常州日报
November 15, 2016 How To Bring In More Customers

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常州日报
how to bring in more customers
Love Lets Us Remain in Changzhou

"Of the places around Nanjing and Shanghai, we are most attracted to Changzhou," say this pair of American sweethearts.

The tall gentleman chose the name "贲喆明", and the charming young woman is called "马文慧". A year ago, this young American couple made the long journey to become Middle School 24’s foreign English teachers and have since completed a one year contract. Since exploring Chinese culture has been so pleasurable for them, they decided to continue with their foreign teaching career in Changzhou. It is now one month after the start of the new school year. Jeanne cleverly told the reporter, "Not only does the middle character I use in my name (‘文’) represent my interest in culture, but it reminds me that we are still studying and have more to learn. How can one year be enough time?"

They were able to come to China together because they share common interests. Benjamin tells this reporter, "When I was very little, my parents told me that if you dig a hole in the earth and keep digging, you’ll dig all the way through to China." Because of the couple’s interest in China, they took Chinese names for themselves in the classical tradition, hoping to be able to accumulate a lot of wisdom, and beyond this, to increase their knowledge.

Before he came to Changzhou, Benjamin had been a computer systems administrator. He had already spent time in thirteen U.S. states doing network administration. While of university age, Benjamin lived the life of a Jew in Israel. He had already had the experience of teaching Hebrew. As for Jeanne, after graduating from college, she did community work enlightening people about culture, race, and gender, emphasizing treating people with equality. This well-matched young couple, having known each other for two years, mutually chose China to acquaint themselves with Eastern culture.

"We like Changzhou because of its geographical location. This place is not a tourist city, and we are attracted to this typical Chinese tranquility and, yet, Changzhou is modern, and so it also meets our needs. We’ve made friends here from Liaoning, Shandong, Qinghai, Anhuai and other places. As a result of this, we have come to understand the culture of China’s provinces and their various traits. This fact is especially pleasing."

How do these two youths communicate with their Chinese friends? Outside the gate of Number 24 Middle School there is a family noodle shop. The first time Benjamin and Jeanne went there, the owner and some customers were full of kindness and said that they wanted to be friends. If Benjamin and Jeanne needed any help, they said they would help them. Because nobody at the restaurant can speak English, the couple was forced to use Chinese for every exchanges. But Benjamin and Jeanne are especially happy about this because it makes their progress fast. The noodle restaurant is run by people of the Hui minority, so sometimes the couple are invited to join in special minority events. Their relationship is reciprocal. For example, Benjamin and Jeanne took the noodle restaurant’s menu and researched it. After they finished trying all of the dishes, they brought a translated menu with them. The owner of the restaurant was very happy because now in this small restaurant people cannot but see things in a new light.

Now, perhaps you believe that the fact that this young couple leans strongly toward Chinese cuisine is still somewhat inconsistent. Jeanne is an earnest vegetarian, and Benjamin apparently is also mainly interested in vegetarian food. "In America, we have no baby bok choy, amaranth, bitter melon, or chinese chive dishes—American tofu is Japanese style—and what’s more, we don’t have dried tofu. Nor do we have another thing I love to eat—tofu sheets. Consequently, in China, I can accept vegetarianism much more happily than in America." Considering what Benjamin says, it’s no wonder that they bring food home to cook and eat from time to time. Rumor has it that Benjamin’s Hong Shao Eggplant isn’t too bad. Sometimes, when they miss America, they go to a nearby Western restaurant and have a coffee and french fries. However, the best place for them to relax is the Tianning Temple restaurant, because, since everything is vegetarian, they can eat anything they see.

Although the two of them ardently love to travel, they seldom took trips during their first year, which spanned from their arrival in August of 2004 until the start of this new school year. But since they put everything into studying Chinese, they can now go anywhere in China on their own. At one time saying "one tea" but now saying "one cup of tea," Benjamin’s Chinese has indeed improved. "Sometimes I can’t remember a specific piece of Chinese vocabulary, but I can use my Chinese to describe it. For example, if I forget the word for ‘cup’ I can describe it, and the other person will give me a cup." Benjamin is very proud of himself.

With American students, it’s normal to remain seated through the entire class, and the teacher often will sit while teaching class. At the beginning, Benjamin wasn’t accustomed to the Chinese classroom protocol. However, now he has explained both ways so it’s now possible for him to do both. Also, he likes to pace all over duing class, wanting to be near to the student with whom he is having an exchange, "We do what the students are most comfortable with." This young pair of Americans smiles very brightly.

让爱情逗留常州

“在南京和上海之间,我们更向往常州。” 说这话的是一对美国请侣。

高大的男子取名贲喆明,娇小的女孩名叫马文慧,一年前,这对年轻的美国情侣飞越千山万水,成为二十四中的英语外教。当一年合约已满,对中国文化充满探究乐趣的这对情侣,毅然选择在常州继续外教生涯。新学年开学满一个月时,马文慧俏皮地对记者表示:“自己不但在名字中用‘文’字体现对文化的向往,更要在实践中多学一些,一年的时间怎么够呢?”

共同的志趣让他们走到一起。贲喆明告诉记者,父母在自己很小的时候就说过:如果你在地下挖一个洞,坚持下去,等到挖通的时候就到了中国。因为对中国的兴趣,他把自己的中国名字都取的那么古典希望自己能积累很多智慧,变的更加聪明。

贲喆明来常之前是位计算机程序制员,曾在美国13个州从事网络基础工作,而在大学时代,作为一名在以色列地区生活过的犹太人,他曾有过教授希伯来语的经历。而马文慧,大学毕业后曾从事社区公益事业,着重启发人们在文化,人种,性别等方面的交流,两位志趣相投的青年在认识两年后共同选择到古老的中国,认识东方文化。

“我们喜欢常州,是因为他的地理位置。这里不是旅游城市,我们向往的是一种宁静典型的中国式生化,常州现代,又能满足我们的要求。在这里,我们交到的朋友有来自辽宁,山东,青海,安徽等地,所以我们能了解到中国其他省份的文化与特点,这点令我们尤为满意。”

这对青年是如何交上中国朋友的呢?原来,二十四中门口有家拉面馆,当贲喆明和马文慧第一次来到店里时,店主和一些顾客就表示了充分的好感,提出愿意跟他们交朋友,如果需要帮忙不要客气。因为拉面馆的人都不会讲英语,所以这对一心要学汉语的美国青年特别高兴,他们只能用中文与大家交流,因此进步也就快得多。拉面馆是回族朋友开的,碰上一些带有民族特色的活动也会邀请两人参加。有来有往,作为回报,贲喆明和马文慧把拉面馆所有的菜单都研究了个遍,然后把每只菜成英语再送了回去,拉面馆主十分开心,因为就是这么个不大的店,菜单也同时用汉字,拼音,英语三种方式予以说明,今人不得不另眼相看。

也许你会以为这对青年对中国的饮食文化兴趣颇浓,事实却有所出入。因为马文慧是地道的素食主一者,而贲喆明似乎也只对吃素才感兴趣。“美国没有小青菜,苋菜,苦瓜,韭菜之类,美国的豆腐是日本的,更没有豆腐干和我喜欢吃的百叶,所以,在中国当素食主义者,比在美国要幸福的多了。”贲喆明谈自己的感受,难怪他们时不时买点小菜回来自己烧着吃,据说贲喆明的红烧茄子就相当不错。怀恋美国时,他们会到附近的西品店点上一份咖啡加炸暑条。而最为放心的地方是天宁寺的餐馆,闭着眼睛点都可以啊,因为全是素的嘛。

从2004年8月抵常至今年新学年开学后,这对热爱旅游的青年却极少出去游玩,他们把全部放在了学汉语上,现在己达到可以单独走遍中国的地步了。从来时的“一个酒”到如今的“一杯酒”,贲喆明的汉语的确有了质的飞跃,“有时我会想不起一个具体的汉语词汇,但是我会用中文进行描述,比如我可能忘了酒杯这个词,但一经我解释,别人就会递给我酒杯。”贲喆明很得意。

跟美国学生通常坐着上课,老师也可以坐着授课不同,贲喆明开始不太习惯中国的课堂教学模式,不过他表示每种模式都有可取之处,而他上课则喜欢四处走动,愿意跟更多学生近距离交流,“我们会让孩子们更喜欢我们的。”这对美国青年笑得很灿烂。

01a.CarlsBarberShop.14P.NW.WDC.30may06
how to bring in more customers
Carl Lewis, owner & operator . Carl’s Barber Shop . www.carlsbarbershopdc.com/ . 1406 P Street, NW . WDC . Monday, 30 May 2006 . Elvert Xavier Barnes Photography
_______________________
Carl Lewis has been the owner of Carl’s Barber Shop since July 2000 which is when he took over its operation from his mentor and then owner, Timothy Pearsall.

First located at 17th and R Streets, in NW, Timothy Pearsall, owned and operated Neighborhood Barbershop for more than 40 years. It was in 1985 that Timothy Pearsall would relocate his Neighborhood Barbershop to the Logan Circle area at 1406 P Street, NW, Washington DC. It was also in the spring of 1985 that I would move to the Logan Circle area, at 1320 Q Street just one block north and 1/2 block east from the barbershop.

In late November 1984, I relocated back to WDC from NYC and after a few months of sharing a house on Morningside Lane in Alexandria VA with my then partner and future house mate, Greg, and his best friend Mike and Mike’s lover Smitty In late April or early May 1985, which is when Greg and I would split up (again), I would move back into the city which is where I had lived for many years before moving to NYC.

I had met Johnnie Jackson and George Dague through catering work with Design Cuisine. When they heard that I was looking for a place back in the city they suggested that I share 1320 Q Street with them. And since we all worked in catering it would prove to be a good situation. At the time I hand begun work in the accounting office at the newly opened Washington Convention Center.

It was at Jonnie’s suggestion that I visited the barbershop down the street and around the corner which, at the time, was known as the Neighborhood Barbershop. Though he was close friends with a high fashioned hair designer who often cut his hair, Johnnie Jackson, also frequented Neighborhood Barbershop on a regular basis.

As have I … since his introduction.

At the time, it’s customer’s base was mostly black. Which would be the case until 2000, according to Carl Lewis. Who during a brief interview that I conducted with him, on 30 May 2006, said that from when it first opened, at the location, in 1985 through 2000 that it’s customer’s base was 95 % black. But, that in 2000 he’d noticed a gradual but considerable change. And that by 2002 it’s black customer base was about 60 % with whites making up the remaining 40 %.

And though there has always been a steady latino base, in recent years, the number of latino customers have been on the rise as well

Born in 1950, Carl Lewis, has been married for 35 years. He and his wife raised their three children in PG County Maryland. A son at 23 and two daughters at 26 and 3, none who plan a career in the barber profession. Originally from Fayetteville NC, Mr. Lewis worked with the WMATA Metro for 27 years, as a transit operator, before retiring.

From 1986 through 1996 he barbered, part-time, at Timothy Pearsall’s Neighborhood Barbershop at 1406 P Street. Upon retiring from WMATA in 1996, he barbered full-time, until 1997 and then take some time off before purchasing the business from Timothy Pearsall in July 2000.

It was at that time he would change the name to Carl’s Barber Shop.

Since my first visits, in 1985, to what was then the Neighborhood Barber Shop, I had hoped to include this particular barber shop in my ongoing Barber Shop Documentary Project. Though, over the years since 1992, I have often photographed the exterior and window displays of what is now Carl’s Barber Shop it would be on _____ that for the second time that I would approach the owner saying that I wish to do a photoessay of his shop.

It would be the second time that I would approach the owners pertaining to this project. And while I can not now recall exactly when I had actually approached the former owner, Timothy Pearsall, perhaps in the late 90’s with the same proposal. At which time, over a series of several months, I would take several pictures. Which at this time I can not now locate. Some of which I may not yet processed since they were taken with the 35 mm camera.

One of the reasons that I had been interested in capturing this particular barber shop at this location has a great deal to do with the fact that it had to do with it’s ‘blackness’. And while all have always been welcomed, it has maintained its culture and heritage.

Jonnie Jackson and I would have in depth conversations about such matters and the importance of black owned businesses. While I welcome any and all, my concern, as a black man, is that, along with the many changes, a disproportionate number of blacks, many who own businesses, are being pushed out. So, not only are blacks losing their businesses and means for an income but in the process of change … also our heritage. And culture.

And while I am sure that such is the case with most ethnicities, and especially, in the black community, barber shops and beauty parlors, are just as important and may have a similar impact on the black community as does the black church.

Let me reiterate. Black barber shops and black beauty parlors are as important to the black community as is the black church. It is a ritual for many black women to visit her beautician every two weeks. Just it is a ritual for many black men to visit their barbers, every two weeks.

Which brings up another matter, that Jonnie and I would often discuss. Or debate on. While I’m certainly black and am fulling rooted in my history, many of my friends think of me as being ‘not black enough.’ Mainly because I do not necessarily adhere to particular ‘black rituals’.

It will be several weeks and sometimes a month before I may have my hair cut. And while I can appreciate those who practice their religion I am not into the black church thing and, in many cases, am in disagreement with many of the practices and preachings of most churches. Including some that are often associated with what what some refer to as a the ‘black church’.

And, yet, I am cognitive of the importance of the black barber shop, its history and contributions not only to the black community but to the American culture.

From my observation, Carl Lewis, is an important reflection of an important aspect of the black community. Similar to Charles Brice who owns Brice’s Barber Shop on Capitol Hill, though both had worked part-time, for many years, as barbers often for their mentors it was after retiring from their jobs that they would purchase a barber shop.

According to Mr. Lewis since July 2000, his rent has increased over 200%.

At a basic rate of per hair cut, it does not take a rocket scientist to understand that the day may come when neighborhood barber shops in the Logan Circle area will not longer exist. just as such barber shops no longer exist at 17th and R Streets, or in many of the places that they once thrived.

Each time that I walk pass Carl’s Barber Shop I remember how I felt, in 1985, when I first visited what was then the Neighborhood Barber Shop. To better shed light on this feeling, allow me share my experiences on ______ which was the last time that I would have my hair cut before Tuesday, 30 May 2006.

On that particular Saturday evening, and as I often do when passing Stead Park, I photograph basket ball players. Who mostly were black men. but one or two white guys, two latinos. and a black female on looker.

While I do not usually have a problem with the white players, several of the black players began to shout and yell at me. Something to the effect that "I better not see any of your pictures of me in the Blade.’ And though I have often observed whites standing in the exact same postion as I, who are taking pcitures, it is a reaction I I often get from other blacks.

Even though I’ve been taking pictures, for many years. I shotted back, ‘I don’t work for the Blade. I work for me. This is about me, a black man, documenting and recording my life … from my perspective.

And, had I been a white guy, gay or straight, the black guys would have had a very different reaction to me. In a similar way, if I were a white documentary photographer and focused on the things that I do, including barber shops I would have a very different reaction than what I do.

So, when I now reflect on that particular day that I had often my hear cut at Carl’s Barber Shop … I sometimes remember that just after leaving the barber shop that a group of basketball players in Stead Park, threatened me.

It was also during that same visit, that I would discuss with Mr Lewis and his staff that in recent months I had been photographing his windows and now wish to photograph the interior as well as do a photo project of him and his staff. In the back of my mind, I could not get out of my head the comment that the two or three basketball players had said ‘I know who you are and you better watch out ….".

Which speaks to the matter of gentrification. Though I have lived in the Logan and Dupont Circles areas for many years, as is evidenced by the fact, that most people know me, as a 52 year old black man not only have I been pushed out, verbally and on some occasions physically assulted in the streets but I am less welcomed now then I was when I would first visit these areas.

As i walked into Carl’s Barber Shop on that Saturday afternoon, ______. Motown songs were playing on the music box. The shop was just about to close, but one barber said come on in. I sat in the chair. He wrapped the apron around my torso. I said ‘take it all off, and even all the way around. It’s getting hot outside."

There was one man sweeping and cleaning up the shop. He joked and said ‘I’m tired of working. I want to get out of here and go home. My barber laughed back and said "only our people would come to a job, late, and say I’m tired of working.;

Everybody would burst into laugher. By this time he was finishing up with my hair. Marvin Gay’es song "I Heard Through the Grapevine" come be in the background. It brought backto mind, when I would first visit the shop in 1985. It was as if I had come home.

I’d ask how. He say . I’d hand him a and say keep the change. We had already discussed my documentary project, reflecting on what had occured moments before in Stead Park, I’d say I’ll come back and take picturess.

I’d leave the shop and head to Dupont Circke, wondering if any of the black guys from Stead park would follow and/or jump me.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION . Elvert Xavier Barnes Photography . Writings . Ads

Employee Break Area at the former Big Bear Warehouse on 851 West 3rd Ave
how to bring in more customers
With Big Bear out, Giant Eagle ponders allowing BuckID purchases
By Luke Robson 1/9/04 The Lantern

The large yellow "Going Out of Business Sale" sign that now adorns the Big Bear store in Clintonville has some students worried about the future of their shopping experience.

The Big Bear located on 2801 N. High St. is a familiar neighborhood grocer for Ohio State students and has worked to accomodate the needs of the OSU community for years. The grocery store, owned by Penn Traffic Co., has successfully appealed to students by offering late hours and the opportunity to use BuckID as a form of payment.

In December, Penn Traffic Co. filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and placed several Big Bear stores up for auction. The Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle grocer swooped into Columbus and snagged seven local stores including the Clintonville location, and OSU students have concerns with the buyer.

"I am worried. I liked Big Bear. It gave students everything they needed. I am scared Giant Eagle will not cater to students as much, especially with the payment options," said Kim Schwartz, a senior in music education.

Big Bear decided to include the BuckID as a form of payment in September of 2002. Mark Lowery, the current Big Bear store manager and future Giant Eagle store manager, knew that BuckID was accepted at other locations around campus and pushed for the Clintonville Big Bear to accept it as a form of payment.

"It brings the students in, which makes me happy. It’s good for them," Lowery said.

Students come into the store to purchase everything from lunchmeats to laundry detergents and very frequently use their BuckID as the form of payment, he said.

"Once more and more people found out that we take it, more and more people used it," Lowery said.

Schwartz was one of those students. She used her BuckID as a form of payment ever since she found out about the program last April, she said.

Giant Eagle is still evaluating multiple operations issues, including the acceptance of BuckID, said Brian Frey, marketing assistant for corporate communications at Giant Eagle, Inc.

Giant Eagle is still researching how to enhance the shopping experience for each unique customer in Columbus, but there have not been any decisions yet regarding OSU students, he said.

Applying for a Giant Eagle Advantage Card is encouraged because it provides the grocery store with valuable information about the buying habits and lifestyle of each customer, Frey said. With this information, Giant Eagle creates and distributes specialized coupons tailored to the varying needs of each customer, he said.

Giant Eagle is excited to increase its presence in Ohio and is looking forward to serving the university community, Frey said.

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