October 30, 2012

survival and other things

Hurricane Sandy has come and gone in my neck of the woods and no thanks to her the woods are almost bare. The bountiful, bursting fall we were in the midst of was whipped short by winds and rains. I am fortunate to have not much more to deal with than a pile of wet leaves and branches in the yard and a couple of tumbled planters. My family, on the other hand, is dealing with coastal evacuation, flooding, power outages and what remains to be seen. In the past two days of being cooped up I have been fighting off cabin fever with lots of cooking and digging into some projects. Today I am working on a flyer, the old fashioned way. I am hand-cutting and pasting as I go, borrowing from an old vintage Biba catalog. This is being put together for a clothing swap party in late November and I aim to make this mess shown above, the finished product. Which, I will no doubt be sharing on The Peregrine Papers at a later date. I hope to also be sharing some of the great recipes that I have been experiment with and enjoying these past few days including fresh ricotta cheese, Shepherd's pie, and a way to put the season's pumpkins to good use. I'll be back soon. Hope everyone else out there in the Northeast is managing through this stormy weather and it's aftermath. Ciao!

October 9, 2012

bygone beauty

As a lifetime resident of Philadelphia and a serious flâneur of this fine city, I have come across many gems from bygone days dwarfed by modern architecture, hidden down tiny alleyways, ravaged by overgrowth and some simply abandoned in plain sight. The Rittenhouse Coffee Shop is one of the later. This colorful and neglected yesteryear cafe sits at 1904 Sansom Street in the shadow of the equally disregarded Warwick Hotel. After a bit of research I found that it was operating most recently as a soul food joint in the early 1990's. Before that it was a home to The Second Fret Coffee Shop in the 60's & 70's, a folk and blues venue that helped nurture the budding careers of the likes of Joni Mitchel and Arlo Guthrie and a rumored set by The Velvet Underground happened there. As a development and planning war continues to rage between the Philadelphia Parking Authority, The Historical Society and big money developers, I will continue to daydream about what the place was in all it's original Mercer tiled glory and my wild ideas for what it could be if I could get one hand on it with a blank check in the other.

October 5, 2012

bon weekend!

Today I am out and about foraging in the city markets for cured meats, imported cheeses, olive varieties and other snacky delicacies. It's all in preparation for a weekend by the sea with family and friends celebrating Autumn and all it's charms while attending the annual Cape May Wine Festival. This afternoon I pack up and drive east into the moonrise and I cannot wait nor could I be happier. It's been near two months since my finally escape to the Atlantic and I miss it dearly.

Before dashing off I wanted to share some link love here today. Through the wonder of Instagram I was lucky enough to come across Lily Stockman a few months ago. It may go without saying, but I was struck by her photography style and the subject matter in her feed on IG. Natural curiosity led me to click the link to her website, eventually finding my way to her blog. In her own words, Lily is "a Brooklyn-based painter". But if you have anytime to check her out for yourself you will find much more. She is quite a multi-faceted, multi-talented dynamo. Besides being a Harvard graduate and founding contributor of Kinfolk magazine, she is extremely well written, well read (she turned me on to Maggie Shipstead's Seating Arrangements), has serious photography skills, a fine sense of humor and an obvious love of travel. The thing that initially caught my attention, I mean, really made my ears perk up, were her shots of a recent trip to Iceland. After browsing through these dreamy, perfectly desolate and otherworldly scenes my lust for touring and trekking was completely kicked into high gear. I look forward to seeing her work and wanderings in the future. Consider me a fan. I hope you find yourself one too.