Under Construction

Posted by Alexis On 4 - 28 - 2010

I'm working on it!!!

I was at the Nicholson House earlier this evening to meet up with my dear future mother-in-law, the indominable Paula Reed and had a chance to peruse the items that will be for sale this week at the annual Lakewood Historical Society Sale on the Grounds fundraiser. (Also had a chance to sneak a few cookies into my stomache that the ladies had made for the preview party).

As in years past, the selection and quantity of items just amaze me.

When you first enter the house, you will be greeted by a refreshments and mingling room on your left. (Make sure you sample the cookies and have a beer catered by Rozi's). To your right will be a room filled with dolls, toys, stationery and jewelry from the past 3 decades. I call this the lady room because I can't imagine any guy finding this room interesting for more than 5 minutes. But don't let that deter you. In past years I have found great earrings and necklaces for a couple of dollars in this room. Item to look for this year: an antique children's miniature stove made out of iron with workable doors and hinges. And lots of candlesticks.

Past this room you will enter the entertainment and dining room. There is a complete set of Noritake china and a complete set of 12 place-setting Waterford (?) flatware with storage box. There are also a ton of stemware, plates, candle holders, salt and pepper shakers and the such. These items are generally under $10 dollars. Oh and lamps. Lamps galore.

From this room you can either exit into the yard or continue into the antique room.

In the antique room, you will find quality antiques at reasonable prices. Example, I have my eyes on a pair of Baldwin candle sticks for $20. There are a couple of really pretty complete teacup sets. And a variety of stemware, fine china, server ware, jewelry, etc etc. Having just done my registry I can really appreciate the value of purchasing a find dining silver tray for $35 as opposed to $200. And since I just love the finely crafted detail work, this stuff is right up my alley.

If you chose to go outside, you will find a lawn of interesting trunks and large furniture as well as outdoor decor and tools. There is also a tent filled to the brim with all things casual dining and cooking. This tent is great for deals. Lots of 50 cent items to be found. This year is the large collection of owl ornaments that make up an entire display.

The Historical Society work hard to put this on every year and it's a win-win due to the great value that can be found at this gem of a sale. The preview party this year is on Friday April 30. It starts at 7 and costs $10. Saturday, the sale starts at 9-3. Sunday is 12-3 with everything half off except for the antique room. The address is: the Nicholson House, 13335 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH. Please check it out. If you have any questions call Paula Reed at 216.221.7343.

all i wanted was a wheelbarrow

Posted by lexlix On 11:11 AM 0 comments
i have planted 4 80lb trees so far today so this post will have to be short. my fingers are red and gnarled and barely connected to my central nervous system. but i must relay the experience i just had at lowe's. now we have only had infrequent interactions with this home improvement store because until a few months ago, there was no lowe's near us. and what experience we did have the bf can moan and groan about it for hours. but i chalked up our poor experiences in the past to stores located in less than affluent locations leading to lower levels of expected customer service. now this may be un-pc. but it is true.

so ever since the new store opened in rocky river, we've been getting coupons galore. so we figure hey let's give them another shot. so today i go there to buy the following: patching soil, grass seed, grass fertilizer, and a wheelbarrow. i wonder around their desolate nursery department and drag the rain soaked bags of soil into a cart. i felt a little neglected but hey my fault for being a weakling. then i go up front to pay for my bags of stuff and the wheelbarrow (it's locked so i couldn't just bring it over). i ask tell the cashier i would like to buy a wheelbarrow and she tells me that someone from customer service has to come unlock it. sounds reasonable. i ask her if she's gonna ring it up now with the rest of my stuff and i'll just wait for someone to unlock it or if i need to keep waiting until they actually unlock it to pay. she INFORMS me: "you can go over there and get the barcode." the thing is, i've been a cashier and i'm totally the person who offers to go grab another one of something if there isn't a tag or whatever. but don't INFORM me to go get the some code you need when that is your job and you are obviously not busy. i say "i think i'll wait for customer service". we stand there in silence for a minute. she's oblivious to the woman waiting behind me. so i say "would you like me to step to the side so you can take care of this customer?". then i wait. nothing. then i say "i'm going to go prep my trunk". i get the backseat folded and the tarp laid out. i come back. nothing. another cashier comes. she's looking at me. her mouth is moving. i can't hear anything she is saying. at first i thought she was talking quietly to the cashier and just happens to be looking at me. then i realized she is talking TO me. but i can't hear anything she is saying. i tell her i'm waiting for someone to unlock the wheelbarrow. i keep waiting. i ask her much longer do i have to wait. she tells me i can go inside, i'll be more likely to find someone who can help me. WHY. WHY DO I NEED TO DO THAT? at this point i'm really boiling over. i ask her: "so i need to track you down to give you my business and money?". WHY IS IT MY RESPONSIBILITY? "we're really short staffed", she says. UM HELLO! UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT AN ALL TIME HIGH. I DON'T THINK YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE FINDING JOB APPLICANTS.

admit it lowe's, you are just too cheap to hire the amount of people you need to keep your store staffed properly. the whole time in my head the phrase "this would never happen at home depot" is just repeating itself over and over again.

so finally someone, probably a nursery manager comes over. finally someone who speaks to me not like i'm a nuisance. he tries to make lame jokes. it's ok, the point is he is trying. he makes one call and someone comes right out to unlock the wheelbarrow. the first guy is on the phone and walks away. the second guy unlocks it and starts to leave. i ask him, "what am i suppose to do with this?" the thing was closer to my car than to the cash register. and at this point i was so fed up i did not have the patience to wheel the big cumbersome thing inside, then drag a wheelbarrow and a cart full of bags of soil to my car. i ask "can't i just go put this in my car? do i need to take this thing physically to the register?" he looks back and says: "you can get the barcode it's over there" points in the general direction of the wheelbarrow and starts to turn the other way again. at this point i was so fed up, i said, "i have to tell you, you guys have the worst customer service" he says, "what do you want me to do? you want me to take this up to the register for you? what do you want me to do?"

i feel like emily gilmore. i was quite angry. the thing is, nothing was that big of an offense in and of itself. this is my last week of freedom before starting another 9-5 so i have been packing in the home improvement productivity level. i've been in and out of pettiti's, home depot, and target, nobody treated their customer this way! the attitude was astounding! this is not a healthy economy. people are tightening their wallets. if you want to compete for business, especially in a more affluent neighborhood, you have to work on your customer service. there are 4 other hardware stores and 4 nurseries of a similar distance from my house (not counting the walmarts and marc's and such). i never go as far as to swear off any place, but i sure will avoid going to a store such as this as much as i can.

antiques on lorain avenue

Posted by lexlix On 8:16 PM 0 comments
though i have lived in cleveland since 9 yrs old, the west side (of cleveland) was as foreign to me as alaska. and even though i have lived in lakewood for 2 years now, i have never really explored the "antiques of lorain avenue"...until today.

i was really impressed by the range of selection in all these stores. we didn't get to go to nearly all the stores, of the ones we went to, there were 3 that really stood out to me: bijou, reincarnation, and craftsman's *.

bijou's inventory is your traditional antique ware. the size of their collection and the quality of the items is what is impressive. spread out on 2 floors and a lot of square footage, they have separate showing room dedicated to a variety of styles and time periods. the presentation makes the experience pleasant and it's easy to envision the pieces nestle in your own home. tho the price tag is a bit heavy, every item is worth it for the true antique connoisseur.

craftsman* is located just a few doors down and is much different. for starters, it's a lot smaller...and a lot cheaper. craftsman takes antique items and presents them in an artistic manner. example: a glass jar of antique buttons, or an old machinery table as a console table, or a wooden cart as storage. there is such beauty in taking cast aside items and turning them into objet d'art. we purchased a 10 unit apothecary cabinet for $160. same price as something from target, but with a lot more interest.

reincarnation is by far my favorite out of the whole bunch. in a lofty warehouse setting, this out of the box shopping experience really challenges the way that we've been trained to look at objects. the husband and wife proprietors are carpenters, designers, inventors, and salvagers, all in one. the items they create by reusing and reinterpreting antique furniture, fixtures, and decorations are truly mind-bending. "We take vintage furniture and home accessories and redesign them for contemporary use, for today's lifestyle. We try to make things more functional and fun," says Cindy Nicholson, who has co-owned Reincarnation with her husband, Ron, for eight years. before you stop into target for that shabby chic chair, or world market for that ethnically flavored table, take a trip to reincarnation, what you find will be beyond your expectations.

* i'm pretty sure that's the name of the place. but i'm not positive.
i have been batting around the idea of a blog dedicated to my daily adventures in c-town for awhile now. but what is the final impetus strong enough to push my typing fingers into action? cleveland's very own alex and simon, courtesy of Real Housewives of New York City. this may jog your memory:
oh you mean it just gave you a brain aneurysm? i'm sorry. but the point is such gems r not exclusive to the glittering lights of the big apple! we have them just the same in ohio!

whether you want to call it "in between employers" or "self employed", i ain't gots no 9-5 right now. so i've been running a lot of much delayed errands. one of which is taking my dad's car into the shop to get the radio replaced (the original was stolen at a $2 parking lot downtown). while waiting for circuit city to complete the job, i wondered over to marc's because no matter what my boyfriend says, i just don't visit their "world famous" close out section enough. and if you're not familiar with the deep discounts of northeast ohio's favorite hometown discount grocery store, well, get acquainted.

anyhow, keep in mind that this is 11 AM on a TUESDAY, the clientele was 85% senior citizens, 10% welfare recipients, 4% unemployed (including me), and 1% mental institution escapees, aka the alex and simon of ridge park square. i was in the glassware/china aisle minding my own business and looking at ivy etched baking dishes, when i overheard this:
"oh HONEY! look at this wonderful collection" (note that the whole aisle of made up of random dishes and bowls, none of which matched with each other in any way.)
"oh, yes, i just love that"
"yes, i know, and no more of the microwaveable and dishwashing silliness"
"oh yes, i am so relieved, i simply could not stand it anymore"
it wasn't so much the words at this point, but the soft lilting inflections befitting a museum gift shop that beckoned my ears. who are these people? i thought. i examined them peripherally and found them to be quite plain looking, of the rocky river, gale's on a saturday type. not mid morning on a weekday in marc's. and to be completely honest i caught him checking out my backside. (i'm not saying anything, i'm just saying!) it's like they KNEW i was eavesdropping on them! because they continue:
"this is perfect. the only problem now, u know, is that we have to go to the other marc's and we can't buy any produce here." (reference simon van campen and alex mccord blithely shucksing about how they can't wear an outfit again because her social climbing back was photographed by the society pages)
"i love the it reflects the light" (holding a 99 cent wine glass up to the fluorescent ceiling light)
"you do have an affinity for translucent qualities"
"wouldn't it be wonderful to buy this entire collection"
"honey, we already have a very nice stemware collection in the attic"
"this would make a great gift for your mother"
"yes, you are right"
"she would love this"
"oh yes the ridged edges"
"it looks like it costs $99" (he should go on the price is right)
"but we'd have to tell her where we got it from because she would never let us give such an expensive gift" (i love how they would otherwise have passed it off like something really expensive)
i walked away at this point. i was biting my cheek so hard not to laugh and i knew it i stuck around i would have just stood there staring at them with my mouth hanging open. wait till they see the whole aisle of "stemware" on the other side of the shelfs they were looking at.

what do u think of this adventure? was it worthy of retelling? i hope i did the couple justice. let me know what you think of them, what you think of me, and most of all what you think of cleveland, because i live in cleveland - it's a fact.