Thursday, December 27, 2007

great day in the city

Well, on my day off today, I drove into the city to do a little "sightseeing" I guess you could call it. I initially thought I wanted to go to the "Constitution Center" today, but I got off to a bit of a late start, and then had second thoughts about if I wanted to go or not. So, I decided to just do a couple things I've been wanting to do for a while now, and just take my time around the city and take it all in. (I'm talking about Philadelphia too in case you were wondering).
First I went to Pearl Art Supply on South street. It took me about 15 min to find a decent parking space, but after a little persistence I had a space open up. I only put in about 45 minutes worth of quarters thinking that was more than plenty for what I initially wanted to get. (I was looking for a thin brass rod, to make a "blinky bug" at Pearl). I had sort of planned to stop in at a local art gallery too that I had been meaning to get over to see called "lineage", but much to my dismay, when I went to their website today to get the address, I learned that they had closed! Dang I missed out on a lot of good art, and am kicking myself now for not going sooner.
So I parked, and started towards Pearl. Well, First thing I did was find a cool little shop that sold loose tea, but unfortunately it was closed (i guess for the holidays?). Then I passed a shop that has been there for many years, and I always think they have some of the coolest stuff in there. It's hard to describe really, but it's called "Armed and Dangerous" - no it's not a gun store ;) - It's a store that sells nick-knacks and clothing and swords, and jewelry, and stuff. It's like a mix of Goth, Renaissance, and Egyptian chochtkes (sp?) all together. I got a cool stainless steel ring (I'm not a ring person though, so I'll see if I can get used to wearing it). And a small "Eye of Horus" charm.
Next stop... a store I had been to once before but was closed. It was called "Jinxed". They had some of those "urban vinyl" figures I wanted to check out. (got one small one called a "cactus pup"). I asked if he heard about lineage being shut down, and he said they were moving to NYC, and we both had a sense of loss. He did say that he's been talking to them about possibly selling some art through his store (that'd be cool). It was a neat store, but it could be 10times cooler and with more stuff.
Finally I made it to Pearl. Oh it was nice! I SO miss and even forgot what a "real" art supply store offered. In our area we have several "craft stores" but nothing like Pearl anymore. I was on my way to the second floor to get the little metal tube, when I spotted a section of watercolor paints. I stopped to look... OMG! SO EXPENSIVE! I almost fell over when I mis-read the price tag and what I thought was Super expensive at $99, was in fact $199! I almost fell over. At that point, a sales guy must have seen me looking and he came over and I was his new best friend. But, again, it made me really miss having an "art supply" store near me because this guy new a TON of stuff. I think he must have been bored, because he went on to talk to me for well over 15 minutes, all about history of paint, different brands, prices, a coupon, brushes, etc... It was great actually. I thanked him several times for "teaching" me so much. I ended up buying a new brush, and a "tub" of color that I wanted to try out by "Schminke" (huh, weird, they don't seem to have a website). If you are ever in Philly and happen to paint with watercolor, go to Pearl and ask for Gilbert. He's a nice guy and really knows his stuff.
Finally, I got what I needed at Pearl, and was off for my next destination... FOOD!
I wanted to go to Penangs (again no website). It's in Chinatown on tenth St, between 10th, and 9th. It's Malaysian food. I've been there a few times before, and really like their food. I got the Prawn Mee (again) and an appetizer I can't pronounce or remember the name of. It's like a crepe, that you dip in a curry sauce made with beef and potatoes. Really fills you up and a decent price of about $4 for the appetizer, and $6 for the Prawn Mee. The Prawn Mee had shrimp (of course), few slices of Pork, egg noodles, bean sprouts, some sort of green leaf plant that reminded me a little of seaweed but very mild and not as salty. All of this was in a fish stock, with hot chili oil. Yum.
I left there and stopped in a "touristy" Chinese store with WAY over priced stuff. I left there and went into the "real" Chinese market and looked around. I got a really cool looking bowl (hoping it's not lead paint!) and of course, some new tea that I never had before. It's black Lichee tea from China (of course). It is in a really cool tin too.
That was my day... a really good one, and I'm going to make it a point to try and head over into the city on a more frequent basis. (I remember when I visited my Sister in California once, as we were riding the BART (it's a train) we both said we're gonna try to get into the city about once a month (I pretty sure neither one of us has done that). But we both should try more often :)

again, my apologies for such a long post.

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