Free For All: 9/23 – 9/30/2013

Posted on October 1, 2013 by

I just recently decided to tighten up my belt and start saving as hard as I can to get on the path toward homeownership, and Mikey is still looking for work, so the focus these days is on fun for free. Mikey and I made this list of things to do in Philly that we eventually want to tackle entirely, so we’ve been going down the list doing all the things that are free when we have time. We went to Bartram’s Garden one day, the Wissahickon another, and this week we decided to walk the length of Market Street where Steven Powers painted his love letter mural series.


The city of Philadelphia has a mural arts program that commissions murals all over the city. Steven Powers worked on this project in 2009, I think. He painted a series of 50 Love Letter “postcards” to be viewed from the Market Frankford Line of the train. It goes from 46th street to 57th. I live near 49th and Market so we’ve always meant to walk the stretch of it.






They’re actually meant to be viewed from the train, so many of them are hidden or too hard to see from street level. We missed probably half of them. We plan to hop on the train one day and try to see the rest.


But it was nice to take the really long walk to parts of town we don’t normally go. And Rover was really happy to take the trip.


In the beginning of the week, we had rearranged and cleaned our room and it feels so cozy and big now.



I’m back in the full swing of things at work and it feels good to have a routine and to be starting to develop a real relationship with my little buddies. For the first few weeks with a kid, you’re kind of just feeling each other out and you don’t really get to know their little quirks or their personality nuances.




When we were hanging out at the playground, all these little girls were dominating this structure and singing “girls! who run the world? girls!” So awesome.




Wednesday night Mikey’s band, the Ambulars, played a free show at the ICA.


The sound was pretty weird but it was cool to see them in a different type of space.




Back at work with these noodles.


I’m back in the swing of things which means that half my photos will be of babies again. These guys are who I spend most of my time with every week! It would be weird to not include photos of them. So, sorry?


Our friend Jon moved into an apartment one block over from us. Not many punk friends live as far north as we do so it’s exciting to have someone so close. This is all in weird West Philly punk bubble terms, of course. All of my friends live within walking distance, for the most part. But most of them live in a few block radius from one another, and we’re on the north edge of where that begins – “far away” but some standards.


Their cat, Paul.


Tacos by Jon. Jon has worked in a lot of kitchens and said he really likes to cook for other people. So he fed all of us. He made fried eggplant tacos, tofu tacos, mock duck, and (real) catfish. This was an eggplant taco. They were all so good!




Continuing on in the week with the free activity trend, we went to a Penn hockey game on Friday night with a big crew of people. Our friend Jared has been going and cheering for whoever is playing against Penn. Games are free and snacks were ample. It was a really fun, different way to spend a weekend night.


Me, Jordan, Jared, Jeff, and Mike all played hockey growing up!


We were sitting right behind the bench for the team from Brown, and they were seriously shorthanded, with only one extra player. So their players mostly played the entire game. Penn had twice as many players to trade out. Brown ended up losing 10-2. We found out after the game that it had been Penn’s varsity team vs. Brown’s club team. Brown doesn’t send down their varsity team because Penn is too bad to play against.


We ended up befriending the Brown “coach” (who was really just a former Brown player who lives in Philly, so they had him come out to the game and stand in as coach) and inviting them out to a West Philly ethiopian restaurant/bar called Dahlak.


We figured they wouldn’t come, but an hour later, they all showed up. It was a funny night overall.


On Saturday I just worked on some projects at home during the day.


Then we found a sick or injured squirrel in our backyard! It looked like it was suffering and just going to die, but we checked three hours later and it was still alive. We didn’t want it to drag on too long, and figured if he had survived all that time maybe he was just in pain or shock but didn’t have life threatening injuries, so Mikey and I scooped up the squirrel and drove him 45 minutes away to a wildlife rescue. We don’t really know what happened to him or if he survived, but we can call today and check on his case number. I think he may have been a goner, but at least we tried.


Driving out to the wildlife rescue brought us driving back through Manayunk, a weird little bougie town right outside of Philly, so we stopped in for lunch. We ended up at a place called Han Dynasty, which is a little funny because there’s a West Philly location that we could just go to but never have.


We’ve always heard how good it is, though, so we took the opportunity.



That night, there was a potluck and garden show at the Mitten, where our friends Grace, Mike and Jen live. I made some corn chowder and headed over with Mikey, my roommates Laura and Guy, and Michael. Guy works as a one on one aid, and Michael is one of his clients. Michael loves music and it’s always fun to have him around.


Everyone ate food for an hour or so, and then Cynthia played a set. Two of the songs she played are songs that we’re playing in my band, Heavy Bangs, and it was cool to get to hear them solo! I can never hear the vocals well at practice. Cynthia rules.


It was also Jordan’s 30th birthday, so Mike made a cake and presented it to him. Everyone sang happy birthday. Jordan hates his own birthday so he was sufficiently embarrassed.


Next, a woman named Emmie Knight played. She was on tour from Denver. She played kind of sweet, folky songs.



Mikey closed out the night with a great solo set. It was a really pretty and fun night. Sometimes you wonder if these things are as fun as they look in photos on the internet. A couple strings of lights can make anything look “dreamy.” In this case, I think it was.

Posted in Philly Life | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Free For All: 9/23 – 9/30/2013

  1. Marion says:

    Amazing! Missed your photo posts. The home ownership thing is so interesting. You’ll stay in Philly, I take it? Or is there another reason you’ve started checking things off your Philly-to-do-list?

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