Starting this Wednesday, May 5th, I will be opening "Rob's Word Shop" for the month of May. Rob's Word Shop is a storefront shop where individual letters and words can be purchased. Single letters are 50 cents and single words are 1 dollar. As the sole proprietor of the store, I invite you personally to stop by for a chat and buy a letter or a word. These chats will be recorded and, with your permission, collected in a book form at the end of the month. My shop location is 308 Bowery (the south window at the Bowery Poetry Club), and my hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday 11-2PM from May 5-May 27.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

May 27, 2010 - Day 11, Last Day at Rob's Word Shop
Left apartment at 10:48 on foot (rain was expected) and arrived at the shop around 10:57 AM. Set-up from 11:00-11:10. Immediately following set-up, I received my first 2 customers who came in together.

Customer #1 requested that I assist him in his choice of a phrase. After considerable discussion about his new project, we decided upon the phrase: "all that's left." Total sale: $3.00.

Customer #2 also requested my assistance. In this case, we enjoyed a lively conversation about a famously disputed umpiring call in the 1985 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. The phrase that we decided upon together was: I'M STILLIN'. Total sale: $2.00.

Customer #3 arrived around 11:30 and patiently waited for Customers #1 and #2 to finish their business. When it was her turn, Customers #1 and #2 stayed on to help Customer #3 in her choosing. Customer #3 purchased 7 words, on 5 separate sheets of paper (1 purchase was a phrase). There was a collaborative discussion between myself, Customer #3 and Customers #1 and 2 for each of her words/phrases; the results were:
Lights, for sure

Total sale for Customer #3 was $7.00.

Customer #4 arrived around 12:30 and purchased 4 words on 4 separate sheets of paper. The words were: BIRD / WILL / SING / A. Total sale: $4.00.

Customer #5 also arrived around 12:15 when several other customers arrived. He purchased 1 word: "Their." As a gift from the shop to his family, I scribed the following phrase gratis: "Where are you?" Total sale: $1.00.

[At this point, I took inventory of my paper supply because I had a few new customers who had large orders. I realized that I was about to run out of paper, so Customer #5 graciously offered to watch the shop while I ran to the Copy Shop 3 blocks away. I was gone for 8 minutes.]

Customer #6 arrived with a list of 19 letters, words, and phrases to be purchased. They were:
EQUALS (gratis)

Total sale: $18.00 (1 word gratis for purchasing over $10).

Customer #7, who arrived with Customer #8, purchased the following:
Tangentially Judicious
Through (across 2 sheets of paper)

Total sale: $4.50

Customer #8 ordered the following words and phrases:
TUBULAR (gratis)

Total sale: $13.00

Customer #9 arrived around 1:45. We agreed to a barter beforehand--he exchanged 2 CDs from his band for the following purchase:

1) approximately 60 periods (.) as part of a series;
2) the phrase: "algae & tentacles"

Total sale: $0

Customer #10 purchased 4 words (plus 1 gratis):
SINK SYNC ("sync" was gratis because this was suggested by the other customers)

Those last 2 words were written in script like a signature and Customer #10 wanted the words written inside of a book titled "Notes On Conceptualisms." Total sale: $4.00

Customer #11 was waiting patiently for her turn as the last customer. She purchased 2 words: "Committee" and "Ampersand." The latter was purchased as a series of letters from a stencil set. Total sale: #2.00

Packed up the tools of the shop, disconnected the printer, and removed the signage. Left the shop at 3:10 PM.

Total for the day: $58.50

Rob's Word Shop is closed.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in Rob's Word Shop. Check blog periodically for updates on this project.

May 26, 2010 - Day 10 at Rob's Word Shop
Left apartment at 10:51 on Bicycle and arrived at shop around 10:56. Set-up was very quick and easy between 11:00-11:10 AM.

Customer #1 arrived around 11:20 and purchased the following sentence: "Are you going to the Guggenheim for the Buckminster Fuller film, or what?" We arrived at tis phrase together--it was part of a short prose "portrait." Total count 13 words, $13.00. Because Customer #1 had purchased over $10 worth of goods, I offered a free letter, word or phrase. The free phrase he chose was "kimono clooney," which is also related to his prose portrait.

Customer #2 arrived around 11:45 and chose the word "poetic." We tried it both as all caps printed and as lowercase script. We both agreed that the first choice looked better, but I offered the other as gratis. Total sale: $1.

I also filled 3 mail orders:
Customer A : die moglichkeiten (umlat over the "o") $2
Customer B: antique / grandmother / short $3
Customer C: "Frame This" and, gratis, "Pipe Down" $2

Total sales: $21.00; amount received $13.00.