Tag Archives: City

City Pretty: Norfolk Edition

As you can probably tell by my lack of blog posts, we are still on vacation! We were at the beach for a week, and now we are visiting with family in Norfolk, VA. These West Ghent apartment balconies have caught my eye before. I have a thing for porches and balconies, of which there are plenty here in Norfolk. The plants and ivy add a bit of mother nature to a small urban space.


Hopefully, I will be back with something fun next week. Until then, we will be doing a whole bunch of nothing. Happy Fourth of July!



City Pretty: Spring Gardens

So, not much is very pretty in a city at the hottest part of the day during  a  heat advisory (100+ degrees). I should have taken a photo of one of Philadelphia’s awesome fountains, but that would have required time I didn’t have and extra walking in heat. Sorry, Charlie, maybe next time it gets above 95 degrees…this may be the first hot spell of the season, but it’s certainly not our last!

We lived near The Spring Gardens (18th and Wallace Streets, Philadelphia) for a bit, so I knew this community garden might have some nice nature stuff going on. I couldn’t quite get a good angle from outside the fence with my bus arriving at any minute. You might be able to see grapevines and bamboo shoots behind the daylily. My favorite thing about this garden is the custom-welded fence, it’s pretty gorgeous and sets the tone for what you might find inside.

See these storm clouds, folks? That’s what I call relief! Those storms brought in slightly cooler weather, yay!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! We are off on vacation today. We will be slightly more unplugged than usual, but you’ll still be hearing from us sporadically on both rowHOME and southfeasterdelphia.


Parklet Party

About a month ago, some of us neighbors decided to plan a parklet party. Wait, what? A parklet? Wikipedia defines a parklet as a small urban park, usually located in the space allocated for a parallel parked car. Geez Louise, why? Well, we’re a lazy bunch, and we didn’t want to experience the time and financial process of throwing a full block party. We decided on a date most of us would be around. Aside from the date and a neighbor with a car reserving a parking spot, the rest of it was pretty very impromptu. People brought food and drinks, and by pure coincidence, the parking spot ended up in front of our house. The balloons as caution “flags” were my idea, and using stop light colors was David’s idea. It wasn’t until the next day when we realized that red, yellow, and green are also Portugal’s colors! If we were really fancy, we could have gotten some astroturf or an outdoor rug to better mark off the area (and cover up the scuzzy street), but I thought the potted plants and chairs got the job done. On the menu were burgers, sausages, sides, fruit, and grilled s’mores to end the evening. Actually, a handful of us didn’t really end the evening until about 1 am. Thank goodness for patient neighbors. It helps that we are generally nice and quiet people, and we invited any neighbor that walked by. It was fun, the weather was perfect…actually a little chilly. I will keep Saturday night in mind as we are sizzlin’ at 95+ degrees in a couple of days. Enjoy the photos!

Before the party:


Bubble gun and Barbapapa Band Aids!

Murphy doesn’t usually like his photo taken, so I feel lucky.

Lola is a bit jealous of Murphy’s freedom, or she hates our music choice. Check out the death stare.

Blurry food shot, sorry!

One last shot, courtesy of my neighbor…

Thar she blows folks, our Parklet Party. I hope it inspires you to gather with friends and neighbors soon.


City Pretty: Matthias Baldwin Park

I really thought I would have an easier time finding green spaces in the city! My weekly posts are requiring me to detour from my usual commutes, but only ever-so-slightly. Although, I appreciate that this series challenges me to notice the beauty in the places I walk past everyday.

I’m afraid my quick iPhone photo does not do this park justice. I might have to revisit soon, and add a couple of different angles to this post for good measure.

Official park information was not readily available, but you can find out more about Matthias Baldwin and the recently renamed here. It’s in a strange part of town, 19th and Hamilton, surrounded by an old railroad viaduct, towering apartment buildings, and the edge of Community College of Philadelphia. The stepped terraces and rock sculptures create nice layers for the lush plants to steal the show. There are no water features, but it has a  nice meandering path and plenty of benches.

I feel like a disappointment having the word HOME in my blog name, but not really talking much about our house or creating a home. I do have at least one more blog post up my sleeve for later this week. I’ll give you a hint, it’s about food and French people. Also, we have an interesting/unique neighborly gathering in the works for this Saturday! Stay tuned.


City Pretty: Sister Cities Park

We met up with some friends at Sister Cities Park on Sunday. It is a newly completed park and visitor center in between the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul and Logan Circle on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

There are two water features, a stream/wading pond and a fountain. The pond was designed for wooden boats, but that doesn’t seem to be the way people are using it so far. By people, I mean mostly kids who are perfectly fine sitting in streams and getting soaked.

The building houses restrooms, visitor center, and a small Milk & Honey cafe. They were nearly cleaned out of dinner food by the time we got there an hour before closing time on Sunday. They have pre-made sandwiches, quiche, soups in the fall and winter, cookies, yogurt, fruit, juice, water, tea, and coffee drinks.

The green roof is looking lush!

We finished up our evening with a picnic, and the kiddos dried off in the sun. Storm clouds started rolling in. We made it under our front door awning just in time for the sky to open up, what luck?!

Estelle approves! It is definitely worth a visit. I suspect it will be a big hit with tourists and Philly residents alike.


Memorial Day Weekend

We decided to stay home this weekend. In my opinion, three-day weekends should be the norm! We accomplished some minor, but important, things around the house…basement tidying, summer clothes switch out, AC unit installation, testing bedroom paint samples. More importantly, we had fun and relaxed! We did lots of hanging with neighbors and friends.

20120529-212203.jpgPool time!

20120529-212235.jpgDid I mention it was hot? Poor furry Lola.

20120529-212247.jpgBlowing bubbles at the fountain

20120529-212316.jpgAC unit is in, thanks to brawny David!

Our “love where you live” adventure for the weekend was a first-ever trip to the Forbidden Drive at Valley Green Inn in Wissahickon Valley Park. It is mind-boggling that the park and surrounding neighborhoods are technically still in Philadelphia. Our neighbors joined us on this trip, it was helpful that they had been before. We saw a horse, wild strawberries, a tiny snake, lots of waterfowl, and waterfalls! I was glad to come home to the pool, a little too much hot and sticky nature for my liking:)

20120529-212440.jpgGrumpy toddler snack break, Ahoy Ladies!

20120529-212459.jpgValley Green Inn

20120529-212529.jpgTiny waterfall

20120529-212539.jpgSlightly larger waterfall

20120529-212746.jpgOne last snack break before we headed home.

A big thanks to all service men and women who make such fun and safe weekends possible.



Not sure if this counts as my City Pretty post for the week. The week is still young. Doesn’t it feel like Friday?! I have the perfect City Pretty spot in mind…just not sure if I have time for the detour.

We did gardening this weekend, which included getting some new plants at our fabulous neighborhood garden store, Urban Jungle. There isn’t much color in our yard, yet. The azaleas already bloomed, and the hydrangeas have yet to bloom. I have a thing for plants that come back year after year, mostly because I’m lazy. The perennials I like tend to be less floral in nature.

My favorites are the new corkscrew plant and my confederate jasmine. My theory is that the heat island effect in the city keeps the jasmine alive in the winter. It is usually found in warm places like Charleston, SC. That is where we went for part of our honeymoon, so it holds a special place in our hearts.

I didn’t do before and after photos. That takes too much planning, and the before was similar, just less green.

In process in the back “yard”:


View from kitchen window:



Chives and an olive tree:


We even have cat grass for Lola:




Now for the front area:


Grass detail:


Speed racer watches over the house…


As does Lola.