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Ryan Yeh
Kevin Bau
Heidi Yeh
David Bau
Rachel Bau
Paul Bau

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  October 29, 1998 - Issue 20 - Philadelphia Edition
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Reading Market, Philadelphia

The Reading Market is an exciting food bazaar located in an old train station in downtown Philadelphia (at 12th and Market Streets). The Weston Food Critic went there to buy fruits, but also had a light meal and brought home some Chinese cooked meat too.

There are perhaps two dozen deli or counter type eateries in the market, and one can try and grab a stool or try and find a seat (not easy to do at lunchtime) in the central area where tables and chairs abound (even more customers abound too). We had fresh squeezed juices from one stand and a "hogie" sandwich from Rocca's Italian at another. The Weston Food Critic rates the Reading Market for lunch as: 12 for food; 10 for service and 12 for ambiance. In spite of the relatively low point scores on all elements, this is still highly recommended as a "fun spot" to shop and have a great lunch.

By the way, if shopping for produce, or poultry or seafood, all items are extremely fresh, but a bit pricey! You won't match the selections at any local grocery store.

Walking My Baby Back...

Baby Anthony likes to be strolled up and down the streets of Philadelphia in the Autumn. He's never cranky when being strolled. However, when one stops to shop or look around inside a store.... it's another matter. So the trick is simple if one does not want Baby cranky. KEEP MOVING!

Baby smiles and talks (baby talk naturally)in the carriage. Strangers (usually good looking women) come up all the time and say:"What a beautiful baby". This of course makes Grandpa very happy.

This morning Baby took Grandpa shopping at the Great Scot Grocery, about 2 block from the apartment. Mommy stayed home. Hmmmm, interesting. For those interested in Guinness Book of Records, it took us less than 5 minutes from the time we entered the grocery until the time we paid and left with all our provisions. Fear is a great motivator.

Sears Earnings Drop Dramatically

It's true, Sears earnings have dropped by more than 50% for the 3rd Quarter, but shopping at Sears left this shopper with an impression of a retailer on the mend. 10 years ago, I remember going to a Sears in Natick as having trouble getting sales help or knowledgeable help for the store employees. Sears was loosing marketshare and closing stores and were no longer going to be the #1 retailer in the world. Some wondered if they'd survive at all.

This past week, I shopped for major applicances at the King of Prussia Mall Sears and was I impressed. The sales staff was anxious to serve me. Before going in I had read the latest "Consumers Reports" on three different appliances. The sales persons were extremely knowledgeable and helpful. They had read the same articles as I and added many other salient facts and even told me when in the next 30 days the items I was interested in would be on sale.

Now this was the best service I'd gotten from Sears in over a decade. Forget the earnings reports. If Sears stays "customer focused" , they will come back. For those of you real investors, Sears is being squeezed on the top by the Boutiques and on the bottom by the mass merchandisers. Also, for the 3rd quarter, the credit card division had real problems or loses. Retail sales will pivot on the 4th quarter Christmas Sales like most other retailers. Anyone want to buy stock in Sears?

Mademoiselle de Paris

Mademoiselle de Paris is a patisserie of fine french pastries located in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Sq. area at 122 S.18th Street. Tel(215)751-0670. When one enters the small shop, one is immediately drawn to the pastry display case... these pastry chefs make real works of art.... oh so eye appealing!

There are small tables at which one may enjoy ones selection with tea or coffee. I chose to select a few pastries and bring them home to share with the family. Indeed they taste even better than the look! Excellent! I give the "Zagats like" rating of 18 for ambiance; 20 for service; and a 23 for food. 23 is the highest rating the Weston Food Critic has given out this quarter! Must be good. All they sell are french pastries and home made chocolates. The pastries cost between $4 and $5 each. Now there's no one who likes great French Pastries like the Tan's of Rochester. So this is a must stop-over place in Phili for Uncle Yen. Yummy!

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In other news
Baby loves Carriage Rides
Anthony(aka Mr. Cutie Pie) loves his baby carriage rides and is never cranky when out for a stroll. Grandpa tries to take him out twice each day for a short walk, and he either looks around and talks baby talk or sleeps peacefully.

You've all heard stories from friends that when their infants don't or can't sleep at night, they put them in their car seats and drive them around the neighborhood. Well, I think the same thing works with Mr. Cutie Pie, but his baby carriage is even better than the car.

Hunter-Killer Tours Phili
Flush with his victories over the Chief of the Chipmunks, the Weston Hunter-Killer is on vacatiion in the "City of Brotherly Love". His favorate tourist sights are sporting good stores(where he looks for the latest in trapping equipment) and the Philadelphia Zoo. The Philadephia Hunters and Deer Trackers Assoc(a.k.a.Ph.D's Ass) are holding a meeting at the Convention Center this week and have solicated the Weston Hunter-Killer as their keynote speaker.

Very flattered, but shy when it comes to public speaking, the Hunter-Killer declined. Whewww! The Chipmunks of Pennsylvania are oh so happy. Given this news,Chip and Dale, two of Penn's more senior Chipmunks have decided to move to the upscale town of Gladwyn. BIG MISTAKE.

Uncle Kevin Visits
Kevin made a quick & short visit to Philadelphia this weekend and the hightlight of his visit was of course, Mr. Cutie Pie. Gentle Kevin still does not wish to carry Baby as Baby is still very cranky and cries a lot. Kevin prefers to play with him went he's in a good mood. The J.P.Morgan Analyst is working hard to figure out how he's going to afford the tuition payments for Anthony when he's accepted at Phillip's Exeter Academy!