The Evil Clown’s Little Cousin

The building was there before – I can’t remember what kind of business it was – but a few years ago, it was done up to be an ice cream parlor. The location is a both a blessing and a curse. It’s right on a busy highway, but that highway is divided, so you can’t get there from here. If you come at it from the other direction, you’d better know exactly where it is because you’re past the entrance before you know it. And if you do find it, you’d better not be going any too fast because as soon as your front tires touch the asphalt, you have to hook sharply right in the parking lot.


That one way sign is right in your face as soon as you get onto the property and you’d better go that way, too otherwise you end up inside the iron patio railing. The patio was the site of tables and benches when the place was an ice cream parlor and is unused now. If you ask me, they’re overlooking a great venue for outdoor wine-tasting events but it’s not that kind of local market, I guess.

It’s the little cousin of the Evil Clown. The guy behind the counter told me that its separate ownership but yes, its the same – they have the same flier. (Bingley: Flier? What flier? I never saw a flier.) The two stores are even on the same highway, about 5 miles apart, but they serve entirely different customers. The Clown is located in the middle of NYC commuter territory and the Carousel is in more of a 3 cases of beer in the back of the pick-up location.

It has a charm that pulls you in, doesn’t it? The planets must have been in alignment yesterday because I got it on the first shot. More evidence of its ice cream parlor roots can be seen inside in the fetching wall paper theme. Its a small place and a good deal of the floor space is given over to stacks of beer cases. I wouldn’t call them aisles, exactly, its more of a maze effect going on there. And I suppose there is an order to the arrangement but it was not apparent on my first visit.

They do have these twee little carts on hand, but you’d have to be pretty determined and pretty skillful to navigate one around without clipping a box or two during the journey. But they do indeed have the same inventory as the Clown – the difference is the volume on display. The Clown was a supermarket in its previous life and has kept the fixtures includeing the cases and suburban  supermarket-sized  carts and lays out the California wines in the old vegetable display counters. The rest of the stock is on shelves that formerly held canned goods and refrigerated dairy items. I was after a bottle of Beringer Third Century Cabernet-Sauvignon, which I found in a pile of 20 or so bottles at The Clown last week. here, I took one of the two bottles in the rack.

The upside for me is that its almost under my nose but its no place to wander around for half and hour reading labels and enjoying yourself. For that, The Clown is much better. But if I know what I’m after, this is a quick stop to make at the end of a wearying work day.



Do you really imagine that I don’t know the
difference between tweed and slubbed silk
? You might have a case if you thought I made an error about dupioni and shantung – although that would never happen – but really now … this accusation  is too much to bear.

Darlings, all comedy is an
exaggeration of the truth. I know she’s not wearing tweed but it’s entirely believable and I had you there for a minute, didn’t I? Don’t take everything so seriously. Loosen up the buckles on your Birkenstocks and let a fresh breeze blow up your dirndls once in a while. It might do you some good.

Best regards, Suzette

p.s. – It occurs to me that we never see HRC carrying a purse. Question: What if she has to sneeze? This might be the explanation for wardrobe selections designed around easy-access to her own boob crack – that’s where she keeps her Kleenex.

Why I Love The On-Line Gossip Sites

It goes without saying that in general, I consider myself to be highbrow but that is not to say that I eschew the lowbrow. What would I do without my favorite on-line gossip sites? I am uninterested in lots of what goes on there, for instance: Nicole Richie, Kate Moss and Hayden Panettiere -whoever that is – don’t interest me at all, but I do keep a close eye on all things Federline, the Cruise family and the Osborne children. I’m not proud of it, but that’s the way it is. I love these sites and this is just a partial list of the reasons why:

1. Special nicknames.
For regular readers, no need to explain who the Pop Trainwreck is, or the Scientolotot, My Pretty Pony Parker, White Oprah or even Madge (aka Vadge, Her Madgesty, Esther).

2. The unexpected:  Find of the week – Courtney Love’s alarming facial hair.

3. Eye on who’s getting hotter. This might not be the right title, but you can see who’s publicist is working hard and getting the names into the columns. Lots of Kanye West and the Simpson girls  this week. * yawn * FYI: there’s been a noticeable upswing in the Queen Latifa coverage lately.

4. Speculation. I don’t need actual facts to give me a buzz, if its got juice, that is quite often enough. Witness: the confirmed story is that Liz Taylor has a new man and that things are pret-ty serious. The speculation is that he’ll be husband #9. Keep your Paris Hilton hijinks, you can’t beat Hollywood royalty.

5. Ursula Plassnik.  She is:

  • Austria’s Foreign Minister
  • 6 feet 3 inches tall
  • a scarf enthusiast

Good gawd, I love this woman. I’ve even gone so far as to interrogate my Austrian connection about real life Ursula sightings. Being a blonde, glasses-wearing, scarf enthusiast myself, I am just delighted about any mention of her. I also like that she drags giant handbags around with her – you never see Condoleeza Rice carrying a purse. I get all my Ursula news from one site: Princess Sparkle Pony’s Photoblog which I originally bookmarked to keep tabs on the many hairdos of Condi.If you enjoy being a girl, PSPP is is a must read.

Hillary Watch

Big but unsurprising news news this week about HRC putting the squeeze on GQ and withholding access to BJ Clinton unless an unflattering article about infighting among her campaign team gets squashed. Well, who needed a magazine article to know that there’s infighting?  Just look at the evidence:

The Hillary we got then:


The Hillary we get now:


The top photo was from only a few weeks ago when we were treated to Happy "Pleased Ta Meetcha"   Hillary. The package was bright plumage, oversized bead and earring sets and not just boob crack, but a peep at the actual boob itself. The lower picture is from last night’s debate where we see that the image now is Battle Weary "I Need Some Healthcare Myself" Hillary. See how she’s gesturing for just a leetle pep pill? Just this one time?

Obviously, the  the Chunky Jewelery vote has already been secured and the target is now the Monet and Trifari crowd. Either that or there’s a huge battle taking place between her stylists. Yes, they agree on the hip-covering jackets and the plain black pants, but what is going on in the upper sector? An unflattering color, dull jewelry so small as to be almost invisible, tweeeed fabric that blends into the background and Heaven help us, but is that a mullet?

It’s a sad thing – here I had my hopes up for a brilliant political season filled with girly flair. I hope last evening was an isolated incident and that we will soon see the flinging off of the camisole insert and the return of those alluring baubles and bangles.


This is what’s taking up all of my time right now:

  1. Reno 9 1 1
  2. Cheap Trick’s "Surrender"
  3. Tuna Wiggle


  • Although I might take a break from Reno 9 1 1 and allow the season premiere of the "The Office".
  • Although I just found out that Salt-N-Pepa have a VH-! reality show starting soon. No mention of Spinderella. "Salt is angry about being unappreciated when they were together and Pepa blames Salt for breaking up the group." Shoop!
  • Although, The Office – yeah!I There’s an Office Season Premiere Party here tonight. It includes an exclusive guest list of one mother and one daughter, uncorking an adult  beverage and sending a semi-disabled husband out to pick up some take-out tempura and edamame. Also, he is not to attempt conversation until the show is over.

Shocking Revelations

Nothing new under the sun, kids. And I do mean "kids".

Love you,  Consumerist, love you a lot but I have to say it – you made me laugh out loud  today when I read the post about "Coffee Makers As Overpriced Gadgets". The point of the piece was to put down "many of them are the same plastic pieces of crap, just with varying degrees of unnecessary features." Although I’d like to spout my own opinions of the glory of a coffee-maker with a built-in timer and how nothing is more important to me except that the brew is hot hot hot, there’s no need to go into a debate about it here – the author got told in the comments.

The thing about it that made me laugh is the  astonishingly ingenuous remark in the litany against extraneous features: " One coffee-maker has a function that cuts off the drip so you can pour coffee while it’s being made."

Hello 1985!

At first, I thought this was a reflection of the author’s young age, based on experience with my own dear children. Both of them are extremely smart and culturally aware, but were taken over with wonderment at the discovery of our toaster’s built-in crumb tray, a device that has been around exactly one day less than toaster crumbs. But I don’t really know the author’s age so I have to go with the "limited exposure" theory.

Although one could make a case for this theory being age-related, I remember another instance where an ordinary item was a wondrous revelation to someone who had never seen it before. A 30 year old woman that I worked with at my first job, she of the silver porringer dinner party, was in the midst of having her magnificent, upper East Side, pre-war apartment painted. Someone asked her how it was going and she was all enthused about a new invention that the painters were using and she asked us if we had ever heard of it – it was called a paint roller.

We shrieked at that – wouldn’t you?- but I have to admit that every now and then, I ponder on what life must be like if you don’t have to bother yourself with ever considering the details of how work gets done until you are 30 years old.

Butter Creep

Leopards don’t change their spots, they just start hoarding different stuff.

There was a time when any tomato product in a can could be found in multiples on my garage. That was back in the day that you could get 10 for a dollar – 10 cans of crushed tomatoes, 10 cans of Italian plum tomatoes, 10 big honkin’ cans of tomato sauce – 10 for a dollar.  I guess the price of tomatoes , even during the January Can-Can, has gone up because I couldn’t find a single one in there this week.

There are, however, 60 rolls of toilet tissue in my front hallway.

We’re not talking about Big Box warehouse shopping here. We’re talking about Mr. Sami and his dedication to searching out a good price and then stocking up. Way up. This also explains the sudden upsurge in boxed croutons around here.

FYI – the man disdains Big Box warehouse shopping and likens it to that Teddy Roosevelt hunting trip where well-meaning assistants tied a bear to a tree for easy pickin’s. Teddy refused based on sportsmanship and that is the same reason that keeps Sami out of the warehouses. They are for amateurs.

But this post is about butter. You might think that last summer’s refrigerator crisis would have taught the folly of hoarding a perishable item  but if you did, you’d be new around here. Butter is creeping back into the picture. I see 4 boxes in the vegetable crisper, 4 boxes in the freezer and three boxes on the refrigerator door. I suppose he’s preparing for the holiday baklava season and if that’s the case, expect to see a steady stream of walnuts and filberts making their way into the dining room to meet up with their disposable aluminum baking pan overlords.