Urban Granny

A Seasoned View of Urban Life

Archive for the ‘Shop’ Category


Shop Local and Feel Good

On my last trip to Amsterdam (I go quite often for business) I bought two of my grandchildren, Madeleine 5, and Benjamin 4, harmonicas. No real reason for this other than they appealed to me and I thought that they were colorful and the kids love to make music.

"The" Harmonica

"The" Harmonica

Several days ago I was getting ready to leave for Florida to  visit my 82-year-old mother when Madeleine brought me her pink wooden harmonica and told me it was broken. She said that I could fix anything and would I take it to Florida and try to fix it. I stuck the harmonica into my bag and knew that it would become a mission in Florida with my Mother to have it fixed.

My Mom would love this chore but I dreaded going to a cavernous Home Depot, big box type store, with short-handed staff.  My mother remembered that there was a small Ace Hardware close by her home in Delray Beach.  I was a bit embarrassed to go in and ask for something as small and insignificant as a screw. It’s a 30-cent item.

I asked the lady at the register about the smallest screw they carried and she proceeded to page Josh.

Josh turned out to be the highlight of my day. He was about 35 and just delightful. I told him the story about my granddaughter thinking I could fix anything. After suggesting I also buy Kazoos for them one day, he painstakingly tried several screws until he found the one that fit. He changed all four for me. Josh was kind and patient and refused to charge me. As I was leaving with Madeleine’s fixed harmonica he leaned against the counter and with wistful eyes told me a story.

He had an 87-year-old grandmother. Every week in her final months, sick with leukemia, he would take her for a drive and something to eat. At the time she was living with his aunt who watched over her mother’s diet very carefully. On this particular ride Josh coaxed her into telling him what she really wanted to eat. She had hemmed and hawed, until finally she told him a hot dog. Coincidently they had just passed a roadside diner advertising hot dogs and hamburgers so he turned around and they made their way to the diner.

He and his grandmother sat at the counter and each had a hot dog and root beer. He said he had not seen her so happy in years.

I saw such love in Josh’s eyes and it was clear to me why he helped out another grandmother make a grandchild happy.

Not only do I believe in shopping in small locally owned stores but I know that a poignant story about grandparents and grandchildren can touch you at any time.

Ace Hardware Picture 1

50 SE 6th Avenue

Delray Beach, FL 33483

Phone: 561-278-1144

Posted under Observations, Shop

Fabulous Very Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts

clear_logoGive a Clear Membership. I have one and love it. Any person who travels a lot will find that a Clear Pass speeds them through security and places them at the very front of the security check lines at most US Airports. Even if you are a priority traveler the individualized service of a Clear Representative cannot be beat.


I also just received my Global Entry verification this week, it allows me to use a special kiosk when entering the US from abroad rather than standing in a passport line. This maybe more difficult a gift but definitely worth try.


Save Kahki

Save Khaki

If you need a gift for a son, son- in -law or father and a one stop shop is the most convenient for last minutes then go to Save Khaki. There are two locations, one in NOHO and one on the LES. There is classic casual clothes at all price ranges with more personality than some of the other choices around.


Happy Father’s Day

Posted under Gifts, Shop, Travel

Made with Love For Mother’s Day

Mother’s day, on Sunday May 10th,is just around the corner. I have been a daughter for over 50 years, a mother for over 35 years and now a grandmother for over 5 years. I have given and received countless gifts over all these years.

The most memorable and probably the least expensive were gifts made for me or by me.

I cherish the ceramic plate with painted stick figures and the names of all my kids.

Painted Pottery

Painted Pottery




Or the afghan I knit for my mother several years ago that she still uses when she watches television

Knit a heirloom

Knit a heirloom

My daughter loves the little photo album I made of her family of the previous year. Now I just do a new one each year.

I am thrilled to have a wonderful playlist that my youngest son burned for me of my favorite music, which I now listen to on my iPod.

This year for all my daughters I made a recipe book of our family’s favorite recipes including those of my dear mother in law, Grandma Gert, who died several years ago but lives on through her wonderful and delicious recipes, which otherwise would have been lost.

Or the gift of time by a son who helped his grandmother learn to use an Apple computer for the first time.

All simple, affordable and preciously made with love.


Favorite Family Recipes

Favorite Family Recipes













Posted under Observations, Shop

Celebrate Earth Day…. Buy Green


Babies, Green Depot

Babies, Green Depot

Need a baby gift? Does your home need a good spring cleaning? The  Manhattan Green Depot at 222  Bowery has the perfect solution for you. Newly opened it is a cleanly designed store  filled with “good, green” products for every occasion. I particularly loved the selection for babies.

Can’t get out to the store today to shop  go to the excellent green solution site Green Feet. Look for those marvelous Bamboo plates and you won’t feel so guilty about using disposable.

Posted under Shop