swoozie's Profile

Display Name: swoozie
Member Since: 10/20/07

Latest Comments...

Thank you sunspot42! Well said.

Apartment Therapy New York | Good Questions: Dealing With a Closed-Up Doorway?
1/16/09 05:17 AM

As someone who owns a B&B, frequently stays in B&Bs and who has several friends that own B&Bs, I don't agree with a parts of this article, although I do appreciate the enthusiasm.

B&Bs vary widely in style and amenities. Most that I have seen have private rooms (otherwise, imho, it is a hostel) but often because they are private homes, the bathroom is shared and is not en-suite (in your room--not being snotty here but some people don't know this is the terminology).

Often you are welcome to hang out in another room such as the living room or a study with the owner or other guests but just as often there isn't another public space available. There may only be one living room and it may be the only private space the owner has for themselves. And believe me, as much as we like our guests, owners do need a private space other than their bedroom.

Also, although the term Bed and Breakfast implies there is breakfast, it can be a continental or 'no-host' breakfast, meaning you prepare it yourself. This is often the case when the owner has a job or other business lines that require their attention. Some owners don't serve breakfast at all but they reduce their prices accordingly. No matter what, if it is not a full, hot breakfast, you should be told before you make the reservation.

I have seen hotels with 10 plus rooms call themselves a B&B because they serve a continental breakfast. Imho, it's not a B&B if the host(ess) cannot manage the place on their own, interact daily with their guests or recognize ALL of their guests. This doesn't mean I don't have help. I have an assistant and a house cleaner but if I had to, I could manage cleaning, check-ins, check-outs and breakfast on my own, in a timely and friendly manner.

Most communities have regulations about hotels and B&Bs. While hotels need a license to operate, generally, BnBs do not they are limited to the number of guests they can sleep per night. This is true both in America and in Europe but varies by community. Usually the number is between 2-8 guests which equates to no more than 4 rooms. I personally don't consider any place with more than 6 guest rooms to be a B&B but there are a few, rare places that have a house big enough to have a couple more rooms.

Over the past 5 years I have found that there are B&B people and hotel people. B&B people will choose a B&B first but will also stay in hotels. Hotel people can't stand the thought of a B&B and will almost never stay in one. If you aren't comfortable interacting with a host or hostess, if you prefer room service or want to be waited on, the B&B experience is probably not for you. While I like B&Bs, my best traveling companion prefers the anonymity of a hotel so that's where we go when traveling together. Also, I don't care how nice the B&B looks, ask how many rooms and guests share the bathroom. I would never share a bath with more than one other room that sleeps 2 guests. I think that more than 4 people sharing a bath is a disaster waiting to happen.

Sorry for the length of this comment but there are so many misconceptions and assumptions about B&Bs that it's difficult to know when to stop.

Apartment Therapy Los Angeles | Guide to Bed and Breakfasts
8/9/08 05:35 AM

well...since I have 3 apartments in Amsterdam that I rent via VRBO (#'s 141072, 176551 and 44723), I have to say I prefer apartments. LOL There are times when I might prefer a hotel for the convenience or assistance they can provide but that would normally only be in less developed or riskier (you define risk) countries.

Aside from all the conveniences of having your own space, you find you have much more interaction with the local population, meaning neighbors and shopkeepers who normally don't have as much tourist trade. In a sense you become a part of the neighborhood, albeit temporary.

A good apartment host should be able to give you just as much information on the area as any hotel employee. I would also say a good host is always reachable (for free) by telephone for both routine questions and emergencies.

For apartments in some of Europe's most popular cities Loving Apartments is a good and reputable web site:


Thanks southender! I'm going to check on the apartment in Lucca for a week in Oct/Nov.

Apartment Therapy Los Angeles | Going on Holiday: Book a Hotel, Go to a Hostel, Rent a Flat?
7/22/08 03:47 AM

While it is inspirational, beautiful and in Paris, this article is a repeat and was originally was posted in July of 2007. Perhaps it has been updated? Either way, it really should have had an introduction noting it was a repeat.

That being said, I loved it then and I love it now. I'll be in Paris next week to look for my own apartment. I hope I can find (and then create) something as lovely as Barbara's place.

Apartment Therapy New York | AT Europe: Paris House Tour - Chez Barbara
7/22/08 03:01 AM

Yes! When I lived with my aunt, her cat, RikiTiki used to watch us (or any other woman) when using the toilet. One day I was getting ready for work, he strolled in, jumped up and used the toilet in front of me. It really was one of those things you wouldn't believe until you see it. My aunt didn't believe me until about a week later when she saw him do it. After that he always used the toilet. Smart cat! He learned by observation because we certainly never made an attempt to train him. He was a siamese and since then I've heard of other cats who are trained.

Apartment Therapy Los Angeles | Death to the Litter Box
7/2/08 01:18 PM

Yeah, although I like seeing new products this does seem like an advertorial.

Also, I believe most production ceramic studios make their own glazes - it's too expensive to buy pre-made glazes and so easy to make your own. Furthermore, I find it a bit brazen and odd to brag about conserving energy and then show pieces with a metallic glaze rims which account for at least one of the 3 low-fires processes done after glazing. (In general, the first firing is to harden the dried 'greenware' after which it becomes 'bisque' ware and is ready for glaze application, the 2nd firing is for the glaze to develop and harden and then there are one or 2 more firings for special decorations such as the metallic glaze decoration.) They say there were 3 firings after glazing which means there were at least 4 firings. Even at low fire, assuming you are using a clay for low-fire, you should not have to fire several times to harden the clay for durability. The extra firings were done strictly for the metallic rims.

Even at low fire temps, that's a lot of energy. Having majored in ceramics I don't actually have a problem with the process, but at best, they are emphasizing the positives. And, at worst (and I think they are closer to 'at worst') this is somewhat deceptive and has a truth-in-advertising issue.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Bright and Green: Terra Keramik Ceramics
6/21/08 04:10 AM

Forgot to say I always have fresh flowers in my home (this is Holland!) but I like the soft light of these 'branches.' They also are great to leave on when I go out for the evening. I know I shouldn't leave lights on but I don't like to come home to a dark apartment and they give just enough light.

Apartment Therapy San Francisco | SF Good Questions: Where Can I Find Lighted Flower Branches?
3/28/08 12:38 PM

Well, it's not much help for those in the bay area but in Amsterdam I buy them at the local big box garden center. They were 4.95 euro per branch.

Apartment Therapy San Francisco | SF Good Questions: Where Can I Find Lighted Flower Branches?
3/28/08 12:31 PM

Yeah! Oakland! I moved to Oakland to go to CCAC, now CCA, in 1980 (!). In the early 1980's Piedmont Avenue was kind of a marginal neighborhood and the California bungalows in the neighborhood cost about $135,000. My friends and I watched the yuppification/re-gentrification of Piedmont Ave. lol

I once moved to Noe Valley and after about 6 months, I returned to Oakland. Partly because as someone mentioned, it's okay to commute to work but it's not so cool to commute to your nightlife/friends. The return home is just so problematic! But also because I have always loved Oakland. I read your list and the comments going unhuh, unhuh, unhuh, laughing (in a joyful way) because I made a similar list to counter the many snide or sympathetic comments received over the years when I said, "I live in Oakland."

Anyway in 2001 I moved to Paris and in 2003 I moved to Amsterdam. With apartments in both cities I go back and forth for personal and business reasons. I love them both but there is also magic in Oakland and I miss that magic. While many people dream of moving to Paris (or Amsterdam), I now dream of returning to live in Oakland at least 6 months per year. Specifically because it is 'home' but also because it was incredible to have the whole Bay Area as a back yard.

Apartment Therapy San Francisco | AT on... Moving to Oakland
3/19/08 02:00 PM

Parsons School of Design has a Paris campus --
http://www.parsons-paris.com. They have a program for visiting students but I'm not sure if the language is primarily French or English.

Apartment Therapy New York | AT Europe Question: Interior Design School in Paris?
3/13/08 03:58 AM

Yes, a fun element that wastes too much space. I doubt this concept will become a trend but these pieces are certainly good for capturing the attention of passer's by--a perfect marketing ploy for a trade show, possibly unintentional but possibly it's real purpose? And definitely my first thought was the same as Modfan's thought/statement B.

Apartment Therapy New York | AT Europe: Paris - Geometric White Bookcases
2/18/08 11:40 PM

Wikipedia is not quite correct. The US used to have 2 presidential birthdays as holidays, Lincoln on Feb 12 and Washington on Feb 22. When I was in grade school we had both Feb 12 and 22 off from school. By the time I was in high school we only had President's Day off from school. When they decided to go with 'monday' holidays, they chose the 3rd monday of February to celebrate and honor BOTH presidents, not just Washington; the reasoning being that the 3rd monday usually falls between the two birthdays and only occasionally falls on Washington's actual birthdate. It is Presidents (plural) Day, not President's (possessive) Day.

Apartment Therapy New York | Happy Presidents Day!
2/18/08 11:26 PM

changes daily but I probably drink rungagora assam with milk a little more often than the rest of my choices. almost always black tea though and ceylon is preferred for iced tea.

Apartment Therapy The Kitchen | Holiday Gift Bag 2007: Win Tea Books and a Chantal Kettle and Teapot
12/21/07 10:03 AM

Twigs, please.

Apartment Therapy New York | Gift Bag 2007: Slatkin & Co. Candle with Zippo Lighter
12/15/07 12:41 AM

Pumpkin soup, french onion, vegetable, vegetable beef, pea soup, old fashioned potato w/ham, corn chowder, dutch antilles w/beef, hot & sour, thom kha kai, cream of cauliflower (or broccoli), black bean soup, won ton soup, albondigas . . .

easier to tell you what I don't like: tomato soup and mushroom soup - although I love both tomatos and mushrooms prepared in virtually every other way.

Apartment Therapy The Kitchen | Holiday Gift Bag 2007: Win a Calphalon Soup Pot
12/15/07 12:29 AM

Alexa -- The rocker looks like it is from the IKEA 'Lillberg' series. I like the white but it also comes in other colors/patterns.

Apartment Therapy - Thursday Giveaway: Amy Butler Prize Package
11/8/07 11:33 PM

I live on one of the major canals in Amsterdam. Anyone in Amsterdam who tells you they don't have mice is really saying, "Today, so far, I don't have mice." The mice prefer to come out at night but if they realize there is no cat in the house, they will frolic in front of you. They are actually quite small, very cute, like to frolic and I think they are brazen little hussies! I can hear them in the walls. As long as they don't show their faces and I don't see droppings, they can live. When they show their faces, they are on a countdown to death. Here you can use snap traps, glue traps or poison. I choose poison. It dehydrates them and they usually try to exit the building to find water so I don't have to deal with the aftermath of my dirty deed. Yes, it is a bit heartless of me but after countless invasions, I no longer worry about the rodent kingdom. Only twice in 5 years have I found and had to throw out a dead mouse. Once I saw one die in front of me. I felt sorry for him but didn't hesitate to grab the paper towels to pick him up and throw him out. After they die, your place becomes the 'death house' and they don't return for months. Maybe for you, they will never return but in Amsterdam after about 6 months a new generation rediscovers my place. Usually because a neighbor starts some construction or gets a cat and then all of THEIR mice migrate to my place (probably to the neighbors on the other side as well).

A few things to keep in mind:
1) mice can collapse theirs bodies to get into an opening the size of a pink eraser on top of a No. 2 pencil. This is why it's important to block holes with steel wool. Also why it is so easy to miss holes that should be filled with steel wool.

2) you may not have a hole on or near your countertop. They may be running up a cord. They would run up the refrigerator cord to get to my countertop. I watched them-it was really funny-did I mention they are actually kind of cute and like to frolic?

3) Samsd is right about the food. Put it in hard plastic with a lid or metal containers with high sides (think: Breadbox). They can chew through plastic and paper bags/wrappings. They love cereals, grains and butter! Nothing quite like the sight of litlle razor teeth marks and footprints in your butter. In my experience they always avoid things with sugar and fruit.

4) If you want to entice them into the glue traps, you might try mixing a little oatmeal (natural) into the peanut butter. Mice love oatmeal and peanut butter. A little tip from a biologist I used to date. He kept rattlesnakes and copperheads at a field camp where he taught. He had to trap live mice to feed the snakes. I've tried it here in Amsterdam--the peanut butter and oatmeal bait, not feeding rattlesnakes and copperheads--and it worked better than using just peanut butter.

At least you don't have rats which are smarter and bolder than mice. But that's another story . . .

Apartment Therapy - The Mouse Hunter: Foiled Again#comments#comments
10/20/07 06:56 AM