Tag Archives: Philly

happy happy happy halloween

I tagged along with our Philadelphia niece and nephews tonight as they trick or treated on Delancey Street. I didn’t photograph a ghost this year, but just like last year, it was a mosh pit of little creatures – sharks and tigers and Dorothys from the Wizard of Oz. Some of the residents really go all out with dry-ice fog, scary sculptures, and elaborate costumes. All of it combined with the cobblestone street and the cold air and the smell of a fire burning in a fireplace somewhere nearby is just spooky delicious! And the candy! It’s the good stuff. No off-brand taffy that you can’t trade for anything. I love it! Halloween is one of my favs!

Shout out to a certain fairy princess and Thor (with accidental glitter hair instead of silver) in Kentucky. Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!


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clam loves garland

Our wonderful D.C. friends helped us celebrate Clam with a shower last weekend, and it was the most fun! Our awesome, creative, and lovely-in-every-way artist friend Karen crafted the sweetest decorations for the shower, including this clam garland (which I carefully untacked and brought home with me for Clam’s nursery).

Karen also painted that fab painting in the photo and gave us the gift of a commissioned painting for Clam’s room. Love it!

We have good and true friends in the District, and it’s really the only thing we miss about living there. I’m on a one-woman mission to convince every one of them to move to Philly, pronto! It might take a while.

Thank you all for a beautiful shower. We love and miss you!

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flea market find

We’ve been having day after day of beautiful weather here. Yesterday I took full advantage (and walked my butt off)! I woke up early and walked to this flea market about a block from our house. I just knew there was a treasure there somewhere. I did a quick pass before the crowds arrived, didn’t see much, and then headed to the Fabric District to find some material for a nursery project I have in mind (more on that in a later post).

After running a few more errands, I started home and was annoyed that I had to walk through the market again, which was by that time pretty crowded. On my way past one of the sidewalk booths, though, I noticed a pretty little quilt laying there. The tag said, “Old Quilt, $30.”


Yeah, I bought it. And I love it. When I got it home and laid it on our guest bed, I realized it’s twin bed sized. That’s okay. It was still a deal, pickle.


There aren’t any stains on it and some of the edges are just a little worn and frayed, but it’s hand-stitched and will be so pretty in Clam’s room some day. You probably wouldn’t notice at first glance, but in a few places, it looks like the person who made it ran out of the fabric she was using and had to improvise. The orange pieces (see photo on bottom, right) don’t exactly match, and on one side of the quilt, the green border (photo on top right) suddenly turns into a pretty blue. I love it all the more for these little improvisations!

Now, it’s cleaned and folded and just waiting to be used, and my faith in the flea market has been restored. Somewhat.

I’m curious, what’s the best thing you ever found at a flea market?


September 16, 2012 · 2:21 pm

let the wild rumpus start!


It must seem like we wander around aimlessly and run right into really awesome stuff here in Philly, and it’s actually kind of true. Last week we passed by the Rosenbach Museum and Library, which from the outside looks like just another beautiful house on the most gorgeous street in town. We noticed a sign outside that said “Maurice Sendak Building.” S. mentioned that he loves Maurice Sendak (of Where the Wild Things Are fame), and I told him we ought to go in.

When we saw that there was a gift shop, it was a done deal. We bought the poster above, which we love because it celebrates Philly in a really fun way.

I decided we should try to get it signed before we get it framed, because, you know, that’ll be easy. Since Sendak has a new book out (Bumble-Ardy), I set up a Sendak Google alert, in case he does a book signing somewhere. I’m losing hope that I can make this happen, but my Google alert yielded some interesting results, or rather, the same interesting result over and over and over and over…All of the news that’s fit to print about Maurice Sendak right now is that he was on Stephen Colbert’s show twice this week in a segment called Grim Colberty Tales (love it!). You should watch it. It’s hilarious.

Watch part 1 here and part 2 here. Enjoy! (And let me know if anyone knows how I can get this poster signed!)


January 28, 2012 · 6:07 pm

happy halloween!

I’m baaaaack! I love this holiday! Hope yours was full of good company and spirits…of both varieties. Mine was. I spotted this ghost on Delancey Street, (oh, shades of The Sixth Sense, which is a favorite this time of year around these parts).

Might I recommend vegging on the spooky couch with a bowl of haunted Pop Secret Homestyle, whilst watching the original Halloween On Demand? That’s what I’m going to do. Eeeeeeeee!


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(photo by Trevor Dixon for Garden & Gun)

I was enjoying my new issue Garden & Gun a few days ago when I came across a story about two Philadelphia coffee roasters searching for the roots of Southern coffee. Todd Carmichael and Jean Philippe Iberti of La Colombe Torrefaction recently released a reserve blend named Louisiane, which their website calls “a tribute to the culinary South.”

I thought it was interesting because obviously I’m interested in any intersection between the South and Philadelphia, but also because the article talks about how Carmichael and Iberti used shipping records from the 1700s to determine the origin of what Southerners were drinking in the pre-Civil War South. This bit of detective work is right up my alley.

For me, one big appeal of cooking has always been its wacky ability to bring people together, whether it’s the people in front of you or those separated by centuries or oceans or some other impenetrable barrier. By following a recipe from the Antebellum South, for example, you’re creating something tangible in the world that was a part of that earlier experience. It’s a powerful communion with the past that I’m not sure you can get any other way.

That’s why I need to get my hands on a bag of Louisiane. ASAP. As soon as I get a job.

What do you think? Do you feel this way too?

P.S. I went to try a cup of Louisiane at one of La Colombe’s cafes in Philly, but discovered they only serve their Corsica blend at the cafe (the one near Rittenhouse, anyway). I also wanted to get a picture of the outside of the place for you guys, but it’s covered in scaffolding. I struck out on both counts, it seems, but the Corsica was good, and the cafe was a hipster haven.

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south philly

I thought I’d share a few other shots from my walk to South Philly on Saturday.

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Filed under Photography, Tourism

emotional eating

When the tough gets going, Phillies fans head out for day-after cheesesteaks…or maybe those are tourists. It’s hard to say, but these were the lines today at Pat’s and Geno’s (the competing cheesesteak places that are located directly opposite one another on dueling corners). Needless to say, I’m sure there was a lot of emotional eating in Phila today.

I headed to South Philly this morn with this pastry as my primary objective.

Ignore the pesky shadow for a moment (that’s what happens when you head out relatively early and then dawdle past row houses, snapping random photos and marveling at how nice it is to live so close to the village that is South Philly and also to Old City and Rittenhouse Square and Washington Square. It’s what happens when you chat with the pastry chef before heading home, through the Italian Market, to which you’ve already professed your undying devotion and which is crackling with activity on a beautiful fall day and the next thing you know you’re in a kitchen shop you never noticed before and it stretches the entire length of a city block! and so there are pie pans and pastry blenders and croxetti stamps to look at and then your husband is calling and asking where in the hell you are…and you drag yourself away and stop at Starbucks to get one small and one large coffee before arriving back home with your pastries, which you will photograph. With shadows. Because it’s so late in the day. That’s what happens.)

Anyway, let’s just take a moment to admire this almond pain au chocolate, or almond chocolate croissant, or as I like to roughly translate—almond chocolate bread. I bought it at Artisan Boulanger Patissier, an unassuming French pastry shop in the heart of South Philly, which Leya at Curious Bird kindly pointed me to. I had emailed her about the raspberry and cheese croissants she mentioned here. I’ve been there twice now, and the pastries are amazing.

When I was in France a few years ago, I basically subsisted for several weeks on delectable pastries, cappucino, and red wine. The pain au chocolate alone made me want to move there and never look back. Ever since, it has made me crazy to see (some) bakeries in the United States selling pain au chocolate with chocolate chips inside a croissant.  Really? Why bother?

The pain au chocolate at Artisan Boulanger Patissier is a perfect french croissant with strips of high quality chocolate in its flaky interior, so that when you bite into it, the chocolate’s kind of melty and soft on the outside but firm and substantial as you bite through. There are no words.

The proprietors are a Cambodian husband and wife team. He is a French-trained pastry chef, and they used to sell their fabulous breads to Air France. That’s how legit they are.

If/when you’re in South Philly, do yourself a favor…

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speaking of champagne…

We never talked about this. Those of you who follow these things, know that I succeeded in my bliggedy blog pledge to post every day for two weeks. It wasn’t easy—I won’t lie—but I did it.

I finally celebrated with a glass of champagne at a BBQ joint near our apartment last week. Nevermind that it came in a can. And the bartender, who kept calling me “Love,” asked if I’d like a glass or if I was happy to drink it with the bendy straw that comes attached. I went glass, but I kind of love the self-sufficiency of the can/bendy straw concept.

As I sat there celebrating the enormous accomplishment of writing a blog post every day for two weeks on the blog I started for fun, I did wonder, “Okay, what next?” Did we learn anything? Did you like some types of posts better than others, Fair Readers? I’m sure you did, but I still didn’t get a lot of feedback. Was it fun? Who enjoyed it; raise your hand.

So, what’s next? I’m not really sure. Should I post every day?  Should I do more recipes or photographs or more Philly fun? I’m not really sure. I’ll think about it. Feel free to weigh in.


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I promised you Martha’s Vineyard today, but I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for no less than five hours straight looking for a J-O-B, and I can’t bring myself to sit here much longer. I’m hoping this photo of me on the ferry to MV will hold you over until tomorrow.

Until then, though, I have a few little things to share. Neither Snow, one of my favorite modern calligraphers (who happens to usually live in Philly but has moved to the West Coast for a year), wrote a great post about how she got started. It includes a lot of helpful resources for amateur calligraphers (like me) along with a lot of other fabulous tidbits, like this TED video of Steve Jobs talking about how a calligraphy class at Reed College inspired the design of Macintosh computers.

Also, it’s really weird that I mentioned yesterday how frustrated I get with Photoshop, because I literally happened upon a few mini-tutorials. You can find those here and here. I can’t wait to try them out. Back tomorrow. Ciao, bellas!

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