My wife and I went in for dinner on a Wednesday night; I hadn't been in years and it was her first visit. I remembered the service being mediocre but the food being very good.
The service hasn't changed -- it was appallingly bad. The restaurant is not well-run from a service perspective; of the 3 servers on-shift one was far more concerned with loudly sorting and rolling clean silverware than running any food, which was left in the window for minutes at a time. The credit card machine was broken, and I overheard from another table that their soda machine was not functioning, either. For a restaurant that serves neither alcohol nor tea, it appeared the beverage choices left were tap water and sprite. Mercifully, we had purchased a bottle of wine from the nearby liquor store, which proved the saving grace of the evening.
The food? Perhaps my palate has improved, my memory was inaccurate, or the food has simply gone downhill. The salads were slathered in bottled, flavorless, pre-made dressing. The pasta was not fresh -- while properly cooked, it was clearly dried pasta. The sauces were average; the bolognese lacked any richness or depth. The garlic bread (which we asked for repeatedly and was delivered near the end of the meal) tasted like it had been popped out of a Pillsbury can -- artificial and oily. I felt the prices were not in line with the quality.
Overall, I couldn't recommend this to anyone -- in the 20 years since this place opened, Nashville now has many Italian options that do a better job than Mama Mia's in all areas -- decor, service, and most importantly, food.
So, let me get this straight, Betsy -- you're upset that a federal grant specifically for marketing the city...was used FOR ITS INTENDED PURPOSE?
You realize that tourism generates BILLIONS of dollars in revenue and millions in tax receipts for this city, right? And that in 2010 following the flood, tourism revenues took a 10 to 20 percent hit?
You can be angry all you want that there are still places in Nashville that aren't recovered or aren't protected from future floods, but getting riled up about a mid-budget (yes, $300K is modest for a feature-length doc) film that would like to remind the tourists, conventioneers, and event planners that fill our tax coffers that Nashville is thriving is a pretty strange way to vent your anger. Don't you expect the man who gets paid to bring tourists here to attempt to do it?
The rest of your little hissyfit is equally misplaced. I can't think of anything that a tourist would want to visit that isn't "just fine" after the flood at this point -- and really, do you seek out homeless people when you travel on vacation to other places? Tell me, please -- where is a Betsy Phillips AUTHENTIC (TM) city I can visit?
Let's step back and look at this letter for what it is: sour grapes from a firm that didn't win the project. This same firm didn't have a problem with Metro's procurement and scoring processes back when it showed them the top scorer and they won the project, but now that they don't win, it's suddenly flawed? Riiiiiiigght.
I am familiar with the scoring process and a 10-point difference in proposals is actually not very close -- they can often be separated by only a point or two. So again, suggesting that something is amiss because no interviews were conducted is also flawed logic -- there was a clear winner, so no interviews were needed.
Hargreaves would be best to remember the adage 'you win some, you lose some'. Having confidence in your own company's abilities is one thing -- implying that another company couldn't best you without cheating is another.
The Mayor always selects from the top 3 scoring finalists submitted by the Review Board. He can, at his discretion, select a proposal that did not receive the top score, but that almost never happens, and didn't happen in this case (Hawkins was the top scorer).
Hawkins Partners is a reputable firm that has done a ton of great work in and for this city -- implying that they didn't earn their victory in this process and that is was instead a 'fix' related to Kim Hawkins' support for Mayor Dean's campaign is irresponsible journalism.
Seems like a stretch to imply that this project is going to disturb a previously undisturbed burial site -- it has been turned over and redeveloped more than a few times since the graveyard was moved -- your headline should read:
"The Old Graves Upon Which Your Old Baseball Stadium and Subsequent Surface Parking Lots and/or State Office Buildings Were Built and Upon Which Your New Baseball Stadium Might Also Be Built"
Not as dramatic, is it? The location of the old creek is more or less duplicated by the greenway trail that wanders through the area. If the burial mound was 70 yards north of the old creek, and 70 yards west of the river, it would actually put it closer to (or underneath) the TN Department of Human Services Building than the proposed stadium.
Betsy, I think you're hung up on the "specifically targeted when they otherwise would not have" part. You cherry-picked one verbal exchange of hundreds in that document that take all kinds of customers for fools -- in that exchange, yes, he makes the point that the language barrier helps sell the fraud, but they were clearly able to defraud people who could speak English perfectly well, and your argument depends on the fact that those people were different from Spanish-speakers because they were "stupid", which I doubt they would appreciate.
Look, it would not be a fun argument to make in court, ("my clients were color-blind when it came to 'fucking', er, defrauding their customers") but it looks like they targeted ANYONE they thought they could rip off, and sometimes when they thought the customers were getting wind of it, still tried anyway -- extending the fraud by providing fake backup documents.
The disdain they show for their customers is pretty awful and indefensible, and I hope they pay a huge penalty for it, both in the legal sense and in the free market -- but it just doesn't seem like it will make a good equal protection case. If the Feds go that route, I'll eat a tiny hat-like pastry or something (real hats are too dry).
Frank's right. The context matters. Betsy's argument doesn't hold water when you actually read the entire affidavit -- I think Pilot appears to have defrauded business of all races and creeds with equal zeal.
It appears they just used 'Manuel' (and it isn't a misspelling, they definitely intend it as a proper name) to be a nickname for the manual rebate program -- but for everyone, not just Hispanic customers. For example, they say something like, "Let's introduce him to a guy by the name of Manuel" to suggest they should try to switch a customer to manual rebates.
They also had a pricing structure they called 'Aunt Bea' (for A or B tiered pricing) -- will the next accusation be that they were PREYING ON THE ELDERLY?
Either way, yeah, reading the full document they are sooooo busted. But I'd say not for violating the Civil Rights Act.
I'm an architect and I don't find this building to be worthy of saving -- and I suspect if it were built new, this publication would have panned it. It's no modernist masterpiece; I find it to be more of a cheap facsimile of modernism. It doesn't address the street or engage pedestrians on any of its sides, and all 4 facades are virtually identical -- so it has no response to the surrounding built environment, either. I was born here; since the day I discovered what was torn down (1904 Carnegie Library) to make way for it I have hated this building. Leaving it standing doesn't lessen the original sin. I say one good turn deserves another.
Hey pearls lady -- your racism is showing. I live in East Nashville and I would never ride the bus to Richland/West End -- because there isn't a damn thing there to do. If anything, all those old farts will ride it, and then take up all the reservations at Margot and Lockeland Table.
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