Vespa Soho, Mac-powered features a profile of Vespa Soho in their “Macs in Business” section. It’s a big PR wank, but nevertheless a worthwhile read, especially Zach and Wen Schieffelin’s insightful comparison of Apple computers and Vespa scooters.

24 thoughts on “Vespa Soho, Mac-powered”

  1. Nuh-uh! Style can not be bought but, paradoxically, it can be sold–otherwise, why would Vespa push the Audrey Hepburn/Hollywood angle so hard? To my jaundiced eye, the distinction between having style and purchasing it is clear: One HAS style; one BUYS fashion. (Kinda like the difference between, say, Frank Sinatra and Frank Sinatra, Jr.) So sorry right back at you…. I sincerely apolgize for slagging one of your advertisers–and I doubly apologize for making you rush to their defense, however unworthy of the honor they might be. I presently live in Leonia, NJ, just across the GWB (former home to the alpha and omega of mid-century American “style,” Sammy Davis, Jr and Pat Boone…). I used to live in a place on Thompson St. that my family owns. But having a kid and with rents being what they are in that neighborhood, I’d be a moron not to take the money and run, which I did. (Yet for some reason, I’m still a moron.)How about you, Joe, what’s your story?

  2. After I saw the article about the Vespa store in Soho I thought it was a great idea.

    All the people writing comments in this site about should create something because having an idea is not enough. YOU MUST REALIZE IT..

    Keeping talking and criticize but when you enter Zach’s store in Soho in New York City the 1800 square feet store……….buy a Vespa !!!

    As I said keeping talking Zach is making the cash..

  3. Budweiser. Interesting. They are trading off heritage of a beer they stole a name from.

    And Piaggio is trading off heritage of a bike that in no way resembles the turds they sell now.

  4. I’m still waiting for the Geely/Sundiro boutique that’s “powered” by Radio Shack TRS-80s. Call me predictable, but nothing raises my hackles quite like SoHo Vespa Boutique. (Visit it sometime and you’ll see what I mean.) It’s not so much a shop as it is a “Sex in the City” diorama, only with flesh-and-blood action figures. I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on the place–after all, it was here that I learned that fashionable people are sooo over Trucker caps and Burberry. (ps, I would have posted a reply sooner, but my OS-X-powered G-4 work computer crashed due to a memory allocation failure.)

  5. uhh…. did I accidentally wind up on the BBS? ….Malossi Kit!….ET4’s Suck!….Blah blah blah….

  6. What a hoot to get Apple to do your free advertising. I’m a small business owner and the leap those two made to open a scooter boutique in NYC takes balls. Guys, it’s marketing, knowing your market, and taking risks. Purists may turn up their noses (I had to take a deep breath and laugh) but those Vespas that they’re selling will be tomorrows hip classics. We’ll just have to see how long this “Hip Vespa Craze” will last.

  7. my favorite line:
    WEN: You get on a Vespa, itis automatic transmission, you drive it and it just works. You donit have to worry about it breaking down, you donit have to worry about shifting or any complicated steps. You concentrate on the task at hand, which is getting to your destination.
    sums up my attitude to the article

  8. Jim-Bob, you’re just jealous: Macs, Vespas, and a cute Asian wife. All the accoutrements
    of success!

  9. As someone with all of the above, I concur. Sounds like sour grapa to me, James-William. Be anti-style if you wish, but as Forrest’s mom once said… boring is as boring does. Heh. ;-)

  10. Would that it were so simple, Joe. But then, I must be doing SOMETHING wrong if I don’t lump my wife in among my other lifestyle accessories. ;-0 (And to me, Vespa SoHo is world HQ for boring–is style something that can so easily be bought?)

  11. Chad, new Vespas aren’t turds, if you’re not interested in them because they’re not vintage, that’s fine, but they’re some of the better bikes out there now. If you’re gonna bag on Piaggio, bag on their management and their marketing and their prices, not their product, which is pretty decent by todays standards.Joe, the difference between Budweiser/Coke and Vespa is that their product has changed very little over the years, they’re still selling the same product. The difference between Audi/Adidas and Vespa is that Audi and Adidas highlight their technology and modernity in their current advertising rather than using images of their old products almost exclusively, like Vespa does. (Adidas often “goes retro,” but when they do, it’s to sell a nearly exact reproduction of an old product). Vespa has every right to advertise however they want, and we all have every right to complain about it. I just think Vespa sells their modern products short by focusing so much on the past, and I’m frustrated that for all the lip service they give to their past, they’re completely disisterested in preserving it.

  12. In answer to your question, um, well… yeah. It is. Sorry mate. To manner born to manners bred (or bought) as they say.

    Oh, and get off my wife… I got off of yours! Badda bing! [Whatever became of Dice…]
    Cheers, J-B. (do you live in NYC??)

  13. Burberry is the “new pink furry flat cap.” I hear good things about Vespa Soho, and their site is the only scooter shop site I’ve seen anywhere that has any information about how to ride safely and get proper instruction.

  14. NewVespaSchmespa.

    What the world needs now are more old metal bikes.

    Nice, smokey, solid metal bikes.

    And less frikkin’ 400 dollar designer spectacled, mindless Banana Republic drones thinking that they just rediscovered the wheel.

    Now… Where was that command key again?

    Oh yes… “apple” + “q”


  15. I happened to be in NYC last week and stopped in the Vespa Soho. Maybe its my hayseed, midwest gullibility, but to me the people there were very cool, nice, friendly. They had a GT there that they let me check out. They would have let me take a spin on it, but I declined as I was drunk at the time having just consumed a delicious meal and numerous beers in Chinatown. Me thinks some of us wear our cynicism with a little too much pride. Lighten up Francis.

    One more thing: burberry has NOT gone of style. For fucksake, every other person I saw in Manhattan was wearing something or other burberry.

  16. Yay! Two overpriced, overdesigned products–OSX and ET4–that crash way too often when operated by trendy young urbanites who think they know way more than they actually do.

  17. I’m right here. I don’t check out 2sb for a day or so while I finish up my thesis and this is what I miss. I think macs are much better now but still don’t come stock with a 2 button mouse. like a 50 special, looks good, works ok, but slow and just seems to be missing something and one has to go out and buy something extra extra. I really think Mac monitors must exert some time warping thing that makes users think they are fast. I did pick up a virus the other day on a wireless network in the student union and pined for a mac for about 30 seconds. But then I heard a voice. Hark, the voice said, “this too shall pass my son”. It was actually an email from the campus computer services telling me they detected a virus on my computer and told me how to ditch it.

    As for boutiques…I guess we can’t all be beautiful. Note I did not mention anything about style. due to my complete lack of any sense of the concept. But you are what you eat. or so I’ve been told (trailing off to a mumble..mumble)

  18. Oh ya, and if you want to see some style in NYC. go check out The Hold Steady @ North six this friday. 66 North Six, Brooklynn. and tell Emily I said hi.

  19. What I love is how many people bag on the new vespas but would probably drive the hell out of them if given one. Then again people defend the old vespa lifestyle as if they were living in Italy in the fifties. Or England in the sixties.They’re still way overpriced though. Hell, you can get a Piaggio LT which is basically the same bike for less.

  20. Spoken like a true old-Soho-ite. But I still think you have it backwards (and I’ll shut up after this…).

    While at first a stylish shop in Soho selling Italian scooters might seem atavistic at best, and soulless pandering at worst, so too would anything or anyone who claimed to have ‘style’ in the first place. Its manner bred, not manner born. That is to say, style is in the eye of the perceiver, not the perceived. Who you say has style I could possibly perceive as a prat.

    Nor is there shame in luxury, nor is there wisdom in pining for days of yore. I would love to see the ‘old’ Soho return, and little Vespa shops on every corner with men in suspenders and white tee-shirts toiling on ancient GSs and Primis, but that’s simply not reality. Vespa boutiques (or any boutique for that matter), at the very minimum, at least offer a choice. Why alienate that? And honestly, if trading off the heritage of a brand were illegal, where would Bud, Adidas, Coke, Audi, the entire countries of France and Britain be today? Out of business!

    The world moves ahead. Those who have style, as far as I can see, are not self-proclaimed leaders of trends, but rather those who simply learn to keep up.

    OK. Truce.

    As to me, I live on the East side, in Gramercy and Murray Hill for six years now, and am NJ born (Essex county). How are the taxes in Leonia? Itis on our radar screen once kids enter the picture.

    Are you coming on the Sunday ride I’m leading this weekend?? We’re heading to Mitsuwa on River Road for a sushi demonstration at 2pm. If you show, I’ll buy.

    And hey, this was hilarious–> I’m still waiting for the Geely/Sundiro boutique that’s “powered” by Radio Shack TRS-80s. Touche. [how the heck to you do line-breaks in this thing??]

  21. The second I saw that story, the very first thing I thought was “Jim-Bob wil LOVE this!” I actually had “Take it away, Jim-Bob!” written at the end of the post, then I deleted it for some reason.

  22. I don’t care about Apple’s situation, but I think that the Vespa deal is the same as Volkswagen was. VW was doing completely shitty around 92, 93 and even considered pulling out of the US market. Then, with the New Beetle they got people into showrooms again with the “retro” excitement and great press. But, everyone walked out with Golfs, Jettas, and Passats. Piaggio needs to come up with some solid new scooters – not questionable looking LTs (big wheels)- they need cool new looking scooters. The Gilera Runner is the only one that I think looks good on its own merit. They need to get people riding scooters just for the sake of riding scooters. They don’t need a new GS – they need a new P125 and a new 50 special. I mean, the others are nice, but not as cool. Even the Zip is not so bad, since it’s cheap and solid. Fuck the boutiques and fuck Roman Holiday. Mods are awesome, but for the argument’s sake fuck them too.

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