Saturday, April 27, 2013

Around the corner.

Happy weekend, friends.

I saw this sign today on One Kings Lane and I wanted to share it with you.

I completely believe this because just around the corner you might find something amazing.

Photo credit:

Whether it is a charming chat with a neighbor you've yet to meet or spontaneous brunch plans, something incredible may be waiting...just around the corner. Maybe it's a new job, maybe it's a new friend, maybe you'll meet your future husband or wife or maybe you find something you've been searching for. Maybe you'll discover something new where you live or see something for the first time. Whatever it may be, it's waiting for you around the corner.

One of my favorite ways the phrase is used...from a happy movie.

Around the Corner Cafe is a cute name for a local Cleveland bar.

And this quote sums it all up...


I'm having one of these very fun days today and it restored my faith in humanity - thanks to my friends Vanessa and Lisa. Philadelphia really is the city of brotherly love! You just have to keep going to see what (or who) awaits you at the next turn.

I hope you can find something new today...because you never know what the future holds.

Your friend,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I am a runner.

I am a runner.
I run in the rain.
I run in the snow and in the scorching heat.
I run when I am happy. 
I run when I am sad.
I run and some days, laugh the entire time.
I run alone.
I fun with friends.
I run on treadmills, on the street, in the woods and through cities.
I run to beat my own time.
I run to beat yours.
I run with my dog lagging behind me.
I run when I'm tired.
I run when I want to sweat.
I run when I want to think.
I run to stay in shape.
I run to stay sane. 
I run through pain.
I run to heal. 
I am a runner.

The events that happened this week at the finish line at the 117th Boston Marathon are unthinkable. A finish line is a happy place - a place where you can celebrate your victory or the fact that your race is over. The Boston Marathon is known by all runners as the marathon to run. I was lucky to be a finisher at the Philadelphia Marathon and celebrate with my family and friends steps after I crossed the finish line.

It was one of the best moments of my life. It wouldn't have been complete if my parents,  brother, sister-in-law and friends weren't there along the 26.2 miles, on that very chilly, November morning. They stood there selflessly, drinking warm drinks, wearing winter coats, hats and gloves, for the fleeting moments they would get a glimpse of me, running past them in a flash of pink. My dear friend, Carolyn, with her new baby, husband, dog and parents all stood in the cold to see me run that morning.

It was my family and friends, and the millions of spectators, who kept me going. They cheered for me, by name (that was on my bib), told me I looked pretty (I laughed out loud and thanked that spectator) and gave me high fives to encourage me. I thanked each person who cheered for me that day and will always be grateful for their presence.

It is the spectators I will never forget on my final .2. During the last leg of the race, I took my earphones off, and listened. I took it all in. I wanted to absorb every last cheer, sound, and smell that day.

As I entered into the last few steps, I looked through the crowd and saw only one familiar face - my friend Adrienne, who stood above the crowd. I hugged her at mile 20 and here she was again - I couldn't believe it. That is a true friend who only wanted to see me finish something truly important to me.

And there it was, the finish line. I had been dreaming about this moment since my training began four months earlier. And I was crossing it. And just like that, it was over, in what can only be described as the fastest four hours of my life.

In the finishers' corral, a volunteer had my medal in her hand and I thanked her expecting she'd hand it to me. She smiled and said, "You just finished a marathon, let me put your medal on you." After I weaved my way through a packed area with my space blanket around me, I found my fans - Adrienne, my parents, Chip and Lauren, and that's when I started to cry. I cried because I finished, for their love and support and for the sheer joy that it was over.

And sadly, thousands of runners, volunteers, parents, husbands, wives, children, and friends, were robbed of this same joy at the Boston Marathon.

What happened on Monday was terrible. But I know the spectators were doing what they do best, for the runners who were doing something they love. 

And tomorrow, along with countless other Philadelphia runners and running clubs, we'll do what we love. We'll all just go for a run and think of our friends and fellow runners.

If you haven't seen this amazing tribute, take a look. 

Dedicated to the race organizers, volunteers, emergency personnel, runners and fans.

Your friend, a runner.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bainbridge Barrel House.

Hi friends,

The other night, my friend Kevin and I checked out the Bainbridge Street Barrel House at 6th and Bainbridge. 

We pushed through a decent-sized crowd and found two spots at the bar. After opening the 20-page beer menu (that is only a slight exaggeration) we met our new friend, Jordan, on the other side of the bar. We spent a lot of time with Jordan, who made it his personal mission to find me a beer out of the approximately 1,000 they offer.

See, I am not kidding about the beer menu - this page of the menu contains mostly porters and their draft menu was fairly extensive, as well. The list includes several nitro options and probably 15 drafts all that change regularly. Their food menu was interesting, too. We settled on items with a bun - the homemade veggie burger for me and the  pulled pork sandwich with fried onions for Kevin. I confess: Kevin totally had the better sandwich.

Throughout the few hours we were at the Bainbridge Street Barrel House we (mostly me) pretty much obsessed over the mason jar chandeliers that were the primary lighting for the restaurant. And the overall vibe was light and airy with a masculine hint all at the same time. White subway tile lined the bar and pretty lighting fixtures all offset the dark wood beams and bar. It's a very visually appealing location to say the least. Kevin was more interested in the door, though. (Sorry, we didn't get a picture of that...although we tried.)

I definitely want to go back to see my friend, Jordan, try a few more beers and their mac and cheese. They also used to have a falafel sandwich but no longer. Maybe by the time I go back, they will have it on the menu, again.

For reference: the Barrel House is across the street from Beau Monde and next to Bistro la Minette. I frequent the former and the latter is (and has been) on my list of places to try. Hopefully, soon!

Enjoy your Saturday!
Your friend,

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fishtown Funday.

Hi friends,
Yesterday, my friends, Devon and Anita and I wandered north of our neighborhood. Our original intent was to grab brunch, but, this plan quickly became an all-day event. Which, if you've had "brunch" with me, you know you may be in for a long and fun afternoon!

We opted for brunch at The Abbaye in Northern Liberties and then kept walking north. We wandered around and ended up in Fishtown - two neighborhoods north of where we live in Old City. This was Anita's brainchild (and I did not object) and our first stop was Fishtown Tavern.

This was a great little spot with a cool menu, fun bartenders and a neat industrial vibe. The tables lining the perimeter of the bar are installed into the wall and supported by metal piping. If you look above, you'll see the industrial fans and lights, which is a nice change of pace compared to most restaurants in Center City.

Devon and I had the $4 mimosas and Anita had the bloody Mary on our second stop on Sunday. But, we'll be back for the food, the nice beer selection and cool vibe. The bartenders, and other patrons, even helped us on our quest to find one particular bar, that seemed to elude us.

Then we walked across the street to Frankford Hall - a beer garden in the middle of Fishtown. It was a gorgeous day, perfect for al fresco dining, or beer drinking, as the case may be.

We ordered our over-sized beers, sat with new friends at communal tables where we drank said over-sized beers and then went on our merry way. Devon instituted a "one-beer-only rule" early on. We obliged. We protested. But we obliged.

We knew we were heading on our way home, sort of, but I dragged my two friends with me in search of one bar in particular that I had seen from the window of a cab and had been wanting to try. Sadly, the Handle Bar, was not open at 4 p.m. on a Sunday, but that just means we have another day in Fishtown in our future. The Handle Bar is also a biker bar, which could lead to an amazing day or evening.

Troubled by the fact that they were closed, we headed south, to go home. Sort of.

But, we walked past another gem in the city - The Druid's Keep. So we had to go in. We ordered our beers, went outside to their patio, sat on plastic chairs and wished the next day wasn't Monday. Everyone loves The Druid's Keep - how can you not love a bar with a heart spray painted on a pole outside?

Then we suddenly found ourselves at 2nd Street and we walked the mere blocks to Old City. But we noticed our favorite neighborhood bar, Race Street Cafe, had one available table outside. My suggestion: get our dogs and head over there for one final al fresco beverage. We even got to try out their new hooks specifically for our four-legged friends. Which are totally awesome, by the way.

My dog, Delaney, also enjoyed her Sunday, too. She also happens to be a regular at Race Street Cafe.

It wasn't the Sunday I planned on having, but sometimes, those are the best days.
Your friend,

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Mildred.

Hi friends,
My friend Adrienne and I went to The Mildred on Friday. It's where James used to be in Philadelphia.

We had reservations at 7 but ended up sitting at the bar to chat. The restaurant is small but intimate with the exposed brick walls warming it. And the chairs at the bar have arms - and they swivel. Double bonus.

We ordered our drinks and then a few dishes from the menu to share. If you go, get the Manhattan. Either on the rocks, or up, both are great! Apparently, it is the specialty of one of the bartenders. He was not wrong.

Here is the warm burrata on grilled potato bread with a light pesto-like sauce in between the bread and the cheese. I debated ordering this for dessert, as well. It is melt-in-your-mouth deliciously, cheesy, goodness.

We also ordered the mussels that were probably some of the best mussels I've had. They were almost Thai-curry mussels. But better. The mussels weren't soaked in the sauce but they were pretty perfect.

Our two heavier courses were comfort food at its finest. Duck confit mac and cheese with a light and butter crust on top.

And then, braised short ribs with one long strand of buttery pasta. Amazing. The short rib melted in your mouth.

And to cap off the evening, we ordered espressos. I might have had two that evening. It was along week.
I also heard the bouillabaisse is amazing as well but we didn't order it. If you get it, let me know!

Your friend,