Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Miss Janet, Don't be Nasty

Sitting in LRBC right now, having enjoyed my early-morning breakfast of honeyed yogurt and coffee, finishing my final geography paper on the American Community Survey (yay data!). It's all perfect except for...
...the couple sitting in the cafe "enjoying" their breakfast, while the girl continuously berates and mocks the guy for pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth. I think she thinks she's being funny, but she sounds pretty mean to me.

C'mon you guys, don't ruin a good morning! Good music on the stereo, delicious breakfast sandwiches and strong coffee. What more could you want?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Holy Feet

I got new shoes this week. Behold, the gleaming glory of the New Balance 908 trail running shoe.

I have terrible, awful feet. I get crazy calluses like you wouldn't believe and I have zero arches. Genetics + many summers spent walking barefoot on a pool deck were not kind to my feet. And yet, I have a hell of a time paying more than $30 for a pair of shoes. I hate doing it. So when I do ante up, it's a big deal. But I couldn't wear my 4 year-old running shoes any longer - they were so worn out and uncomfortable. Plus, I will be walking the Portland marathon this fall & need some good fresh training shoes.

I love New Balance shoes - better than Nike, adidas, and all the rest. But still, I almost settled for a pair of $32 Avia shoes from GI Joes.

I'm so glad I didn't. I wore them for the first time to the gym tonight, and OH my gosh what a difference. They make me float - they are so luxurious and comfortable and stable. I feel like I could walk 6 marathons in them. (okay, not really). Anyway, I highly highly recommend them even if you do not plan on doing any trail running (I do very very little). They are good for walking, running, general gym stuff.

I have a crush on my shoes. I will name them...Diana. Beautiful, rugged, purposeful.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Power to the St John's Peeps

I attended the St. John's Community Meeting on Monday evening to discuss the potential new Walgreens. Developer was a no-show which was quite unfortunately. On the plus side, there were a few hundred people there including our State Rep Tina Kotek and City Commissioner candidate Jeff Bissonnette. It was fun to look around the room and pick out other familiar faces. The guy who works at Greg's (but is not Greg), the husband-wife owners of Tres Bone, plus just some folks I know I've seen "around" before. It sounds like we have a very good chance of altering the way a Walgreens would look, and we still have SOME chance at preventing it from going in.

If we can put up enough obstacles that makes it not worth their while, they could withdraw the idea. For example, they have proposed a drive-thru window, which is specifically prohibited by the St. John's-Lombard plan (which has been adopted into city code). It was suggested at the meeting that this could be a major anticipated revenue center for them, and if they can't have the window, it would take away much proposed profit. We need to find what those other things like that are, and see if we can stop them.

I have nothing against Walgreens, per se. But it is the wrong business type for that location. The hard thing is...if Walgreens doesn't go in there, what could go in that spot and actually thrive? It's an oddly triangular-shaped lot that (I don't think) particularly lends itself to the shops-on-the-street vision that the StJ board was talking about. If I were a small retail business owner, that would not be a spot that I would covet.

We all know that Trader Joes is NOT going in there, no matter how much we can all wish for it. We need a business that will appeal (both emotionally and financially) to newcomers and oldtimers on the Peninsula. If there weren't one right around the corner, I think it would be a good spot for a Burgerville. Local & sustainable but not too yuppified. Other pie-in-the-sky ideas:

- another offshoot of Powell's (like the Home & Garden one they have on Hawthorne)
- going with the St John's vintage theme, how about another Red Light or Buffalo Exchange
- a gardening/yard supply store like Pistils

I'd love some cute little shops there as much as the next middle-class-girl-who-moved-to-the-Peninsula-post-2003, but I think we need to be realistic.