Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday Finds - Gossip Chair Jackpot

*After a scheduling mishap where I thought I had scheduled my post, but Blogger did not,  I'm bringing Friday Finds to you on a Sunday.  TGIF!

I check in with Craig regularly.  We sell all sorts of items on craigslist - everything from leftover wedding items to non-working yard equipment that someone else might be able to jump start.  Yeah.  Non-working weed eater.  Mr. Palindrome wanted to list it for $15 and I wanted to kick it to the curb.  The same day he listed it, he sold it.  If I had any gumption, I could have had myself a mani instead of a slice of humble pie.

One item I consistently search is antique telephone tables/gossip chairs.  I just love them. So useless now that I can walk about with my cell phone and blue tooth.  But. so. darn. cute.  The uselessness makes them all the more intriguing to me.  They're like giant, unearthed time capsules, reminding of me of my previously wired life.  The life where you sat down and talked to someone.

Today I found two great pieces and instead of immediately snapping them up I'm trying to abide by the Palindrome house embargo on furniture.  Instead of driving right now to pick these up, I'm going to share them with you.
Part of craigslisting (now a verb) is ignoring fuzzy photos and engaging the imagination.  A coat of antique white paint and a nautical or feminine floral reupholstering job would be just the ticket for this sweet chair.  If I could redo my office right now, then I would paint it black or light gray and use yellow pattern fabric so that it fit into a scheme like that shown below:
Source Unknown
For 40 buckaroos I must be crazy to show you this chair without claiming it as mine first.  Alas, I must move on.  Scrolling through the listings, I found another winner!
I know that dark stained wood and formal furniture isn't all the rage, but I love it.  I do.  We inherited a lovely Queen Anne bedroom set from Mr. Palindrome's family like the set below.  I feel like I'm walking into a delightful B&B when I pass through the door.  That is, if the bed is made.  And the underwear is in the hamper.  And if I've recently dusted.  So basically, this one time when I walked into the room, I felt like it was a gorgeous B&B.  
If we had an once of room so spare, I'd be all over this little chair to set in the corner as a reading chair/clothes pile attractor.  I might change the upholstery to a slate blue duponi silk to contrast our rich peachy bedding.  At $140, the set is a little more expensive.  However, it wouldn't require refinishing and it includes the storage ottoman.  Plus, you can always negotiate.  Though I would send Mr. Palindrome's poker face into that kind of deal.  I'm the girl who likes to go to CarMax.

Do you regularly search for wish list items on Craigslist?  Any good finds recently?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When in Philly . . .

"Where do you get the best cheese steaks?"

We asked this question to nurses, doctors, orderlies, bus drivers, cab drivers, parking attendants, hotel workers, and even people we happened upon during walks.  No one in our path escaped us.

"Pat's all the way."
"Pat's for sure."
"Jim's on Southside."
"Duh, Pat's."
"Geno's is the best."
"Gotta love Jim's."

Our unofficial poll of Philadelphians led us to conclude that Jim's was the best place to sit inside and drink a beer with your cheese steak, but that Pat's had the best cheese steak.  In the end, we just couldn't pass up the tourist enticing lights of the two most famous cheese steak joints. 
If the competition was for racking up the electric bill, Geno's would have won.  They lit up the intersection like the 4th of July, while Pat's had an unassuming, simple sign.  We decided we'd patronize the humbler signage.
We played tourists very well by reading the "How to Order a Steak" sign out loud.
Then we asked the kids behind us how to do it for real.  
"American, Whiz, Wit is where it's at!"

"Oh, and don't forget the ketchup!"
Look at that hoagie bread.  The crusty outside, the soft inside.  Just how bread should be.
After the heart attack jokes died down, it was time to put the steaks where our mouths were.
I could lie and tell you that the meat was disgusting, I'm never eating whiz again, and that I regret my decision ever to partake in this grease fest.
But I love you too much to lie.  This was the best cheese steak I have ever eaten.  I licked whiz off my fingers.  I licked whiz off of Mr. Palindrome's fingers. 
We rolled back to our hotel bellies full of carbs, beef and fake cheese.  In the words of our God Father Almighty, "It was good.  It was very good."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Guest Post with Terri from Try Anything Once!

I'm so excited to have my first guest blogger on Palindrome at Home.  Terri and I met through wedding blogging and have stayed virtually connected in our post-wedding endeavors.  A Brooklyn resident, she's going to share some of her favorite spots in the borough.  As a self-proclaimed traveler, I myself haven't made it out of Manhattan.  Now I'm intrigued!  Who knew it'd be so fun to be a blogging hostess? :)

Hello there! I’m Terri from Try Anything Once. You may also know me as Mrs. Swan on I was so happy and honored when Ms. Palindrome asked me to do a guest post here at Palindrome at Home. She is such a sweetheart and super creative. She even named my blog, so I was more than happy when she asked me to stop in here and say hello.

I’d thought I’d use my time here to tell you a little about my home, the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. I know that many visitors to New York City some times don’t make it out of Manhattan, but I highly recommend a little jaunt over to our enclave on the other side of the East River.

Here are five things that you might not know about Brooklyn:

  1. Brooklyn has a winery. Well it’s not Napa Valley (yet!), but Brooklyn Winery has recently opened and will hopefully be the start of Brooklyn’s contribution to the national wine scene. What is most exciting for visitors is that you can not only taste wines and see the wine making process in action, but also make it yourself. Along with the winemaker, you can choose your grape varietals and have private winemaking sessions where you do everything from press the grapes to bottling the finished product.  Check out the process here.
  1. Brooklyn is one of the best places to see the New York City skyline. Brooklyn’s newest park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, is a brand new waterfront area mixing playgrounds, open space and great vistas. In my opinion, it’s got one of the best views of the New York City skyline and harbor.
 You can come simply come to the park to watch the boats go by, take in a movie during the summer months or do one of my favorite activities…eating! Here’s a look at an afternoon I spent in Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer.

  1. Brooklyn has its own central park called Prospect Park. Prospect Park is a 585-acre park smack dab in the middle of Brooklyn. It was designed by Frank Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux who also designed Central Park. When walking through the park it feels very similar to Central Park with its winding paths that make you feel like you are in an urban forest but at the same time also has wide-open spaces such as Long Meadow similar to Central Park’s Sheep’s Meadow. The park also has its own zoo, a 60-acre lake and abuts the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. I love just lounging in the park, going to the weekend farmers’ market there or to Celebrate Brooklyn, the park’s free outdoor summer concert series.

4. Brooklyn has farms in the sky. What am I talking about? While Brooklyn is also a concrete jungle, it is part of the rise of urban farming that is becoming a national phenomenon. In New York City, we often build things upwards, and farming is no exception. Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is a 6,000 square foot farm on a rooftop offering its produce grown to area restaurants and as part of a community supported agriculture (CSA) initiative. Volunteer opportunities and educational workshops are also offered.

5. Brooklyn has its own sports teams. I know that the Dodgers left for Los Angeles years ago, but Brooklyn has been surviving without a major professional sports team. You can go see the Brooklyn Cyclones, a minor league team that plays right next to the water at Coney Island at MCU Park steps from the boardwalk. Also the Nets are apparently coming to Brooklyn too (near my neighborhood), and their new arena is being built as we speak. It’s been a controversial project in the community, but many are looking forward to a professional sports team playing in Brooklyn yet again.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a few new things about Brooklyn. It’s definitely more than the land of good pizza, great hip hop and Coney Island. Come visit when you’re in New York City! 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Money in the Morning

It sounds like Stormy Weather for a few moments.  As I think of a cabaret, a sequined dress, and a sultry voice, the money talk seems unwelcome.  The business guy near the front, talking shop, too loudly, and ruining it for the rest of us.  But I signed up to hear about the market.  I'm listening to NPR afterall.  Not exactly cabaret material. 

I searched for the clip to hear it again.  I googled to see if others found this music an odd match.  Turns out, I can't even find the show.  I thought it was Money Watch, but then I thought it was Marketplace.  Marketplace pod casts revealed what I thought a serious finance program would be - the breaking newsline series of beeps followed by an earnest recap of the exchange yesterday.

So in this invented portion of the Morning Edition that apparently lives in my dreams, the Stormy Weather musical interlude projects a pessimistic view of the market in a time where we could use a little more of this:

I don't know if it's more appropriate than headline beeps, but it certainly fulfills my need for the world to be punny.

Any suggestions for NPR's music selection?  Or are you listening to Top 40 like most of our peers?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Playing Musical Animals

A long time ago, in the land of Disney, Mr. Palindrome's aunt gave him a cat for his birthday.  Then he went to college and the cat (Samantha, Sam, Sammy, Squishy Face) stayed at his parents' house being terrorized by their chow chow.  When Mr. Palindrome's sister moved away for college, she took Sam to live a peaceful existence as an only pet.  Then she moved to New York and her roommate already had cats.  So Samantha moved in with Grandma Fran.  And they lived together peacefully. And they liked it.
(Give me a smile, c'mon)
Then, there was a stroke and a hospitalization in the family.  After 4 weeks, the chow chow bent on terror is flying her way to the east coast.  After all, she is Gina's pride and joy in her empty nested state.  But what of poor Sammy?

Squishy Face has moved in with the Palindromes.  The sweet little honey of scaredy cat scouted out her new digs while I cooed (Kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty) and  hugged Mr. Palindrome reveling in our new little family (even if only temporarily).
(Oh, that was your smile?)
However, (there's always a however) this morning we discovered that Sam is the true terrorist.  Meow!  She demands.  MEOW! She cries.  Meow! Meow! AT. 4. O'MGclock. IN. THE. MORNING. 

Anycats, our new house guest was chastised for her inconsiderate ways as soon as my feet hit the floor and I could find her.  Against a beige carpet and with no contacts in, I had to look for the moving black spots as they made a bee-line for the bed.  All of the rage then subsided as she looked up at me with those big baby blues and sweetly asked, "Meow?"

Gah!  My heart melts again.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

John, Grown in the City, and Philadelphia

You know how you forget you know who you know?  I mean, I didn't forget I knew John.  But I did forget that my friend John is a city planner.  Who happened to get his degrees in Philadelphia.  And thanks to his excellent comment on my post, I'm now an educated out-the-window gazer.

John also happens to run an urban gardening website and blog, Grown in the City.  He's been linked on my side bar for a while, but his comment reminded me about his other insights! He has lots of suggestions for beginning gardeners.  And for my city readers, the suggestions for apartment dwelling gardens are really cool.  Check out his DIY tutorial for building balcony friendly self-watering planters:
Or check out the latest DIY suggestions from another contributor for how to introduce aphids to your tomato garden:
Head on over and say hello to Grown in the City!  Have you been gardening this summer?  What kind of garden did you grow and how did it fare?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Finds - Pickles

Because it's pickling season.  Because they're tasty.  Because they remind me of a dear friend.  Because "Keep Calm and Eat a Pickle" speaks to me this week.  Because I love the color. 

Clockwise from Top L:
Art Paper Garden - Jar of Pickled Peppers
WC Mercantile - Pickle Merino Wool
Design Dude - Keep Calm and Eat a Pickle Magnet
Little Sister Designs - Green Garnet with Great Relish Earrings

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rooms with a View

I have baking posts, house renovation posts, my failure at fashion posts, and several other drafts sitting languidly in my blog queue.  I will circle around to those posts, but this week, I have Philadelphia on my mind and in my heart. 

Out of the many lessons I've been learning the past few weeks, setting priorities is near the top of the list.  Two weeks at a hospital bedside is enough to make anyone question their priorities.  As my father-in-law said, we've all been reborn as philosophers. 

Much of my pondering of life occurred while staring out of a window.  We stayed all over the city, from downtown to the theater district.  We stayed in historic homes as part of the Hosts for Hospitals program. When I worked from the Philadelphia office, I gazed across the city in sweeping views from the 27th floor. 
Near the Downtown Courtyard
Near the Downtown Courtyard
Market, between 18th & 19th
Market, between 18th & 19th
From the Sheraton on 17th and Race
From the Sheraton on 17th and Race (Art Museum in the center)
Theater District from the Double Tree
With our shifting priorities, we took time to appreciate the beauty of Philadelphia.  We didn't know which building was which or the historical significance, but even after a difficult day, we would exclaim through a bus window, "What beautiful architecture!"

If you know these buildings and would like to comment on their history or importance, please do leave a comment - I'd love to learn more!