Constance Old sent this account of her unexpected walkabout through Philadelphia, when she followed one thing after another, after another, after another…to discover a neighborhood full of food and cool people doing their thing. It reminded us how hunger and curiosity can cause the road to open up in the most unexpected way. And how plain old wandering is an essential element in a creative life…(not to mention all the things you can use a well-designed notecard for)….

” I went down to Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago to drop off work at Da Vinci Art Alliance at S. 6th and Catharine Streets. Although I grew up in Philadelphia, I have not spent much time there in the past twenty years. I had heard from my daughter’s twenty-something drum teacher from Brooklyn that Philadelphia is called the “sixth borough” at the moment because apparently there is a pretty happening music scene there.

Anyway, after I dropped off the work, I ambled along Catharine Street and immediately happened upon what looked like a gem of a restaurant: Little Fish. I went in and discovered that Little Fish holds about 16 people and serves the most delicious, you guessed it, fish. When I asked for a piece of paper to record the delicious food I had eaten, I was presented with the lovely note card (see photo), which is the same paper on which they write out the menu for the night.colds-walkabout-2

Perhaps this is a well known fact, but the neighborhood is awesome for food! After my very happy “improvised” meal at Little Fish, I walked and gathered information about a few other restaurants. On S. 6th Street alone, there is Creperie Beau Monde, Bistro La Minette, and Salt & Pepper, all of which have delicious sounding menus with alluring and varied ambiences. In a brief conversation with Robert Reilley, proprietor of Salt & Pepper, I learned that Dmitri’s (S. 3rd and Catharine) has been around a long time and anchors the neighborhood.

After collecting restaurant cards on S. 6th Street, I turned onto South Street itself, which is lively and colorful. I spent an entertaining 45 minutes in Wooden Shoe Books, a self-proclaimed “infostore” of “anarchist & radical books & periodicals, DIY records (their website is full of MP3’s to listen to).”

Go Philadelphia–formerly sleepy town of (ancient) colonial history!


Related Post: Creative Re-use: Constance Old’s Hooked Rugs

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