Goodbye, Letterly Street

We go to set­tle­ment on our Let­ter­ly Street home in a few hours. Once it’s over, it’ll be the first time nei­ther Helen nor I have rent­ed or owned a prop­er­ty in the Philadel­phia area since we met in 1996.

You were good to us, Let­ter­ly Street. Thanks for all the won­der­ful mem­o­ries.

Saying Goodbye to Port Fishington

When Helen and I first set­tled in Port Fish­ing­ton six years ago, we thought we’d made a bad deci­sion. We’d moved from a vibrant, bustling street in Pennsport to a des­o­late block above York Street. We found lots of vacant hous­es and even less to eat. It wasn’t scary; the neigh­bors were friend­ly and wel­com­ing. They plant­ed the tree in front of our house for a few bucks and a case of beer! But we still felt like we’d left the place we loved for a place we could afford. That feel­ing of buyer’s remorse was hard to ignore.

Now that we’re get­ting ready to say good­bye to Philadel­phia, we know we made the right choice mov­ing here. This neigh­bor­hood flour­ished since we moved here, with fan­tas­tic new restau­rants to go along with the music scene. We’ve been spoiled by hav­ing Greens­grow Farm around the cor­ner. If you’d told me then that Stephen Starr would have not one, but two restau­rants here, I would’ve laughed in your face. And then it hap­pened. Heck, I intro­duced the #toomany­gas­trop­ubs hash­tag as a tongue-in-cheek com­plaint about our restau­rant boun­ty.

We loved it so much, we start­ed a fam­i­ly here. Char­lie loves it, too! We’ve played count­less games on the side­walk in front of our house, say­ing hel­lo to every­one who smiles at him as they pass. We made Mem­phis Tap­room our liv­ing room away from home. We con­vinced our friends to move here, too! We’ve made great mem­o­ries here. Port Fishington’s been good to us. We’re going to miss this place when we go.

In Praise of Local Coffee

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What’s your favorite local­ly-roast­ed bean? I’ve tried three recent­ly myself: old favorite La Colombe as well as new jacks Green Street and ReAn­i­ma­tor. Is it blas­phe­my to say I pre­fer La Colombe?

It may be my per­son­al pref­er­ence, but no mat­ter how much cof­fee I brew, I just find that La Colombe has a bet­ter, rounder fla­vor than the oth­ers.

Am I miss­ing some­thing? Are their local beans that blow your socks off? Drop me a line in the com­ments.

Visiting Engine 29

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Yesterday’s vis­it to the fire­house at 4th and Girard rekin­dled Charlie’s love of fire­fight­ing. He climbed on all the trucks, played with every­thing he was allowed to touch and he even sprayed me with a fire­hose.

Don’t believe it? Here’s proof:

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Spe­cial thanks to Hip­ster Hen­ry for orga­niz­ing the out­ing. Was a great way for Char­lie to share his remain­ing fire­fight­er hel­mets from his birth­day par­ty. We had so much fun play­ing with friends on the trucks!

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Hurricane Irene Made for a Hectic Weekend

Here’s how I fought Hur­ri­cane Irene last week­end in Philadel­phia, PA:

  • Drove wife and son to be with fam­i­ly in north­ern Va as they pre­pared to vaca­tion in, gulp, Corol­la, NC this week.
  • Watched news at mother-in-law’s house. Won­dered if Out­er Banks would still exist.
  • Slept.
  • Drove home to Philly at 6 AM. Caught in traf­fic twice behind ter­ri­ble acci­dents. Won­dered if I’d be stuck in traf­fic for hours both times.
  • Upon arriv­ing home, made per­func­to­ry ges­tures at shoring up base­ment stor­age.
  • Ate hot dog lunch in a light rain at Mem­phis Tap­room Beer Gar­den.
  • Ratch­eted up pan­ic by watch­ing nation­al and local news out­lets.
  • Didn’t eat din­ner. Drank a pitch­er of daiquiris instead while watch­ing Bourne Suprema­cy with friends.
  • Hid in bath­room, then base­ment dur­ing tor­na­do watch.
  • Fell asleep around mid­night.
  • Awoke to howl­ing rain at 2:43 am.
  • Checked base­ment and ceil­ings. Found no leaks.
  • Tried falling asleep. Couldn’t.
  • Stayed awake until dawn when storm relent­ed.
  • Walked over to friend’s house for cof­fee.
I still can’t believe that my house made it through rel­a­tive­ly unscathed. Watch­ing Twit­ter and Face­book I read a litany of things going wrong at friends’ homes through­out the region and I just couldn’t believe my house — which has leaked repeat­ed­ly — would be spared. (Here’s where I take a moment to praise Reit­er Roof­ing, as well as Port Fishington’s rel­a­tive high ground for a river­ward com­mu­ni­ty.)
I slept like the dead last night. I still feel com­plete­ly exhaust­ed. Helen and Char­lie will be in the Out­er Banks tomor­row morn­ing. I can’t wait to join them on Fri­day.