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Archive for the ‘daily journals’ Category

Did Krispy Kreme make a tactical error when they opened a store in Soho? Perhaps the willpower of the yoga-pilates crowd is too strong as many seem able to resist the melt-in-the mouth famous donuts, judging by my observations at the Elgin Street store. There are few customers in the mornings and rarely does the shop have more than one or two people inside. I could be wrong, but when I see the staff standing on the corner trying to drum up business I can’t help but think that they are having a rough start.

Although Soho-ites love their coffee, they continue to bypass KK’s Illy coffee (best in the neighbourhood in my opinion) to get their lattes at Starbucks or Mix. Maybe the donut shop franchise is not cool enough for this crowd. KK was handing out free coffees to escalator commuters this morning in an attempt to win over a few customers.

And of course, there’s the donuts. The Soho crowd is reluctant to sabotage their PURE-honed physiques for a 200+ calorie treat, no matter how delicious. Instead, they are picking up their snacks at the many health-food restaurants cropping up along the escalator.

I’m surprised KK even decided to open their second outlet in this $60-a-salad neighbourhood. Despite the quality of the coffee, and even the donuts (if you’re a donut lover), KK still has a “fast-food franchise” look to it that does not jive well with the locals.

KK would do better in a shopping mall, or in a place like GREAT where customers indulge themselves with Godiva chocolates and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. I’m wondering how long they will last in their high-rent corner location. But for now, I’m enjoying getting my coffee from somewhere other than Starbucks.

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bel airLast night, Neil (aka ‘spouse) and I went down to Bel Air (phase 3) to visit our friends who have, in recent months, done two things which top the list of ‘lifestyle-altering events’: they bought a flat and had a baby.
Bel Air reminds me somewhat of the Land of Mordor from Lord of the Rings. Getting there is a piece of cake — just like Sam and Frodo, you can see the enormous towers for miles in either direction. It’s getting in that presents the biggest challenge.

If you happen to want to visit, my advice to you is do not drive. The parking lot decends to depths rarely known to man — who knows what kind of evil lurks so deep in the ground. If we had encountered a giant spider’s lair, I would hardly have been surprised.

Once parked you are then faced with surfacing. The lifts that immediately appear to be your best bet, are accessed only through a secret code. Try in vain to call your friends for help, there is no phone reception in hell. I’m still not sure the ‘correct’ procedures from getting from parkade to podium. For this reason, (and the still-vivid recollections of our past, failed attempts), we decided to take a taxi last night instead.

However, even though we bypassed the parking-lot trap, in the lobby we were faced with our final opponent: the computerised lift. Push the buttons too fast, she rejects you; too slow, she ignores you. I’m convinced the lift has taken a life of its own, much like HAL from 2001:Space Odyssey. I swear it assesses your suitability for visiting Bel Air, then treats you accordingly. Next time I visit, I half expect a suspiciously mellow voice to say: “22nd floor? Are you sure you want to visit them? After all, they had a dinner party last night and didn’t invite you. Why not go home where you’re more welcome.”

Despite the user-unfriendliness of the perimeter, once in, I have to say the flats are very appealing. I was so seduced by the top-of-the-line kitchen appliances, I could almost trade in my love of colonial charm for the sheer-newness factor. But on second thought, maybe not.

Our quest was to see the baby, and that’s what we did, basking in her aura as she slept in our arms. It’s magical holding a little baby, their little hands, their smell. The new-ness of them is so compelling, I could almost trade in the independence of our family unit for a chance to have a baby once again in our home. But on second thought, maybe not.

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