boxes or pretty decorated boxes never to see the light of day or a page in a scrapbook?

I like to study the backdrop in picture postcards...check the clothes in the close-up of the one card...

This group has a NYC snow scene...
Of course, the showstoppers...several of the World Trade Centers...
Don't forget the Statue of Liberty...and here I will confess to a collection of mine...Lady Liberty herself...
This is a neat photo souvenir...selfie done antique style...with a real camera and printed for us to absorb decades later.
Again, just looking at these post cards, you realize how much technology has impacted even the idea of souvenirs.  In a hundred years, what will there be?  Castoff I-phones?  I-pads?   Many of the souvenirs seen on the tables at flea markets and in vintage shops truly look as though they have come from another planet. Probably the best sellers today are the t-shirts or the sweatshirts since I do see those on both tourists and locals in our area.

Maybe Jarod Kintz has a unique look at souvenirs...hold the stuff...
"When I visit England, I want to bring back the best souvenir an American can get: A British accent."

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