Monday, March 28, 2011

From My Drive Home: Scenes From North Philly

Mural Arts

Love the Old PGW sign...I'd love it more if they hadn't bogarted all my money this winter

Sunday, March 27, 2011

This Sunday I had the good fortune to be invited to the first annual Chestnut Hill Rotary Club Chili Cook Off by my new friend Jaime and her parents (who are members). The cook off featured 12 different chillies from local vendors and caterers. The selection was varied and I was amazing at the different varieties of chili! Below is a picture of the vendors offering my third favorite chili: a chili with chocolate (like a mole) and beer made with cheerios.
The chili was good enough to inspire a future trip to Mount Airy where Earth Bread and Brewery is located. I can't wait to spend an afternoon trying their other dishes and their beer!

Jaime trying some chili while on crutches = talent

Alligator Quinoa chili - not my favorite but very original

My next favorite was the pulled pork by Blue Monkey Catering from Bucks County PA. Its flavors were so intense that I wished I hadn't tried it first. Afterwards, I tried some very excellent chilies of the more traditional brand that just couldn't stand up to it and paled in comparison. Equalling this fine chili was none other than the poblano green chili. Its chef kept his beans on the side. He served up a mean dish of baked beans with ham next to the poblano chili sprinkled with chips and some type of red pepper corn. It was very different and very amazing. The baked beans alone could have won a prize, and along side the spicy poblano green chili it was a match made in heaven. His chili also took home first place.

After trying twelve different chilies (and of course seconds of the pulled pork) Jaime and I somehow managed to split a black bean brownie (not as sensational as its cooks at Food For All claimed it would be but quite moist) we also had room for some cask pale ale from a local brewery. As my blogging skills are a little out of practice I do not remember the name of the brewery. This is unfortunate as the beer was excellent. My B.

Mural in Fairmount

Went for a job today and noticed this mural for the first time. It's on 29th a little south of Girard. I think you can click it to make it a little bigger...still figuring out how to use the iphone...

Mosaic in Bella Vista

While walking with Lana in South Philly/Bella Vista area last Saturday we happened upon this little mosaic. Thought I'd share...Philly can be very beautiful.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Back to roots. That was my Argentine Frisbee captain's favorite phrase when he was trying to tell us that in order for us to come close to winning a game we would have to get back to the basics and then work on the fancy stuff. As this long, lonely winter draws to an end I realize that I should be applying the same phrase to my own life here in Philadelphia. Back to the things I love to do, which I really haven't been doing much of. Number one of course should be writing. The few of you out there who check this blog can see I've been doing none of that. I blame it on the lack of interesting things happening in my life, but that's just a sorry excuse, and one I will no longer use. Next are the crafty things I love to do but couldn't afford to do while abroad.
Third of all, I'm going to stop saying I don't like Philly. I'm going to say I love it hear 'til I believe it!! Sam and I have made a pact to fall in love with this city of brotherly love by June and its high time I got working on it.
This week was a first step in the right direction. Even dingy, post industrial, poor North Philly looks nicer in the sunlight, and plenty of sunlight was on the menu this week. After two weekends in a row in NYC I expected to long for Brooklyn but I was content as I drove to and from work and strolled the familiar (and suddenly cleaner) sidewalks on Girard as I walked from my car to my apartment. Ambitious pedestrians had already got their sandals out, and the day care center on my block was outside playing plastic horse shoes on the sidewalk.
I entered my apartment, and threw open the windows and the back door and sat down on my grandmother's old fold out chair and wrote. I kept my speakers silent and listened instead to sirens, the sounds of dirt bikes riding up and down street, and children laughing.
That night Josh and I made an amazing dinner for some friends and I didn't complain about Philly once.
I've got to admit its gettin' better, a little better, all the time....