I've been observing a moment of silence in cyberspace in memory of my Grandfather, Wally Garber, who passed away on Friday at the age of 92. He was one of the best people I've ever known and a real inspiration to my whole family. I'll miss you, Grandpa!
Saturday, October 28, 2006
It was Foam Sweet Foam for Twins Leah and Karenina this morning as they enjoyed the frothy kind of cappuccino that has made Nada famous. However, even with Nada back in the saddle, many wonder whether she, alone, can restore Our Favorite Starbucks to its former glory. Let's face it: It's one thing to whip up a cappuccino and another to whip the latest crop of Newbies into shape!
Friday, October 27, 2006
Beloved Barista Nada was back in the saddle this morning after a brief sojourn in Arizona. Apparently, Nada missed us as much as we missed her. Nada said, "Our District Manager told me that sales at 7th and Montana went way down after I left." Stay tuned to this space for continuing coverage of Nada's Back (and occasional coverage of her front, too ...)!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
It was like a scene out of "Running with Scissors" this morning as Joyce's hairstylist did his utmost to ignore us at 7th and Montana. Despite various gestures from Joyce -- alternating between "Hello" and "I need a haircut" -- this Busy Bee Barber seemed downright snippy. I guess it's true what they say: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow ...!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Tongues were wagging at 7th and Montana this morning regarding the disappearance yesterday of the mysterious Banana in our Midst. New photographic evidence suggests that Starbucks was especially well-stocked today with Banana Walnut Loaf (#1), Banana Bran Muffins (#2) and Reduced Fat Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake (#3). Coincidence? I think not!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
We've all seen our share of fruits and nuts at 7th and Montana, but someone really took the cake this morning by strategically saving a table with a Banana. Even Actor Tom Bosley raised an eyebrow as he drove by in his snazzy Nissan Altima. I would have told him that the table was up for grabs, but he no doubt had a Banana in his ear!
Monday, October 23, 2006
Many, it seems, took note of a quiet newcomer who spent several weeks taking notes of his own at 7th and Montana earlier in the year. At long last, the Mystery of the Clipboard has been solved. Tim returned from hiatus yesterday and explained that his notes -- featured in Photo #2 -- are a form of meditation and organization!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
It was a Birthday Trifecta today as our own Howard Stone marked the occasion of three birthdays -- his mother's, his son's and his own -- with a less than Perfectly Toasted Bagle. Congratulations, Howard! If your family has one more child on October 22, you could start your own Stone Age!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Weeks after accepting a job at an Armenian Church, Our Favorite Building Manager may have found a new calling ... as a language translator in Iraq. This ad, spotted in an Arabic language newspaper, says it all: You can "Make a Difference" if you have the right language skills. Just one question: Do they have Starbucks on the front lines?
Friday, October 20, 2006
School was in session this morning as a group of first graders paid a visit to 7th and Montana for what appeared to be a lesson in Endangered Species. "Look behind you, kids, at the derelict smoking a cigarette. After the elections, we'll probably ship our homeless to Westwood (for their own good) and impose a ban on cigarettes at Starbucks. Aren't Endangered Species fun? Next stop: Patty's Pizza!"
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Mike Piscal, President of L.A.'s Inner City Education Foundation taught the crowd a thing or two this morning about helping at-risk kids get a decent education. Kudos, Mike, you're doing a bang-up job. Moments later, it was a bang-up of another kind as an attractive newcomer introduced her rental car to Our Favorite Curb. Mike: I hope your curriculum includes Drivers' Ed!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The Powers That Be in my condo building have issued the latest in their popular series of "Dear Idiot" communiques. Today's memo served as a reminder to avoid burning actual logs in our decorative gas fireplaces. I ask you, who in their right mind would build a real fire in a fireplace that comes equipped with a remote control, anyway?
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Rumor has it that local fixture Patty's Pizza is leaving the neighborhood at the end of the month. According to sources familiar with the situation, the popular pizzeria balked at its monthly rental costs. Afterall, any way you slice it, $10,000 a month is a lot of dough for a small pizzeria. On the other hand, perhaps the location might be of interest to a certain would-be Falafel magnate!
Monday, October 16, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Utrecht is one of my favorite cities and, thanks to my blog, if I can trek around Utrecht, you can trek there, too. Our journey begins at the Domplein (1), a Dutch version of 7th and Montana, just under the shadow of the Dom, an 11th Century Church tower (3). I spent hours exploring miles of canals (5-8), quaint streets and shops (9-16). Just remember, the tour ain't over till the Fat Lady sings (17)!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Not to suggest that we don't have our share of smiling faces at 7th and Montana, but only in Amsterdam can you find the "Coffeeshop Happy People." Why all the happy, smiling faces? For one thing, I'll bet they don't have to deal with a revolving door of Baristas ...!
Friday, October 13, 2006
"Geldrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens ... " O.K. I'll admit it, these definitely aren't a few of My Favorite Things, but I'm thrilled to be finally packing my bags after a grueling week in Geldrop and heading for -- errr -- points unknown ...!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Imagine my surprise as a group of us were shuttled off to a "mystery adventure" tonight. The adventure turned out to be a game of Mega Disks -- an unusual combination of shuffleboard and skeetball -- at the world famous Bistro de Molen in a town called Heeze. While I stink at Mega Disks, I was thrilled to discover that the disks themselves look surprisingly like one of Howard's perfectly toasted bagels!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
There was a certain "glow" about one of my colleagues from China today and it wasn't just that it was his 40th Birthday. When I asked the Paradijs Restaurant in downtown Geldrop to bring him a Birthday Surprise, they arrived moments later with a scoop of Nuclear Ice Cream, ablaze with fireworks. I guess the "surprise" was that they wanted to really send him to "Paradijs."
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
"Kibbles 'n Bits, Kibbles 'n Bits ... I got to get me some Kibbles 'n Bits!" That popular dog food refrain was running through my head this evening as I was offered an interesting tray of "nibbles" at the local watering hole in Geldrop. The selection included: Balls of Pureed Meat, Fried Meat Logs and Star Shaped Fish Bits. It was all quite tasty though I wonder whether Toby would have bothered to stand guard over this plate!
Monday, October 9, 2006
Well, I made it to Geldrop safe and sound after a long night's journey into day (from L.A. to Chicago to Amsterdam to Eindhoven and finally Geldrop). What is Geldrop like, you might ask? All I can say so far is that it seems very rural. There are even horses wandering around outside my hotel room. Thus far, I've avoided stepping in any Geldroppings but then again, the night is still young!
Sunday, October 8, 2006
After months of inactivity, a rental truck appeared at our Favorite Fixer Upper this week. Could a new neighbor at long last be moving in? Unlikely, given the holes in the roof. Could the owner at long last be delivering badly needed fixtures and roofing materials? I wouldn't hold my breath!
Saturday, October 7, 2006
Poor Kathy had her head in her hands and her heart on her sleeve this morning as she regaled us with stories from her Motorcycle Training Class. It seems that the instructor gave her the proverbial boot. Don't sweat it, Kathy: I flunked motorcycle training, too. I guess some of us are just naturally born Queasy Riders!
Friday, October 6, 2006
An attractive newcomer crashed the party this morning at 7th and Montana. The unwitting, young woman pulled a rare double-header, first introducing her shiny minivan to Our Favorite Curb, then scraping her muffler against the nearby Island from Hell. "Don't worry," I consoled her. "It's not like the incident will end up online!" I've deleted her head from the attached photo to protect her identity ...
Thursday, October 5, 2006
Our neighborhood has been invaded by creepy, crawly insects ... and I don't mean the "slumlords" who made an appearance at 7th and Montana this morning. Giant spiders seem to be hanging out everywhere (enlarge the photo to see what I mean). In related news, the arachnids who manage a certain Santa Monica luxury building continue spinning their web of deceit, this time slapping poor Richard with a frivolous lawsuit!
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Forget the Pumpkin Muffins. Tell the chef to stop baking Cranberry Bliss Bars. Starbucks has added an eye-opening new item to the menu at 7th and Montana: Chocolate Covered Eyeballs. Sold in packages of 13 on a decorative Halloween platter, the Eyeballs are the perfect complement to any meal. I would have ordered a plateful myself, but I guess my eyes were bigger than my stomach!
Monday, October 2, 2006
Far be it from me to incur the wrath of anyone named Busta, but sometimes I just can't resist. There I was this afternoon at Mel's Diner on Sunset, when a "Big Bang Bus" pulled right alongside me and out popped Gangsta hero Busta Rhymes. Moments after I captured this photo, a bodyguard yelled, "No Photos!" Frankly, if it weren't for my colleague, Lyndsey, I wouldn't know Busta Rhymes from Busta Brown!
No ifs, ands or butts: An inconsiderate smoker -- we'll call him The Marlborough Man -- ignited a storm of controversy this morning at 7th and Montana. Not only did he smoke incessantly, but he also carelessly threw his butts in the flower bed. I guess it's true what they say, "Where there's smoke, there's ire!"
Sunday, October 1, 2006
Anyone at 7th and Montana this morning would think Our Favorite Starbucks has gone to the dogs. The dog-to-human ratio reached an all-time high (and that's not counting such regulars as Toby, Noah and Charlie). By far the most interesting breed, however, was the "Doggone Idiot" in the Lamborghini who marked his territory in the no parking zone (See Photo 4). That nincompoop should be impounded!