I've been bored for the last few years. Food choices, retail shopping choices, entertainment options. All those categories I have started to grow tired of going to the same god damn place. If we can't decide on a good restaurant to go out to, we go to Fridays. It's good, but I'm bored. If we can't find it at Wal-Mart or Target, we don't seem to buy it. If it's not playing at a local regal cinemas, it seems that we don't go.
This is plaguing Cleveland. I think we do things because it's what we have always done.
This Christmas season, inspired by Chef's Widow, I focused not on getting great gifts for my wife, but getting great gifts for the wife you can't get anywhere else BUT Cleveland.
I got the wife a couple scarfs from Proper Tea for Christmas. Proper Tea is a locally owned and operated clothing company by Danielle DiBenedetto. When I first heard of Proper Tea it was on a local morning show. It was impressed and ever since I was on a mission to get the wife some scarfs. The only down side is that they were hard to get. She, at the time, did not have an online store [now she does] so I was boutique hopping. I finally got my hands on both scarfs this Christmas when she set up a temporary boutique in the same outdoor shopping mall I work in. I met her and happily plunked down my cash for them. She also sold me another gift for the wife. A long shirt, or dress depending on how tall you are. I was nervous about that, but my wife has a good eye for design and she also loved it.
A customer of mine had a unique purse. It was a cigar box with a handle. It was awesome. I asked her where she bought it, thinking my wife, a purse freak, would love one. She said she made it. I asked her if she sold them and she said, "thought never crossed my mind until now." Three days after our encounter, she walked in with 2 purses to show the wife. I bought them both.
People who open stores locally, I need to help them. Their wares are usually just as good as what you would buy in the store. Why not buy from your neighbor if you can?
2009 was hard for many people. There are those who have lost their jobs, like my friend Kasey, or like my Mom, but both are not sitting around feeling sorry for themselves. Kasey started a blog and is trying to make her own destiny rather than waiting for it to come to her, and my mom is doing the same thing.
Etsy store. She sold one within a week of opening, so let's hope this is the beginning of a new path for my mom.
I like buying local now. A whole new world has opened up for me in Cleveland. From drab boring Midwest city to culinary mecca of the Midwest, Cleveland is transforming in front of my eyes. Cleveland has more little boutiques than I can mention, and so many great places to dine.
Now if only the Browns could get their shit together and resign Cribbs to a respectable deal, and the Cavs keep LeBron after we win the NBA Championship.
Yarn and... teeth.
2 years ago