Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Stroke that cock, Vegan!

As we were coming home from the Lewis Black show on Friday night, this was the ad on the Orange Line train back to Clarendon. I appreciate that being vegan will allow you to play with chickens, or something. Those folks I know who participate in farmers’ markets and CSA will frequently be able to go observe the chickens in their habitat.

So, I’m not sure that going vegan will really help the chickens anymore than, say, buying your eggs and chicken from a local farm who treat their chickens right.

But really, this whole entry is an excuse for the headline. Put your alternate headlines in the comments.

Stroke that cock, Vegan! — Originally uploaded by tbridge

Bethesda Market Video

Come see a video from today’s Bethesda Market. The market goes on every Tuesday from 11-3 until October. There is food, baked goods, plants, produce and all sorts of other things at the market at Veteran’s Park. Come on down next week. Click the picture to the right to see the video.

Mother’s Day Season is Upon Us

It seems like we just got past Easter and now we are heading into the next big commercial season – Mother’s Day. I was greeted by this chalk reminder in front of a florist’s shop in Bethesda this morning.

Are flowers the thing Mom wants? I don’t know. What I do know is that they slowly wilt and die, which is not a good expression of the love we tend to feel for our parents, or the love that florists and card stores tell us we should feel.

This year Mom gets no flowers. I will give her the same thing I always give her – a gift certificate to her favorite bookstore. Mom, if you are reading this, sorry to give away the surprise, but remember that knowledge is the best of companions and books the best of friends.

What are you getting your mother this year? Flowers? Candy? Anybody going for the ever-popular Bacon of the Month Club?

Photo: Remember Mom with Flowers Originally uploaded by carlweaver

Embarassing consumption

Photo courtesy of Me

I had the dubious pleasure of being in Fair Oaks mall in Fairfax on Wednesday night to meet some people and walked by this ad that set off my latent hippie genes. Seriously, that’s your advertising technique? Forget those dirty clothes, just buy new ones!

I feel like I should go eat granola and wear hemp, I find this so disturbing.

DEKKA – DC Fashion Art Music

DCAFAM DEKKA is a new concept for U Street shopping. The boutique will be a co-op, bringing together work from local clothing and accessory designers, visual artists, and musicians. They also intend to be a space to host events for the art, music, and fashion communities.

A grand opening party on April 5th should give a good first look to see how well this all comes together. The party will go from 12 to 7, with shopping, cocktails, and music, and an official ribbon-cutting at 4:00.

DEKKA 1338 U Street, NW, 2nd Floor Washington, DC 20009

My thanks to hoogrrl for the tip.

You Want Paper? You Bag it Yourself.

Giant - You Want Paper, You Bag it Yourself!Remember the Giant supermarket in McLean? The one with the kitty pee Starbucks? Well, I found myself driving by that store again and needed to pick some things up. The help there is so freaking helpful, it’s unbelievable. Even in the self-check line they have people to bag your groceries. The other supermarkets don’t do this, except possibly the cult-like Bloom stores. Bloom simply freaks me out. It’s like a love bomb, one step away from a low-protein, high-carbohydrate diet, closely followed by a coerced disowning of friends and family.

So there I was, scanning my 20-some cans of cat food and a fellow came up to bag my goods. “Can I have paper bags?” I asked.

He reached under the conveyor, pulled out a few paper bags and through them on the bagging station. “You want paper? You bag it yourself.”

I have no problem bagging my own stuff, but I am curious if Giant has a policy about this or if I simply caught this guy a day before he went postal. He seemed like he could use some cooling down. Maybe Bloom would be a better fit for him. With his attitude, I am sure he would not have a lot of friends to disown.

Have you ever had this happen? Anyone from Giant Food Stores care to comment?

Best of DC (According to Me)

Anybody who has picked up today’s Washington City Paper has probably seen the ballot for “Best of D.C.: Celebrating the Classics 2008”. They are getting in the game with The Washington Post and The Washingtonian, asking readers to vote on what places, things, and cute bartenders make life in DC special and fun.

This has inspired me to finally launch a new series here that I have been mulling for some time.

Here is how this will work: I will take on the challenge of finding the “best in DC” – one thing at a time. Be it cupcakes, shoe stores, or dj nights, I will solicit recommendations of competitors, do some research, and then go try out those which claim to vie for title of “best”.

In other words – one girl’s highly subjective search to sift through mediocrity and mass-name-recognition (is Potbelly really the best sandwich place in town as it is consistently voted – or just the only one that a majority of the voters have been to?) to bring you what I think are the best bets around.

For this to work, I will need a lot of input from you. I want you to send me on missions that you want to read about. In the comments below, I would love to see suggestions of things you want me to review for you! I also need your suggestions of where to go. Do you think you know about the best beer selection in town? Let me know! Hopefully, other people will have different ideas, and I will try to put them all to the test.

One stipulation: I am not finding out the best fetish club. If you want to know, you will have to wait for the City Paper’s results. (Also, I reserve the right not to be sent on any missions I consider immoral or generally icky. You know.)

Also, we are going to need to think of a name. I thought about calling it “The Decider”, but that seems pretty dated at this point…

photo by erin m on flickr

My ride on the propane taxi

I recently had to fill two different propane tanks and thought I’d share my experience.

The first I took to Home Depot for a swap. Rather than make an explicit trip out of it I tossed the empty in my trunk and drove around with it for a few days or maybe weeks. In the end I didn’t end up going by any HDs and ended up taking a detour on my way home one day. Lacking one of the new snazzy-dazzy self-serve gadgets out front that I’ve seen in a few locations, I had to go inside, pay a cashier, then go outside and flag down an employee who was milling about.

All in all it wasn’t too long a process since there was none of the oh-wait-wheres-the-key kind of thing I’ve suffered through in the past. Total cost: $19.

When the other tank went dry just a week later I thought I’d look into the Propane Taxi service that I’d seen ads for and which we’ve speculated on here in the past. I went to their website and punched in my zip code to discover that the delivery date would happen to be the very next day. Just good luck, that, but the longest I could have ended up waiting would have been if I’d ordered the following day – a Tuesday – which would have put the delivery 4 days out, on Saturday.

The site makes you go through a fairly quick registration process but it’s not onerous. Name, address, phone, credit card. You can have a different billing address for your credit card than where they’ll deliver the tank as well. Once I did that I was able to order my $21.99 tank with a $1.00 off coupon, making what would have been a $23.09 order $22.04.

I couldn’t tell you exactly when the delivery happened – the old tank was off to the left of my house when I left for work in the morning and the new one was in the exact same spot when I got home that night. They sent me a confirmation email to let me know it had been done as well.

All told I think that’s enough added convenience to justify $3, even for a cheapskate like me. If I’d had to drive out and back to Home Depot the closest one is a 10 mile round-trip, almost half a $3 gallon of gas – not to mention my beyond-value precious time. It might be a deal-breaker delay if I hadn’t come into a spare tank but if you can wait a maximum of 4 days for a refill I think this is a winner.

Hurry, Dammit!

As the wind whips my neighborhood’s remaining foliage into a gusty frenzy, sullying the just-cleaned grass, it seems that everything is rushing toward the holidays. My clients are calling with last-minute jobs that I enjoy, trying to sprint their way to week-long lull that exists between Christmas and New Year’s. Friday seems to be the day that has everyone full of dread before a four-day weekend of revelry, family, celebration, or relaxation, contemplation, and rest. What greeted my inbox this morning was this wonderful sight:


Yes, every online retailer I know begging me to please put my order in before tomorrow comes and the shipping windows for goods closes for the year. But, as Amazon and its friends are less able to help you, there are a slew of local businesses that will be more than glad to. Eschew the malls and their chains, find a neat place like Home Rule, and their awesome Christmas Window, or maybe hit the Downtown Holiday Market in Penn Quarter (thanks, Penn Quarter Living!) and find something beautifully crafted there. Tell Amazon to shove their hurry hurry hurry and go grab something that allows you a stroll and some leisure time.

Even if it’s windier than Chicago out there.

U-CARE Fundraising & Shopping Social

Tonight will be a good night to do some holiday shopping at the U-CARE U Street Fundraising & Shopping Social.

The fundraiser is that 10% of proceeds brought in by the participating retailers will be donated to Sitar Arts Center which provides arts education to low-income young people in our community.

For those more interested in the shopping, 8 shops in the neighborhood are taking part, offering discounts and special promotions. Junction, the boutique stocking vintage and new clothing and goods, seems to be offering the most generous deal: 10% – 25% off your whole purchase.

Basically, this is a win-win: You get to feel good about supporting local, independant buisness people, donating a little bit to a local charity, and even save a little money in the process! The stores are even staying open until 10:00 for after-work shopping convenience.

U-CARE Shopping Social
Thursday, December 6th
6:00 – 10:00

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