Saturday, May 28, 2011

saturday in the city

I had a lovely first day off - I slept until I was done, which was a positively, indescribably incredible experience.  I was so happy that when I finally opened my eyes and saw that it was still before noon, I tried to stay in bed a little longer, but my body was finished with that part of the day.  I got up and made a pot of coffee, a little luxury I reserve for the days that Mister and I will both be around to drink it - during the week I just have a cup of tea.  After a little while, I got in the shower and then got dressed because now that I was awake, I had an agenda!

In a favorite dress, face painted with black eyeshadow and red lipstick, I headed across town to redeem my voucher for tickets to see La Fille mal Gardee this coming Thursday.  I normally stick pretty close to home on my usual one day off, so as long as I was allllll the way on the west side of Broad St, I figured I'd wander around Rittenhouse Square a bit.

It was a gorgeous sunny day, perfect for browsing sales at Anthropologie and Arcadia.  I wandered over to Pure Fare to get a Green Detox Juice or Kale-Apple Smoothie, but it was dark and there was a sign on the door wishing me a happy weekend, stating they'll return on Tuesday.  As I was walking down Walnut Street, though, I found myself on a particularly photogenic intersection.

I actually saw this ^ scene second.  As I was walking along, kinda spacey-like, I spied the scene below and thought to myself, "Wow, I wouldn't expect to see a boarded up building with graffiti on it so close to Rittenhouse Square."  When I think of Rittenhouse Square, I think of excessively expensive homes, restaurants, and boutiques (case in point, I did not buy a single thing from either "sale" at Anthropologie or Arcadia - a marked down dress still in triple-digits is currently too rich for my blood.  No, not too rich for my blood, but definitely too rich for my wallet.).  I think of wealthier people than I sunning in the lovely park that looks like Washington Square's big sister and then retiring to a room in the Rittenhouse after catching an orchestra concert in balcony box seats (best seats in the house, if you ask me) and enjoying a post-concert meal at La Croix.  

So when I'm wandering down Walnut Street, just past the park, I don't expect to see two abandoned and decaying buildings directly across the street.  This picture ^ was taken after I literally turned 180 degrees from the direction I was facing to take the first picture.  What a dichotomy - this is something that I love and hate (ironically) about Philadelphia.  You can be in a really "nice" area and literally cross the street to end up somewhere you don't want to be.  I remember my first apartment was like that - my little street was great, family-oriented and quiet.  I wouldn't cross Corinthian St to park my car, though.

It seems I have a thing for steeples lately.  I was pondering that as I took this picture, but it really comes down to two things:
  1. I love Philadelphia church architecture - that goes for synagogues, too.  Most of the churches in the city, be they Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, or Episcopalian, are very old - some of the ones in my neighborhood existed before we were an independent country.
  2. Steeples are tall - they look neat against the sky because there is very little chance of the busyness of the city interfering with the picture.  You aren't going to have some tourist family pulling their raggled children through the picture, nor will you accidentally take a picture of butt-cleavage poking out of some hot mess's overstuffed jeans.  
For this picture in particular, I like how monochromic the steeple is against a brilliant blue sky with perfect fluffy clouds.  It reminds me a little of Annie Lennox's album Bare.

For the cover, Annie got all painted in white, including her hair, leaving the only color on the page to be her barely blue eyes and the name of the album in red.  She states in the liner notes that this design was very purposeful, as she wanted to show that she was barren of all beauty and emotion outside of what she had poured into her music.  The album itself is astonishingly personal and you get the impression that you are finally hearing from Annie, just as she is, unpolished.  It is my favorite of all her albums.

Anyway, before we get too deep (did that last night, with the help of my bottle of Riesling - that stuff sure is easy to drink!), let's talk about dinner.  As it was the last item on the menu, there wasn't too much thinking involved in selecting Salsa Rice and Red Beans from Vegan on the Cheap for dinner tonight.

I've made this several times before, even naming it one of my "top 5" recipes from that book.  It's extremely simple to make and unlike a lot of the recipes in that book, it actually allows me to integrate fresh ingredients.

The quality of the food we eat is very important to me.  I am very aware of the way my body responds to different kinds of food now and I can feel when I'm not eating the way I should.  I feel that way lately - run down, sluggish, heavy.  Not heavy in the "oh dear, I have to lose 5 lbs for Cousin's Wedding" kind of way, rather in the "how am I going to drag my butt all the way to Market East before the train leaves" kind of way.

This weekend, as far as I can tell, will be a waste.  At best, I can hope for a 50-50 split of eating and drinking good, nourishing food and being a complete jerk to my body.  But I'm okay with that.  The plan I've constructed in my brain after too much thinking and almost enough internet research is that I will do whatever the heck I want to this weekend, and then I will start June with a new attitude and more nourishing and purifying interactions with my body.  I've been reading about the Alkaline diet and how much you can improve various afflictions (like my never-ending battle with the very attractive eczema on my neck) by balancing your body's pH.  I've heard this before and I've read the testimonials of internet "friends" who have had very positive results from eating more alkaline foods.  I'm thinking of this as a short cleanse.  Not quite a fast, but a temporary change in my eating habits to return me to the lightness my body is used to.

Like I said, that starts in June.  For now, I have a banana daiquiri to blend.

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