Yes, this Militant is not above getting bitten by the Pinkberry bug. Yes, the whole fro-yo Cold War has been detailed several times over. Yes, this Militant has sampled competitors CeFiore and Kiwiberri (but not yet Yogotango, Roseberry, Mr. Snowberry, Berri Good, Chuckberry, Berri Gordy or Halleberri) but frankly I don't care. When the weather is warm, frozen yogurt, by any other name, really hits the spot (and so does ice cream, but I'll get to that in a future entry...). So I couldn't help it if there's a spankin' new P'berry on the northwestern fringe of Silver_Lake (underscore added to remind all the gentro-hipsters out there that it's actually spelled as two words) on Hyperion and Rowena (which is technically in Los Feliz due to the location of the community sign, but since there's already a P'berry in Los Feliz, I'll let this one slide). Everyone in both the Traditional Media and the Blogosphere has talked in detail about the flavor or content of the yogurt, whether it is actual yogurt, the choice of toppings or which nonfat frozen yogurt (NFY) chain is the best.
I'm here to talk about those stupid overpriced trinkets on sale on the P'berry shelves.
Unlike competitor CeFiore, P'berry makes no claims as to being Italian-style NFY, but for some reason they thought selling colored plastic trinkets from Italian design firm Alessi was cool. Gee, I dunno. Yes, they look neat on static display but that's about it. I don't think paying $69.00 for a stupid dog bowl is what I have in mind when craving some original flavor NFY topped with strawberries, mangoes and almonds on a warm summer day. I don't even think my dog would care if I did. But hooray for gratuitous consumerism, eh? During my P'berry visit today, a preschool-aged kid quietly begged his mom to get him a "Cico," a little blue alien-looking guy in a baseball cap holding a spoon. The store staff told the mom that they were out of stock, but the child was persistent and the mom relented. She even got the manager out and asked if she could buy the display model. The manager let her, and got a box to package it in. All this for $15 extra. All this while the NFY line was being held up. Turns out "Cico" is actually, according to the Alessi site, an "Egg cup with salt castor and spoon." Wow. I guess egg cups are really the in-thing with kids these days. And here I thought it was Dora the Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants or even Nintendo Wii. Looks like my four-year-old goddaughter down in San Diego is getting an egg cup this Christmas!
Maybe I'm a little too cynical. Some of those Alessi trinkets might actually be practical. I can get a small colored container and instead of ordering having cereal toppings on my P'berry, I can just go BYO Fruity Pebbles! Then again, some of those trinkets, in my Militant opinion, border on being racist.
Now some Silver_Lakers, whether longtime residents or gentro-hipsters, have lamented that P'berry represents a dangerous venture into the "corporatization" of New Ivanhoe. I guess having a Trader Joe's must really bother them, or even having not one, but two 7-Elevens. Besides, if these folks are as progressive as they claim to be, surely they would welcome a minority- and female- owned company, right?
Besides, 10 years from now when people in Podunk get into the NFY craze, you know where it all began.
Over The Hilton
So as I savored my P'berry, I spotted a Mistubishi Outlander in the tiny mini-mall parking lot (I rode my bike, no parking worries for me!) driving off onto Hyperion with the words "FREE PARIS!" painted on the rear window. Yeah, how nice. I mean I would totally agree with that sentiment...during the Nazi occupation. I guess one attention whore begets another.
Bain Gets Guitarded
Wetlake Village-based music store chain Guitar Center was sold today for $2.1 billion to Boston-based private equity firm Bain Capital Partners, LLC (Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is one of its founding partners). GC, or as this very musically-inclined Militant calls it, "Guitard Center," is the largest musical instrument company in America and began here in Hollywood, across the street from its current location on Sunset Blvd's guitar row. Speaking of which, the reason for such a plethora of pickin' points of purchase? Guitar pioneer Les Paul once lived in the Sunset-Gardner neighborhood and several guitar companies wanted to be in close proximity to his lab.
Though GC is a popular subject of ridicule for the Militant elsewhere on the net, I lament the loss of yet another Southern California-based firm selling out to our East Coast colonizers, and this just makes me mad. DO WE !@#$% OWN ANYTHING ANYMORE?
Oh well, at least we still got Pinkberry.