Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tony Blair Comes to Town

And what did the former Prime Minister of Great Britain do when he came to Greenwich Avenue? He shopped, of course.

Ah, dear reader, where did he shop, I hear you ask? So glad you inquired. Did Mr. Blair visit the ubiquitous chain stores that are ruining both our Town and so many towns in Great Britain? No, indeedy; he went to one of our oldest and finest family-owned stores, Richards, where he is reported to have looked for a new suit.

One of the nice things about Richards is that they keep your vital stats on file. Your scribe fondly remembers walking into the former store across the street and having salesman Edgar coming up to greet him with a smile. "What can we do for you today, Mr. Clark? A pair of gray flannels? Of course. Are you still a 32 waist?"

(Brief pause while your scribe reminisces about the days when he used to have a 32-inch waist.)

You get the point, dear reader: the level of personal service at Richards is unexcelled by any other store here in Greenwich, with the possible exception of Betteridge's, where the service is equally outstanding, and Terry himself probably remembers everybody's ring size. (Your scribe once shopped for a drop-dead engagement ring there, and Terry to this day remembers how he had to size it down for the drop-dead young lady in question.)

So Mr. Blair is now in the Richards database, and if he wants another suit all he has to do is call his host for the day, Scott Mitchell, who will undoubtedly see to it personally. Who says the best bespoke tailors are in Jermyn Street and Saville Row? As Mr. Blair can now attest, Greenwich Avenue is right up there, too.

Scott, ever the perfect host, ordered in lunch for the Blairs and their six-car entourage. The menu was turkey pastrami and chicken fingers from Bruckner's Good to Go on Grigg Street, just across from Richards (Scott himself eats there every day). You gotta love it, dear reader: last Saturday was a home run for the family-owned businesses of downtown Greenwich, and by extension a slap in the face for the cookie-cutter chain stores and restaurants that have become such an unfortunate part of the local streetscape.

By the way, if you have never been to Brucker's Good to Go, you are in for a treat. The food is all fresh and homemade, healthy and tasty, and it's one of those places where you have trouble making up your mind because you want to have one of everything. Your scribe saw Skip Bruckner making a delivery on Greenwich Avenue just an hour ago, and congratulated him on the good publicity. "Bill," he said earnestly, "don't ever call my restaurant a deli." Your scribe said he never had and never would, wondering what had brought that comment on. But then he looked at the Local Rag, aka the Yellowwich Time (their motto, of course, is "All the News That's Unfit to Print") and saw what Skip meant. The LR referred to the restaurant by the d-word no fewer than three times. Utterly typical of their lack of accuracy and sensitivity. If it weren't for the comics and the horoscopes, no one would bother to read the wretched tabloid.

Well, dear reader, as your scribe has said before, there's always something of interest going on in this Town. Had you been in Richards the other day, you would have found the affable Mr. Blair chatting with all and sundry, and probably have been invited to share a chicken finger or two. Ah, yes, just another day on Greenwich Avenue....


Blogger ERiCA said...

Not sure if I love or hate the thought of my bodily dimensions being stores in some customer service database somewhere...

*pauses to reflect*

Nope, don't think I'd like that. =)

August 15, 2007 5:54 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Well, first off, I guess you can't pose for Playboy, since I seem to remember (from reading the articles, natch!) that they listed every body's measurements. ;-)

Second, men's tailors (Saville Row, etc.) have been doing it for years. They used to use index cards, but I imagine everyone is computerized by now. I'm sure they treat all customer information as strictly confidential and have appropriate firewalls, etc.

Third, it seems to me that you have nothing to be ashamed of in the "bodily dimensions" department - I mean, you *did* use your own measurements for Daisy Le Fey, didn't you? ;-)

August 16, 2007 10:21 AM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Once again, you've made me wish for a town like yours. I love the fact that there are places where people really do know your name. ;)

August 16, 2007 1:53 PM  
Blogger ERiCA said...

LOL, luckily I have no Playboy aspirations.

Women's shops don't bother to store body dimensions because the sizes printed on the labels mean nothing anyway. The crap in my closet ranges from a 1 to an 8. What do those numbers even mean? At least with a guy, "36" means "36", as in "36 inch waist". With women's clothes, you just gotta try everything on and hope. (Another reason why I'd rather throw myself on my sword than go shopping!)

Agree w/ Vicki that your town always sounds so cute and cozy, kinda like a Debbie Macomber novel. You sure it's a real place? =)

(As for Daisy... you never really do get to know hers. When she fills out the paperwork that asks for height and weight, she goes, "One hundred and--heeeey, wait a minute!" or something along those lines. *g)

August 16, 2007 3:15 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Geez, you two, don't you read posts like "How to Win an Award From the Town of Greenwich" (7/26) or some of the older ones like "Murder in Greenwich"??

Pleasantville USA this is not. Your scribe's writings can vary from puckish to pessimistic depending on what facet of the Town may be presenting itself to him that day.

For a burg with so much potential, Greenwich sure can fail quite spectacularly when it comes to living up to what it could and should be...but then, what would a snarky scribe have to vent about? :-)

August 17, 2007 12:41 PM  
Blogger ERiCA said...

I thought you were making all the bad stuff up. You mean it's really true? =)

August 17, 2007 5:02 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Alas, yes! And your scribe has barely scratched the surface so far...

Sometime you might want to look back in the scribal archives for the post about when Lincoln Steffens got the Town Meeting to agree that Greenwich was as corrupt as any city in the country. (Soon afterwards his garage mysteriously burned down, and he decided to move elsewhere.)

Truth is, after all, stranger than fiction!

August 18, 2007 10:38 AM  
Blogger Isabel said...

Have a wonderful weekend, Bill. :)

(As for Daisy... you never really do get to know hers. When she fills out the paperwork that asks for height and weight, she goes, "One hundred and--heeeey, wait a minute!" or something along those lines. *g)

I so want to read this book!

August 18, 2007 6:22 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Ah, Isabel, you have such a treat coming! Check out Erica's Maven post for today (8/20) about falling in love. TATTF is more potent than any magic elixer Tristan and Isolde ever tasted!

August 20, 2007 12:34 PM  
Blogger Sarah Darer Littman said...

"If it weren't for the comics and the horoscopes, no one would bother to read the wretched tabloid."


The AuthorBabe is huffily wondering if you might have left something out...

August 21, 2007 8:22 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Oops! Your scribe hastens to add:

Read the AuthorBabe's editorial column every other Tuesday! Actually, you can find it at her "saramerica" blog...which means you really don't have to waste your time or money on the rag itself - unless you need something with which to line the kitty litter box.

August 22, 2007 9:25 AM  
Blogger Sarah Darer Littman said...

Our Scribe can now consider himself officially out of the dog house :>)

August 22, 2007 1:48 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

*Bill gives a "woof" of relief!*

August 23, 2007 9:28 AM  
Blogger A Paperback Writer said...

Good for Mr. Blair for supporting local businesses!

August 25, 2007 12:13 AM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

You got that right, APB! Unlike the myriad out-of-towners who come to parade up and down Greenwich Avenue calling all their friends on their cell phones to tell them where they are, and then go into the chain stores to buy schlock, Mr. Blair showed typical British good taste and judgment in his shopping pattern. (Now if he'd only been a bit less eager to support the Iraq debacle...)

August 25, 2007 11:27 AM  

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