Thursday, October 15, 2009

Scooping The New York Times!

My journal seems to have had the story on Rachel Ashwell's new shop and book before The New York Times. Scoops are something that persons with journalistic blood respond to. The Times, however, with a few more resources than my journal and a lot more reach, have a comprehensive review of Rachel's career in the Home section of the paper today. The article deals mainly with trends and business decisions.

For those of us who just like Rachel's style and pluck, it was a lot to take in. I am sorry that some bad business decisions led to the closing of many of her stores. There has been a time in our national life when success has meant more instead of best and better. And not in just our country: When I was in Vancouver, Canada a few years ago, there were four corners with as many Starbucks (at least it seemed that way to me). I guess if you were desperate for a latte, you should not be asked to cross the street. I'm not in the business of marketing coffee, but it is a puzzlement to those of us who would walk a mile--or cross an ocean--for a cup of properly brewed tea with milk (never cream!) and a scone.

I have a chaise that has more than a few pillows. One of them is a Shabby Chic that Rachel presented me with at one point in my Victoria life. Actually, she sent a box full--and several of us now tuck one behind our back when a good book turns into a long reading session. (I am supposed to be keeping my nose to the grindstone in research and reading for my new book, but I have sinned recently with Provenance by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo. The subtitle tells the compelling mystery: "How a con man and a forger rewrote the history of modern art." It's a page turner. And the cover was so seductive, it lured me into buying it.) I like the soft, aged look of the fabric and it is soft and comfy.

I'm happy that Rachel is getting one of those "second acts" that Americans are not supposed to have. I think we need to edit that old saw, don't you?


  1. Enjoyed your comment about Starbucks on every corner and it indicating a sign that somewhere our society has picked up that more is success.

    I have lamented that whole move toward more and more, at the expense of best and true enjoyment. Fortunately, there is one shop in my small city whose proprietors seek to give its customers a truly awesome coffee. And waiting for it (as there's usually a line-up) is well worth it. Which means I haven't seen the inside of the more well-known coffee outlets in a long while!

    BTW, happy for Rachel's second go.....

  2. As a resident of Vancouver I laughed about the comment on Starbucks. It is almost a point of pride for Vancouverites to have two Starbucks "kitty-corner" to each other. Not only does Starbucks do well here but almost every other coffee place(chain and independent) that opens. I guess we are a city of coffee junkies! I (sheepishly) admit that I stop at the one near my work every morning for an extra hot grande latte, that first sip at my desk every morning is bliss. If there were an independent one nearby I would go there but that hasn't happened yet - maybe someday, until then I need to go to Commercial Drive to seek out those small gems.

  3. @India: Nothing against Starbucks or one of my favorite cities in the whole world. Just a comment in jest....

  4. Provenance is a good one. Glad to see it getting a little viral support. Good luck staying focused on your book.