Archive for the ‘Holiday Celebrations’ Category

Staying In

My first Valentine’s Day date in years just got nixed. Okay, so I’ve never really had a Valentine’s Day date, since I’m not really one for days like this. There’s something about setting aside a day for love that appeals to me in theory, but not in reality. In reality I don’t much like the consumeristic nature, with all of the pressure to buy roses and awful cards and an expensive dinner (okay, I’m not exactly opposed to the dinner).

But when I saw that World Cafe Live would be having a free screening of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and offering a special Valentine’s Day dessert menu (with desserts like strawberries dipped in white and dark chocolate with Godiva chocolate liquore, red velvet layer cake w/ sour cream and cream cheese frosting, and crème brulee), I thought the idea sounded perfect. Yummy desserts and a sort of anti-Valentine’s Day movie! So I proposed the idea to my husband last week and he agreed to go with me. Until he heard about the predicted weather for this week and then he was trying to sell the idea of staying at home.

Well, it looks like the weather has won out, because World Cafe Live will be closed tonight. Oh well. There could be worse things than being stuck inside with my husband on a cold and wintry night. :)

Would-be romantic locations…if only it wasn’t February

Here at the Metroblog, in preparation for Valentine’s Day, we’ve been brainstorming romantic locations and activities that you can do with your special someone. Except that when I started thinking about particularly romantic locations, the only ones I could come up with were outside. Which, considering the state of our weather right now, aren’t particularly useful.

The Azalea Garden in Fairmount Park for instance. It’s beautiful in every season except this one. Totally useless for the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

The pier at Penn’s Landing is another one. You and your sweetie could wander down to the river after a nice dinner in Old City or Queen Village and walk out so that you can see clearly to Camden. I’ve done that once, it was a nice evening, dinner at Marrakesh followed by a first kiss that was reflected in dark surface of the water. But that was in July, and right now someone would have to pay me in order to get me anywhere near the river.

My advice this Valentine’s Day is to stay home and cuddle up. Get comfy in a nice pair of flannel pajamas with the one you love (or the remote control). Make a nice pot of soup. And stay warm.

New Year’s Day and No Mummers

If you are in Philadelphia even once over new year’s, you’ve heard of the Mummers. I decided that this would be the year that I finally checked out the parade. But alas, the weather had other plans–the parade has been postponed until this coming Saturday because of the rain. Which is good, as I felt bad for all of the hard work that would have gone to waste due to the weather.

Five minutes of great, several hours of eh

We made a fatal New Year’s Eve going-out mistake this year. We ate a lot of food at 9:30 pm. Five of us put away about $150 worth of sushi at Fuji Mountain on Chestnut Street, with the intention of then making our way over to a party in Bella Vista afterwards. We ran back to my place after dinner to grab umbrellas, as it had started to rain while we were in the restaurant, and by the time we got up to my floor, my friend Cindy succumbed to her rice-filled stomach and went home. The remaining four of us got in a cab and landed at the party, only to realize that none of us really felt like being there. However, if we left we’d miss counting down the New Year with a group of people. We stayed until the countdown, and left five minutes later. We walked up 10th Street, and standing next to the Morning Glory Diner realized we could see the Penn’s Landing Fireworks. That moment, standing in the rain, watching the fireworks was definitely the best part of the evening.

Happy Holidays

I’d like to wish everyone who celebrates a safe and joy-filled Christmas. May you all be warm, well-fed and with people you love.

Rittenhouse Lights

I’m feeling a little sad about the lights they put up in Rittenhouse Square this year. In past years, they’ve hung colored balls, of various shapes and sizes all throughout the park. They’ve always been really gorgeous, colorful and very holiday-y. This year there are lighted spheres, but they are only in white lights, and they seem to have been hand-constructed. This lights are erratically placed along the lines of the spheres and so you have to stare at them for a moment before you are able to determine that they are actually supposed to be round. Does anyone know why they changed the lights this year? Did the others burn out and were too expensive to replace?

A picture with Santa

I’m 27 years old and I’m seriously considering getting my picture taken with Santa this year. I’ve never done it, and I kind of feel like it might be time. My mom is Jewish*, and while we always had a Christmas tree while I was growing up, and celebrated Christmas with gifts and a big dinner each year, she shunned outward signs of the holiday. We weren’t allowed to put lights on the outside of the house, because she was Jewish (even though you could see the tree through the front window) and she preferred it if we used the the neutral “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” The most ironic part about this is that for years my parents made their living selling instrumental Christmas music. There were never any trips to sit on Santa’s lap, whisper my secret toy desire and pose for a picture. That was too explicitly Christmas-y.

But Santa will be at Reading Terminal Market on December 9th and 16th posing with those who desire a picture, and I’m seriously tempted to walk over there next Saturday and fulfill this childhood wish. For those of you who similarly deprived as a child (or actually have children yourself), Santa will be in the space behind L. Halteman for the next two Saturdays from 12 noon until 2 pm to pose for pictures. Chances are, lines will be long, so it’s best to get there early.

*I do realize that this does make me Jewish as well, but I grew up going to Unitarian churches, so I expected to be Christmassed.

Let the Festivities Begin!

As tomorrow is the first day of December, it can only mean one thing: Though it is 70 degrees, the holidays are upon us. And that means that you will you will need to cram in lots of social holiday drinking. I have already received emails about 2 holiday-themed drinking events on Saturday. One you may be interested in checking out is being held this Saturday at my old favorite, the Yards Brewery. Their holding their annual holiday party and open house. Stop by if you have a chance–you have plenty of time to work on the holiday shopping before and afterwards.

Sign of the Season


Signs of the upcoming holiday season are blooming all around us. Tonight as I walked through CVS, I kept tripping over store employees busily stocking the shelves with candy canes and tins of holiday themed Poppycock. Wawa has egg nog in stock. The snowflake lights are up on Market Street. And the Whole Foods entrance is filled with tree-shaped rosemary plants.

I don’t know why, but the appearance of these conically trimmed rosemary bushes always makes me happy. I love everything about rosemary, it’s scent, it’s flexible food uses, it’s sturdiness. If I was an herb, this is the one I would be. Friday afternoon, I ran into Whole Foods to pick up cranberries and was waylaid by the fragrance of a small space filled with rosemary. I bought one and have it sitting near my computer, filling my workspace with its fresh, green scent. Holiday season, I welcome you!

Trick or Treat!

My first couple of years in the city, I bought Hallowe’en candy, and was greatly surprised when absolutely zero trick-or-treaters came knocking on my door. Since then, I’ve fallen out of the habit of having candy on hand, which always leaves me with a certain anxiety about what I’ll do if this suddenly turns out to be the year when the costumed hordes arrive.

Well, tonight I was at choir rehearsal till 10, and Matt didn’t get home from work till after 9. Either way, we weren’t home to see if Center City has finally become a trick-or-treating zone.

How about your neighborhoods? What are the local traditions about candy-gathering in Philly’s different areas and ‘burbs?

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