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Feb 19, 2013 / Gallery

Tribute to SABRAS

url-2Standing on my tippy toes so he could see me behind the counter.

“One slice please ” I call out above the loud chatter emanating from the crowds. My Mom and Sister  are sitting a few feet away enjoying a pizza lunch and I’m on slice number 2.

“One dollar” he says, giving me a wink.

 

It’s the 1980’s and this is the only game in the Five Towns, at least as far as I know.

SABRAS.

We went there every Sunday and sometimes Thursday followed by Baskin Robbins next door. Those were the days when my stomach (and waist line) could handle 2 slices, french fries and a sundae.

Fast forward 6th grade. I’m old enough to go to town by myself. Old enough to notice the boys my age hanging out there. We catch a bus from Far Rockaway, or we bike, or walk and SABRAS is always our first stop. We grab a table and glance at the boys we know from the hood. They glance back. 7th grade, the boys say hi. 8th grade, they walk over and join. We feel cool. (We are TAG girls after all)

Saturday night. SABRAS is the place to see and be seen.

I always make sure to look “cool” before stepping in. It’s jam-packed with teens. It’s the place to be.

I like that I know him, the guy behind the counter and that he knows me. He’s always nice and sometimes forgives me if I’m short a dollar. “Bring it next time.”

Saturday nights. The lines are out the door. But the Spinach pizza is unparalleled. It’s worth the wait.

I move to Brooklyn. I go to Israel for the year. College. Upper West Side. SABRAS is a distant memory.

One day I see him at a pizza store not far from my Upper West side digs. He looks the same but he’s older. He left SABRAS for another pizza job. I find it funny. He followed me to NYC.

Marriage. Riverdale. Then back to the good ole’ Five Towns.
Sabras still standing but now pizza is $2. But there are others now. The neighborhood has exploded. Still, SABRAS is the best.

Kids. I bring them there because where else should I go? He’s back now (couldn’t stay away) and I show off my babies. He chuckles recalling me pretty close to that age.

But I’m so so busy now and  I never ever carry cash, and he won’t take credit.

So I go a few doors down. No guilt. There’s enough business for all.

Occasionally I go back saturday nights with my husband. He’ll only eat there and he only gets Spinach with Tehina on the side.

My kids grow up on the other pizza and won’t eat anywhere else. I beg them when I have cash to go to SABRAS, but they refuse. So except for the rare Saturday night, I stop seeing him.  I take it for granted that SABRAS will always be there and that we 70’s and 80’s kids will always have SABRAS, rickety sign and all.

Then I hear the sad news. SABRAS is closing it’s doors.

Like the death of an old movie star, one that has not been in the news for decades,  the memories of  the glory days come rushing in.
In the same graveyard that holds KING DAVID, BURGER NOSH, BASKIN ROBBINS and all the other mainstays of our Youth, SABRAS now joins. Another childhood destination gone, existing only in our collective memories. Nothing lasts forever.

Central Avenue. Constantly evolving to suit the times. To survive one must go with the times. It’s not good enough to be good. You need facebook, e-marketing, pintrest, instagram and above all, you need to accept credit cards….in other words, you need to reach out to your demographic.

SABRAS pizza, the best, but who has time to pop into the bank each time my kids crave pizza. And as a grown up watching my weight, I need a salad bar. It was being cashless and weight conscientious that converted me.

But what about him? The man who has been there since I was in diapers.

He’ll have to find something new. So is life.

SABRAS, we’ll miss you, your Spinach Slices and Cabbage Soup and mot of all the good times.

 

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Feb 17, 2013 / Musings

Next Big thing since Google!-Facebook Graph Search

Article By Kim Garst from Boom Social

Is your business ready for Facebook Graph Search?

This could be the biggest thing to hit the Internet since Google. Seriously!

For your business, this new search tool represents an exciting new way for you to find customers, followers and for customers to find you.

So what is Graph Search?

Graph Search is Facebook’s latest feature and it’s being rolled out to users in the coming weeks.  Some have it and some are still waiting for it to show up. Graph Search will allow users to search through Facebook’s content. It’s a search engine that searches only within Facebook. Unlike Google, results on Facebook will be more specified for each user and his or her social network.

The results will be based on three factors: Keyword, Category and Connection.

Keyword  – Similar to Google, Facebook will scan all of the content on Facebook for words that match the user’s search terms. Unlike Google, the search results will be limited to Facebook content within the searchers network.

Category – In putting together search results, Facebook will scan the Categories that pages use to self-define their business. This is particularly important for Business Facebook Pages.

Connection  – This is the key! Facebook will prioritize results based on who the searcher knows and who is in their larger network. (Friends and friends of friends for example.) Because we all prefer to take recommendations from people we know, Facebook will show results based on people within our networks and also relate them to location.

I still don’t get it. How does this work?

Let’s say a user searches for “Web Design” on Facebook’s Graph Search. Facebook will scan for the keywords, “Web Design” placing particular emphasis on looking for businesses that have Web Design listed as their category.  Facebook scans profiles and pages for likes, check-ins, posts and comments. It’s important to remember that Facebook will only scan within the searchers network, so results are limited to pages with a connectionto the user. Connection can relate to physical location or shared connections that have liked, commented on or otherwise interacted with a page.

So how can you get your page ready for Facebook’s Graph Search?  Dedicate some time to updating your Facebook Page. Just follow these 7 simple steps – and get ready for customers to start finding you!

1.        Update Your Category

Take a few minutes to think about how you have categorized your business. Make sure the category describes what you do as accurately as possible. Your page category will hold significant weight in search results.

2.       Location, Location, Location

Graph Search will look at the location of the searcher in relation to the location of businesses and other users, giving priority to results that are geographically close by. Make sure you have up-to-date address information on your Facebook page.

It’s also important to encourage your fans and friends to Check In to your business. This will help boost your ranking and the strength of your geographical location.

3.       Write Your About Section with Keywords In Mind

When writing the About Section for your Facebook Page profile (see above graphic), think about what keywords your potential clients will be looking for. Use as many keywords as possible, but make sure the content is coherent and reads well. Use words that not only describe what you do, but also relate to specific search terms that you want to link back to your site.

4.       Keywords are Key – Use them in Tags!

Graph Search will look at Tags when analyzing results. So Tag pictures and write posts using your keywords. Encourage your customers or clients to tag your business as much as possible as well. Whether posting new photos, links, graphs or video clips, tag them profusely with keywords.

5.       Content

Now that your Facebook content will be searchable, producing informative and compelling content on your Facebook page will be much more important. Post as frequently as you can.

Write posts that not only use your keywords, but also will attract likes, comments and interactions. Give people content they can use – whether to make them smile and laugh or to help them in their life in some way.

If Facebook sees that people are interacting with your page, it will get higher priority in Search results. And a larger network of followers on your page will mean you have a better chance of showing up in results. Each new Like or Follow connects you to a whole network of new potential clients!

6.       Do Your Research.

Facebook’s Graph Search is new! New developments will be coming out all the time and even the experts are still learning exactly how Graph Search will work and how it can be used to help your business. Keep reading and learning about this new tool to make sure you know how to use it to best help your business.

7.       Get on Early!

One of the best ways to ensure your business is on board and showing up in searches is to start using the tool as soon as possible. Facebook is releasing Graph Search in Beta version to users slowly. If you want to be one of the first ones to graph search you can sign up here to join the waiting list here:https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch

To sum it all up…

Graph Search is a whole new world and while it may seem daunting, it should be pretty simple to learn to use. Keep in mind the three keys – Keywords, Category and Connections – and you will master it in no time.

This new tool has incredible opportunity to help your customers (and their friends – and their friends’ friends) find you!

Most successful businesses know that the best kind of advertising is word of mouth – and Facebook Graph Search allows you to incorporate the power of personalized recommendations with the large scale of social media..

Feb 4, 2013 / Blog