IKEA Centennial is, like, whoa (a preview)
Frankly, I'm a little embarrassed to be so excited about a furniture store. Still, at today's press preview and tour of the brand-spanking-new IKEA Centennial, which opens July 27, it was clear that the store does not fail to live up to the hype, at least for what it's hyped to be: a giant, intuitively laid-out palace of sleek, Euro-tastic, impeccable design at inexpensive prices that also has meatballs and herring. All of which was enough to draw out no fewer than three Westword writers and two of our random guests, whose time IKEA immediately justified by offering up the meatballs and herring first.
After lunch, which fellow journalist Joel Warner and I were pleased to note we absolutely destroyed, it was time for a tour of the store, and we all split off into different groups; Joel and I got the "tea lights" group, along with fellow writer Jenn Wohletz and a our tiny entourage, plus three women from the staff of Colorado Parent. Since Joel and I were out to recreate the time we went to Circus Circus and Jenn hardly ever says anything that's not a masturbation reference, tensions within the group were immediately apparent.
So many meatballs.
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Best escape plan ever.
First stop: the children's play area, cleverly called Småland, which featured a ball pit that Jenn was all over. Joel quickly discovered a cabinet with a seemingly inexplicable length of rope in it (the tour guide did not appreciate our kid-hanging/lassoing jokes); she explained that it was some sort of elaborate escape route. Which I didn't fully understand, but it seemed pretty awesome -- like you kind of hoped there would be an emergency.