Paid Review – “Buy Absinthe Alcohol” Website

So I signed up for this little site called ‘Review Me’, a while ago. It links up bloggers with people who want some published reviews on their products. For money! I signed up right away, but I’ve always wanted to keep it related to food in some way. I’ve passed on the ‘review a new chase credit card’ and stuff like that, cause it wouldn’t make any sense in a food blog.

Finally, someone wanted little ole me to review their website – they are Buy Absinthe Alcohol.
Very briefly – Absinthe is a liquor that has been outlawed since before the prohibition, and it’s also had the allure of being mind altering(thanks to the ingredient ‘thujone’) and sensual. Rumor has it Van Gogh cut his ear off while drinking absinthe and that some writers used to drink it for inspiration. But I really think that it’s got a really alcohol content, and if you drink enough of it, you’re going to get loopy as all hell, and drunken people do really stupid things some times. Ah, the mystery. So there’s my totally quick and probably confusing intro to absinthe.
Now, when I first logged on to their site, I really saw mainly the French paragraph. And I though, ‘Oh, Crap, I have gotten soooo bad en Francais, I can’t even remember half of those words’. But thankfully, the site’s all in English. Phew. So don’t be worried by that blurb of French in the beginning if you are a non-speaker.
You really get the impression they’re promoting the “Best” absinthes in the world from the homepage and some details on how they pick it. It’s informative enough to draw you in to wonder what their products are, at least if you’re a skeptic like me.
I really liked the linked bottles on the side of the homepage, though. They were big, colorful and really drew me into clicking on them. They had a little bit of information on each link about the absinthe and you could click to buy each one. However, when I tested it out and clicked ‘Add to Basket’ I got an error message saying:

“Store Closed

This supplier’s CCNow store is currently unavailable
To our client: please log into your account and read an important message from CCNow ”

NO BOOZE FOR YOU!(ok, I added this part)

The links on the left side of the homepage also have a bit of history, tips on how to enjoy your absinthe, a newsletter to join, and some absinthe recipes. Cool! Those old labels looked so cute!

Their FAQs page was easy enough to read and had the same FAQs about absinthe as any other online seller. However, I always wondered about shipping to the US, since I’d heard it was illegal to have in the US. Their FAQs page says it is illegal to sell within the US, but it is authentic absinthe with thujone and they mark it as ‘Not Fit for Human Consumption” to get it into the US. It turns out you can also own it, drink it, just not purchase or sell absinthe within the US. So I guess if they ask – you’re just buying a pretty bottle to look at.

They had a testimonial page from other people who had purchased from there before. I think those are great for sellers to have, but these are just copied paragraphs. It would have been nice to have a name or email so you could directly ask another person, or at least know it was another person.
I am also glad their payment page listed the prices for shipping. I really hate trying to figure out how much shipping is going to cost, and then having to go through the entire check out process just to be able to see it when you shop online at some places. It also says they accept Visa and MasterCard, but a banner at the bottom of every page lists PayPal and American Express icons as well. I would have checked it out, but I still kept getting the error message when I tried to add anything to the basket.
Overall, not too bad of a website – moderately informative, good variety of absinthe, product testimonials, and some extra reading on absinthe’s history. The only down side is that you couldn’t actually buy any of it.

LarkFEST

Saturday was Larkfest. It was a little chilly, and threatening to sprinkle, but I love my festing, so out we went.
Turns out everyone else had qualms with the weather. There was parking available all over, and it was pretty windy on Lark Street itself. Cheesecake Machismo’s tent was almost blown away at one point. NO!! Not the cheesecake!!!! Thankfully, a bunch of guys grabbed it, and all the cheesecakes were saved. Also, huge kudos goes to Cheesecake Machismo for keeping their normal prices. It would have been fine if they’d upped the prices a dollar or two, or didn’t include their complementary coffee/beverage with the cheesecake slice, but they did, and they totally rock for it.


Albany John opted for some soba noodles. There were a bunch of food vendors in the church parking lot on Lark Street, including this soba noodle place. The sobas looked an awful lot like lo-mein, but were tasty and not horribly overpriced at $6 for a good sized carton. It was all veggie and low gluten. The veggies in it were nice and crisp too. There was also a guy really hawking their all beef hotdogs at the entrance of the parking lot. By the time we were leaving, I was almost tempted to grab one, but I was enjoying some of New York State’s finest box wine, and was eager to keep a-moving.
We walked into the Upstate Artist’s Guild, or UAG. They show a lot of different artwork, and this time, it was animal themed. I loved the pictures in the back. I cannot remember the artist’s name, but she had some great morbid/dark cartoons. Go check it out, it’s free and they’re also voting on the best in show, for a donation to the Mohawk and Hudson Humane Society.
After walking out of the UAG, we ran into Algorhythm, a local rapper. See that sticker he’s holding? It says ‘Drop out of school and start rappin’”. He’s also really funny and was out promoting his music, as well as free stickers.
We also saw a magician, who has the fastest hands I’ve ever seen. He was just outside DeJohn’s and was pulling out cat toys, oranges and cantaloupes. I have no clue where he had the space for these, but wow. I think he should have had stickers that said ‘Drop out of school and start being a magician”, but then I’d guess a lot of parents wouldn’t let their kids watch him.

All of the music was really nice. There were three stages set up on Lark: one at each end, and one in the middle next to Eba Dance Studio.
Astra Heights was at the end by A Taste of Greece. They played a really nice show and were super energetic. However, the guy in the truck behind them seemed bored out of his mind. One of their songs was named ‘Well, fare well” (I think… the box wine was beginning to take effect in at this point) that really stood out.

After this, we walked around a bit more and ran across Jerry Jennings (I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising) and other random friends.


Larkfest is SATURDAY!

Lark fest is this Saturday!!

I’ve never heard of any of the bands before, but I’ve never been able to name more than about 10 musical groups at one time, so it’s not that surprising.

It’s usually a great time, and I can’t believe I almost forgot about it. Last year was my first time going, since every year before that I’d managed to be out of town the weekend Larkfest was held. I had a great time, and it’s amazing how many people you run into that you may not have seen in years. The street is completely closed off. It’s stuffed with food, promo, and other vendors, and the restaurants stay open as well, so you can gorge yourself while you walk around. And don’t forget to bring a cooler! (Actually, don’t. It’s really painful if you’re lugging a cooler full o’frosty brews around for about 5 hours! Just bring a backpack).

Below is some of the promo from their website:

September 15th from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PMPresented by the Lark Street Business Improvement District, the City of Albany and Mayor Jennings

Celebrating Great Music, Great Art & Great Food on Lark Street, the Heart of Albany!

Welcome to the Capital District’s largest outdoor festival and a cornerstone Albany event. This year LarkFEST celebrates its 26th year with talentented musicians and performers from all walks of life, outstanding food and a truly unique collection of artists and vendors.

The Music of the Main Stages

presented by EQX

Performers:

Buffalo Tom

Steriogram

Ian Moore

Astra Heights

EQX-Posure Bands:

Sirsy

Blackcat Elliot

Twiddle

Casual Fiasco
The Hometown Stage & Poetry Slampresented by MotherJudge and the Albany PoetsSponsored by Parkway Music & One Day Signs

Sushi Meetup!

Hey ya’ll:

There’s gonna be a sushi meet up hosted by Andrew later this month on Thursday, September 20th at Sushi Tei on Western Ave, 7pm. There is a $1, um… administration fee? Har har, those sushi receptionists will get you every time! (God, I think sushi receptionist would be my dream job, except I’d probably get fired for eating all of their sushi)
Andrew probably would know better than I on that one!
It’s the place that used to be San and Bada, for those of you who remember it.

http://sushi.meetup.com/121/
Click there for the rest of the details.
Andrew, let me know if I missed anything, or you’d like to add anything else.

I still think it’s funny how it’s changed hand about 3 times so far. I wonder how long this place will last?