Pages

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Discover more at Peachtree Gifts

Georgina Young-Ellis visits Peachtree Gifts to purchase a last-minute gift

Originally published Thursday, February 01, 2018



Here's a situation that has happened to me more than once: I've been invited to a birthday party. The invitation was sent at the last minute, and the party is that night. I've got to bring a card at the very least, but I'd also like to get a little gift.

Fortunately, I live near Multnomah Village — where there are lots of shops in which to find fun and interesting presents. However, I'm short on time and can't wander around from shop to shop. What do I do?

I turn to the store that always saves me in situations like this: Peachtree Gifts.

I can't tell you how many times I've popped into Peachtree, not only to grab a cute card and even cuter gift but also to pick up wrapping paper or a nice gift-bag, party plates and napkins, and presents for every occasion. I can rely on them having just the thing I need.

I always get my Christmas cards there — I like the ones printed on recycled paper — and always find festive party supplies.

This year, unusual socks were on my niece's Christmas list. And that's the thing about Peachtree Gifts — as I pondered where I could get unusual socks without running around to a bunch of stores, Peachtree Gifts sprang to mind. Perfect!

When my cousin was having a birthday, what did I find at Peachtree that I knew she would like? Monogramed stationary — her being of the generation (like me) that still sends note cards. What do I do when I realize that Mother's Day is less than a week away and I still haven't gotten a card for my mother and mother-in-law? I dash over to Peachtree Gifts and find just the right ones.

Now that Valentine's Day is approaching, there's no better place to find just what you need for your dear ones. The store is Valentine's Central, with jewelry, novelty items and cards.

As a matter of fact, owner Petie Farkas said she has been expanding the card section of the store, and now it takes up much of the back half of the space, where you'll find an abundance of humorous and meaningful cards for every occasion.

Having just celebrated the store's fifth anniversary last November, Farkas prides herself — especially now in the cold winter months — on making sure the space always has a fresh, fun, bright and cheerful feel to it. And not only is Peachtree Gifts (nestled into a nook between Nectar Frozen Yogurt Lounge and Umpqua Bank at 7843 S.W. Capitol Highway) a mainstay for those who live in Southwest Portland, but Farkas is grateful for the community that has embraced her business as well.

"What is wonderful about Multnomah Village," she shared, "is that it has the feeling of a small town within a big, metropolitan city. We see our customers over and over, and we love being a part of that community and gaining that connection with them.

"We feel like we can be your neighborhood card and gift shop," she added, "with small surprises that you'll come across here and friendly service."

Farkas does all the buying herself, so "if there's something exciting that you want to see, let us know," she said. "We want you to feel like there's something new to discover every time you come in."

I know that has been my experience with Peachtree Gifts, and I'm sure it will be yours too. Visit Peachtreegifts.com to learn more.

Evaluation: Extraordinarily sincere!

DIGG

Priscilla Nails Spa

Columnist Georgina Young-Ellis gives Priscilla Nails Spa a 'Very Sincere' rating

Originally published Monday, December 18, 2017



I'm not the kind of gal who always sports a flawless manicure, and I usually only opt for a pedicure in the summer when people will actually see my feet.

I do like to get my nails done every now and then for special occasions, or just to make myself feel fancy. But even then, I tend to just go with the basic manicure and forego the gel, acrylic, French and other specialty types of manicures that exist.

When I lived in that "other" city, the one I swore I wouldn't go on and on about, nail salons were on every corner and they were cheap. By the time I left two years ago, a nice — and I mean nice — manicure could be had in my neighborhood for $10. The pedicure was $15, and sometimes you could get a combo for $20.

Granted, there are plenty of upscale nail salons in that city that charge a heck of a lot more, but in general, it's one of the few things that are significantly cheaper there than in Portland. I guess mani/pedis are pricier here because there aren't as many salons, and it doesn't seem like as many people get them.

Wait — does that go with or against the law of supply and demand?

Anyway, after I moved here, the first nail salon I went to was the one closest to my house, one that I could actually walk to. At the time, a manicure there was $14. The place was OK, and the mani or pedi always turned out nice. But one day, they were too crowded to take me, so I drove to another place a mile or so away and discovered a salon that, while not cheaper, was prettier, friendlier and did just as nice of a job.

The place I'm talking about is Priscilla Nails Spa (9051 S.W. Barbur Blvd.; 503-224-3977; priscillanailspa.com).

Though they seem to do steady business, I've never had to wait and the technicians are just as sweet as can be. They do ask you to purchase your own little kit consisting of a nail file and buff for $1 — a bit more, I think, for the pedicure, which also comes with toe separators — but you can bring the kit back every time. That makes the experience a little more environmentally friendly in that those things aren't being used and then thrown away every time by the salon.

(Speaking of conscientious nail care, I am aware that OPI polish doesn't test on animals, so I tend to choose that brand. Priscilla Nails Spa uses it, as do many other salons.)

Anyway, a Classic Manicure is $15 at Priscilla (which my previous salon now charges, too), and a Classic Spa Pedicure is $25. Both services are done with the utmost attention and care, and leave you feeling pampered and pretty. Of course, Priscilla Nails Spa has lots of other tempting services, including even fancier spa manis and pedis — hot stone, green tea and more — plus waxing, brow and lash tinting, and facials.

They are open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sundays by appointment. Though walk-ins are always welcome, as the holidays approach it might be good to make an appointment during typically busy times of the day.

Priscilla Nails Spa is currently sporting a banner outside, letting you know the business is under new management, but the only change I can see is that they've painted the walls in lovely, soothing colors and freshened the look up a bit. I recognized the same faces among the staff, and they're just as friendly and sweet as ever.

Yes, I know, everyone has their own favorite salon. But if you give Priscilla Nails Spa a try, it may just become your new fave! They'll take great care of you, and you'll always come away happy.

Evaluation: Very sincere

DIGG

Maplewood Coffee & Tea – a hidden treasure

Georgina Young-Ellis recommends this historic neighborhood gathering place in Maplewood

Originally published Sunday, October 01, 2017



Tucked away in a corner of the Maplewood community of Southwest Portland is Maplewood Coffee & Tea, a delightful little café that serves breakfast and lunch every day, and dinner the latter part of the week. You may have never chanced upon it because it is somewhat off the beaten path, in the midst of a lovely neighborhood, at 5206 S.W. Custer St. It seems like an unlikely place for a restaurant, or even a coffee house, sitting there surrounded by private homes. However, before its latest incarnation, it was a going establishment for years and years as a general store and post office that used to be referred to as the Green Store. From the time the Green Store opened in 1911 until it closed in 1976, it was the hub of the neighborhood, a place where people would post notices, get their mail, purchase grocery items and enjoy the penny candy and ice cream that was sold there. After it closed, the Green Store was sold and used as a residence until current owner Jo Whitsell purchased it in 2012 and converted it into Maplewood Coffee & Tea, keeping it true to its roots as a neighborhood meeting place.

The atmosphere is simultaneously cozy and spacious, with rustic wooden floors and tables spread out comfortably. You can relax while you eat or drink, play one of the board games they keep on hand or pick up one of the newspapers or magazines that are always available for your perusal.

When I popped in with Jon, we were not there to have a meal, but instead sampled a delicious hibiscus iced tea and a gorgeous decaf mocha while lounging in a sunlit corner. The food looked great, though, especially the pastries on display that come from Pearl Bakery and New Cascadia, including gluten-free and vegan options. The coffee comes from the local Extracto Coffee Roasters, and the teas from Jasmine Pearl Tea and Dragonfly Chai.

If you're there to munch, breakfast will get you waffles, frittatas, a breakfast bowl and more; plus, you can always add the divine-sounding thyme biscuit for a couple of extra bucks. For lunch there are inventive salads and sandwiches, and dinner offers roasted chicken, a sausage plate, a veggie burger and a vegan dinner bowl.

Order at the counter, and your food will be delivered to your table. They've got local and imported red and white wines, as well as beer and cider. Happy hour is every day from 4-7 p.m.; you can get beer or cider in $4.50 pints, while wine is a dollar off a glass and two dollars off a bottle to stay. Sundays, mimosas are just $6. Breakfast is served Monday through Wednesday until 11 a.m., and Thursday through Sunday until 2 p.m. Lunch is served all day, every day, and dinner is from 5-8 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.

I stopped on my way out and chatted with a nice lady who told me how much she and her family value Maplewood Coffee & Tea in the neighborhood. She said they've enjoyed bingo nights the second Thursday of every month, and trivia nights on the last Thursday of the month. It turns out you can even rent the space after hours for parties and such. Within walking distance from so many other nearby neighborhoods in Southwest Portland, Maplewood Coffee & Tea is an ideal place to enjoy a
leisurely Sunday brunch, an afternoon coffee and pastry, a healthy dinner, breakfast with the family or lunch with a friend. I live for discovering these hidden treasures, and I'm so glad I stumbled upon this one.

Evaluation: Extraordinarily sincere!

DIGG

The Fairy of Woods Memorial

The contribution of one leads to the pleasure of many in one Southwest Portland park, writes Columnist Georgina Young-Ellis

Originally published Saturday, July 01, 2017



Walking through Woods Memorial Natural Area one day recently, I came upon a beautiful arrangement of flowers and other natural objects set upon the round cover of an old water main that protrudes about two feet out of the ground.

Seeing that unexpected burst of color and creativity in the middle of the woods gave me a moment of joy. I admired it, took a picture and walked on.

A week or so later, I was on that same section of the Woods Creek Trail when I noticed the arrangement had been changed, with the old items removed and new ones in their place.

"Aha!" I thought, "We have a fairy in our woods!"

And then, during another walk in the natural area, I caught the fairy in the act.

A slight woman with blond curls and bright, blue-green eyes, she really did look like a fairy to me. I thanked her for her contribution to the beauty of the woods, and the next time I saw her she agreed to be interviewed for my column. Thus I learned her name is Donna Zerner, and that she calls her creations "nature mandalas."

My first assumption was that she was an artist, but she assured me that no, she has no talent in the visual arts. I beg to disagree. Nevertheless, Zerner is a writer and editor, a storyteller and even, upon occasion, a stand-up comedian.

I asked her what inspired her to make the mandalas and to return once a week or so, weather and motivation permitting, to refresh or remake them entirely. Her answer was simple: She does it for her own pleasure, and for that of others.

"If I can make one person smile," she said, "it's worth it."

I would hazard a guess that she has made more than one person smile. Though a lot of people just walk by while she's at work on a mandala, she says, others stop and thank her. She related that several people have told her, "No matter how depressed I am, seeing this always cheers me up."

Zerner started creating these mandalas a couple of years ago as a way to get off her computer and do something more grounded and tactile. She says arranging the colorful objects, sheltered by the trees while listening to the babbling creek and the singing birds, feels like an entrancing meditation. And seeing her careful work inevitably demolished by the elements and visiting creatures offers lessons in impermanence and non-attachment.

"It's like those Tibetan sand paintings," she says, "but with slugs."

The mandalas change with the seasons. She displays colorful flowers, feathers and robin's egg shells in the spring and summer, and mushrooms, holly berries, apples and red and yellow leaves in the cooler months. Zerner mainly uses objects she finds on the ground on her walk to the woods, though she will sometimes pick flowers from her own yard.

When children stop by, she invites them to "help the fairies decorate their ballroom for dancing," and offers them petals and stones to place where they want. She loves when passersby leave items — coins and crystals are regular contributions — and says, "I want everyone to feel free to add to and work on this; it should be a community activity."

I can't deny that Zerner blushed a bit when I told her I think of her as the fairy of Woods Memorial, and that I bet others do, too. In a way, I almost hesitated to reveal her identity, since I think some folks enjoy the mystery of the "fairy" who makes these beautiful offerings.

And yet, once I spoke to her and realized that she aims, as she says, to add beauty to a world that can feel bleak, and to inspire others to discover the joy of creativity in nature, how could I not consider her efforts supremely sincere and want to share them with you?

Sadly, just as the mandalas are impermanent, so may be her commitment to creating them. She will, she says, as long as she is inspired and life allows.

She did suggest that maybe those of us in Southwest Portland who enjoy the peaceful quiet of Woods Memorial Natural Area, its trails and creeks, its beauty, and the dense forest green, not spread the word around too far (like I'm doing right now).

Access to the park can be reached from a variety of entrances on Southwest 45th Avenue and on other streets between 45th and Southwest Capitol Highway. If you're not familiar with the area, I suggest you go to portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder, where you can download a map after searching Woods Memorial Natural Area.

And remember, like the fairy said, shhhh, it's a secret!

Evaluation: Extraordinarily sincere!

DIGG

'Perfect place' for environmentally-conscious carnivores

Georgina Young-Ellis enjoys the 'meaty goodness' at Block & Board in Burlingame


Originally published Friday, September 01, 2017

I only recently discovered the Block & Board butcher shop in Burlingame, and what a wonderful surprise it was! Several people had recommended it to me, and so, consolidating our need for deli meats, stuff to grill for the weekend and something for dinner, my husband and I stopped in.


Oh my gosh, it's nothing but meaty goodness from one end to the other.



Block & Board (8421 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.) offers take-out BBQ, including baby-back ribs and pulled pork, prepared in house; sliced meats by the pound, such as roast beef, ham and turkey—brined, rubbed, smoked and roasted on the premises; fresh meat in the butcher case, with items as unusual as duck breast, or as classic as New York steak; sandwiches to order; and even premium local wines and draft beers.



Here's the thing that really sets Block & Board apart, though: All of their meats are sustainably and humanely raised, and all come from local ranchers. I mean, really local, as in the ranchers deliver the meat to the store themselves on a regular basis. And trust me, you can taste the difference that makes.

We weren't able to wait to get home to sample a slice of the smoked turkey breast, which tasted like actual turkey, but with a hint of cumin. We had the barbequed baby-back ribs for dinner and were similarly wowed by the fantastic flavor of the meat, as well as the spicy, not-too-sweet sauce.

We also got a pound of the house-made pork, parsley and parmesan sausage links for Saturday's grill. And again, we were astounded by the incredible, fresh flavor.

Erick Paulson is the owner of Block & Board. He says — and it turned out to be true — that when you eat meat that is so thoughtfully raised, there is more nutrition in it, and it actually fills you up more than commercially-raised meats.

I think we've all gotten used to the pre-packaged meat that comes from a long way off and, even if it's grass-fed or humanely raised, tastes sort-of bland. We don't even notice it anymore. But the meat you get at Block & Board has the kind of flavor I imagine meat tasted like in the days when one got it directly from the rancher within a day or so of its butchering.

Now, I realize that all this talk of meat may not be appealing to those who don't partake, but as Paulson said, "If a vegan were to open a butcher shop, this is what it would look like." I totally saw, and tasted, what he meant.

The products he sells make you feel like you are doing the right thing by the animals that provide the meat. You are also doing the right thing for the environment by eating local products that don't have to be shipped far, and that are raised by ranchers who are protective of the land on which they raise their animals.

By the way, Block & Board also sells prepared sandwiches and sides that sound amazing. How about a slow-smoked pork shoulder sandwich in house-made barbecue sauce, topped with apple celery slaw on a Portland French pub bun? Or the Burlingame Bánh mí: slow-roasted candied pork belly on a Portland French baguette with Jalapeño-ginger aioli, pickled vegetables and cilantro. Or the Smoke House Cuban: house-made ham, and smoked, roasted pork, grilled and pressed with Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard?

Whoa.

Sides include beef chili, burnt-ends baked beans, potato salad, mac and cheese — all made in-house. You can either dine in or take out. Add a glass or bottle of unique, local ales, ciders, IPAs or Pilsners — or a glass of Yamhill Valley Vineyards wine — and you're all set. Other wines from around the region are sold by the bottle to take home too.

Block & Board opened just a year and a half ago, according to Paulson, and it's an excellent addition to the other popular Burlingame establishments nearby. It's also a dream come true for meat eaters who want to do the right thing for their palate, and the planet.

Rating: Extraordinarily sincere

Saturday, November 4, 2017

La Moule: Mussels and Oh, So Much More!

I was looking for a great place to take Jon for his birthday. We'd been to a few fancy-schmancy places around Portland, and, while suitably impressed, felt like something a bit more casual for this occasion. I searched around, rather at the last minute, for a place that we'd like and that had a table available with just two days notice. After exploring options for Steakhouses, Italian, and more, I came across La Moule in SE Portland. They had a yummy sounding Steak Frites on the menu, which I knew Jon would like, and I'm a sucker for really good mussels. With a name that literally means, "the mussel," we decided this place might fit the bill. Oh my gosh, did it. On a Friday night in early November it was hopping, but our table was ready though we got there a bit early. While not exactly intimate, La Moule's two candlelit dining rooms have an air of romance about them. There are booths for three or more diners and round cafe tables for two.

Since the prices were quite reasonable, we decided to splurge. Jon ordered a crab salad as an appetizer and I ordered the steak tartare, (which I'd never had but always fantasized about). Though it took that first course a little longer than ideal to arrive, we sipped our wonderful Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, and engaged in the entertaining conversation we always enjoy, even though we've been married nigh on 30 years. Finally, the appetizers arrived and they were beyond what we'd expected. Jon's Dungeness crab was served in a delicious, garlicky-type mayo on a bed of fresh, snappy green beans. It was heaven. My steak tartare was served with a quail egg cracked in the middle, on top of a hot beef bone with marrow. One had only to scrape out the marrow and mix it and the egg into the steak, then enjoy the horse-radishy deliciousness of this ultra fresh, raw beef, that came with slices of french baguette. Wow.

Our main courses arrived more promptly than the appetizers, in perfect time, in fact, and again, we were bowled over. His steak frites was a juicy square of - I'm not sure what particular cut - but was cooked to perfection and melted in your mouth just like the herb butter that was drizzled on top. The frites (french fries, in case you didn't know) were slim and crispy, served with a garlic mayo. Jon gave me plenty of bites and we agreed it was a plate of pure heaven. I had the Moule Marniere, which is basically a huge bowl of mussels served in a broth of white wine, olive oil (I think), butter (I think) and garlic (yes, everything here is drenched in garlic). The mussels were huge, tender, fresh morsels, that, like, like the steak, melted in your mouth. I later asked the incredibly fun, nice, and efficient waitress where they were from and she said they come from just up north in Washington, delivered every day.

We had no room for dessert, but were so impressed overall, we vowed to come back. This place really had it all: hip factor, great food, great atmosphere (though a tad loud, just so you know), and great service. It was a departure from our usual dining out spots, and an experience we were so glad we got to have. Jon declared it the perfect birthday dinner!

Evaluation: Extraordinarily sincere!

2500 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202
Lamoulepdx.com
Reservations through OpenTable.com
(971) 339-2822


DIGG

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hillsdale Library - Revisiting Their Sincerity

I think it could be argued that the Multnomah County Library system is one of the most progressive and inclusive in the country. About a year ago,  I wrote a piece for the Sincerity column that I do for the SW Community Connection paper in Portland about how very sincere the Hillsdale Library, part of the county system, is, mentioning that they have a good Spanish language section. http://portlandtribune.com/scc/125-opinion/308713-184235-hillsdale-library-a-people-friendly-place-
Well, I'm feeling like I need to rethink that evaluation. They have removed the Spanish language section for adults, and replaced it entirely with Russian. As a matter of fact, it looked to me like that was the only other language for adult readers that the library now features besides English. Though I know there's a large Russian population in Portland, I also know that the Spanish speaking population is growing. For the library to replace all Spanish language books for adults with Russian, in this Trump-era, Russian loving, Mexican-hating atmosphere we live in, it just seems like an iffy choice. They probably won't see this post, and that's okay, just want to get it off my chest. I let them know in person that I wasn't happy with their choice. I have nothing against Russian immigrants living in my vicinity, nothing at all. I welcome them like I welcome all newcomers to the U.S. But let's not send the wrong message by excluding Spanish speakers either.

Evaluation: Kind of sincere


DIGG

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Casa Vaca

All you have to do is scroll down this blog a couple of posts to see how passionate I am about what constitutes a good taqueria. As a matter of fact, you'd better not use that sacred word, "taqueria" to describe your taco joint unless you're going to present me with an authentic, delicious, Mexico City style street taco that whisks me back to the Distrito Federal at the first bite. Sadly, so, so very sadly, the tacos at Casa Vaca do not. I'm particularly sad about this because Casa Vaca is in Multonmah Village, Portland, a ten minute walk from my house. Imagine our glee when Jon and I thought we could buzz up to the Village and grab a delicious and authentic taco anytime we wanted. Such is not the case.

It was actually my brother and I, a D.F. taco expert in his own right, who checked this place out about a week after it recently opened. We were impressed with the lovely and rustic interior (suspiciously lovely and rustic, my brother observed, for what usually constitutes a taqueria), happy to see the local beers and other local items they feature, but were terribly disappointed when we were served two plates of tacos: one of Carne Asada and the other Al Pastor (good barometers for taco-sampling) upon the appropriately small, soft, corn tortillas. Once we had a bite of each, we agreed that the tortillas were good and fresh, but both fillings were bland and very far from the authentic flavor we expected. As a matter of fact, they weren't even close. The same lack of flavor applied to the rice and the beans served on the plate, though the kale salad was okay. Wait a minute: KALE SALAD? Served with tacos? Oh, come on, this may be Portland, but that's carrying things way too far.

No, no. The tacos at Casa Vaca will not do, and I have no desire to try anything else they serve, which, is mostly burritos and some appetizers, as I recall - my mind is too muddy from grief over the lackluster tacos to really remember, and I can't find the menu on line. Owners of Casa Vaca, if you happen to read this and want to know what I think a real taco should taste like, go here: La Fuente, Tigard, I mean, actually go there and eat a taco. Or go to the taco truck outside of Village Merchants on Division Street, called Lindo Michoacan. Both those places serve Michoacan style tacos which have thicker, bigger tortillas, but are nevertheless fantastic, or check out Porque No on Hawthorne, whose tacos are a little fancy for me but have exquisite flavor. I'm afraid you could use a little schooling in the art of the taco.

Evaluation: Not sincere at all
(clarification: I'm not saying there are not some sincere aspects to the place, but no place with such disappointing food can rate any higher than this on the sincerity scale.)


DIGG

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Taqueria La Fuente, Tigard Oregon

The word "taqueria" always stops me in my tracks. There's something so authentic sounding about it. When we recently moved to Portland, I was worried that we wouldn't be able to find good, authentic Mexico City style tacos - you know, the ones made from fresh, soft corn tortillas with grilled and other sorts of meats inside. I wasn't so worried about Mexican food in general, since I'm pretty skilled at making it, but I can't make street tacos taste like they do in Mexico City.

So one day, as Jon and I were tooling around in Tigard, we saw the sign for Taqueria La Fuente and were intrigued. Upon their window, another sign stated that they make their tortillas fresh, so in we went for a bite of lunch. We had a couple of tacos each and were completely blown away. There's a lady in the kitchen within view, making the fresh tortillas to order, and though they're a little thicker and larger than the Mexico City style, they were fantastic, as was the grilled steak that went inside. As it turns out, the state of Michoacán, Mexico has its own reputation for great street tacos. If you didn't know, Michoacân is in central Mexico, west of Mexico City and borders the coast. I may have driven through it, but am quite certain I never had a taco there. Fortunately, I now have La Fuente to provide them for me.
Tacos Mexicanos with rice and beans

However, tacos isn't all that La Fuente does right. They make a mean chile relleno, excellent enchiladas, fine tortas, and tamales to die for. As a matter of fact, at Christmas time, we were looking for a source of Christmas tamales because (for anyone who wasn't raised in a Mexican-influenced town, like I was, such as Tucson, Arizona) tamales are a tradition on Christmas Eve in Mexico and parts of the American Southwest. I have carried that tradition with me to the east coast and back, but, again, was worried I wouldn't find them in Portland. Well, not only are good tamales not hard to find here, but lots of places do them up for Christmas, and you can order them for about $20 a dozen. We had gone into La Fuente to eat a few weeks before Christmas, asked about them, and the server gave us one to sample. Oh, yeah. We ordered a dozen of the beef tamales and they won the seal of approval from my family.

The staff at La Fuente are personable and sweet, even on Cinco de Mayo when the plethora of gringos lining up at the door didn't disrupt their easy, friendly flow. They make decent margaritas, have a good selection of Mexican beers and sodas, and, though the place is far from fancy, it's clean, comfortable, and the prices can't be beat.

I have lots of other Mexican joints to try in the Portland area, but for now, I'm all about La Fuente.

Evaluation: Very sincere

Taqueria La Fuente
12198 SW Main St, Tigard, OR 97223
Phone:(503) 639-3653




DIGG

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Is it Really the Best Buy?

In New York, the Best Buy stores are okay; they will sell you things that you need/want at pretty good prices, but like most big box stores, I think most people would agree, they are soulless. This is not a criticism, but rather a simple observation. I went to those stores because they were handy.

I'll admit that I went to the store here in Portland, because I was used to going there; I pretty much knew that when I went in it would seem familiar (which is, of course, part of the marketing strategy of all such franchise or chain establishments) and I was right. I felt right at home and pretty much knew where everything would be located. I have two surprising experiences to relate:

  • I bought a "smart" (Samsung) TV which after three months became a frustrating, annoying, and remarkably stupid TV. Without much real hope, I went back to the store to relate my experience. I had purchased the extended warranty, but that would only mean that they would fix it, but what I really wanted was for them to replace it with another brand (Sony) that I figured would be a better way to go. They patiently listened to the issues I was experiencing, as well as to my request for something out of the ordinary. The woman I spoke with had to go speak to her manager and I waited around for ten minutes, losing hope by the minute. She came back and said, "no problem, we can see that you're really unhappy so let us make it right." It was a true Twilight Zone moment. I felt as though I should check to see if this was one of those dreams where everything works perfectly, ya know?
  • Nevertheless, the second incident was even more bizarre. Georgina had been needing a new computer for quite some time and finally we decided to move on that. She wanted a Macbook, and I spent quite a lot of time making sure that we'd get the very best deal on a factory-refurb from Apple (we've had great luck over the years doing that). I placed the order. About 20 minutes later I randomly came across a Best Buy ad for exactly the same machine for $250 less than Apple! The only thing was, that I had to make the purchase online. Naturally, I called Apple to see what the heck was going on, and they said, well sometimes other stores had better deals than they could offer. Crazy huh? I canceled the Apple order and placed my order with Best Buy. In both cases the wait for the machine was like five days. No big deal. Georgina's new computer arrived. I installed appropriate software. It worked for 24 hours, and then began asking for passwords that no one on the planet had access to. I called their "Customer Service," and got nowhere (just like in NYC the Best Buy online customer service is a contradiction in terms), so I took it back to my local store, where they kindly took it back for another day to reinstall the operating system, which they said was very likely the problem. Well no. Got it back. Returned home. Installed software. It worked for 24 hours. That $250 was starting to seem like a very small price to pay for a working computer. I took it back yet again, and this time spoke with the store manager, telling him the entire story, and that I simply wanted my money returned. The Apple store was right around the corner where I could just walk in, buy a new computer and be done with it. He listened carefully to everything I had to say and then asked, "look, how about if I sell you a brand new machine with a $500 discount?" Picture me with my mouth hanging open. We're not in New York City anymore!

There's something in the water here, and it works!-)

Evaluation: Extraordinarily sincere
In Portland Oregon only... Everywhere else, you're on your own.


DIGG

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Medley Tea House Cafe

As promised, I'm back to feature another one of the treasures to be found in Multnomah Village, SW Portland. Every time my husband and I make the 10 minute walk from our house to the Village we're charmed at how bustling and lively it is, and have come to truly rely on many of the businesses there several times in a week. Our bank (local to the Pacific NW) is there, as is our doctor's office, as well as the holistic pet food store where we buy kitty food, the card shop which is often helpful for special occasions, a great little book store, a fantastic toy store for our nephew and niece, and, of course, the many really excellent restaurants that we've come to love.

Today's post focuses on Medley Tea House Cafe - so much more than just tea! The first time we stopped in there for brunch was because Fat City Cafe (see previous post) was too busy and we didn't want to wait for a table. This cozy, low-ceilinged restaurant would be right at home in a rural English village - and not in a cloying way at all. Decorated with all kinds of teapots, it's sunny, each table is different, and you can choose just the one that suits you. You can relax there with a cup of tea or coffee, or you can order food from their tantalizing and varied menu.

I love their Fediezeldicker Breakfast Plate with genuinely silken scrambled eggs...I wish I knew how they got them like that! Served with bacon, rosemary home fries and toast, it's the perfect breakfast. Julio's Breakfast Bowl is also delicious, with garlic and onion infused rosemary potatoes, chunks of bacon, spinach and sun dried tomatoes, topped with two fried eggs. There are also health smoothies on the menu, crepes, a breakfast sandwich, bagels and more. And since I'm usually traveling in the company of gluten-free diners, Medley is perfect because they have a truly delectable selection of gluten-free scones, both savory and sweet, as well as other pastries and desserts, both vegan and otherwise. Lunch, served from 11:00 every weekday, features soups, salads and sandwiches, and brunch from 9-2:00 on weekends offers a variety of Eggs Benedict dishes, Chocolate French Toast and other delights. Some day, I'm determined to stop in for afternoon tea between 2 and 5 when they offer, besides their other yummy scones and pastries, finger sandwiches, crepes, and afternoon tea platters with an assortment of the above. I'm sure that no matter how proper I might feel partaking, the experience will still have that wonderful, relaxed Portland vibe about it which Medley seems to accomplish so perfectly.

To me, one of the funnest things about Medley is that, if you order tea from their vast tea menu, you get to choose your own pot and cup! This may sound a little girly, but even my rock-musician son was excited about it.

The service is friendly and attentive and the prices just right. We now make Medley a destination, rather than an over-flow spot. If you're looking for both charm and flavor, this is the place!

Evaluation: 
Very sincere

7881 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219
medleytea.com

DIGG

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fat City Cafe

Well folks, Jon and I have made quite the shift in lifestyle. We up and moved out of NYC, all the way across the country to Portland, OR! This is a spectacular place to live, we're finding, and so full of sincere establishments we've been too overwhelmed to single a particular one out for this blog. However, since we've been here now a couple of months, it's time to start sharing with you the many amazing businesses in this beautiful, Pacific NW town. Jon did a post yesterday, which you'll see below, and here's my first of what I'm sure will be many:

The morning after we arrived at our new home in Portland, we headed out to breakfast at Fat City Cafe, in the adorable Multnomah (pronounced: mult-NOH-mah) Village, which is a pleasant 15 minute walk from our house. Multnomah Village (MV) resides in the southwest area of Portland, the outer-lying environs of which are perhaps not highest on the Portland hipness scale, yet MV, along with the nearby community of Hillsdale, are actually kind of magnets for the hip set, not only because they're just so darn quaint (which hipsters ironically rather like) but because of the exceptional restaurants and pubs that abound.

When checking out the area during our house search a couple of months before, Fat City Cafe had called to us among those many eateries, so we had been looking forward to trying it. It's a cozy spot, serving breakfast, brunch and lunch only, with maybe ten or so tables, and seats at the counter. The walls are covered with license plates from around the country as well as other photos and bric-a-brac, but it manages to not be annoyingly kitchy. The servers are super friendly and made us feel warm and welcome right away. The day of our first visit, we both ordered a basic breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast (gluten free for Jon), and were delighted by how delicious it all was. The prices are amazing too, especially because Jon, being an oldster, had the same bacon and eggs under the heading of "Geezer Grub," so it was cheaper still.

We've eaten there a handful of times since and have loved everything we've tried, though we haven't done lunch yet, only breakfast. As a matter of fact, lunch gets pretty crowded there, as does brunch on the weekends so we mainly just go during the week so as to not have to wait. On that first day we went, we noticed that by 11:30 the place was already filling up with bearded, man-bunned types and their goth girlfriends. If the crowd prevents you from getting a table, however, don't hesitate to try one of the other great brunch spots in the village, none of which have disappointed yet. I'll get to those eventually, but for now, there's no doubt that I rate Fat City CafeExtraordinarily sincere!

FatCityCafe.Org
7820 SW Capital Hwy, Multnomah Village
SouthWest Portland, OR
503-245-5457

DIGG

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Buying a Range in Portland Oregon

The rare and elusive slide-in range. 
The concept seemed so simple. The slide-in range in our new home was on its last legs so we decided to buy a new one. Coincidentally we received a 20% "welcome to the neighborhood" discount  from Loews. We went in, chose the stove, paid for it, and were given a delivery date 7 to 10 business days in the future. Ten business days went by and, nothing. I had to call them to find out that the 7 to 10 had turned into another 7 to 10. So yeah, we agreed, stuff happens. Ten more business days dragged by and, again nothing! I called and was told that they weren't sure when the order would be filled. Got my money back, and after a bitter tweet directed at them, they grudgingly provided a $100 store credit. Better than nothing, right? At least they tried. Next, I found the same range on Amazon (to be fulfilled by The Home Care Company) with a delivery date 7 days in the future, a good week before Thanksgiving. We took the bait and all over again went through the same idiocy we'd gone through with Loews. Several days after Thanksgiving I severed that "deal," with nothing from that company but, gosh sorry since you don't like the deal you can cancel it. Suck it Home Care Company! Amazon, are you listening?

Finally, I searched the exact model of range I wanted within my zip code and discovered an outfit called Hutchins TV and Appliance, about 25 minutes from my home. I called and verified that they had the range, and then drove out and made the purchase. That was a Friday. Jimmy was the very laid back and knowledgeable salesman. We arranged for delivery on Tuesday. With Jimmy's help I understood the space that accepted our old range was more than 2 inches too small and that gave me Monday to fix it. I did that. The friendly delivery/installer, Trenton, arrived exactly on time, went about his business and provided clear instructions. An excellent experience all around!

Evaluation: Extraordinarily sincere!

Hutchins TV and Appliance

  • 512 Southeast Baseline Street
    Hillsboro, OR 97123
    (503) 648-2813
  • Store Hours
  • Monday - Saturday: 9am to 6pm
    And by Appointment Closed Sundays

DIGG

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

EB Productions Brings You...Azreal's Dissent!

As far as the sincerity level of this enterprise is concerned, I'll admit, I'm biased, but I just had to give it a shout out. My good friend Joyia Bradley and her film company EB Productions are about to embark on an amazing project. She has gathered a group of artists and producers, including her wife Mariana Rotenberg, to put together a short film called Azreal's Dissent, the first in a trilogy of shorts. I had the privilege of reading the script and it totally blew me away. It's edgy, dark, sexy, and hip: a modern myth in which Azreal, the Death Angel, tired of shouldering the world's grief, shrugs off her duties and upsets the the balance of life and death. After a year of no one in the world dying, Archangels Michael and Lucifer join forces in a fight to restore proper order, only to discover their enemy, Lilith, is rising to her destiny to oppose them.

I'm totally hooked on the idea of this film and so I wanted to spread the word about the Indiegogo campaign that's currently under way to put together funding.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/azreal-s-dissent
One of the perks the campaign offers is to be listed as a producer in the film credits, and that really caught my eye. I mean, how cool would that be? This project is on the road to being something really major, partly because Joyia and her team are hiring a well-known casting director to send some big-name talent their way. Yeah, this is serious.

My husband, Jon, and I have worked with Joyia in the past in many capacities, the three of us interchanging roles as actor or director, camera person, writer, etc. - my son has even written music for her films - so I'm familiar with her high level of professionalism, dedication...and, of course, sincerity. I consider her (and her family) family. I know this project is going to go far; I can't wait to see it in its finished state, and watch it succeed at film festivals, since, of course, that's where it will be headed. Jump on board and do what you can to help out. It's going to be a great ride.

Evaluation: Extraordinarily sincere!

Digg!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Seeking Suckers for Sears Sales Scams

Sears
 The image above was borrowed from
http://www.brandautopsy.com/2007/03/would_you_miss__2.html



Mr. Eddie Lambert
3333 Beverly Road, Mail Stop RR
Hoffman Estates , Illinois 60179
Case Number 3053753

Dear Mr. Lambert
I am writing to you because Sears sold me something that they did not have to sell (a fraudulent activity), and then lied about it.

Dec 5, 2014 I used your online interface to purchase a water heater along with an extended warrantee and installation. Six days later, December 11 - 7PM, I called Sears to find out why I had received neither call nor email about my "delivery and installation window" - only to be told they there were no installers in NYC, and that someone had called me earlier in the afternoon to let me know that my installation (though not the purchase of the Water Heater) order had been canceled. My phone shows no incoming calls, and certainly no messages. Needless to say I was not happy. What followed was the worst customer service I have ever encountered, and believe me when I say that I've run up against some real stand-outs. What follows here are the Sears Employee ID numbers of the people I spoke with (over a two hour period) trying to get this resolved 065272-Raul, 260928-Susie, 252609-Jonathan, and 251705-Emilio. There was another Sears rep who I first spoke with whose name and number I did not get - she put me on hold and never returned. After 15 minutes I hung up, called back and began to collect ID's. I was ultimately informed by Emilio, who represented himself as the installation manager for the entire region, that he had no one to whom he reported, that he was the final word on the matter. After an endless looping conversation he finally told me that Sears now only wanted to cancel the entire order and refund my money (in 3 to 5 business days) and that Sears was "no longer interested in my business." I know that all of my conversations with your employees were recorded. While I certainly do not come off sounding like the perfect customer, I do think you should listen to all of them.

Dec. 12 - NOON - My order still shows as "active" on the Sears site. At this point no money has been refunded. Ten minutes after my hellish time with Sears last night I called a local guy who has agreed to come out with a Water Heater and install it in basically the time window that Sears never provided (though it's costing me extra for the fast service and a water heater considerably more expensive than the one I was purchasing from Sears). My tenants have been impatiently doing without hot water for a week based on my agreement with Sears, and I had already arranged to take day off from work to assure that I would be available for the installation.

Same Day - 12:15 PM While I await the local installer, I've called a Sears customer service number 847-286-2500 to file an "Executive Complaint," (as suggested by an online source: Consumeriest.com). I'm at this moment - on hold again with a woman named Michelle-410417, who is actually making an effort to understand what I went through last night. She also found that the order had not been yet been canceled - they still intended to deliver a Water Heater to my door! She assures me that she is taking care of that even as we speak. I'm on hold again. She just came back on the call to let me know that her manager is, at this moment, pulling the phone records of my conversation with Emilio.

Sears needs new hold music!

1:08 PM I am now speaking with James-400533, the manager of Customer Solutions. He is making sure that the money I paid to Sears is indeed being refunded. At this time it is not yet showing on PayPal. James has offered me a $100 compensation gift card, and I have expressed to him that that amount is simply not enough. He let me know that $100 was the limit of compensation that he could offer, however he also informed me that I could escalate this to the corporate division, which I am doing with this correspondence. I figure at this point I am out a minimum of $500 because of what has gone on over the last week. I have stated all of my reasons above. James is arranging for the $100 gift card to be sent to me via email, and has expressed that that gift card is being given only as acknowledgement for my taking the time to let the corporate division know about what has happened - not as part of the direct compensation I am seeking.

2:00 PM - My local installer is here and has informed me that the work is going to cost an extra $75 because he has to solder something! It used to be that Sears was the company that protected me from unscrupulous plumbers and such. It's becoming increasingly difficult to see the difference. I am now requesting that Sears compensate my losses in the amount of $575.00.
Sincerely,
Letter Ends Here

Additional Info:
Dec 15 - 6:30 Called the number that James gave me. 1 800 479 6351 hit option #6 and asked for him because I still do not have the money that Sears owes me from the canceled order. I spoke with Maria (didn't get here company ID) who, when I asked to be transferred to a supervisor since Jim was nowhere to be found, just palmed me off onto another rep, Chris-410635 who in the fine example set by those who came before him - was as ineffectual as the rest of those set with the task of telling people why they should be loyal Sears shoppers even in the face of customer service that is out of touch with today's internet connected, blog savvy, world.

Jan 8 2015 - I received a call from Megan, in response to the letter above, who works in a division of the Sears Monstrosity ironically called "Sears Blue Ribbon Service" - basically she stonewalled me in the same way that those before her did. She informed me that that Sears does not and would not pay for the expenses I incurred through their inept and fraudulent sales techniques.

Jan 10 2015 - I let them know that I would be posting all of this online and anywhere else I deemed appropriate. They let me know that they didn't give a damn. Ah well, another giant corporation that has forgotten the reality that we the consumers are not fond of being taken advantage of.

The current Sears marketing taglines are  "Life. Well spent." and "Work hard, shop smarter." I'm suggesting that they make use of this new one "Thought You Were Getting a Good Deal, Right?"

To this date I still do not have that $100 gift card.  And on and on...

Same Day 4:43 PM - to clarify my last statement (written this morning) - I take that last line back - though I will not remove it:) coincidentally I  received that illusive gift card via email. According to my mail it was sent by Sears yesterday - two days short of a month after they offered it to me. Gosh thanks Sears! 

My advice - shop locally. Maybe pay a little more to the guy who will look you in the eye.) 

Peace!

Evaluation: 
You need to ask? Really?
Digg!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The PERFECT Slippers from The Shearing Shed

I recently got the most wonderful pair of slippers I've ever owned from a place called The Shearing Shed in Belmont, MA. I bought them online, Massachusetts being fairly local to New York where I live. The slippers are made right there in Belmont, a Made in the USA product. I ordered a size 7, though I wear a 7.5, because they didn't have half sizes. I was told to expect them to be snug at first, but that they would form to my feet. When they arrived, I was struck by how well made they were, and also by the beautiful, thick, warm sheep fleece inside and around the ankle. On the outside, they are a beautiful suede. They felt like heaven on my feet, but were indeed quite snug, especially with socks. Almost too snug. But Bob, the owner of the company had sent me a personal email when they were on the way, reminding me that they would be. I decided to put my faith in him, and sure enough, after about 3 days, they were perfect. Every other pair of sheepskin slippers I've ever owned ended up being too big after wearing them for a month or so, flopping around on my feet and not keeping them very warm. Now, several weeks later, these still fit like they were made just for me, and in fact, they were. Bob mentioned they made them when I ordered them. And they were only $49, shipping included. I'm wildly in love with them and hope they never get dirty or worn out. And yet, when they someday need to be replaced, I know right where I'm going to order a new pair. These will make great holiday gifts too!
The Shearing Shed is without a doubt...
Extraordinarily sincere!
http://www.shearingshed.com/Slippers.html

Friday, October 4, 2013

Traveling Green - Guest Post by Cliff Barre

Many people are switching to a green way of living.  This allows more sustainability within the environment as well as the opportunity to save yourself some money on energy and other costs. While you may not think of yourself as the most green or eco friendly savvy person on the planet there are small steps that you can take to achieve a more green way of living.  These steps can be incorporated into almost every aspect of life from daily life to commuting and even travel.  Travel is one of the easiest and best ways to make small switches towards being more green.  From sustainable resorts to eco friendly traveling methods, you can quickly become a green traveler.

Begin your green travel by starting at home.  One way to become a more earth friendly traveler is to start before you even leave for your trip.  Preparing your home and packing responsibly are both great ways to make your experience more eco friendly.  Prepare your home by unplugging all of your electronic devices.  There is no need for these to be plugged in, leaking energy while you are away.  Make sure to set your thermostat at a lower- or higher- temperature than you would need it to be at to stay comfortable.  If it is winter, be sure that the temperature is not too low that pipes will freeze.

Packing can be one of the most exhausting parts of planning for a trip, make it easier by packing green.  Make sure you pack a lot of mix and match outfits to avoid having one or more set outfit everyday.  Also opt for one coat instead of two.  Heavier planes and cars use more fuel and your lighter packing will help keep the weight down and ultimately reduce carbon emissions.

Once you have packed, prepared and taken your eco responsible mode of transportation to your destination be sure that you are maintaining the green attitude throughout the trip.  If you are staying in a cool climate keep drapes or blinds open in the daytime to naturally warm the room. Alternately, if you are in a warm climate keep the blinds or drapes closed to keep the sun from coming in and making the room hotter.  This will reduce your use of artificial climate control systems which will in turn be green friendly.

While it may be tempting to buy into the tourist trap chains in your specific travel area make sure that you are getting everything you need locally.  Just like when you're at home locally grown food and locally produced items.  This saves on the transportation rigors that are often bad for the environment.

There are many green travel destinations within the United States and Upstate New York has something to offer every green traveler.  From the exciting adventures on the Finger Lakes to other outdoor adventures, you will be able to connect with nature and do it responsibly.  If the great outdoors are not your type of fun, there are many different wine tours you can go on and the world's largest green shopping mall.  Destiny USA offers a green shopping environment and boasts many stores that are eco responsible.  You can find something for everyone at this mall.  Choosing Upstate New York as your green travel destination will allow you many different activities no matter what your tastes all without ever having to leave the United States.

If tropical travel is more your style you may be surprised to find that Costa Rica is a great green travel destination.  Costa Rica is the largest green travel destination and has a vast array of eco friendly hotels and travel options for people who want to stay green when they leave home. Volcano exploring, hiking and exquisite beaches are all activities that can be done in Costa Rica. The tourist areas in the country also offer many different and delicious food and drink items that are produced locally so you will be able to eat locally and responsibly when you decide to go out for a night on the town.  It is one of the most popular destinations in the world among all travelers and will be sure to suit travelers that are looking for eco friendly opportunities.

Whether you are a mountain person, a beach person or somewhere in between the two there are green travel options for almost anywhere you visit.  Even if your particular location of travel doesn't offer green options you can quickly and easily use a few different tips and tools to help your experience become more eco responsible.  Whenever you decide to travel green you will be able to have a better time, help the environment with small steps and sometimes be able to save money in the process.   Traveling green is easy, responsible and enjoyable for any type of traveler.

http://responsible-tourists.blogspot.com/

Digg!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Plaza Auto Mall - You May Have Already Won!

Sure, I know what you mean; auto dealers in general have a reputation of being notoriously unethical, so why should I have expected this one to be any different? I wanted to believe them. What got me was the flyer I received in the mail informing me that this particular dealer (about an hour-and-a-half round-trip drive from my home) was willing to offer me 100% OF THE ORIGINAL MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price). I know it seems crazy, but it certainly got my attention just as they intended. As you can see on the flyer (below) - it makes that very compelling statement 3 different times in three different places; each time in large, red, bold, and ALL CAPS lettering.

Click to Enlarge
Georgina and I talked about the distinct possibility that this was some sort of a scam, but I called the dealership and asked some very direct questions (just not the most important question, but I'll get to that in a minute:). Really looking the fine print, I even asked, "is this the MSRP for my car, fully loaded as it is, or are you offering the base price (which would be a significant difference of thousands)?" I was informed that the offer would be based on my car with all of it's enhancements being considered, and after taking my name and indicating that they were very interested in talking with me about my car.

There is a sentence on the flyer, as you can see for yourself, that clearly states, "The only adjustments will be made for mileage, 35¢ to 55¢ depending on models and reconditioning." Yes, I placed those words in bold and in red so that they would stand out. (The dealership did just the opposite of that, for obvious reasons.) Typically, when dealing with car dealers, a statement like that typically refers to mileage in excess of 12,000 miles per year. My car has 27,400 miles on it, and the car is five years old. I figured that I was well within the safe zone. If they wanted to offer me $23,000 for a five year old car, minus a thousand or so for for minor scratches - I'd be really happy. Wouldn't you? 

Without even looking at it, the dealer offered us $10,000 for our car. He gave us that price based primarily on our mileage of 27,400 miles multiplied by .35¢ which, of course, equaled $9590.00 taken off their so called "offer!" 

This was a deliberate, built-in, intentional loophole allowing them to tell an outright lie, while making it appear that they were being as truthful as possible! OMG!

I just captured this quote from the website of the owner of Plaza Auto Mall 

"Always work hard, always keep your word, and always be good to people."

Uh, we really didn't have that experience.

We were more than annoyed, and we left the building. A few minutes later, after having examined the flyer which we were told explained it all very clearly, we walked back in and asked to speak to Marcello Scarrino. This is the same Marcello whose name appears on the flyer, which informed us that their research had indicated:

"Recently we have seen an increased demand for certain vehicles, and our research indicates you could be driving one of these vehicles. If so I have an incredible offer for you. I am willing to purchase your vehicle for 100% OF THE ORIGINAL MSRP base price when your vehicle was new! You read that correctly , we will buy back your current 2003-2011 vehicle for 100% of the original base price as listed in the current National Automobile Dealers Association™ Guide."
The general value of my car in today's market.
As you might imagine, Marcello and I had quite a discussion. He informed me with a blank, though seemingly sincere look on his face, that they were, after all, a car dealership and that the reason they sent out ads was to bring people into the dealership to sell them cars, and wondered aloud how I could have even thought for a moment that they would offer as much money for a used car as for a new one. I wondered aloud the same thing, but then there was all their research to be considered, indicating that there was, "an increased demand for my type of vehicle." With a straight face he said, "well, millions of people sign up for the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes every year." Further, he said, "we're here to sell cars and that's why you got that flyer. It was just to get you in here." He's right I suppose, I should be reading all advertisements as if they were contracts, right?

Interestingly, there is nothing on that flyer that is overtly offering to sell me a car. 
There are however 
2 NO-RISK OPTIONS
  • TAKE THE CASH OFFER FOR YOUR VEHICLE
  • TRADE FOR A NEW OR PRE-OWNED VEHICLE
There it is then, when dealing with this Honda dealer (or any of the other car sellers all owned by Mr. John Rosatti under the catchall name  Plaza Auto Mall) realize, based on the helpful and well considered information provided by the General Manager, Mr. Marcello Scarrino, that it's really very much the same as receiving an important looking envelope that indicates that, "You May Have Already Won!

I didn't want, nor was I looking for something for nothing. The flyer got me to believe that for whatever reason my car had an intrinsic value beyond what one might realistically expect. Okay, I admit it it - they got me. 

What if we lived in a world where "always be good to people" was not just a collection of words? What would the world be like if automobile dealers became the people known for being honest, dependable, and trustworthy? Impossible you say? 

Such an impossibility could be changed by any automobile dealership if they wanted it to happen. What are they afraid they might become if they were to make such a change?

Here's a possibility: an automobile dealership known for its integrity. 

Would I write about such a thing? In a heartbeat:-)

But in this case unfortunately our evaluation is:  You need to ask? Really?
Digg!

PLAZA AUTO MALL
2740 Nostrand Ave 
Brooklyn, NY 11210
800-553-4645