Monday, October 6, 2008

Paris, Day 4: Clingnancourt and Montmarte

Todd arrived at the crack of dawn (before I even crawled home from my late night, poor thing) and we moved to the 16th and checked into our amazing digs at La Réserve. As you can see, we are essentially on top of the Eiffel Tower—it's beyond a dream! The staff here apparently guessed my weakness: fabulous, fabulous macaroons.

Soon we were met by our fabulous guide, Bob, and photographer, Frank, for a guided tour of the Clingnancourt flea market. It was so valuable having a local lead us through the streets: The market is huge and fakes are numerous enough that anyone doing serious shopping would really want to bring along expertise. I loved the vintage clothes, of course, and spotted a fetching Schiaparelli suit and a lot of Chanel, but didn't purchase anything. Someday I'll own the perfect vintage Schiaparelli...

Next up was a tour of Montmarte where I had my first snail in the shell experience. So French—and delish!

Day 3, part 2: Nuit Blanche!

After the Chloe show on Saturday, Susan from Seattle and I hooked up near the Trocadero to experience Nuit Blanche, the one night of the year Paris celebrates the arts from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.—for free! Many galleries are open all night and each train station throughout the city hosts and features the work of a contemporary artist. Tony Oursler did a cool video installation on the facade of one station, and in the Bastille we watched a Bollywood music and dance performance that was cool but the show was so fragmented I was unclear where the art came in. At another gallery around 2 a.m., we watched some cool video installations/performance, but most of the night's fun came in the spirit of the city: teenagers and hard-partiers especially embraced the up-all-night-aspect and drama was high. The Metro shut down and, stuck in the Bastille, I spent my first good night's sleep at her darling apartment.

Susan near the Eiffel Tower.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Paris Day 3: Chloe

Just a few quick notes about the Chloe show this afternoon in the Jardin des Tuileries before I run off to a dinner: Celebrity sightings were (obvs) numerous; favorite moments included the can't-miss entrance of the unbeatable Anna Piaggi and her sun visor over a purple bandana headband; Santino (!?!) avoiding Nina, who kept her classic Project Runway pursed smile on her face throughout the show (but she looked really lovely, one of the prettiest women there); Carine Roitfeld's awesome collar (she sat right across from me with her daughter, looking right out of the fashion pages), Bill Cunningham(!!) sort of taking pictures and sort of looking like everything was going too fast; the frenzy that ensued when a young little actress whom I as usual cannot recognize showed up; and just the overall vibe was swank and FUN.

Thanks to Benedicte (below) and her connection at Chloe for the "in." I'm thrilled to say I've done (slight exaggeration) Paris Fashion Week! (oh and I even got my pic taken by a photographer for Elle, I think the French version. I'd love to see my current fave Gary Graham dress in "On the Street" :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Paris, Day 2

Every one of us has experienced a long forgotten scent that, once encountered, triggers a strong emotion. Melancholy gets me every time. Climbing stairwells in 1960s-era buildings evokes the antiseptic, chalk-dust powdered hallways of my elementary school in Delaware. A trip to a neighborhood library can throw me into a nostalgia tailspin, as afternoons spent sitting Indian style (as we called it back then) on dust-bunnied floors while flipping through mildewed copies of the the Bobbsey Twins series come flooding back to me.

I could recount dozens of memories like these, moments from my past I probably would have forgotten forever without stumbling across the random scent that triggers it. But I’ve never given much thought to the significance of my olfactory senses until today in Paris, when I took a perfume workshop at the Thierry Mugler headquarters with Elisabeth de Feydeau, a perfume historian (she has a PhD in perfume history, which impressed me to no end) and one of the leading experts on 18th century Paris, Versailles and Marie Antoinette. The history of perfume: How perfectly French and what a fabulous way to kick off my 9 days in Paris!

During the four-hour workshop Elisabeth recounted the truly fascinating history of perfume dating back to 4,000 B.C., when the Egyptians first created scents to offer to the gods. Her talk traveled through the years from Cleopatra to Cologne to Charlie, (the circa 1972 fragrance) and included dozens of real scent experiments, where my group smelled and discussed everything from Marie Antoinette’s perfume to ambergris (the prized stuff whales puke up that’s used to make high-end perfumes).

I’ll likely be writing more about Elisabeth and her totally cool workshops in this article I’m researching while in Paris, but right now I’m just hooked on this notion of the history of fragrance. Elisabeth is a wealth of information, to say the least, and I’m pouting that I can’t kidnap her for my trip to Versailles later this week (EuroPanache, the group that puts on this workshop, offers an two-day perfume workshop in Versailles that sounds amazing, but I'll be winging it on my own for my trip). More to come on all this, but I’m thinking these miniature and specialized tours are the way to go when visiting a place such as Paris, where the overall history and decadence can be overwhelming.

Speaking of decadence, after the workshop (which included champagne and macroons, my favorite little French cookie, and other treats), we all got a private viewing of the upcoming Thierry Muegler women’s collection—his first in many years to be released this November, as well as several of his vintage pieces, which are absolute works of art. Again, how special is that, to see these pieces up close and in a private setting? The only other way you'd see these pieces would be in a museum show, where the intricate, sculptural forms would be behind velvet ropes and thick glass. The new stuff featured some beautiful, just lovely pieces, most of which hearkened the Muegler of yesteryear while softening the edges to suit the style of the present. A model showcased a couple of especially fetching pieces, including that knock-out dress Naomi Watts (the current face of Muegler) wore to the party at the MET in NY this summer (see pic). The whole afternoon was such a treat and, as I mentioned, a lovely primer to my week of fashion and all things Paris.

Tomorrow is the Chloe show… stay tuned!

My life in Paris, Day 1

I'm all checked into Le Meridien and ready to devour a week of fashion, perfume, shopping, food, art and the rest of goodness that is Paris. My view doesn't include La Eiffel, but it ain't bad either.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ali Takes Paris—and Gary Graham

Photograph: The New York Times
I just learned that I'm headed off to Paris for 10 days in October to report on behind-the-scenes shopping and the all-around Good Life in the City of Light (fancy hotels and restaurants, private fashion shows and cooking classes, perfume workshops and hair and makeup sessions and the like). I know, tough life, right? I'm giving thanks to the goddesses of good fortune!

In any case, as excited as I am to visit (and shop in) Paris again, I'm especially stoked to drop into New York for a few hours to see the new Gary Graham boutique at ABC Carpet & Home. Anyone who knows me knows I'm smitten with GG clothes—it's my one splurge—so I was giddy to hear about his new boutique opening early last month.

Except so far I've heard little about it! I'm curious about which pieces he is selling—I love the new shibori dress and striped shirt/skirt—not to mention what the overall experience is like. Have you been to the new boutique and loved it…or hated it?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Seattle Bride on Northwest Afternoon

Last week I was asked back as a guest on Northwest Afternoon—this time to chat about fall bridal trends and Seattle Bride's 10th anniversary issue. Once again a fantastic team of talented bridal vendors and coworkers helped me out, especially Elizabeth Tveit at Tiger Oak Publications, Stephanie Cristalli Photography, Judy Tallant of Tallant House (yum!), Christiane Zweifler of Flora Nova, Miya Ferguson of willow&bloom, Gayle O'Donnel at All About Weddings, Stephanie Solomon of Solomon Event Planning and E.E. Robbins. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Long and Short in the news!

As evidenced by total lack of posts, I took the summer off from blogging. But now I'm back with some fun news about The Long and Short of It. Google Alerts (love this feature) tipped me off to this cute article about my book in the Style Matters section of the Rocky Mountain News. It's always great to read positive reviews and these gals seem like a kick. I'll certainly be back to their column to check out their Style Matters blog and read more about the history of the skirt.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sharpening Pencil Skirts

Bill Cunningham for The Times
It is without a hint of shame that I tell you that my favorite part of the online edition of the Sunday New York Times has become Bill Cunningham's audio slide shows of On the Street. For three-or-four minutes he discusses fashionable trends he's seen on New York streets and his take is always fascinating. Whether he's discussing low-slung men's jeans or oversize handbags, his enthusiasm and admiration for the trend, and his passion for fashion in general, is really quite special. I believe he only began these interactive audio discussions earlier this year (I could be wrong on that date), but the interjection of his voice and his sparkling personality is what his column has always needed—you just didn't realize it until he started doing it! (Granted, I've always glanced at On the Street, which has been around for in the hard-copy NYT for something like 35 years, and I know it's wildly popular and Bill is credited with making street fashion "important," but I only became addicted when the audio was added).

This week was especially of interest to me because he talks about the trend of women wearing tight pencil skirts paired with spiked heels on blistering hot July days. His point of view is fabulous, and he goes in depth into the cut and tailoring of the backside and likens "this very disciplined look" to a new form of hobble skirt (as anyone who reads this blog knows, the Hobble Skirt was my favorite chapter to research in my book). His vocabulary is marvelous (he calls spiked heels "a saucy, bit of a sagacious kind of look") and his depth of fashion history is vast. Toward the middle he discusses "French skirts," a cut I wasn't familiar with.

I strongly recommend listening to this week's short audio and when you're done, catch up on all of Bill's interactive features and read this terrific profile of him in ArtForum by now-fellow NYT fashion writer, Guy Trebay. It's a great piece of background on Bill written 12 years ago in 1996, and even then establishes his legacy as an influential fixture, albeit humble one, in the fashion world. And then if you're looking for even more information on pencil skirts, read "Cold War Years," chapter 9 in The Long (and Short) of It: The Madcap History of the Skirt.

Friday, June 27, 2008

One of the gals at Seattle Magazine interviewed Christian Soriano from Project Runway while he was in Seattle for a Gay Health fund-raiser last night. I'm so bummed I missed this event! But I have to share this video because I'm such a fan. I just think he's so articulate and funny and sweet and does so much for fashion. I'm just smitten!

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Seattle Bride on newsstands!

Photograph by Tom Barwick; Bouquet by Aria Style
I am so pleased with the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of Seattle Bride magazine, which hit newsstands on Friday. The magazine is chock full of wedding goodness and celebrates our 10th Anniversary to boot. Not bad for a start-up local bridal publication!

Photograph by Elke Van de Velde for Ajentse
As usual, a big shout-out goes to the amazing team of talented women who make up the Seattle Bride team and the dozens of creative local wedding vendors, without whom our magazine would have no legs on which to stand. Kudos to all!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Seattle Bride on the radio!

Image by Elke Van de Velde for Ajentse

Tune into to "The Flow" on KKNW 1150 a.m. today at 2 p.m. to hear me chat with 7 Salon owner Rodger Azadganian about bridal trends in the Northwest and get a sneak preview of what's in the upcoming Fall/Winter issue of Seattle Bride!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sex and the City: The Perfect Wedding Movie?

(Craig Blankenhorn/The Kobal Coll)
At the risk of spoiling the storyline of Sex and the City: The Movie, which I saw along with at least 1,000 other devoted women (and about 3 gay men) at the Meridian in Seattle last night, I'm going out on a limb here and saying that it just may be the perfect wedding movie. (I assume you've all seen the trailers by now, of Carrie in a wedding dress, so I won't reveal whether or not it's a real wedding or with whom—but there are Big surprises, natch.) Feel free to chime in on this one, but what I loved most about the movie—and it was perfect and brilliant and hilarious and sexy, from start to finish, by the way, no matter what the reviewers are saying—was its overall theme of forgiveness and honesty. The storyline has some incredibly powerful moments dealing with the highs and lows of relationships and really reinforced my belief (and that of the rest of the Seattle Bride mag team) that weddings are about planning a marriage first and a party second. That none of the tulle and frills and favors and flavors matter if the relationship of the two people involved isn't based on complete acceptance.

Oh, and did anyone else think that the city of Seattle completely dropped the ball in catering to the gajillions of women who turned Pike and Pine into a virtual catwalk last night? Thumbs up to all the ladies, because in my 16 years living here I can't think of a single other event that brought so much style and fashion to our city streets. The people-watching was amazing, to say the least, and only ONE nearby bar (Von's) had a SATC (cosmopolitan) promotion (and we had to ask for it), single men seemed to be avoiding the area like the plague (the fools!), and I saw none of the press shooting pics of all the fashion, beauty and energy (the Times, PI, et al, really missed out on reporting on this super cool happening of women). Maybe the Pike/Pine street-fashion blog will cover it but as of today there's nothing on the site. I wish I had brought my camera because I would love to share images of the endless parade of killer style Seattle women put out there last night!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Seattle Bride vs. Dinner Impossible

Tune in tonight to watch Dinner Impossible on the Food Network at 10 p.m. (or in re-runs all week). Super stylist, and lifestyle and entertaining expert Kelley Moore and Seattle Bride Magazine teamed up with the crew at Dinner Impossible to help a couple plan a lightening-fast five-star wedding. In fact, the whole affair was planned in just under five weeks! Kudos to the team at Seattle Bride and Kelley Moore for rounding up an amazing group of altruistic Seattle-area wedding vendors, who donated their time and services to the couple so that they could get married in time to have the bride's father—who was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness—attend the nuptials.

Dinner Impossible is calling the show "Culture-Clash Wedding" in reference to the bride and groom's mixed heritage. Seattle Bride is probably calling it A Day of Gratitude in our upcoming issue in which the story is featured. Pick up a copy when it comes out in July and judge for yourself: Which story is better: TV or Print?!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The History of Skirts continues…

(One of my favorite Spring 2008 Gary Graham skirts)

On Thursday I received an exciting email from a producer at 1TV in the UK about a five-part series the station is doing on the History of Fashion, and she invited me to participate as their resident "expert" on the history of skirts. It turns out that they are dedicating an entire film to skirt history, mostly 20th and 21st century skirts. Since I've written what might be the only book on the topic, they asked me to come on board. Well, wouldn't you know it, the segment is taping this Friday, April 25, and sadly I don't have the means to jet over there before then. Still, I'm really excited that they are putting this series together and I can't wait to see the show after it airs around May 1. The producer has offered to send me a copy sometime later that month, so stay tuned: I might post a little snippet from the section on skirts!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Cycle Chic in Textile View magazine

This post is a little overdue but my article Cycle Chic was published in the current issue of Textile View. I think it turned out pretty great. Thanks to the dozens of cyclists from Seattle to San Diego who schooled me on the history of fixies and the evolution of cycle chic.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Moore News

Well, this sure was a nice surprise in today's mail. I opened up Moore News, the quarterly magazine from my alma mater, Moore College of A&D, and saw a little article about the chat I gave to some of the fashion and textile students there last October (click on the image to read the story). I love the article and am so happy to have a picture with my three favorite teachers and mentors, Michael, Deborah and Lewis. Coming back to Moore was certainly a career highlight. Thanks again to everyone at Moore who set it up and to the writer of this neat piece!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I (heart) KCTS

Just a reminder to watch this week's "About the Money," a program hosted by Christine Chen on KCTS-TV, Channel 9 in Seattle, Tuesday at 7:30 pm. I'll be on to talk about love, money and marriage, weddings, brides and industry news and trends on a segment called "CEO Spotlight" (!!). If you missed the segment, KCTS has a web page where you can view the show!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Is it possible to wear white in winter?

I have the perfect dress for my Macy's Bridal event tomorrow: A Verrier white flocked ruffle dress. But how do you wear a white chiffon dress in February? Is it at all possible? It's too breezy for tights and too textured for fishnets, too ruffled for a jacket and too stark to pair with color. Plus the Macy's stage is white, with white tablecloths on the tables. If I wear bare legs I'll look ridiculous walking the eight blocks to the store and boots are out of the question. Is there any advisable way I can wear this and not look foolish? Or do I save this pretty dress for spring and go with black (again)?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Macy's & Me

The upcoming week brings more …Me! As many of you have reminded me with snapshots of the downtown Macy's window, this Saturday (2/2) is the FREE Macy's Bridal Spectacular Event, and I'll be there with Jorge Perez from Waterford, chatting tabletop settings, registry and other such stuff. It's a day-long event for brides or anyone interested in housewares, party planning and decor. Did I mention it's free? So come on down!

Next week I'll be chatting all things bridal on About the Money with Christine Chen on KCTS-TV. That's Channel 9 for those in the 98101, at 7:30 p.m. on 2/11. It's sure to be a very fiscal Valentine's Day special. Tune in and, even better, invite me over to watch it. PBS is the one channel my downtown cable can never tune in and I wouldn't mind seeing my public television debut.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shuck & Swallow

There are two things I have in common with every other healthy American woman: I love to eat and I swoon for firefighters. So it was a no-brainer to agree to take part in the Shuck & Swallow Oyster Challenge at McCormick's Fish House tomorrow (1/24) for my second year in a row. And just to be clear: I like oysters, but I'm a counter, not a schucker, and definitely not a challenger! In the event, local chefs shuck oysters at record speed for iron-stomached firefighters while cheerleaders like me rally my team and count the number of oysters consumed. (Last year my firefighter ate something like 60 oysters in 10 minutes—and he came in, like, 5th. These guys are animals!) Best of all, the whole thing benefits Seattle's Bravest Charity, which provides assistance and scholarships for the families of fallen firefighters. Who doesn't want to support that? Maybe one of these days I'll get a DVR and put some video on this site, but in the meantime, Tivo or tune in to KING 5 Morning News on KONG tomorrow morning to see how it goes down (there's a rumor that they also might run highlights of the event throughout the evening on Northwest Cable News).

You can stop by the Fish House and see the action live and in person at 3:30 p.m., buy a beer, slurp some oysters, and donate toward the cause. It's a good crowd and a fun time whether you're an oysterphile or not: Imagine hoards of hottie firefighters and piping live music by way of The Seattle Firefighter's Pipes & Drums Band throughout the evening—in kilts!

Update! Firefighter Bobo beat his record from last year and swallowed 97 oysters in 10 minutes! But even crazier is what followed: the runner-up (a mere 90 oysters) challenged Bobo to a short challenge: who could eat 20 oysters the fastest—and then went on to eat 20 oysters in 21 seconds! It was mind-blowing and I haven't laughed so hard in ages... Click here can learn more about Seattle's Bravest Charity.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Interview on A Full Plate

Writer, editor and busy mom Sarah Jio recently interviewed me and posted the results as a kind of "All About Ali" on her terrific blog, A Full Plate, where she dishes about writing, motherhood and what's for dinner. Sarah writes for top-notch publications, including O, Glamour, Health, SELF, and Fitness, among many others, so it's great to be affiliated with such esteemed company! Check it out at A Full Plate and then take a look at the rest of Sarah's blog. I especially like the food section, although I'm in awe that a woman raising a little one has time to make a gorgeous tray of Meyer lemon souffles, not to mention prune cake along with the rest of her Christmas feast. Who even knew you could buy Meyer lemons in December? Not me!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ali at Macy's on February 2!

Well, um, this is kinda cool.
First of all, big thanks go to the creative and talented duo of fashion design students at the Art Institute of Seattle, who came up with the idea of making a dress entirely out of pages and covers of Seattle Bride magazine. (I know this dress is inexplicably sideways on this blog page—sorry 'bout that—but is it fierce or what?!?) I can't believe this gorgeous piece of couture is made of paper. Stop by the downtown Seattle Macy's to check it out for yourself and, come February, be sure to swing by and check out the big event. I'll be giving my own little chat on hot bridal trends and great budget-friendly ideas so you won't want to miss it!
And, as always, big props to the swell marketing team at Seattle Bride for getting exclusive partnering with Macy's!

Best New Vendor at the Wedding Show

Glam by Pam had the most amazing, sparkling, show-stopping booth I saw all day—and all the vendors pulled out all the stops this year! I can't remember if this is her first year at the Wedding Show (she may have had a booth last year) but we featured her for the first time in the Spring/Summer 2007 issue and I just think she is a true artist. The reason I'm only publishing one not-so-great image of her work rather than the dozens I could be publishing is that I want to save some of her new creations for possibly inclusion in upcoming editorial in Seattle Bride!
Pamela Claussen (the Pam in Glam by Pam) has thousands and thousands of vintage baubles, jewels, glassworks and stones in her personal collection, and she is a compulsive creator—she can't stop making headpieces, accessories, and jewelry from her vintage treasures. I especially love her headpieces but the whole booth is pure eye candy…

Adventures in copyrights at the Wedding Show

There are a ton of un-be-lievable dresses I want to take pictures of, but unfortunately some vendors have issues with it. You know, the whole copyright of the design thing. I explained it was just for personal blogging and, honestly, in this age of free information does Vera Wang or Monique Lhuillier even have time to worry about their designs being ripped off from a blog? Just imagine lots of feathers and patchwork…
However! La Belle Reve, a newish, impossibly chic boutique had no problem with my snapping their dresses. This one was so lovely and simple: a fresh, flattering updated classic cut made in exquisite ivory-on-ivory rose print. It's by Manuel Moto and I want it for myself and I can't wait to go by the shop again and see what other treasures they're holding.
Those accessories, by the way, are by Glam by Pam, who is the Best New Wedding Vendor of 2007, in my opinion.

while we're talking bouquets...

John at Aria had another great bouquet idea: real cherries in bouquets. Is this red and green bouquet darling or what? I'm guessing these are Rainiers. He said he tried it out for the first time for the show and that they kept really well. I love them. He also had these great tea-stained bouquets I should have taken a picture of but didn't, because I'm officially labeling tea-stained bouquets hot-trend-number-three.

Hot Trend Two

Yellow! We are seriously time-traveling to the 70s, here, people! Brown tuxes are hot and yellow is the It accent color, hands-down. I see yellow bridesmaid dresses, ribbons, stationary, and here, two gorgeous yellow-toned bouquets from Aria Style (who debuted their line of dresses at the Wedding Show!) And, yes, those are kumquats in the bouquet. It all looked so fresh and clever but still classic—and I'm betting it smelled delish! I should have stuck my nose in it!

Seattle Wedding Show, Day Two

So in regards to yesterday's post about tuxedo trends, it's true: Brown tuxedos are the hot thing for grooms! It makes sense, being that chocolate is a big color in weddings (chocolate and robin's egg blue, chocolate and fern green, chocolate and chocolate-chocolate, blahblahblah.) And these styles are really sharp, nothing like the thick, nubby, poo-brown polyester tuxes from the 70s. The brown tux (top) even wore a declaration of cool—The Hottest Tux in Town!—in case you didn't notice the other half-dozen brown tuxes all around the show. The gorgeous striped one (my favorite) is Fubu from Brocklind's; the bottom one is an After 6 Brown Suit, modeled by a natty gent from the Tux Shop. Their booth was right next to the (very loud) fashion show and those poor guys had become seriously punchy from hearing The Righteous Brothers on an endless loop—I told them that punchy was an inevitable and classic wedding show malady!

So I concede that the brown tux is the most surprising trend this year, but in my book, classic black is always a strong contender. Won't these brown tuxedos look dated in five years, the way powder-blue 70s tuxedos do?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Seattle Wedding Show, Day One

Today kicked off the Seattle Wedding Show and despite the fact that the event overlapped with a Seahawks playoff home-game (they won; yay Hawks!), the convention center had an amazing turnout of brides and, yes, grooms (most of whom wore their Hawks jerseys, natch).

I worked the booth with Seattle Bride's fab marketing gal, Elizabeth (see above), and we sold a ton of magazines: Just $3 gets you the brand new issue of Seattle Bride magazine and a copy of the 2008 Seattle Bride Resource Guide—both cost $6 in stores so it's a great deal for Puget Sound–area couples. Everyone seemed excited about the new issue, especially the photography feature and the fashion shoots.

Tomorrow I'll blog from the event and report on the hottest new trends and vendors. Since there's no game to keep the couples away, I think the place will be packed. It's cool to see the hundreds and hundreds of happy couples, of all ages and styles, making their plans toward the altar. I even saw my ex-boyfriend there and his lovely fiancée (nope, no hard feelings; I love them both) reporting that brown(!) tuxes are this year's big wedding trend for grooms. I'll have to look into this further!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Seattle Bride—10 years and counting!

The new Seattle Bride magazine hit newsstands yesterday, celebrating our 10th anniversary! I think it's pretty stunning. You can get a preview here or swing by the Seattle Wedding Show this weekend and get a copy—we're selling them at a big discount only at the show. I'll be there, along with the fabulous Seattle Bride mag team. Come by, say hello and tell us what you think of the new ish!