Everybody’s business

The storefront that was most recently a skate shop is now a store featuring contemporary products for the home and body.

Rhapsody opened Nov. 3 at 126 West Second St. Owner Suzie Wallace is an Orland native who got her start in retail at the Oser’s department store downtown.

After 27 years in Los Angeles, where she worked for Nordstorm’s as well as small boutiques, Wallace moved back north where her son is at Chico State and her daughter Whitney, a CSUC graduate and photographer, is helping her with the shop.

“We wanted to get out of the city,” Wallace said, but she missed some of the products available down south. “The idea of this store was to have everything that you can’t get in Chico.”

Here’s a small sampling of what she showed me: Jaqua brand body products with names like “chai spice latte” and “lemon meringue,” comfy-looking throws, flowering tea, leather journals, jewelry and vanilla cake batter-scented cologne.

An expedition
After my visit at Rhapsody, I walked a short way to Expeditions at 228 Main St., the former location of Zappos shoe store. (In fact, as I spoke with owner Kathy Lane, someone came by trying to return a pair of shoes—oops.)

Lane said that since Expeditions left Chico Mall a couple of years ago, she’s been on the lookout for the perfect location to combine retail sales of travel goods with her travel agency, which she had been operating out of a couple of sites in the meantime.

“We were always interested in the downtown,” said Lane, who works closely with local travel gear-makers Kiva. Expeditions has been steadily bringing in merchandise since it reopened in late October.

“We complement our [travel agency] service by offering travel goods to our passengers,” Lane explained. “My goal is to be a travel preparedness center. Not only is your trip planned but you’ve got things that address your security, comfort and organization. That takes a lot of the stress off.”

The real best?

Photo by Tom Angel

You go, Dog
Crazy Dog proprietor John Geiger has a beef with the results of the Chico News & Review “Best of” readers’ survey, which contends that Costco sells the best hot dogs.

In his crusade to, as he says, “educate the public,” Geiger (shown here with wife, Ethel, in 2001) will be setting up shop outside Best Buy on Saturday through Christmas.

On weekdays, Crazy Dog is a nitrite-filled thorn in the side of Chico State administration and the Associated Students as he stakes out a city-owned patch of sidewalk seemingly on the university campus.

“Since I am a hound for attention, I will be wearing my mustard-yellow suit,” Geiger wrote me on an “official press release” penned with Sharpie on a hot dog wrapper.