Thursday, October 2, 2008

Home Sweet Home?

I thought if I continued writing about Italy I would feel like I was still there. Some may say that's denial. Maybe it is. But America, New York in particular, has a not-so-subtle way of reminding me that I am indeed here, in The City that Never Sleeps. And how can we with all this racket? Was it this noisy in 2007? Horns, jackhammers, helicopters, sirens, music, and the most obnoxious...television! Not having a TV for so long has really turned me off to it, except for the occasional Katie Couric/Sarah Palin interview. But who had time to watch TV in September? It was prime wedding season and I had three to attend. Three chances to drink fancy cocktails while eating cocktail franks and partner dancing barefoot on a parkay floor. Ooopa!

Heather and Brian at Love Park, Philadelphia

Last weekend I was a bridesmaid in my friend Heather's wedding in Philadelphia, a city that I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I've never been to. Every detail of the weekend had Heather's signature mark; girly, elegant, and pink. A cool touch was the trolley she hired to transport her 20-person wedding party around Philly. Very vintage. The day's events culminated with a glam reception at a fairytale venue, the Ballroom at the Ben.
Bridesmaids at the rehearsal dinner, Davio's restaurant Playing dress-up
Ode to Abby Road
While I was in Philly I made one other important stop. The city's very own Italian Market on 9th and Washington. Although it's no Porta Palazzo, the small street is peppered with authentic specialty shops that pack big flavor. Giordano's Fresh Fruits & Vegetables, Cannuli's House of Pork, Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheeses, and the list goes on.

Provolone piccante
The main piazza in Philly's Italian Market

Sausages galore

But the fun doesn't stop at food. In a typical Italian market you can find anything under the sun, from socks, to door knobs to handcrafted miniature Madonnas and everything in between. In Philly I stopped at a vendor selling your typical everyday items: mop heads, belt buckles, tin foil and Sharpies. Except they weren't Sharpies, they were Skerples. "Super Skerples" to be exact.
Sharpie knock-offs
Typical market in Cirie, Italy
I was so amused by the branding that I started photographing the merchandise, at which point the vendor (who wasn't Italian) became irate and demanded that I stop taking photos of his counterfeit goods. I obliged and hurriedly moved on before he took a rhinestone-studded belt buckle to my head. Geez, if this is what they mean by "Brotherly Love" I'm going back to my insomniac of a city. We may not get much sleep but at least we're a friendly bunch.

Home Sweet Home!


Anonymous said...

what a coincidence! i week i'll be visiting new england, and was considering a trip to philly-dc too! you made me so eager and excited...grazie :)

Courtney said...

Buon Viaggio! The weather is beautiful at this time of year and the leaves are starting to changes colors. Are you visiting NYC too?

Anonymous said...

grazie! the main reason for visiting NE is foliage/indian summer. even if i've already been to nyc (manhattan), i'd love to go back. vedremo!!!