Friday, July 17, 2009

Pinkberry, I Heard, I Came, I Saw, I Ate

You've seen the enormous lines. You've wondered with dollar signs in your eyes. Hell, you might even have subjected yourself to the 30-minute wait for Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt. But for those of you that haven't, I took the liberty of taking a tour to this hotspot of contemporary culture this weekend. For those not in the know, Pinkberry is the new froyo spot du jour, unseating Penguin's, Big Chill, etc. But because Pinkberry has some sort of hip, healthfully guilt-free marketing campaign, people seem to believe Pinkberry will run right through them without adding an ounce to their asses. Hence, the lines...

I got lucky during my trip as there were only about seven people waiting. Upon my arrival, I exclaimed to a queue full of strangers, "What? Was there a bomb threat? Why only seven people in line?" Someone replied, "It actually gets busy around 7:00." Right after I looked at my watch which read 7:04pm, I turned around to see another 6 fresh faces behind me awaiting their fix. And their expressions all read the same: We know we're addicted sheep, but Pinkberry makes us happy, so get off our case.

Once I actually got inside the facility, I was overwhelmed by blaring music, and a kaleidoscopic array of color. The vibe feels like 21st century-Jamba Juice-on meth, what with an eclectic array of tunes ranging from avante-garde electropop to West Hollywood's greatest hits. As I slowly snake toward the register, a cacaphony of conversation surrounded me, and this was when I noticed a myriad of colorful designer tchotchkes for sale at exorbitant prices: $30 cotton swab holder, $40 corkscrew, $45 yogurt bowl & spoon, $60 for a dog bowl, the list goes on.

As I continued to wait, I became entranced by the idea of someone paying that much for a designer doggie dish. When I finally approached the register, I found myself standing directly beneath the loudspeaker, which is great if you like screaming your order at the cashier over a 4:4 beat. I unwittingly forked over $12.20 for the froyo while the hypnotically thumping house music sent me on my way to the dreadfully congested parking lot outside. Their strategy behind the point-of-purchase sale items is: You'd never buy the really expensive stuff unless you were very rich or very drunk, but paying $6 for frozen yogurt isn't so bad by comparison.

I'll admit, the yogurt's not bad. More tangy than sweet, like regular yogurt. I probably prefer the original to the green tea yogurt, and the selection of fresh fruit toppings and naughty candy toppings make it a somewhat enjoyable experience. It's a potentially expensive habit, but can be useful if you've got damage control to perform or want to score brownie points with someone. Just remember that it melts fairly quickly, so don't bother driving across town with it in your car if you want to make a favorable impression.


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