David has a short conference in Philadelphia this week. Son and I drove up with him yesterday to spend some time in this favorite city of mine. Our already-short visit was further shortened by a late arrival. Because of an accident on I-95, we spent a couple of extra hours in the car, starving and needing to go to the bathroom too, before we actually pulled into the city in the afternoon.
When we finally arrived in Philadephia, we went straight to 4th Street Deli. David and I used to bring his parents here every time they came to visit us back when we lived in West Philadelphia. Son ordered matzah ball soup--and although there was only one matzah ball in the bowl, it was as big as the 7yo's head.
When we walked out of the restaurant, we noticed Sophie's Yarns across the street! After adding some change to the parking meter, we wandered around the neighborhood looking at all the shops on fabric row and buying some loose tea at a gorgeous tea shop. Then: the official start of the Philadelphia Yarn Crawl.
Although Sophie's does not have an enormous selection, what they have is really lovely. Even the displays are yummy. I loved seeing all the Manos stuff and would love to be able to spin singles that look as beautiful as their yarns. I did see some yarn that looked remarkable like my first yarn.
The Village Knittiot suggested to me that if we were in the neighborhood of Sophie's Yarns, I should check out the Essene Market, a gorgeous natural foods store. I thought about taking some pictures to pass around at the next co-op board meeting.
After poking around that area, we went through the Italian Market. In addition to olive stores and cheese stores and bakeries and a huge outdoor market in front of stores with ducks and pigs and the like hanging in their windows, the Italian Market has my favorite cookware shop, Fante's. The neighborhood also has a enormous Vietnamese community and a bunch of new WASPy stores and residents.
We hopped in the car and drove across Center City to Chinatown. I'm always amazed at how vibrant the community is compared to DC's Chinatown. We stopped by our old favorite Chinese pastry shop for red bean buns. Alas, sigh.... The shelves were almost empty and there were no more red bean buns. As we were contemplating whether to get pineapple custard buns or peanut butter buns instead of our old favorites, the woman at the counter offered to call for some red bean. I thought she was calling the folks in the back--but then a woman ran around the corner from their other store to bring some to us! Wow. They are this morning's breakfast. Yummy.
It feels so right to be back here. Wish we had more time than we will have this visit!