Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Our new Ikea

We went to Ikea for dinner. We have gone insane.

Tonight we went to the new Ikea (in East Palo Alto) for dinner. We didn’t actually buy anything, which is a first for me and Ikea; we just spent 20 minutes looking for parking; fought our way through the crowds; ordered meatball dinners; spent another five minutes looking for a table; ate; let the kids play in the children’s furniture area for a while; and went home.

When did going to a furnishings store for dinner become a non-insane idea? I don’t think that even big city department stores in the early 1900s were dinner destinations.

It’s absurd, and yet I’m very pleased to have an Ikea so close by. Now we’re every bit as good as Emeryville! The great East Bay-Silicon Valley competition rages on….


  1. We too love Ikea. I actually seem to have an entire vocabulary from the store, because when I watch renovation shows on TV (esp. “Changing Rooms”), I can identify the objects by name. And yes, that is worrisome. In the meantime, the smoked salmon open-faced sandwich is really great food.

  2. I know there are people who disparage Ikea, but I can’t see why. Yes, you have to put the furniture together yourself, but once you learn the basics of how they design things, you can put together ANYTHING that they sell. They’re admirably consistent in their tools and methods. And the meatballs and ligonberry soda are good, too.

    I suppose that for me, Ikea has always been something of a “destination.” The first one I went to was outside Philadelphia, when I was a graduate student; it was a hike to get out there, but it was a godsend. And with the kids, going to Emeryville was like an all-day excursion comparable to climbing El Capitan. Presuably, now that it’s so close by, I might think of it less as a “destination,” but who knows.

    If I get really desperate this week, I might take the kids there….
    TITLE: ikea east palo alto
    BLOG NAME: medmusings
    DATE: 10/19/2003 09:41:46 PM
    update: Alex’s family likes it too! IKEA’s online catalogue… to much fanfare, ikea opened yesterday, and although i wanted to go, tania had stuff to do, so we had a blast there this afternoon, even though we forgot to use…

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