Souvenir Shopping

Purse

Okay, I am preparing for my first go at IMBB this weekend so I offer these two small newsy items…

Walking around New York you are sure to see the ubiquitous blue and gold Acropolis motif on paper coffee cups emblazoned with the phrase “We Are Happy to Serve You”. It is an icon of sorts. Artist George Skelcher was inspired to create the purse pictured here after seeing the coffee cups being used by the homeless to panhandle for change. Well-constructed of durable, printed leather, the purse closes with a sturdy zipper.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each purse is donated to HELP USA, an organization that has been helping the homeless since 1986.

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The olive tree is one of Greece’s best-known symbols. Despite high levels of production and domestic consumption, Greece is a distant third behind heavyweights Italy and Spain on the export market. It took me a while to break the Tuscan olive oil habit but now I mix it up. Over 20 years ago, Austrian-born Fritz and Bergi Bläuel moved to the mountainous region of Mani in the Greek Peloponnese, where an intersection of climate and rich volcanic soil creates ideal growing conditions for Koroneïke olives. But they weren’t going to be gentlemen farmers. Instead they organized local olive farmers and began to train everyone in organic farming practices. There are now over 300 farmers growing olives together to create <a href="http://www.blauel.gr/en/page4.htm”>Mani olive oils and products. The olives are picked by hand to guarantee ripeness, and pressed using traditional millstones. The resulting oil is very fruity. This organic olive oil has one several international awards and is available at most Whole Foods.