Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Photo: Charles Siler

Photo: Charles Siler

FILTHY GORGEOUS  A brother-and-sister interior decorating team have moved their Filthy Gorgeous store from Walnut Creek to 1987 Ashby Ave. in Berkeley. The shop sells a wide variety of home decor items — including chairs, sofas, art, tables, storage, lights, and accessories —  and offers upholstery and personalized home design services by appointment. Clients’ homes have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens and Sunset Magazine. According to the store’s website, the pair strive for design that “incorporates unique and personalized blends of old and new, function and elegance, budget and beauty, creating timeless looks while accommodating the inevitable evolution of life.” Filthy Gorgeous joins the Adeline Corridor neighborhood’s large number of antique and vintage furniture stores.

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

NAILETTE  Nail-polish subscription service Nailette has moved its headquarters to Nextspace Berkeley at 2081 Center St. in downtown. Nailette is a mail-order service that sends out monthly or bimonthly shipments of a variety of nail-polishes. According to the company’s Facebook page, they will “curate the best nail colors for you each season based on your style and skin tone so you can always be the one wearing the latest and greatest, effortlessly.” They currently carry Essie, OPI and Orly brands.

Photo: Rise Bodyworks

Photo: Rise Bodyworks

RISE BODYWORKS  Rise Bodyworks is opening at 2808 Adeline St. across from Berkeley Bowl. The fitness studio will offer “mat and reformer Pilates, TRX, boot camps, yoga and kettle bell classes fusing practices to provide functional training opportunities for all levels and lifestyles.” Rise has two other locations, one in Alameda and one in Walnut Creek. “Rise Bodyworks approach just made sense,” said Lynn Matthews-Reifsteck, a founder of Rise Bodyworks Berkeley. “ I realized staying active and mobile requires you to take care of yourself in a holistic way. Rise helped me to achieve my best. I want to create that opportunity for as many people as I can.”

Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details. Read previous Shop Talk columns, and check out Bites for the latest East Bay restaurant news.

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  • Lin Brand

    Can you find out what’s going in where Sophia Cafe was? It’s papered over now. Also, any idea on the opening of Ales, next to Fonda?

  • Kathy

    What about that 1799 University? Looks like something new is opening in the old Venezia Restaurant.

  • We have reported the old Venezia space is being re-opened as a restaurant called Townie. However we haven’t been able to pin down the owner so details are slim:

  • We can try to find out on both of those, Lin. Thanks for the tips.

  • Zoey

    How about Dwight Way Nursery? They are going out of business after about 30 years! :(

  • We ran a shop talk item on it and are in the middle of reporting a larger story on the closure. Stay tuned!

  • Completely_Serious

    Dear Editors:

    Just because someone used “curate” incoreectly in a press release doesn’t mean you should repeat the error. I think BS used “curate” the other day in reference to salumi, or beer or something edible.

    Please don’t.

    Of course, that’s just me. (Hey! Maybe instead of “moderating” the comments, you guys can “curate” them! “Hold on, this is waiting to be curated by Berkeleyside.”)

  • Charles_Siegel

    There is one extension of the word “curate” that I think might be acceptable. There are a couple of publishers who issue on-demand print versions of all the scanned public-domain google books, without anyone checking to see that whether there are errors in the print versions. They say that the books may contain errors because they are not “curated” – and that makes some sense to me, since assembling a collection of out-of-print books is a bit like assembling a museum collection.

    But I agree completely that the word “curate” is overused. From the NY Times:

    THE Tipping Point, a store in Houston that calls itself a sneaker lifestyle shop, does not just sell a collection of differently colored rubber soles, along with books, music and apparel. No, its Web site
    declares, the store “curates” its merchandise.

    Promoters at Piano’s, a nightclub on the Lower East Side, announced on their Web site that they will “curate a night of Curious burlesque.”

    Eric Demby, a founder of the Brooklyn Flea swap meet, does not hire vendors to serve grilled cheese sandwiches, pickles and tamales to hungry shoppers. He “personally curates the food stands,” according to New York magazine.

    And to think, not so long ago, curators worked at museums.

    The word “curate,” lofty and once rarely spoken outside exhibition corridors or British parishes, has become a fashionable code word among the aesthetically minded, who seem to paste it onto any activity that involves culling and selecting. In more print-centric times, the term of art was “edit” — as in a boutique edits its dress collections carefully. But now, among designers, disc jockeys, club promoters, bloggers and thrift-store owners, curate is code for “I have a discerning eye and great taste.”

    Or more to the point, “I belong.”

    For many who adopt the term, or bestow it on others, “it’s an innocent form of self-inflation,” said John H. McWhorter, a linguist and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. “You’re implying that there is some similarity between what you do and what someone with an advanced degree
    who works at a museum does.”

    PS: Disqus would not let me enter this as a reply to Completely_Serious, so I am making it a separate post.

  • Why are you so bent out of shape over that. I think it is an acceptable use of the word,

  • I just want to point out that the word curate was used in a direct quote from a store’s website. We did not use the word ourselves.

    As for the “Dutch angle,” I presume you mean horizontal rather than vertical? The photos fit better at the top of the story. We like to have big photos and the horizontal orientation works well.

    And if your biggest complaint about Emilie is that she uses too many exclamation marks in her comments, I am a happy woman/editor. That is a small complaint indeed.

  • Devin

    The commenters are sure showing their age with this curate business. Sorry guys, definitions change. My favorite English teacher in high school was an elderly woman who put a premium on being grammatically correct and had a love of dictionaries and she used to say, “if even one person understands the meaning of an unconventional word you’re saying, then that’s a word with a definition.”

    From (I’m sure I didn’t curate my online reference sources enough to convince any of you that its a completely typical use of the word):
    “to pull together, sift through, and select for presentation, as music or website content: ‘We curate our merchandise with a sharp eye for trending fashion,’ the store manager explained.”

    The beauty of language is its fluidity and ability to change. Here’s a very short list of words off the top of my head that all those dang kids have co-opted over the years: “broadcast, gay, thong, awful, pot, trick, cool, and curate!”

  • Really!!!!!

  • “curate the best nail colors for you”

    It seems like it’s almost an acceptable use of the word … but it doesn’t feel quite right

    In my mind, though, “select”, “choose”, “compile”, “recommend” would be more acceptable-er in this context.

    Curate seems like a 50 cent word, when a 5 cent word would be more appropriate.

    Unless you want to show off

  • Completely_Serious

    Dunno. Just gets my goat.

  • guest

    I have no strong feelings one way or the other re: “curate,” but this strikes me as a surprising (and inappropriate) tone for a moderator to take . As a reader — even one who isn’t in agreement with the original poster — I find this response alienating.

  • I can see why you think that. As moderator I have the benefit of knowing who actually wrote the original comment and we have had offline friendly discussions about many things. So in some ways I was responding to the commentator based on our history.

  • Sameguest

    Thank you for clarifying! It was jarring to me mainly because it was unusual, and I actually wondered if maybe that was the reason. I appreciate knowing, and appreciate the responsiveness of the B’side team!

  • emraguso

    Sorry, just getting back from vacation. I’m not at all sure what you’re referring to but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for it. I wasn’t aware this was an issue I had but thanks for bringing my attention to it. Also, not quite sure how I got pulled into this comment section; I don’t think I put any comments, with or without exclamation points, on this post.

  • Edourdette Iverson

    You are really starting to get me mad and the reason is that assults on that women yesterday and people are so stupid they have been blaming the wrong man who hasn’t been up to telegraph ave.he has a bad heart and I don’t think it was fare that people are blaming this problem on my brother who is inersent and you can fix this problem before I sue the town

  • Charles_Siegel

    It is an interesting question. It is true that meanings of words change, and this is obviously a good thing. But there are some changes that make the English language less effective and less precise.

    The changed meaning of “beg the question” is an example. Not too long ago, “beg the question” referred to the traditional logical fallacy of “petitio principii” (which is similar to assuming what you want to prove). Now, it is often used to mean “raise the question,” and wikipedia says that it should not be used at all, because its meaning is unclear. I expect that in the future, it will only be used to mean “raise the question.”

    Two phrases that used to have different meanings, “begging the question” and “raising the question,” now have the same meaning. There is no longer an easy way to say what “begging the question” used to mean. As a result, the English language is a bit less effective.

    I think “curate” is similar. There used to be two words with different meanings, “curate” and “select.” That distinction is beginning to be lost, because of the pretentious use of “curate” to mean “select.” If the distinction is lost, the English language will be a bit less effective.

    So, by all means, let the language change – but let’s think critically about those changes. We should adopt the changes that make the language more effective, but we should criticize those that make the language less effective.

    Of course, meaning is ultimately determined by usage, but I hope we can affect usage by thinking critically about changes that are just beginning to occur.

  • Devin

    I understand where you’re coming from Charles and I have a lot of respect for your opinions as I’ve seen them expressed in the Berkeleyside comments. I feel in this particular case though you come across as talking down to the author of the article and ironically pretentious. For every word we “lose” there are several new definitions and words created so I think one could take the exact opposite tack and say expanding the usage of a word makes language more effective and versatile (I also would note that per my original comment, these changes are not “just beginning to occur,” the precedent is as old as language itself).

    I agree with your closing statement that usage should govern; there are certain times and places to use correct and proper grammar and language, and times when it simply shouldn’t be expected (emails, texts, boutique websites and imho online articles – whether or not Berkeleyside articles constitute a correct time / place for proper usage is an interesting argument in and of itself). Nothing bugs me more than ambiguous language, its simply a waste of time, but only if the intent isn’t clear – if it is, then I tend to be more annoyed with the person who feels the need to correct the usage even when they understand perfectly well what’s being said.

    I found the article below (by an English teacher) that resonated with me and seems relevant (albeit within the framework of feminism); its worth a quick read:

    here’s a quick excerpt of a distinction she makes that I find particularly applicable:
    Prescriptive grammar – which is what “grammar snobs” champion – says that there’s such a thing as one true, honest, pure form of a language and that only that version is correct or acceptable.

    Descriptive grammar, on the other hand, argues that however a language is being used to communicate effectively is correct – because that is the basic purpose of language.

    Sorry for the rant, its a pleasure engaging with you.

  • Devin

    oh, and this is an awesome comic that also illustrates this point :-)