oh le shock

Oh honey child, you have made quite the store hopping version of dine and dash haven’t you?

What am I talking about? This, Saavvy scoop of the century:

Hillary White Jean wafted into Wayne on a cloud of luxury perfume, designer heels, extravagant cars and personal charm.

Sixteen months later, her splashy store, JWH Boutique, departed in the December darkness, leaving a string of angry landlords, fashion vendors and small business owners in her wake.

Court and police records show that Jean:

  • has declared bankruptcy five times in three states since 2011, most recently on Jan. 30 of this year.
  • has been repeatedly sued for alleged nonpayment of bills and has had at least four court judgments entered against her since 2021.
  • has been arrested three times since arriving in Wayne: twice last summer for passing fraudulent checks and once three weeks ago for witness intimidation, harassment and other charges at her preliminary criminal hearing before Radnor District Judge Leon Hunter. The Delaware County DA and Radnor and Newtown police have all confirmed ongoing investigations of Jean.

To the public, she was a smart businesswoman, a former hairdresser from Haiti with a sharp eye for style and a winning personality who worked hard for the designer clothes she wore and the Range Rover she drove.

Jean marketed herself as both “the first black business owner in Wayne” and a fashion pioneer who was upping the Main Line’s style game. “We’re bringing Rodeo Drive to the Main Line,” she once told SAVVY with a 100-watt smile.

Everyone and everything in Jean’s orbit looked the part. Her clothes were chic, her stores were sleek, her website polished.

And the media lapped it up.

She ran prominent ads for a year in Philadelphia Style, including a pricey full-page spotlight as a “Dynamic Woman” of 2022.

She made the rounds of TV news shows and newsmagazines.

And she threw showy shindigs, most notably last fall’s “Cocktails and Fabulosity” party to celebrate the opening of her second Wayne location. The e-vite asked guests to “dress to impress;” she hired a “Real Housewife of NYC” to up the glam factor….But court and police records and our interviews with multiple sources reveal a woman who repeatedly changed names, addresses and businesses and stiffed people and companies whose fashions she sold, whose space she rented, and whose services she engaged.

In the last two years, Hillary White Jean has opened and closed three stores: Lady M Boutique (M was for millionaire) in Glen Mills, HJ Boutique at 106 E. Lancaster Ave. in Wayne (now the home of Wheelhouse Cards) and JWH Boutique at 209 E. Lancaster Ave. at the former Mattress Factory/Tehrani Rug Co. building, also in Wayne….according to her Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy filing on January 30, 2023, she owes nearly $476,280.42 to her first Wayne landlord, School Lane Holdings Co., with whom she signed a five-year lease with a personal guarantee, and $67,103.42 to her second Wayne landlords, Reuben, Benjamin and Youda Tehrani….Perhaps Jean’s most high-profile alleged victim is the Philadelphia-based fashion designer, Nancy Volpe Beringer, a 2022 Fashion Group International “Rising Star” who made history as a finalist on Bravo TV’s “Project Runway” at age 64.

~ Savvy Main Line/Caroline O’Halloran 2/28/23



So the very active social media accounts, especially Instagram are disappearing faster than a politician under indictment. I will note that the next stop for this designing woman, or this woman that have designs on OPM based on the Savvy Spectacular. So I will post all of those. But first here’s a screenshot from somebody who really must not like this person very much:

Yes, Hillary Jean Crook is a Facebook page. Not much to it other than that screenshot above.

So something else worth mentioning is the next stop for this woman was supposed to be a store in the Hamptons. Now the baby Instagram page disappeared – this is what I snapped before it disappeared:

So, without further ado, here are the screenshots I grabbed. Accounts and related accounts. this whole thing just blows my mind.

Le 🍿 popcorn 🍿 please 🙏

Here’s another bunch of screenshots:

Yes, there are more….

give it up gail and is a local bank getting political?

She’s baaaaacccccckkk! Gail Newman international woman of idiocy and failed politician is back. She’s hosting political meet-ups now. And apparently she’s doing it at local businesses too? She would be as welcome as ants at a picnic one would think, right?

On the face of it, it’s actually hysterical because although she doesn’t know how to win, she is past master of annoy thy neighbors and intrusive behavior isn’t she? She was such a bad candidate she made Kristine Howard look good and now Kristine thinks she should be a judge but that’s another conversation for another day. Oh and Gail still has her state rep page up, so obviously she may try again?

Part of what bothers me with this is did the National Bank of Malvern approve this being posted at their bank? Will they allow other political persuasions to post things now or is this just Gail doing whatever? However, if the bank is getting selectively political, that is kind of problematic isn’t it? I mean they say they are not for sale but define for sale?

The other part of what bothers me is Gail Newman is attempting taking over the tranquility and friendliness of Julie Anne’s Place in Malvern Borough. My guess there is she did NOT ask permission or pay for space because well, girlfriend wants a meet up on March 1st and the favorite breakfast and lunch spot for so many is on vacation until March 3rd, so what’s up? Are they going to meet on the sidewalk March 1st? I mean, why couldn’t Gail just meet on the sidewalk in front of the Wawa like the teenagers and Malvern Borough?

Maybe Gail Newman is just being kind of exclusionary ? Maybe everyone should start going to her gatherings and takeover her meetings? Or be sure to pack Julie Anne’s on days she says her group is going to be there? After all at the end of the day, it is not OK to co-opt someone’s small business like that is it? And a lot of small businesses don’t want groups like this which have an edge for one political side or the other taking over their small floor space because that’s a turn off to other customers, isn’t it?

Gail, have the meetings AT YOUR HOUSE! Show more respect for local businesses.

Have a great day all.

details, details

Things that drive me crazy includes when incorrect dates are attributed to old houses. The City of Philadelphia in particular is the WORST. THE WORST.

Take for example, the house that counts as my birthplace in Philadelphia. The City of Philadelphia has it listed as being built in 1860. It is a historic property that their own redevelopment authority dated to 1811! I have the sign when it was built in 1811 and for whom that hung on the house before my parents purchased it ! And a former Mayor of Philadelphia and Congressman J. Hampton Moore lived there. Documentable history.

Or my grandparents old house in North Philadelphia where my father was born. They give the rowhouse a date of being built in 1940. My father was born in 1935. There. Was daddy living in the wild, Philadelphia?

What started me on this today? One of my friends and I realized that one of her grandmother was born a few blocks from the house my great aunts and great uncle lived in at 1128 Ritner Street in South Philadelphia. The City of Philadelphia lists the house as being built in 1940. Again, one issue: photos of my father as an infant out front with my grandfather, grandmother, great aunts, and great grandmother…..in 1935.

So then I went digging around. Found instances of when this house was for rent, for sale, needed domestic help in the early 20th century. 1897, 1908, 1912, 1919. So there goes that idea of 1940 Philadelphia.

This of course led me to all sorts of other notices. For my family. When my Great Aunt Rose and Uncle Carl got their marriage license. Death notices, executor and executrix notices. And one freaking amazing find I had never seen before: when my father’s maternal grandfather, Francesco Antonio Luca, my great grandfather became a naturalized U.S. Citizen. That gave me chills.

Of course this led me to sad records, including when my Aunt Josie’s house, now sold a few times since it was sold when she had to go into a nursing home with Alzheimer’s, went into a foreclosure in 2021. I feel sorry for whomever that was and I am guessing they may have been in part responsible for the bastardization of the inside of the house.

It also led me to photos of a more recent Realtor type vintage. I have so few photos of the inside of that house, and none are scanned. And I couldn’t find them when I was starting to write this post. Inside when I was little was an old fireplace with Mercer tiles around it and a white mantle. There was a vestibule, which meant you came inside the front door and there was a little area with tiles that you could drop wet shoes, an umbrella, etc. There was also a door that then led you inside the house. My great aunts had an ancient player piano. That was left when the house was sold while Aunt Josie was alive. I actually found a photo of it but it had been moved to near the front window when it was always in between the living room and dining room when I was growing up. At some point the living room and dining room were bastardized in the 2000s and no more fireplace or vestibule or curved arch kind of entry to dining room. Oh and there is a “roof terrace” (not finished) which trust me never excisted.

I have a lot of very specific memories of the house on Ritner Street because we spent a lot of time there. I have written about that before. When you walked inside the front doors, there was a vestibule with an additional door and transom window. The vestibule had tile as flooring. Not sure it was marble, but might have been. The fireplace was closed off and completely decorative by the time I was a child and I think hid pipes or something. But when it was for sale a few years ago, the beautiful mantle and Mercer tile surround and hearth was just gone and those floors were not the original hardwoods. And I am not sure where the front window came from because it was different from when I was little and even different from when my father was growing up.

And I am not sure when the house got so unattractive with the façade because originally it was brick and other stone. I remember the steps were blue-grey marble or granite originally and then at some point before I was born a home “improvement” contractor working the neighborhood convinced the residents of 1128 Ritner that the steps HAD to change. I imagine he probably re-sold the original slabs of stone and the way the steps were situated also changed.

Being so annoyed that the City of Philadelphia didn’t even have the right year the house was built also sent me to the census records for the Lucas. Why that was cool is I saw all the places they lived after emigrating. They came in through Alabama and PJ, my Uncle Pat (Pasquale) and Aunt Millie were born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. The others were born in Philadelphia. I found the houses prior to moving to Ritner Street – 966 Kimball and 1614 Iseminger.

I will remember Ritner street the way it was when I was growing up. I am sorry the interior details that were so pretty have been lost over time. Especially those Mercer tiles in the hearth and fireplace surround.

Except for their earliest residences, these immigrants I descend from owned their homes. And if you read the census data, there was only a limited education until my father’s generation. These people worked hard. These people are my people. When so many run from what they are from, I celebrate it.

I miss my old people of my growing up years. I miss that house. No one besides me probably cares that the year it was built is wrong, or the house I was born into is listed with the wrong building year. But details matter. Or they should. But it’s the City of Philadelphia which has seemingly stopped caring about pretty much everything.

memories like a gaf viewfinder.

Family is often more of an abstract concept as opposed to the reality we thought it should be. Only these are people that I’ve never really known and who have never wanted to know me.

Every once in a while I think about this family I should know, but really don’t. It’s not that I miss them per se, it’s just something I wonder about occasionally.

My memories of my father’s immediate family as in his siblings is like looking at photos through a reel of an old GAF Viewfinder. Remember those? Click click on a round little cardboard thing with a finite amount of images. National parks, nature, monuments, and more.

Click, click. I remember when I was maybe 6 or so, spending a weekend at a white farmhouse with a barn off a long driveway or maybe a narrow road in Paoli. It was off of Lancaster Avenue. My father’s sister, my aunt, and her family lived there for a couple of years before my uncle got a job transfer to Ohio I think it was.

Click, click. Another memory of the same house. Thanksgiving. Being seated at the children’s table out in the hall next to the staircase. With my cousins, who really didn’t want to be at a table with me. I remember black-eyed peas as a side, and I remember my uncle’s tiny Cuban mother, who spoke very little English, seated at the grown up table dressed all in black.

Click, click. Walking with my father to his brother’s house, which was close to ours for a while in Philadelphia when we lived in Society Hill. Again I was fairly little, and I seem to remember where he lived was almost like inside a little courtyard street. I don’t remember why we were there, but I remember my father speaking to his brother outside. Eventually, my uncle and his wife at the time and family moved to Buffalo New York. We were never invited to visit, not that I cared – we just never were invited. My grandmother used to go visit them in the summer.

Click, click. My father sitting in a darkened living room shortly after his father died. Chain smoking, boxes from I guess his childhood bedroom or something scattered all around. I just remember him being really upset. I never knew what happened. But a memory, I can still recall clearly. A lamp on in the darkened living room, silence, a single stream of cigarette smoke, a crystal ashtray, my father contemplative and silent.

Click, click. Another early random memory. Being at my great aunts’ house on Ritner Street in Philadelphia Christmas Eve. Loud, crowded, fun.

Click, click. Memories here and there of my aunt and uncle’s home in Chestnut Hill. My father‘s mother, my paternal grandmother moved there after my grandfather died. I remember when we went to visit her there we were never allowed to visit her it seemed by ourselves. And I never felt like we were actually welcomed there.

I remember the house. It was a beautiful house and a lot of the furnishings were similar in style and taste to my parents. I loved the living room in that house. It had so much light. I didn’t like the dining room. It seemed dark and unfriendly. Cold. I remember a Thanksgiving when we had visitors from out of town who came with us to Thanksgiving dinner at my father’s sister’s house. It was cold and uncomfortable.

Click, click. The old Lakeside Inn located in Collegeville, PA. It was a surprise party for one of my great aunts. Or maybe it was an anniversary party for my great aunt and uncle. I don’t remember what the event was, I remember is it was a gathering of the clan and at one point my father’s brother made this big deal of taking all the kids downstairs at the Lakeside Inn where they had a gift shop. My uncle, my father’s brother bought all the kids, a toy or something out of the gift shop. Except for my sister and I. I don’t know why that was, but I remember how it felt. We didn’t cry or anything. We just kind of went back to where the grown-ups were at the party. Someone told my great uncle about this and he took my sister and I down later and got us each a special present. I remember what mine was and I had it for decades until it literally fell apart, it was a little calico owl stuffed animal.

Click, click. Memories of going to Maryland to see my father’s favorite cousin, and his wife and family here and there. My earliest memory was a little house and we were on the swingset in the back. I even have a photo of that. Then there were later memories of a cool Victorian house in Ellicott City. Those were always happy memories because I really like those cousins and we felt welcome as opposed to how we felt every time we were around my father’s sister and brother and their respective families. Also other memories of other cousins of my father. There we were always welcome, I did not feel like an outsider who was barely tolerated.

Click, click when my father’s mother was dying. My uncle, my father’s brother, telling my father that he was a terrible son over their mother’s deathbed with me in the room as well. I told my uncle off then and there. My grandmother said nothing but smiled.

Click, click. The luncheon at Philadelphia Cricket Club after my grandmother’s funeral. First of all, realizing that no one really wanted our part of the family there, and how breathtakingly rude one of my aunt’s daughters (my first cousin) was to me in the ladies room. I’ve never forgotten it. She loved my grandmother very much and I know that. She was very close to her. I didn’t begrudge that. That was her relationship. But I still remember being at the sink, putting on lipstick or something and my cousin coming out of the stall in the ladies room. I said hello to her and she literally cut me dead and I’ve never forgotten the look, and I never understood the look either because we didn’t have a relationship, so why would she be like that? It was literally hateful. It’s not like I got some huge inheritance over her, there was only one thing I asked my aunt for of my grandmother’s. I asked for some photos of my father growing up that my grandmother had. And when those arrived, which was months after the funeral, they arrived in a small box, and you could see they had been ripped out of old-fashioned photo albums.

I have lots of these random memories that are like they were from a GAF viewfinder. Finite, brief. But there.

Funny but not funny, whenever I see super happy, close TV families it doesn’t quite smack of reality. There is none of the messiness of real life. My father’s relationship with his siblings was definitely messy. I just will probably never know exactly why, because each sibling has their own story, of course and wherein lies the truth? His sister is the only sibling still alive at this point. But I’ve never really had a relationship with her and I’m not going to call an old woman and say, why didn’t you get along with your brother, my father?

I never have known exactly what the breakdown was between my father and his siblings. Or with his mother after his father died. I wasn’t there when they were growing up. I just remember even when I was little there was a vibe I got. They had whatever issue with my father, also didn’t like my mother, and I was one of their children.

Every once in a while, I wonder what life would have been like growing up if these relationships were different? I wonder what it would be like today if those relationships have been different? But when you’re related to people that really don’t care to know you, it kind of sets the stage. You wonder and then you release that feeling.

I have a really nice life. I have my family, but I still wonder occasionally what life would have been like if my father’s family had been different? Please don’t misunderstand me, I don’t miss what I’ve never known. It’s just more of a curiosity. When I get occasional news of any of this part of my father’s family, it’s like hearing about strangers, because to me, they really are strangers. I’ve never really known them, and they’ve never wanted to know me.

Musings released back to the universe.

say NO to data centers and a new power plant at exton park

These aren’t my words I am about to share, but I agree:

30 years ago residents of East and West Whiteland joined together to stop a “mini city” from being built on Church Farm School land. Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of residents and the township and county elected leaders at the time, we have the 700 acre Exton Park on that land instead.

Their legacy is our treasure, for current and future generations.

But now developers and fossil fuel interests want to put a power plant and massive data center hub on the eastern edge of our beloved park bisected by the Chester Valley Trail. They have lobbied in Harrisburg and won state tax breaks for data centers and billion of dollars in subsidies for “dirty” hydrogen power plants sourced from methane, a false climate solution pushed by the industry to prolong fracking.

In order for their plan to proceed, West Whiteland’s zoning ordinance would have to be amended to allow power plants and data centers in this Laboratory/Office zone. The developer has asked for this amendment and a public hearing has been scheduled for Jan 25, 6:30pm at the West Whiteland Township Building.

🔴 Mark your calendars for Jan 25 and make a plan to attend the hearing. Residents from all over must join together again to protect this space. It’s no place for a power plant and potentially 3 million square feet of data center, up to sixty feet high.

🔴 Join the FB group No Power Plant/Data Center Hub in Exton! To stay up-to-date.

More on the billions in subsidies for blue and grey hydrogen: https://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2022/10/the-hydrogen-bill-gifts-4-billion-to-the-fossil-fuel-industry-opinion.html

(Photo taken last weekend from Old Valley Rd, Exton looking east toward this tract of land beyond the row of trees).

~ Ginny Kerslake

Funny thing about history…does it repeat itself? All of the things going on in East Whiteland and West Whiteland West regarding this whole data center as the second coming of Christ projects and it makes you look back to the past doesn’t it? Because isn’t some of this land that’s in play now part of what riled people up with Willard rows in the 1980s and 90s? Anyway all these clippings are just a little history lesson. Because those who don’t look to the past are doomed to make the same mistakes in the present, right?

Look lively West Whiteland Township and East Whiteland Township. This whole area is at risk again. End, it actually starts down off of S. Bacton Hill Road in East Whiteland where they want the data center plant. And the people behind all this include a former investment banker, and when did an investment banker, become an expert on new forms of energy or is it just about the bottom line?

historic ebebezer continues to crumble

Poor Ebenezer. Historically significant as quite literally perhaps the second oldest AME site in the country, except for Mother Bethel AME in Philadelphia. And I believe Mother Bethel’s current Pastor Mark Kelly Tyler knows this as he was in West Chester prior to Philadelphia.

Everything the engineer told me a few years ago now that I passed along to East Whiteland Township and East Whitehead Historical Commission is sadly happening. The walls have never been shored up, and the development going along around it is taking a toll. Time, weather, and circumstances are not friends to this site.

This is so sad. Quite literally an important historical asset, including as part of black history in Chester County. This was part of Bacton Hill. I have been told Bacton Hill was one of the early black settlements and well, most of the history has been bulldozed away, hasn’t it?

Black History Month starts when? February 1st? I would say maybe this February 1st someone will care about the history of Ebenezer and Bacton Hill, but really does it ever happen enough to make a difference? Sadly, no. So all I can ever do is point out further deterioration and prior posts over the years.

Before COVID hit, there was a lady from the National Trust for Historic Places I had connected with who seemed interested. Her name was Lawana Holland-Moore. I have tried following up since, but nothing, not even a reply. (Sigh.) Who knows? Maybe she will see this post and renew her former interest. There are so many historic places and structures at risk, but I just wish this place would matter for more than just an occasional minute.

I also hope that someday the East Whiteland Historical Commission really gets a fire lit under them. I have kind of given up there, I find little point in trying to connect with them at this point. Their chair is very nice, but they have never really been comfortable with me or interested in what I have to say.

At one point I had wanted to volunteer for the commission, but political road blocks came up and COVID happened. I’m not welcome there, and why should I keep trying? At one point I even offered to donate my time to help them photograph historic assets and I helped the former members who updated the History of East Whiteland Book, but they cycled off the commission. Hell, when I contacted a member of the commission last June looking for an update on Ebenezer I never even got a reply from them or anyone so I can take a hint.

But, I still need to remind people that #ThisPlaceMatters . Ebenezer and Bacton Hill are disappearing.

a cooking week

It has been a week of cooking. Right now I have a chicken roasting in the oven, Julia Child style. Along with the roast chicken, I am making a salad with poppyseed dressing. I’m making at the way friend. I had many years ago named Liza used to make it. It was one of her favorite salads to serve. I am also serving a mash of potatoes, celeriac root, and parsnips with sautéed baby Bella mushrooms.

Earlier this week I made pierogis for the first time. I have mad respect for old Polish grandmothers everywhere. Those suckers are work! I used a New York Times recipe, and adjusted the potato filling to my taste – I added sautéed mushrooms.

A couple of days ago I found some fabulous old Coalport plates. You don’t see them all the time in the US they are a British china. Coalport china ceased operations and production in 1926. Coalport was eventually absorbed into Wedgewood in the 1960s. I love old plates, so I will use them. I pretty much use old plates every day no matter what, I’m not really a modern china person. And my mother always said if you have the plates use them, you can’t take them with you.

Today for dessert I am making something I made up. I am calling it pineapple upside down trifle. it’s a semi homemade kind of thing, and never underestimate the power of a simple dessert.

Here’s the recipe:

1 box Jell-O instant pudding mix. Today I’m using banana, but you can also use vanilla. Make according to directions with whole milk and put to the side.

1 package of ladyfingers or one store-bought poundcake. I just got a Sara Lee that’s always still in the freezer section and let it thaw on the refrigerator.package of ladyfingers or one store-bought poundcake. I just got a Saralee that’s always still in the freezer section and let it thaw on the refrigerator.

1 cleaned, cored, sliced into small pieces fresh pineapple. I found a smaller one at the store, not huge one.

A couple tablespoons of brown sugar and butter.

I am making my trifle in a vintage Copco Enamelware Bowl. I’m not putting this into the oven. I’m just putting it into the refrigerator. I really like this bowl. I found that a few months ago. It’s stamped Michael Lax for Copco of Switzerland. It was a total deal and I purchased it well below what you would see these bowls going for on EBay or Etsy.

I sautéed the pineapple in a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter with brown sugar until they were caramelized. When they were cool enough to handle, I started to put my trifle together.

Trifle is really simple. It’s layered pudding and cake with fruit. Never underestimate the appeal of this desert. If you want to you can top it with a little whipped cream but you don’t have to.

Bon appétit!

you like tomato (/təˈmeɪtoʊ/) and i like tomato (/təˈmɑːtoʊ/)

More in the category of social media manners matter.

Recently, a friend of mine posted their experience at an upscale restaurant in a closed group that is supposed to be about restaurant reviews and more. They weren’t nasty. They loved the food, but there were other parts of the overall restaurant experience outside of the food that bothered them.

Things like driving some distance to a restaurant that said they had valet parking only they did not really. Apparently around the corner, there was a valet guy, but he wasn’t particularly pleasant. A restaurant should not offer valet, if they cannot offer valet and it’s all right to tell people they don’t have enough staff for valet or whatever the case may be. And if someone has called in a reservation and leaves their phone number or they email a restaurant, why can’t a restaurant let the customer know that valet staff might be limited, here are the self-parking options? When people are prepared ahead of time, a problem isn’t necessarily a problem is it? Or if life happens and people don’t show up to work, just take a little more time with your customers when they arrive.

Other things like where your table is located. No one wants to be in restaurants Siberia, which to me is right by the kitchen door, having a go fwack, fwack. Or a table immediately opposite a bathroom. I mean who wants to hear flushing toilets as part of their expensive dining experience? It doesn’t lend to the ambience of a place. Which is why a lot of restaurants will have partitions going to the bathrooms so you don’t hear them or down a little hallway so you don’t hear them, see them, smell them. Some restaurants are small and should consider maybe a couple of less tables.

Also on the topic of tables would be specific requests. If a customer calls and says to the hostess or whomever when they are making the reservation that they would really love a table in a certain spot and can they be accommodated, don’t say yes, you can accommodate them if you actually cannot. It’s OK to politely say no I wish we could do that but we’re all booked or whatever. No one wants to lose a customer in this economy, but a quicker way to lose a customer is to say you will do some thing and then when they arrive, it’s not that at all.

Little bits of conversation with a potential customer, especially if they might have a special need goes miles in keeping customers. For example, a friend of mine said to me just recently that now because of health concerns, they have a very specific diet and they were super impressed with the new restaurant out near us, who took the time to steer them on the menu before they came in, to make sure that health related dietary restrictions could be kept. that is very cool customer service. I have food allergies and sometimes I ask questions ahead of time and I’ve had people be annoyed with me for asking questions. Personally, I think if one of my allergies caused a medical emergency in the middle of their dining room floor, that would be a lot worse but what do I know?

And that’s just the real world of it all. The not so real world of it all occurs when people leave an honest review of a restaurant within a closed group that is about restaurant reviews. No one wants to see a restaurant unnecessarily slammed, but if someone is thoughtful in their reply, and they show balance of what they loved, and what they liked and what they didn’t really care for how is that a bad thing? But we’re not talking about a review on the restaurant’s website or a Google review or a Yelp, we’re talking about a conversation you should be able to have within a closed group that is about the topic of local dining or travel, or whatever. Or even just a local group where you live that’s more generalist in nature, but contains things like this.

I am someone who knows a few restaurant owners, and a few chefs. One literally said to me yesterday when we were talking about this very topic that even if they do not want to hear it, they really want to hear it. Because sometimes they don’t know because they are so close to the topic. This person said to me they like to hear about a total experience, not just the food because it is something that could be a simple fix or improvement. To this friend, it’s simple: if they don’t know they can’t address and/or potentially improve the situation.

The flipside of this is, I have seen plenty of people who were just nasty to be nasty about a place. And I have seen restaurant owners and chefs be so incredibly gracious to these people to try to address their concerns.

I am someone who was totally slammed by a restaurant owner because I gave a mixed review one time. I wasn’t even negative. I praised to the heavens everything I liked, and was honest, but not mean about what I didn’t like. As a result of the way I was treated I will never be a return customer. Maybe that doesn’t matter to some people, but the restaurant owners and chefs I know really want to do the best by their customers whenever possible. And when this happened to me, it wasn’t in person, it wasn’t in a phone call, it was on social media. So when I see this happening to someone else for whatever reason, it gives me pause, especially when it’s from another member of the community.

Then there are the people that don’t like the terminology you use. If you use waiter or waitress instead of server. if you say janitor instead of custodian. Or my favorite is, you could never refer to a secretary as an administrative assistant. Some secretaries prefer to be referred to as a secretary. These words aren’t pejorative terms, they are alternate terms for a similar job description. But people get so hung up on being the online political correctness police that they go on and on and on about this completely missing the point of what somebody was trying to say, and being rather rude while they were at it.

Do I take offense if somebody just calmly kind of says to me, have you considered using a different term? I’m actually kind of OK with that even if I don’t agree with them, but the whole heavy-handed approach of the keyboard warriors leaves a lot to be desired. Keyboard warriors or typing tigers have room only for what their perspective is, not anyone else’s. And when you’re in a group setting or a guest on someone’s page, how is that even appropriate or helpful?

I belong to social media groups like ones that tell you about restaurants and different places to go and visit because I’m genuinely interested. But I also appreciate people who will say what their experience was honestly without being mean because I think you should be able to discuss things. And I think that is the biggest problem with so many people on social media today is that you cannot discuss anything.

There are some groups, even some which I belong to, that you’re never allowed to really be completely honest if anything is negative that you have to say. You cannot write it even if you are balancing with several positives. You’re just not allowed to say it. I understand wanting to keep a balance and keeping a group membership happy, but when did we lose the ability to be honest with one another, without tearing each other to bits?

When it comes to dining out or traveling, I appreciate the feedback of others, who aren’t just publicists or members of some marketing team for a restaurant or a resort, but people who have actually done what you’re thinking of doing or visited where you’re thinking of visiting or dined where you want to dine. That’s why I’m not a compensated blogger. I chose that because when I voice my opinion, or give a review, it’s because I am just like everybody else, a customer.

And while on the topic, I appreciate actual writers who write a review who are not being compensated by the business to do so, it’s their job to review things. And I also appreciate the reviews of people in a comparable industry, who tell you what it was like for them to go somewhere. I don’t necessarily have to agree with any of these things that others are writing, but I appreciate the time they took to be honest.

Anyway, sorry to have another post on a similar topic, but these things keep cropping up and honestly? My opinion is people can be better and do better. I don’t pretend to be perfect, by any stretch of the imagination but I do not get why people join groups to share experiences, only they’re not allowed to open their mouths if their experience is less than glowing. After all, not all unicorns fart rainbows, some are just regular unicorns.

Have a great afternoon.

manners (or lack thereof.)

People seem to be lacking in basic manners online. Especially on social media platforms. As a blogger, I seem to get a lot of the various forms of lack of manners directed at me. People are no longer able to agree to disagree, or even have what resembles a sane conversation about opposing views.

In this me, me, me world that exists on social media platforms, that whole phrase of “worthy opposition” no longer exists. As a matter of fact if you try to mention that to most people you get the social media equivalent of blank stares because people just do not understand much of anything these days, and have little intellectual curiosity to seek things out.

We are going deaf. We worry about political polarization, the rise of the radical right and so on, but there’s a deafness afoot that is pre-political and dangerous not only to democracy but to living with the other seven billion people on the planet.

We are losing sight of the “worthy opponent,” the person or party you disagree with but whom you see as a legitimate member of the body politic. We are forgetting how to learn how “the other side” sees things, and hammer out workable compromise—keeping in mind that a good compromise is where no one gets everything they want.

~The “Worthy Opposition”: Learning to Learn
By Marcia Pally

Yes that pretty much is the perfect quote for what I am attempting to discuss.

I am growing increasingly intolerant of those who cannot disagree and have a reasonable conversation. And I am saying so, which in the limited world of some on the Internet and social media whose comfort levels never rise much above whatever they are saying or pink fuzzy bunnies, it’s tragically akin to heresy.

The come backs on their part usually start with I can’t take criticism. Well, umm have you met humans? I have never met a single person who likes criticism, but that’s not why I am sick of what some think are acceptable comments. I am sick of the way people think it is ok to treat others on social media. There is no online conversation, it’s be like they want you to be samey same like them or you are bad. You can’t disagree, because if you do, you’re bad.

It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing with me, it’s about being respectful. If you can’t state another perspective as part of a conversation then I can and will remove comments and people. I’m not your punching bags, and yes it is up to me because it is my page and blog. If people don’t like it when I say “my page” or “my blog”, so sorry did you think it was yours?

I have started to remove comments and people. From my blog, from my bog’s social media outlets. If people don’t like it, too bad. If you can’t be civil, have a conversation, I am over it. People can think what they want, but I find today there is a particular lack of decorum in discourse. Even on pages where you think this wouldn’t happen. There is a great deal of misplaced sense of entitlement going around these days.

Yesterday I was musing about the cyclist who was struck and killed by a police officer. All I said was it would essentially be helpful to know all of the facts before rushing to judgement. I said this after speaking to avid cyclists I know who said flat out that was a damn odd place to be on a bicycle. I wondered why the guy was there and I still wonder if his judgement was impaired in any way?

When it comes to cyclists, there are good cyclists and not so good cyclists who do not pay attention to the rules of the road and make up their own. I don’t know any motorist who gets up one day and says “today I will hit someone on a bicycle with my car.”

I remember years ago when I used to take windy and hilly Conshohocken State Road back and forth to work every day, there were several days a week when I would hold my breath because of cyclists. There used to be these groups of cyclists who would weave and bob in and out of traffic, sometimes nearly taking over both sides of the road during the morning rush hours…oh and not keeping up with the flow of traffic, instead creating their own rules. As a driver of a car, it was terrifying some mornings. You know that you have share the road and cyclists like motorists have rights, but no one has ever adequately explained to me did their rights include putting everyone else at risk? On that road, I also saw a cyclist hit once through no fault of their own and we found out later they were a hit and run victim.

My thoughts about this fatality a few days ago weren’t crazy, there are lots of questions about this. From the angle of the victim, and the person who hit the man who is also in law enforcement. But people hopped all over me that I was a horrible person and when I responded to them, I couldn’t take criticism and I was verbally barraged again. And one woman was particularly amusing because she took umbrage to my response as I found her particularly rude and made some comment about having agreed with me on something in the past. Umm, so that means you can just be terrible to me when you disagree and I am supposed to say “thank you, may I have some more, please”? In this same vein was the guy who is a firefighter in Chester County who was also upset that I reminded people it was my page. Well it is, and distilled down most simply is when you are on someone’s page, you are their guest. They create the rules and like it or not, if we don’t like their rules, we don’t have to be there.

Have I been removed from Facebook pages and/or groups? Sure (and there are so many I just wouldn’t bother with period.) And I haven’t lost sleep over it. What amused me in those instances is I wasn’t actually rude to anyone. But hey, it’s their party, not mine. Sorry not sorry that I didn’t agree with a mother in a parenting group who thought it was ok to put household bleach in a bath for a child with allergies. Yes, really. Objecting to what actually could be considered child abuse had me removed once from a parenting social media group. But usually I am simply barred from a Facebook page because I am a blogger, kind of like what the Chester County Republican Page did. And I have yet to actually comment on THEIR page. I comment elsewhere about what they have on their page. Or the Fauxblicist who runs around in the terrifying bunny suit on occasion. I never commented on her page either, just laughed hilariously at the idiocy others shared from it. She bans me from commenting, but why would I comment on her page? I wouldn’t.

And then there was the Facebook group I was removed from because I blocked NOT an admin/moderator/page owner, but instead just some random women in said group who I did not care for. They complained to the woman who runs the group and she said back then I could not be in the group if I blocked others in the group, and did not grasp the concept that I was managing my personal privacy settings and it had nothing to to with her or the people who ran the group. It was merely done to avoid online flame wars with people I will never agree with who are in fact, mean. I am still endlessly amused that she would tell someone to change their privacy setting to accommodate bullies. It was also ironically a group where I rarely commented. Did I care about not being in that group? Nope. Haven’t missed in in a decade.

And then there is Twitter. Yesterday on Twitter a person decided he didn’t agree with me. That would have been fine if he hadn’t called me a bitch and not in an amusing “oh bitch please” satirical way. It was as in it had absolutely no place in the conversation, zero decorum kind of way. His excuse for said behavior was he wasn’t a very kind person on social media and he wasn’t going to go away unless I muted or blocked him. Very mature. He didn’t get that we could have had the entire conversation if he hadn’t decided to be offensive. So I chose mute.

Decorum is not something that exists on social media. Maybe it should? All I know is just because I am a blogger or have a different opinion it doesn’t mean I am going to sit and be their punching bag. After all if I am so terrible why are they reading my blog and why are they on my blog’s Facebook page?

Of course the ultimate irony regarding these keyboard tigers is how they are in real time if you see them off of the Internet, not hiding behind screens, keyboards, and false bravado.

Manners should be a thing online and in real life. We don’t have to all agree, and we shouldn’t all agree, but the first response of people to attack I think is wrong. And yes that means I will mute or remove someone and delete their comments. Life is too short.

If you don’t like my blog, my blog’s Facebook page or my comments or thoughts, it’s a great big Internet out there. Feel free to discover it. Life is not a cheerocracy. And you all seem to think it’s just me who feels this way. It’s not. People are just miserable to the non-controversial as well.

Oh and one last point. Everything is not about a skewed perception of class warfare.


Rant over.