Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shopping in Downtown Palm Springs

I've never been one for all the "Black Friday" hype....but I did find inspiration from the "Small Business Saturday" grass roots campaigns I saw floating around the web. Small businesses are in fact the lifeblood of the American economy. Lots of people make their living by either working for, or owning a small business. If you've ever been to Palm Springs, especially along downtown Palm Canyon Drive the one thing you will notice is the absence of big business.

It was an easy decision to support the "Small Business Saturday" campaign...all I needed to do was not drive to the big malls, but instead swing by the shops on Palm Canyon Drive here in Palm Springs. There I found a delightful array of unique shops. Memento Gift Shop is one of my favorites, as well as Cold Nose Warm Heart. I also like Crystal Fantasy, R&R Menswear, British Invasion, and loads of others. I was pleasantly surprised to find lots of people shopping our downtown village area on Saturday. 
My hope is that the focus of "Small Business Saturday" helped re-introduce consumers all across America to the many small businesses right in their own communities. Here in the Coachella Valley, we depend of tourism, snow birds and driving distance visitors from Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and other coastal communities. If you come to Palm Springs anytime soon, stop by our lovely downtown village and see some of the really great retail shops we have along Palm Canyon Drive. As the Palm Springs Savant, I can vouch for the great businesses, restaurants and hotels here. Don't miss an opportunity for a different shopping experience, and a chance to support real people who need your patronage.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Being Thankful...not just on Thanksgiving

Americans have plenty for which to be thankful. We enjoy an incredibly high standard of living and good fortune as a nation. Our Thanksgiving holiday of course, has deep traditions from the Pilgrims, but it is relevant even today. Taking a day to be thankful, share gratitude with friends and family and pause to reflect is a good habit. Taking 365 days to be thankful is even better. 

I'm thankful for all the blessings of my life. For friends, family, a career, living in a great community, having good health, and much more. I could wax poetic about this topic, but suffice to say I am thankful every day of my life. Our time on this planet is short. Give thanks today for sure, and every moment we can.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I know there's something going on

Growing up, I was a huge ABBA fan. Oddly enough I still consider myself one today. I can recall when VCR tapes were all the rage. The big debate was between VHS and BetaMax. For some strange reason my dad chose BetaMax because it was supposed to have a higher quality resolution. Anyway, as a kid I went down to my local video store to find an ABBA BetaMax tape for my family VCR. I special ordered one for $100. Can you even imagine? A hundred bucks? Anyway the tape finally arrived. The year waa 1982...and suddenly, there was a new tape for me to order. It was Frida, one quarter of the ABBA foursome. Frida had released a solo album, and her first single "I know there's something going on" was the big hit of the day. Instantly I knew I had to have Frida's album. Anything associated with ABBA was sure to be of interest to me, I thought. Sure enough I bought the album and eventually a VCR tape of her video. Frida was a rocker-chick, more so than her ABBA counterparts, but I loved the hard sound. Even to today, I know there's something going on!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lessons Learned from Champagne and a Snack Stick

Not long ago, I was meeting a friend for a Sunday Brunch meeting but was an hour early at our destination. I decided to relax with a nice glass of champagne to kill time until the appointed hour arrived. After perusing the wine list, I selected the least offensive from an already over-priced list of champagnes by the glass. When the server brought the champagne, she also delivered a single snack stick in what looked like a double shot glass. I wasn't expecting an abundance of snacks--nor did I need to fill up on anything at this point. However it stuck me how odd it seemed to have just one single snack stick placed before me, particularly considering the price I was paying for the glass of champagne. Not one to complain, I smiled and nodded politely in acknowledgement to the server. I stared at the lone snack stick and pondered the precise moment to delve into the treasure that stood proudly before my eyes

After a few small sips of champagne, I began to crave the texture of the snack stick in my mouth. My mind drifted ever-so-briefly, as I stared longingly at the snack stick. If I eat it too soon, and am not done with the champagne, I would regret it being gone, I thought. If I wait too long to eat it, then I wont have any champagne left to drink and would have a dry mouth. Decisions, decisions. Maybe I should take one small bite, I wondered, to slowly savor the snack stick in tiny parts. Yes, that seemed like a plan. I reconsidered that plan and wondered if it would just be best to eat it in one bite, and plan now to simply order a second glass of champagne to wash down the crumbs.

Then out of nowhere I was roused out of my deep thoughts by the distant sound of a child screaming. It was a metaphor for my own whining. There I was, with a lovely glass of champagne before me, on a quiet Sunday morning, and yet all I could think about was the lone, lousy cheap, free snack stick. How could I lose sight of what mattered, and so easily, at that? I realized that as Americans, we tend to obsess over what we have, and that which we do not. The notion of a "limited supply" can be stirring...whether it is a snack stick, or more vital needs, like fresh drinking water, food, or even gasoline, which at the moment is still being rationed in the New York area post Hurricane Sandy.

I'm certainly not being flip or arrogant with this story of the champagne and snack stick, but rather to illustrate a point. Life is about perspective, focusing on the right things that matter. Its about living in the moment, and being thankful for what we do have. None of us know what tomorrow brings, but one thing I do know is that nothing in this world is forever. So make the best of everything. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Looking Ahead

Autumn has long been one of my favorite seasons because of what it represents, both literally and metaphorically. Wonderful things happen in Autumn. The change of winds and weather bring new energy and reasons to celebrate. While things may not always appear what they seem to be, this adds an element of surprise and wonderment. When the fog lifts, we are better able to truly see the clear path to the future. Success is at hand. The honorable shall be victorious and exalted, have the confidence of others and smile once again at the blessings of this incredible life.


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