Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Weekend in Austin

I spent the holiday weekend at my brother's house. He's renovating and needed a hand painting a stripe around the wall in his bathroom (more on the details of that project to come), but we managed to make a few shopping stops while in town. Our first stop was the new Whole Foods flagship store downtown.

Low Down on the Whole Foods Flagship:
Good: They have a great parking lot, which is a big deal in downtown Austin. The store has a great selection of produce and wine. They do have a small selection of housewares and clothing which were not particularly impressive but were very pricey. Towards the meat section, there is a shelving unit of kitchen wares that carries the typical fare with a few pleasant surprises like the dishes pictured above (Blue Roses tray, teapot, cups, and dessert plates by Rosanna: $29.99 - $39.99).
Bad: Whole Foods is super paranoid about their merchandise. I was politely told that it is against Whole Foods policy to write down the names, prices, or item numbers of their products. I guess they need to rethink their prominent yellow product labels, which featured all three pieces of protected info. Luckily, they did not see me snap this picture. I get the impression that photos are frowned upon.

Overall Store Rating (from a home-decor point of view):
Quality: 4 out of 5
Selection: 3 out of 5
Price Reasonability: 3 out of 5
Service: edgy

Our second stop was Mercury Design on 2nd. I stopped by to visit their Artomat (photos of the Styrogami art I bought from the machine below), but we stayed to shop their beautifully merchandised selection of accessories. Items ranged from Juliska glass candle sticks to a Roost carved deer head. The prices were extremely reasonable and the service was polite and helpful, despite the fact that I was toting an entourage of bored, disgruntled men making snide comments and my mom.

Overall Store Rating:
Quality: 5 out of 5
Selection: 4 out of 5
Price Reasonability: 4 out of 5
Service: commendable

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