Monday, May 23, 2011

Fireflies and Fairytales and Wine

I recently went to my friend, Amber Kuehn's shop, Fireflies and Fairytales, that is closing its doors.  I haven't been able to get her out of my mind, since.  It takes such courage to start your own business and make a dream a reality, and then it takes intense stamina, to keep it going day after day.

Amber, I just wanted to congratulate you on a great run for 81/2 years.  You were the "go to" store for me when I had postpartum spending disorder, and I needed couture shoes for my newborn.  I've picked up the cutest clothes my kids own from your shop, and if I were ever in a hurry (which is always) to get to a birthday party and I forgot to get a gift, you were my girl.  Your store is where I would go when I needed something "special" and I just wanted you to know that - that your store is special, and that you should be proud of yourself.

I have said it before and I will say it, again, small business is what makes this country great.  So now let's turn our attentions toward The Wine Bistro controversy in Arlington.  Now, without knowing the issues (say you are the reader from Singapore) and just knowing me, which side do you think I'm on?  YOU'RE RIGHT, Mr. Hajimoto, the WINE side.

The controversy is that (and this is all second hand from Brad, because I only read the Arlington News for the arrests and the Estate Sales) the new Wine Bistro bought that property with the understanding that their patrons could park on the residential streets perpendicular to their business. There used to be signs that restricted parking  in that area, that were taken down to be steam cleaned or something (money well spent - use a hose) and they were never put back up.

Like most controversies, there are at least two sides, and the neighbors who are having to put up with the traffic and parking are infuriated.  Brad read me some of the comments, though, and one neighbor said that her children could not play in her driveway because people were always turning around in it to get parking spaces.  I don't know about you, but even before I had kids, I did not use driveways that kids were playing in to turn around.  My point is, that if you stick to a valid argument, like that it would be difficult to sell your house if you are close to a business that uses your street as a parking lot, then I hear you.  When you start spouting off nonsense like that, I am deaf to you.

Okay, my position is, and I am usually the least political person you will ever meet, (until I got old, that is) is that either the City of Arlington should side with The Wine Bistro, or they should provide some sort of parking alternative for them.  Brad and I have lived in a few neighborhood areas of big cities, and if you want Columbus to be great, which involves attracting new businesses and people to the city, then you need to make this city attractive to both.  In order to do that, you must embrace CHANGE.

Look, I love the Rusty Bucket, and the Red Door, but I do not want them to be the only two alternatives in town.  Oh, don't forget the MCL Cafeteria - of which I am a frequent flyer, but on a Friday or Saturday night out, I want to go someplace else, I'll be honest.  The change I am talking about is to live in an area where parking might be a little bit of a hassle, in order to live someplace interesting and fun.

Until last football season, I have had to endure wall to wall parking along my road, from early morning on Saturdays to late into the night.  They have reduced parking on Saturdays to just one side of the street, which helps, but I just DEAL, because I am fortunate enough to live near the stadium, and this just happens to be a part of the culture here.

If you make Arlington attractive, businesses and residents, will want to move here, which will pump money into the city, which will trickle down to raising housing prices, which will put money into your pocket when you go to sell your house and move to Mt. Vernon to get away from the hustle and bustle.  But, until then, if you just deny small businesses the opportunity to make it here, they will go elsewhere in Columbus, and make THOSE neighborhoods interesting and attractive.

So, that being said, Brad and I were discussing this in our basement over a bottle of wine, a muted Sports program and the songs on my Ipod.  I was explaining how badly I felt for Amber and how I will be very sad one day when I write my last post of spewing bullshit for all to decipher.

Brad looks at me very seriously and says, "I understand where you would draw a parallel between the two of you, because you are both doing something that you love,"  he continued (wait for it) "but one significant difference is that SHE has been making money for the last 8 years."


Alright, so I have a plan.  I have had really good feedback and I understand that I have regular readers, even daily, in some cases!  So, here is what I am offering you.  For the low, low, low price of $9.99 a month, I will provide you with the same side-splitting, prophetic bullshit, that I have been delivering for JUST $9.99!  And, if you act NOW, I will throw in FOUR free valet parking vouchers for the wine bistro in which you park at my house and I take you to their restaurant on a Friday or Saturday night.  Now, you have to walk back to my house to retrieve your car, because I cannot expect to stay sober enough on the weekends to drive to get you at 10 or 11 at night.  So this is a ONE WAY valet, but whatever, right? IT"S FREE, BEAATTCHES!

Also, I can only take cash and my office will be located at the baby pool at the Swim & Racquet Club.  Please just hug me and slip the cash into my "darling" cover up pocket, without making a scene.

I thought of putting a Paypal button on my blog, but then I will have to pay Upper Arlington taxes and we can't have that, can we?

My recommendation is two fold - go to Amber's store, Fireflies and Fairytales in Upper Arlington and help her liquidate her inventory.  It was 35% off on everything when I went there.  Also, frequent The Wine Bistro, as often as you can, to show them that we do, in fact, welcome small businesses here in Arlington, and we do embrace change. 

Photo courtesy of my brother-in-law, Fletch - without his knowledge or consent, natch.

1 comment:

  1. OK I am writing my first comment after a week of laughing at your posts:) So, this involves several posts. 1. I googled "Pure Barre Columbus" and read your review before I went. Did you keep going? I would be considered "One and Done" with that shenanigan 2. We have lived in UA for only a year, so it is cool to hear your take on places/issues I only see in the paper (I read the "Crime Beat" to make sure no one is doing smash and grabs on my street and see how much my neighbors' homes are going for). I had no idea what the UA parking issue was but never really delved into those articles in the paper. 3. Did the baby store already close? Now that I actually have a baby, I can go in there and not be a monogrammed burp cloth stalker 4. I went to Otterbein and spent all spring and summer sucking down $8 Downhome Punches at outdoor concerts. A moment of silence for Polaris. Love your blog...keep it up!