Monday, January 16, 2006

"Why Do We All Feel So Happy Here?"

Okay, so as anyone who reads this blog knows, I love the Huffington Post. I think the site does amazing reporting, and is an important part of your media diet.

But there is an interview this morning with the co-owner of the Urth Caffe chain that is the most unintentionally hilarious journalistic tongue bath ever. It is not so much an interview as like one of those full-page ads for a dentist or a realtor or a salon or a chiropractor in Valley or Brentwood magazines that is supposed to look like a news article.

Nothing against Urth Caffe, which is very nice. But this is about the article itself... Well, I'll let the writer set the scene:

I had to find out more about this "petit je ne se quoi" so I met with co-owner Shallom Berkman on a misty afternoon recently at the seaside Urth Caffe in Santa Monica. As the interview begins, Shallom is pouring us delicate Taiwaiinese Oolong tea. Its warmth and perfume unfold upon violin music wafting luxuriously in the background of the restaurant.

Karen: Shallom, something works here. Why do we all feel so happy here? What keeps us coming back for more?

By the way, as I was reading this, I was pouring a delicate Diieet Peepsii as the sound of my own wretching wafted in the background.

(Also, you will not believe how often that phrase petit je ne se quoi pops up in this piece. Someone got a "Learn French in the Car" tape for Christmas!)

The article was written by Karen Michelle Powell, whose bio reads as follows:

Karen Michelle Powell is a writer and a mom in an incredible family of five. She moved to LA from El Paso, Texas in 2002. She loves conscious people, seeing the world, her animals, and drinking good coffee.

How did the conscious coffee mom from El Paso rate an invitation to blog on the Huffington Post?! How do I get one of those?? Maybe her family is actually The Incredibles!

Not to give away the ending, but aw, what the hell, I'll give away the ending:

Shallom: We take our time. We go in and give to the farmers what we can and we learn from them, too. This is part of the "petit je ne se quoi" of Urth.

Karen: That's it! That's the "little I don't know what"--You use standards that benefit everyone involved to provide us pleasure and excellent service, so we actually feel good about being pampered. Thank you, Shallom Berkman.

No... Thank you, Karen Michelle Powell! Not just for solving the mystery of where you picked up the petit French phrase which you now ladle over your prose like hollandaise sauce, but for giving us the funniest blogvertorial of this young year.

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