Dog days of summer

Already it’s a scorcher, especially back east where my kids are at camp. But I’ve got people all over the country braving the heat to leave their air-conditioned cars to snag me photos of entertaining shop names. This one’s from Bethesda, MD:

Dog stuff and a French pun? Love it!

OMG Omnaris!

Spring, summer … whatever you call it, it’s come very late to Colorado. I thought I’d escaped without being felled by seasonal allergies, but instead, it seems I’ve been kneecapped by them.

Enter a sample of this from a benevolent medical provider:

LOVE the name. It hints at “nasal” via the “-naris” element, without being, shall I say, snotty about it. All I can say otherwise is that I hope it works. I need more than six hours of consciousness per day!

Destination: En-Why-Cee

I took my daughters to New York for spring break to look at colleges. On our visit to Manhattan to see NYU (very nice but way too big and diffuse for my western suburbanites), I insisted on a Mom’s view of Manhattan tour – that is, walking absolutely everywhere. So we shlepped on foot from Grand Central to Washington Square Park (where lunch at Otto was a deserved reward for said shlepping); and of course, shlepped back to catch our train back to Westchester.

The return trip allowed me to show the girls one of my favorite stores in New York, Fishs Eddy. Retro and retro-style kitchenware and tchotchkes – this place has the best selection.

And they also have a classic double-entendre slogan:

That’s “We do dishes.” Just outstanding. FYI, the haul (which I am certain TSA enjoyed going through in my luggage on the return trip) included a couple of gems: a fish scaler, which is just in time for Copper River salmon season, and an olive spoon (so you can reach in the jar and not take out brine when you’re mixing up martinis).

Knowing they ship? That’s good, but Manhattan’s still a nice place to visit even though I don’t want to live there anymore!


Epicurious just served me this ad:

My thoughts about this … this thing … are perhaps best be expressed with this sound.

Licious. Just licious.

My friend Nancy has been blogging about the ubiquitous “-licious” suffix for years. She’s even got a category for “licious” on her blog. Well, someone has one-upped all those folks who were too timid to go whole hog for licious alone; I present you Licious Organics:

I don’t like to diss a well-meaning local (Boulder) company, but “licious” alone just looks and sounds funny. Visually, it calls to mind “licentious” or “licit,” neither of which really says delicious raw organic cookies. And then just say it. I’ll wait. Yeah, it doesn’t sound good – it’s either vaguely lewd or sort of incomplete.
Let’s just say I prefer my trademarks and my cookies fully baked.

Destination: The ski resorts of Summit County, Colorado

We need more snow, but that didn’t stop us from heading to the mountains for the MLK weekend. Some good skiing, some good dining (mostly thanks to yours truly – try this for a crowd-pleaser), and some interesting branding.

First, at Pug Ryan’s Steakhouse and Microbrewery in Dillon, good food and good beer AND smutty beer names:
Made us think back to driving past the Church of the Big Wood near Sun Valley in Idaho … (there’s gotta be a better way to say that!)
Then, in the “glad I don’t represent large luxury brands so I don’t have to be a bad guy” category we have this one from the main drag in Breckenridge:
Very cute poodles inside and out, but not a name I’d have chosen – at least not without solid legal representation and the money to spend on it!

The Alt-0174 Award: Not Dead Yet

Rewined Candles. Discarded wine bottles transformed into candle holders that hold wine-scented candles. From reading about them on Dooce to tweeting about them to opening my blogging program – maybe three minutes? That’s how much I love the Rewined Candles name and concept – so much that I can hardly craft complete sentences. They get bonus points for a stylish and clever logo too; it conveys the recycled aspect of the product yet is tasteful and classy at the same time:

Impressive work all around! The Rewined name is a most deserving beneficiary of the coveted Alt-0174 award.

Destination: Drinking in Vegas with my Ladybrain

Florence Nightingale here got the chance to escape the convalescing and now healthy patients for a weekend with good friends in Las Vegas. Now, I hate Vegas for myriad reasons, not the least of which is that you’re guaranteed to see someone smoking while wearing an oxygen tank and sitting at a slot machine. Everything in the suitcase needs laundering when you get back, and you’ve got a nagging cough that just wasn’t there before you inhaled a lifetime’s worth of secondary smoke in one weekend. But hey, good food and drink and good friends – it was worth it.

People-watching there is excellent, but I found more intriguing the billboards advertising legal services, like this one:
“Re-Defining Personal” indeed! If this ad isn’t targeted at women, with its pinkish tones and especially with the himbo on the left, I don’t know what is! We saw several other lawyer ads with the same type of glamorous headshots, but nothing like the open-collared gentleman in this ad!
Vegas is all about getting you intoxicated enough to do wild things and spend lots of money, as The Hangover movie franchise has deftly illustrated. Before the proprietor of a downtown liquor store yelled at me to stop taking photos, I snapped a photo of this candidate for the Drinking with my Ladybrain hall of fame:
According to the Crosby Lake Spirits Company, which makes Kinky, Kinky is a “naughty infusion of premium vodka” distilled with mango, blood orange liqueur, and passion fruit. The website? Well, its photos aren’t subtle. I’d say this drink is marketed to men trying to seduce women into doing something kinky. As I’ve still got a nearly-full bottle of Nuvo in my fridge, I think I’ll give Kinky a pass.
Finally, we saw some brand extension of what Nancy Friedman has called “the curse of strong drink”: 
Now you can find not just Feckin Irish Whiskey but Feckin Spiced, presumably for a feckin good time. And I do like how they let you click to “Find a Feckin Stockist” on their site! This one seems like good-hearted vulgarity, and not just vulgarity for vulgarity’s sake (Suxx Vodka, I’m looking at you!)
So Vegas was a good time, and since it’s a great midpoint for getting together with friends from Seattle. And for classic kitsch if you’re headed that way: run, don’t walk to the Peppermill – the bygone “glamour” of its Fireside Lounge is not to be missed.
P.S. A thank you once again to Nancy for reminding me to get back on the ladybrain drinking/blogging horse! 

Destination: DC

Another INTA Annual Meeting has come and gone. I think it was my 14th, but you do reach a “but who’s counting?” overload. We had a great time (that’s not just me affecting the royal “we”; both Levy trademark lawyers attended) seeing new and old friends; lunching with my sister at one of DC’s most charming restaurants on perhaps its prettiest street; enjoying the oxygen-rich air that energized the pace of our strolling through the District; attending lively sessions (especially those where Professor Tushnet was participating); and socializing aggressively, i.e., plenty of cocktails. My humblest apologies again to Marty for showing up late to the Meet the Bloggers event, but better late than never.

So a quick jaunt up to the American University neighborhood for lunch with an old friend took us past the delightfully-named Middle C music store. It’s not just the name of the store that’s clever:
Couldn’t resist! All in all, a successful and enjoyable Annual Meeting. Next year in Dallas!

Lowbrow meets highbrow

I like stupid wordplay as much as the next guy, and this one has tickled me since we moved to Denver:

The cognitive dissonance of “DAM Good” with Daniel Libeskind’s architecture suits the wild west very nicely, thank you. 

Plus, it’s a very groovy museum. And kids like it too!