1) Where should I hang out?
Every time I travel I try to get a local's perspective. In Barcelona I asked where to eat the best paella (over by the dock). In Florence, where to eat the best pasta (Il Latini! was the unanimous vote). In NY I asked how to spend my weekend and ended up having dinner with a lawyer and a private investigator.
Monday morning, I spotted a girl at a bus stop and asked her what neighborhood is good for grabbing a cup of coffee. She told me three buses were departing from that very stop and heading for The Haight, so that was that.
On the bus, she gave me an extra pointer: get off a little earlier and go to Cafe du Soleil. French, friendly, free wifi.
2) Discount these leggings?
From the cafe, I wandered up Haight Street and did a little window shopping. Then I spotted them. A pair of gray leggings that were slashed in a deliciously provocative manner, all the way up the leg. I've been looking for a pair of interesting pants for dancing tango, and these would be even better, paired with a delicate, billowing blouse on top. Feral meets feminine. I like.
They were $22. After trying them on, I took them up to the counter and phrased my request thus: "I'd like to take these, but I'm wondering if you can be flexible on the price. I'd like to spend $18."
"Oh, no," the cashier hissed, lips curled and eyes wide like I was the hair in his omelet. "We don't do discounts." I was about to put them back when he continued, in the same tone, "I can only do 10 percent."
"$20? Ok, that's fine."
"We just don't do discounts," he repeated, still horrified. "We are a boutique. I'm not even the owner so I can't change any prices, so $20 is all I can do. And it's final sale."
"That's great. I'm from San Diego, so I couldn't return them if I wanted to. I have have this policy it's a good idea to ask when I want something, and respond when people ask me. Everyone is happier that way."
3) Let me write about aviation for you?
A few days ago I met a pilot and asked if he'd give me a ride in his WWII replica plane. He said sure -- if I can get him some media coverage.
Then Carolyn gave me a good shake.
Roxy Roxy Roxy. Are you a writer who blogs, or just a blogger? Are you in business for yourself and plan to use all of your skills in doing so, including your ability to write well? Do you edit people's resumes using your writing skills or your blogging ability? Not sure what your venture actually is, but are you wanting work, to make connections, to get your work out there? Pitch a story to an aviation magazine, or a hobbyist or a history or retirement or an inflight magazine. Maybe you won't get paid much, or maybe you will, but you'd at least get a byline, you'd include your contact information, you'd be planting seeds, and you'd have a new contact (the pilot) who knows you and may bring you work in the future. And you'd have an adventure doing it. Networks are about people who know people, and enjoying each other and appreciating what they do makes it better. This opportunity seems tailored to your personality.Spon on, as always, Carolyn! Thank you!
I sent my first pitch that afternoon, to AARP Magazine. I've heard it's notoriously hard to get published there, but if I don't ask, my chances will be zero. If that doesn't work, I'll work down a list of publications, until I make it happen.
But hopefully, three is a charm!?