Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reasons I love Greenpoint- Part 8: B's Bikes

Being a biking novice (I only started riding two years ago), and riding a giant one-speed pink Hello Kitty Cruiser, I admit I was very embarrassed when I first started going to bike shops. But the shop within blocks of my apartment turned out to be the best one I had the pleasure of visiting. That shop is B's Bikes, on Driggs at the corner of Eckford-

I've been to this shop numerous times for various reasons in the two years that I've been cycling around. Some of my first purchases were when I bought my fancy pink handles (seen below), as well as my headlight and tail-light (not seen here, I didn't have them when this photo was taken. But I really like this photo)

Pink & Blue

But what really impressed me about this shop was the staff. They are courteous, patient and helpful. And to their credit, they could have ripped me off on several occasions, but they did not. Let me re-count a few experiences I've had there:

1- Last year I brought the cruiser there at the start of spring for a 'tune up'. Brendan, the owner, basically told me that the bike was in fine shape and he wasn't going to keep it there and charge me for nothing. Here is Brendan-

Brendan of B's Bikes

2- Last summer, when my handlebars were so loose they were sliding around as I rode, I did everything I could to tighten them but just couldn't get them tight enough. It was so dangerous that I couldn't ride the bike that way at all. So I swung by there and within minutes, one of the guys in there tightened them for me and didn't even charge me! (Thanks, guy with the long blond hair!)

3- Earlier this spring, I couldn't get my bike lock to lock (the key wouldn't come out when I turned it to the lock position). I tried putting it in the freezer over night, spraying it with WD-40. No luck. I thought for sure I'd have to drop 50 or more dollars on a new lock. I brought it to B's and asked the guy (same blond guy who adjusted my handlebars last summer) if he had any idea what was causing it, or if I needed to buy a new lock. Within minutes he showed me the piece of metal that was in the way (some attachment I wasn't using). He removed it, and my bike lock was working once again. I was so thankful! He could have easily told me I needed to buy a new lock! (Side note: I had not even bought the lock from them, it was from another shop before I found B's!)

Recently, I picked up a charming new wicker basket (but have yet to install it) and I asked Brendan to see if he can find me some pink pedals. (I saw a girl with them during the bike tour and I want them!!!)

Based on all of my great experiences from B's Bikes, it is now the only bike shop I use. So when I needed the cruiser checked out before The 5 Boro Bike Tour, I brought it to their very capable staff. It was ready the next day and only cost about 20 bucks! What service!!

So if you need bike accessories, bike service or even a new bike...

Bikes Galore @ B's!

...get yourself to B's Bikes in Greenpoint. They're open till 8pm. You won't be disappointed!

B's Bikes

262 Driggs Ave
at the corner of Eckford

(between Eckford St & Leonard St)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 349-1212

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

That's my name, don't wear it out!

You may or may not know this, but I'm probably way too into my name. I love to see it in print, I just think it looks so good - it's 6 letters, has a nice big curvy S to start and I like how the height of the 2nd letter (h) is matched inversely to the dip of the 2nd to last letter (y) and how the 2 middle letters are short (er). It gives it a nice symmetrical feel. It's just very attractive in print. Look at it:


See? Isn't that lovely?

When I turned 31 and my Dad asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I had something special in mind - a platinum nameplate. I had avoided getting a nameplate my whole life because all the guidettes* had them and I didn't want to be associated with them. But the guidettes and the 80's were far behind me now. I felt ready to embrace my inner Italian American and ordered a (tasteful) nameplate. Almost 7 years later, I still wear it nearly every day.

You can see the necklace here- (I am at the Giglio in Williamsburg last summer eating a zeppole. You don't get much more Italian American than that.)

My first zeppole in years. Oh my god, it was better than I remembered!!!

Not only do I love my name, but I will hotly debate the correct spelling of it. There is no way the "C" version is phoenetically accurate! Are you crazy? What maniac had THAT idea? It's absolutely wrong! How do you spell Sherry? With an S. How do you spell Cherry? With a C. Therefore, Cheryl has the harsh and unpleasant CH sound, not the fun and sexy SH sound.

I also have the charming habit of calling all other Sheryl's things like "evil Cheryl", "crazy Cheryl", "other Cheryl" or any other obvious (and usually derogatory) adjective I can stick in front of "Cheryl".

The night I gave my number to my friend Joe Katz, he told me to enter it in his phone. I typed it in, then saved my name: Sheryl. Much to my horror, it told me that contact already existed! How could Joe Katz know another Sheryl with an S?! He kept her entry in tact and added a suffix to my name in order to save it. That was obviously a mistake because he recently told me that when he first texted me, he texted HER instead. It was several texts back and forth (days, I believe) before he realized he texted the wrong Sheryl, so he edited her name to "wrong Sheryl". I am now the *real* Sheryl in his phone! Hooray!

So now that you know how much I love my name, imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this in Target today! (Note: the shoe in the photo is not the actual Sheryl shoe. I think they were sold out, I couldn't find them anywhere!)

Sheryl Shoes @ Target

I was so excited I nearly told the woman shopping in the aisle with me:
"That's my name!"
"Big freaking deal!",
I'm sure she would have thought, "What do you want, a reward? Now go away!".
So I kept my excitement internal.

I checked the website when I came home and sure enough, here they are:

Sheryl Shoes @ Target

Unfortunately, they are not really anything I would wear. They look stiff and uncomfortable and that heel is just wrong on so many levels.

Anyway, I still appreciate the thought, Target. Next time feel free to collaborate with me and I'll give you my suggestions for a real "Sheryl Shoe".

*if you do not know what a guidette is, you probably did not grow up in the NY area. If I had my HS yearbook, I'd scan it to give you an idea. Basically, they were the 'popular girls', usually Italian American but not always, they had ENORMOUS hair, blue eyeliner, caked on mascara, tons of gold jewelry - including a diamond encrusted nameplate - wore leggings with oversized shirts, and were usually cheerleaders. They were super tacky and dated the guidos, their male counterparts (think "Gotti kids"). If you still have no image of this bafoonery, try googling the terms and laugh your ass off.

Friday, May 1, 2009

William's New Laptop

Here's the moment you've all been waiting for. A chance to see and hear my dear office mate, William!

Yesterday afternoon, William and I went for coffee. When we came back, the desktop guy (Joe) told William he had a present for him. "My new laptop?!" exclaimed William (he's been promised one for months). "Yes, go look", declared Joe.

William walked toward his desk, saw the large cardboard box on it and the following transpired...

Needless to say, William was a little disappointed. I don't know how long the desktop guys spent building this hilarious fake laptop, but they did a pretty impressive job. Here are some close ups-

There are hand drawn inputs and an 'easy' button-

Alpha and caps lock keys, and memory card -

A CD drive with fake CD-

Joe pointed to where he wrote "Four Core Processor" instead of "Quad"

And here is a view of the laptop in its open position. (I especially love the print screen of the desktop used as his monitor)

And I'll let yas in on a little secret - if you're wondering what the "DFU" stands for on the 'laptop', it's a common term we use in IT. It sounds like something technical and computer related, but it's not. It stands for "Dumb F*cking User". So if you ever hear tech support mention something is a "DFU" issue, now you know what they're *really* saying.

This was probably the funniest thing that has ever happened in the office and I'm so impressed with the lengths the guys went through to pull this off. I'm even more glad they got it on video. Thanks for the laughs, guys. You're the best!