Jim Shulman: The Paris shop was the go-to place in Pittsfield for ladies’ fashions | History


The Paris shop was opened in Pittsfield in 1921 by Abraham Schwartz and his stepfather, Isadore Koblinsky, on North Street. It operated 58 years, becoming one of the city’s most popular local apparel shops. 

In the 1950s and 1960s downtown Pittsfield had over 100 retail businesses, with the bulk of them apparel stores.

One of these that always puzzled me, at least for its name, was The Paris shop. The store was a small family-run operation that stocked the latest in women’s outfits, dresses, skirts, blouses, sweaters and more.

My mother and sisters were frequent customers for the latest fashions. Many of my classmates got their high school prom gowns there and eventually their wedding dresses as well.

The store was popular and the salespeople were helpful people. One of my friends recently shared when shopping for her wedding gown in the 1970s, she picked out a beautiful dress and the clerk quoted her a very reasonable price.

My friend gave a deposit and when she returned, she learned the wrong price was given. The correct price was nearly four times the amount she was quoted. Despite the error, the store owner made good on the original offer.

This owner was Abraham “Abe” Schwartz, who was not only a nice guy but a hard-working and honest businessman and the uncle of my close friend, Rhoda Pomerantz. Abe was originally from Tarnow, Poland, and came to this country in 1910 at the age of 10.

His mother, Pauline, a young divorcee, wanted to find a better life and place to raise her son. They settled in Chicago where she met and married a skilled tailor named Isadore Koblinsky. He and Pauline had three more children including my friend Rhoda’s mother, Ann.


The founders of

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TikTok can’t get over huge Indiana school with fashion room, auto shop and natatorium

The size and amenities of an Indiana public high school were shown off in viral TikTok videos, and the internet is amazed.

The Carmel High School DECA club took TikTok viewers on a tour of the school, which offers plenty more than a typical high school.

Their gyms and cafeterias — plural — only touch the surface of what the Indianapolis-area school provides students. If the gyms weren’t enough, they also have their own wrestling room and natatorium, an indoor swimming center.

Carmel High School features a spacious auditorium and modern library, along with a cafe, planetarium and its own TV studio and live radio room.

The tour continued, as viewers got a peek into the school’s auto shop, wood shop and one of their many cooking rooms.″ data-ylk=”slk:A second video;elm:context_link;itc:0″ class=”link rapid-noclick-resp”A second video showed multiple symphony rooms and rooms dedicated to fashion, e-sports and jewelry.

“Might as well be its own city,” one TikTok commenter said.

“This is where movies are filmed,” another said.

The videos captured the attention of TikTok, where they were viewed more than 6 million times. They’ve also circulated on Twitter, with one being watched more than 24 million times as of Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Carmel High School has an carmelhigh-school-7151″ data-ylk=”slk:enrollment of 5,414;elm:context_link;itc:0″ class=”link rapid-noclick-resp”enrollment of 5,414 and is ranked among the top high schools in Indiana, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Carmel is also one of the wealthiest cities in Indiana, with a median household income of $115,109.

The tour was getting some commentators the itch to re-enroll in school.

“I’m 25 and I wanna go here,” one person said.

“Can I attend Carmel High School as a 20-year-old,” one commenter asked.

The frozen pizza section in Wisconsin store goes on.

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Akinyi Odongo: Fashion guru who dressed Margaret Kenyatta, Martha Karua

 Akinyi Odongo has dressed people of note including former first lady Margaret Kenyatta and Martha Karua.

When it comes to fashion, Akinyi Odongo, OGW, is a name to reckon with. She has dressed people of note, from former first lady Margaret Kenyatta since 2013, to Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua, and many other dignitaries.

When former US President Barrack Obama visited during his summit, she was the only fashion designer that participated at the United Nations and exhibited her work. Her work in fashion also saw her receive the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW) award last year.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, therefore, that once again, she was the only individual from the fashion industry who was recently appointed as part of the newly unveiled Talanta Hela committee, but how she ended up there is a lesson in courage and in the power of speaking up.

In an interview with Standard Group’s Charles Otieno for the KTN Show, History Makers, Akinyi tells the story of how the appointment came about.

“Last year in November there was the Creative Summit that was done at the Kenya National Theatre. The CS was the guest of honour and it was a space where creatives were supposed to put in their views and talk about their challenges and the things they wanted the ministry to get involved in,” she says.

She was present at the meeting as somebody had invited her, but the more she listened, the more surprised she became – the conversation was mostly about music, yet the creative industry entails a lot more than that.

“Of course, the problems in the music industry are genuine problems and they are great concerns but then I asked myself, ‘Creative summit?’ The creative economy is quite wide – there is music,

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