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Monday, April 27, 2009

We've moved! Welcome to PP blog 2.0!

Surprise! Thanks to our pals at Blue Ion, we're movin' on up in the blog world. You may now find our latest news, musings, Tweets and other sundry hilarity at http://blog.patpropllc.com/. See you there and thanks always for your support!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What Gin & Patrick Properties Have In Common

More gin talk. Well, actually it's more about marketing, branding and positioning, but I'm using Hendrick's Gin as the example. But first, a bit o' history.

When I first came to Patrick Properties, I was walking through The William Aiken House one day with Randall. He was regaling me with his encyclopedic knowledge about the House's history. As we walked across the gorgeous wood floors, they made the indescribable noise that is unmistakable, true character. Now, I love that noise. That noise has many wonderfully rich emotional attachments to it. To me, it's an immediate sense that there's a story here. Dozens upon dozens more than likely. And you know at least some of them have to be REALLY GOOD stories. But I digress.

Suffices to say that I spent some time thinking about that. Later, Randall told me that a prospective bride that toured the House and asked if "something could be done about the floors." She no likey the creaking. Which, in my view, pretty much means, she doesn't like Patrick Properties. Because if you're not down with a good story and character, you're probably not going to understand what we're all about.

And that's fine. Really. We understand and take no offense.

Which brings me back to gin. Specifically Hendrick's. And here's the brilliance.

On the small tag that hangs around the best bottle ever, the Hendrick's people say their gin is: PREFERRED BY 1 OUT OF 1,000 GIN DRINKERS.

That's correct. In other words, not a whole lot of folks are drinking Hendrick's. (Andra and I do what we can, but people, we are only human.)

And rather than hang their heads or wring their little ginny hands, the Hendrick's folks have taken their "tiny handful of people all over the world" and made them feel unique and wonderful and like they're in on something that not everyone else "gets." Their tag line says it all: Hendrick's: It is not for everyone.

Hello, brand loyalty, I am your slave for life.

As it turns out, creaky wood floors and gin have an awful lot in common.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day & award-winning goat cheese

It's Earth Day, Internet! Oh, AND it's Administrative Professionals Day. Very busy, VERY busy.

In celebration of Earth Day, check out some insightful commentary on sustainability and some MAJOR controversy surrounding my girl Alice Waters and Ruth Reichl.

Nico just buzzed over here to PP HQ to let me know that one of our local producers, Split Creek Farm, won a bronze medal in the U.S. cheese competition. That's right, you can now eat award-winning artisnal goat cheese when you dine at Fish! Congratulations to the Split Creek Farm family. FYI: Split Creek produces not just goat cheese, but also milk, yogurt and fudge.

I unwittingly celebrated Earth Day a tad early last night when I received the gift of a tomato plant from our very own Fish Manager/Mixologist/Renaissance Man Evan Powell. (Do watch his video from yesterday.) It's always fun to receive a gift from a friend, but I have to say, it's extra meaningful for someone to give you something that is alive and needs care and grows something you can eat and share. Tomato plants for everyone!

I'll leave you today with a quote from writer, thinker, grower Wendell Berry:
"Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Did someone say happy hour?

If you haven't met Fish Restaurant Manager/Mixologist/Fisherman/Renaissance Man Evan Powell, you are missing one of my favorite people. When it comes to wine and all things mixology, Evan is eager, passionate and tireless in his quest for more and more knowledge. He always has a fantastic wine recommendation, and whipped up a new spring cocktail today that I just had to document. It's called the nectarita: tequila, elderflower nectar, fresh lime juice and lemongrass dry soda. A little sweet, a little sour. Quite sincerely, the perfect beverage to be sipped on Fish's outdoor patio. Happy Hour begins at 5:30. See you soon.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunset, big moves & local potluck

Thanks to Lowndes Grove General Manager Ashley Gunnin who snapped this gorgeousness on Friday night. Sigh. Happiness along the river.

Our friends over at Blue Ion are in the process of a transitional move before they make their BIG move to a new space they're creating at 301 King Street (otherwise known as "the space above the Apple store...ooooo!")

When I first started working with the B.I. crew, their office was above Lucky Jeans on King/Wentworth. Peruse their past offices if you're so inclined. One of the niftiest things about that space was a functioning, open kitchen/bar area. It's where we always ended up talking. (We were working, I SWEAR.) Which makes sense since people always congregate in the kitchen at parties.

Anywho, what makes B.I.'s new office exercise more interesting is the thought they've put into it. It's not just about finding or creating a "cool" space on the peninsula. It's about creating an environment that is sustainable and sustaining. Does it facilitate creativity? Is it comfortable? Nurturing? If you're thinking of finding new office digs, do some serious thinking. The truth is, if you're going to spending 8 to 12 hours a day somewhere, you want that space to help you be as comfortable and productive as possible.

On the local food front, Lowcountry Local First is gearing up for its 2nd Annual Chef's Potluck at Middleton Place on Sunday, May 3 from 4 until 7 pm. If you've never been, you really need to check it out. I think this is one of the most fun, most laid back foodie events in Charleston, and everything on the menu features locally-sourced products. Fish, Hall’s Chophouse, Anson, The Glass Onion and a host of others will be on-hand to showcase the best from our local farms and fishermen. Nico's making a beef nam sod spring roll with potato puree AND a strawberry, arugula, fennel salad with a sweet soy vinaigrette. Um, YUM.

Live music will provided by Fish’s favorite Thursday evening chanteuse, Elise Testone. Local beer, wine and coffees too! Tickets are $40 for Lowcountry Local First members and $45 for non-members. You.must.be.there!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Design walk, haiku & PROM STORIES!

Last night's Upper King Design Walk was a smashing success and thanks to everyone who came out to support one of the city's best neighborhoods. The weather was lovely; the sidewalks were teeming with people and hey, the Mayor did the ribbon cutting at SieMatic! Good stuff. Check out the City Paper's Flickr pics and video of the Mayor's speech.

Check out this moo shu haiku submission. Not only is it thorough, but it rhymes! And yes, still accepting submissions via comments or email: jenny@patpropllc.com.

Soup, salad, moo-shu,
Fish, shrimp, beef, chicken, tofu
Ten dollar lunch: woo hoo

Okay, now for the crux of this post. It's Spring here in Charleston and that means it's prom season! In fact, as I type this post, the young ladies of Ashley Hall are decking out The American Theater for their Havana Night prom. We have sneaked a few peeks and the space is looking marvelous. Potted palms, large, fake butterflies and vintage Visit Cuba posters as far as the eye can see! I have to say, it got all of us at PP headquarters harking back to our own prom memories.

So, me being me, I sent out an email to the company asking folks to share their prom theme and/or song and the color of their dress, tux or suit. Here, then, are some highlights.

(Please note: it's no typo. There were, in fact, two occurrences of Boyz II Men. Names have been omitted to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent.)

After deep thought, I think my theme was “End of the Road” in reference to the hot band at the time… Boyz II Men. This is embarrassing.

My dress was yellow and super big like Cinderella’s. It was the year that the style was to wear a tight fitting dress, and I was the anarchist.

“Lady In Red” is coming to mind as a prominent song. “Always” by Atlantic Starr also big. The swoon song, if you will. Hard to remember since it was so long ago and I barely have memory left at this point… I wore a lovely baby blue number with lace up to my chin. Sleeveless but had a nice big ruffle that went across the front and covered my shoulders. You’ve seen Mystic Pizza, yes? My date wore a white tux with a matching blue cummerbund.

Mine was "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye" by Boyz II Men!

I guess I have always loved me some baby blue—from Prom to Wedding.

Senior prom : dress was strapless and rose colored. Junior year: turquoise. Freshman year was a hideous dress with a rainbow bodice and blue-ish bottom.

I wore a borrowed, black strapless number. Song was “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton. My date asked me while I was in the hospital recovering from appendicitis. He broke a pact with his friends to ask me. (They were planning to boycott and go golfing.)

As I was walking downstairs to greet my date at my house, a mother came running up behind me realizing I was exposing my behind…due to my zipper being completely broken at the bottom of my dress near my rear! So, I was sewn into my dress my senior year!

I attended a prom and the theme was Shania Twain’s “From This Moment,” and we went cow tipping afterwards. Welcome to Kentucky.

I didn’t go to prom…my father showed up at school 3 weeks before and threatened to shoot the knee-caps off of anyone who thought about alcohol in my presence. Needless to say, the phone wasn’t ringing off the hook.

Our theme was Viva Las Vegas, and I wore a red dress. Got lucky, too.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Design Walk & Moo Shu Haiku

Gearing up for the Design Walk, people! It's been quite the hustle and bustle day here at PP headquarters. As you are out and about this evening, stopping by neighborhood hotspots like Lesesne, Blue Bicycle Books, Suite Sole, SieMatic (the Mayor will do their grand opening ribbon cutting!) and more, do remember that our resident mixologist Evan has put together a super fresh Design Walk cocktail: tequila, kumquat Dry soda, fresh orange and ginger. Shaken. Over ice. It's like a sassy bit of spring in a glass.

From the just good creative fun file, please peruse the MOO SHU HAIKU below. If you'll recall, I put out a call for moo shu haiku last week to celebrate Fish's $10 lunch. Please feel free to submit your haiku (5, 7, 5, kids) through the comments or email me: jenny@patpropllc.com. And thanks to all who have submitted thus far.

Half salad half wrap.
That is how I rolled today.
I live on the edge.

-Jessica, Sales Manager

PR Needs Haikus
I’ve Nothing Better to Do
Please go eat Moo shoo.

-Charlotte, Sales Manager

Siracha cream sauce
Chicken or pork? Hard to choose
Definitely chips

-Courtney Jo, Project Coordinator

Yummy rice pancake
Stuffed with grilled tofu and rice
Hot spicy sauce on top


Office takeout fave
Shrimp moo shu defines the day
More cilantro please

-Margaret, Skirt! magazine