When Oliver and I saw the TV advert (starring Oliver’s friend Lily) last night for The Owls Howl, the new toy section of Leisure World, it was pre-destined that it would be part of our morning market run today. We were not disappointed: Owls Howl has ably picked up the ball from the defunct Whippersnapper, and is now the best (perhaps the only?) toy story in the city. They have aisles and aisles of Lego, Playmobil, and Thomas toys, and an intriguing selection of other things — everything from Canasta sets to “sun print” kits. Recommended.
Whatever happened to Back Alley Discs? Radio@UPEI reported the closure back in July, but gave no details as to the reason for the closure. I’m sure the whole “nobody buys CDs anymore” thing must have had something to do with it.
Our friends Kenny and Winnie, formerly masters of the Ellen’s Creek Plaza Formosa Tea House (this branch is now defunct), have been renovating the building that once housed the Thai Food place on Pownal St. next to the Royal Canadian Legion. Oliver and I dropped by this morning when we saw their car out in front and got the Royal Tour. They’re doing an fantastic job, and are taking it slow and steady. It’s a huge building — 3 floors, six washrooms — and they’re still pondering exactly what their ground-floor business will be and when it will open, but once they figure it out, we’ll all be luckier for it: they’re among the kindest folks we know, and any space they run will be a pleasure to be in. Stay tuned.
Speaking of the Formosa Tea House — they’ve added some new content to their website, including some history. Here’s how the describe their early months in business at their old location on University Avenue:
We spend about $3000 to do a little renovation. The shop can only fit around 10 seats. It’s not very high end but it’s clean and comfortable. It has a scene of early Taiwan and Japan , simple Chinese tea with some selection of juice and coffee. The working hour is from 11 am till 5 pm. The total income for first month is only $450. It was from 2002/2/22 to 2002/3/22 , it’s a big shock to me but I didn’t give up. I made a few changes within the tea house. I added a few traditional Taiwanese dish, get rid of some juice and coffee, and added teas from Taiwan and China . The income from second month doubled from first month and doubled again for the third month. Then I added an outside seat and decorated the inside with more plants to make the tea house more pleasant.
Is it just me, or is CHTN gradually increasing the volume on their outdoor speaker at the corner of University and Fitzroy? I was talking to Ann on the corner in front of their studios that other day, and we couldn’t hear each other. I’m not opposed to the idea of piping the signal out front, but they could lower the volume by half and make street conversation a lot easier. Agree with me? drop them a line.
And finally: it had to happen. Oliver has developed a taste for Karin LaRonde’s iced tea. This morning he asked if he could “try a little bit” and by the time I looked up he’d sucked half of it back. As this week’s edition was Island-ginseng infused, Oliver will no doubt be nervous and excitable for the rest of the day.
One more thing: it’s time to order your smoked salmon gifts for Christmas. Mmmmm.