ardmore needs more love and positive municipal attention from lower merion…

It was weird in a way going back now as a veritable stranger to a place I spent so much time in for so many years. So much has changed and I don’t necessarily feel it has changed for the better.

Ardmore needs more….love. And positive municipal attention.

In my prior post, I wrote about the condition of the sidewalks and streets in Ardmore, and the roads in general throughout Lower Merion Township. The roads are in deplorable condition. It’s like they are growing orange highway cones as a cash crop in places, and in other places, holes and what not are just waiting to trip people up. And when I asked a couple of people about it, they all say the same thing that they report these things to the township but nothing happens. It makes you wonder what former West Chester Borough Manager and current Lower Merion Township Manager Ernie McNeely does besides fall asleep at meetings, where they are talking about the police, right?

And when it comes to managers, I wasn’t necessarily a huge fan of the manager who proceeded Ernie McNeely, but somehow Lower Merion seems worse than when I moved? I remember when my friends from West Chester heard that McNeely was going to Lower Merion and they just laughed and laughed and laughed and said “good luck to them!”

I guess now I know why, because Lower Merion looks like crap in their business districts. There might be tons of new places to eat, but nobody leaves their lights on much anymore except for stores that have been there long enough to know it makes a difference, the streets are dirty and broken up. There’s a lot of trash. Especially in Ardmore.

Ardmore used to be different and you could feel an energy. And most importantly, people knew one another. You would hear people saying hello to each other going past each other on the street. last night for the first time on a Saturday night, I didn’t hear that. And I also noticed that in spite of all the dining choices it’s like people go early to eat, and they just leave. By like 9 o’clock-ish when we left the restaurant, it was a ghost town.

We met at my friend Sherry’s store, Past*Present*Future. As well as being one of my most favorite and cherished friends, her store is always one of my favorite places to visit. And more people should discover the wonderful treasures inside. (hint to my lovely Savvy lady- have you ever interviewed her and visited?)

Past*Present*Future was one of the few non-food establishments with good lighting. The other was the Junior League Thrift Shop, which had some wonderful window displays as well. There was a salon that had some lights on with one guy sitting there inside. But these places being lit made an enormous difference, especially since the township has broken sidewalks and stuff in front of some of these places and bricks all up out of where the street trees are….and as much as anything else, keeping the stores lit, reduces the chance of somebody tripping and possibly falling.

The other thing about these two stores with lights is when we first got to Ardmore, these were the stores where people were actually looking in the windows of. And that’s the thing, people used to look in the windows more. You don’t have the people that stroll. Now it was cold last night, but it wasn’t unpleasant walking.

SEPTA also has moved a train platform to behind Past*Present*Future and Merion Art and Repro since I lived there. I guess it’s part of the station makeover? You can see a little SEPTA sign in my photos. So what I wonder is why haven’t they (SEPTA) paid to light that alley and parking lot people have to cross to get to platform better when it’s dark? And the configuration they created in the back for the platform affects the limited parking that a lot of Ardmore merchants desperately need on that side of Lancaster. It’s kind of surprising that SEPTA can’t do a better job around there, right? And after all Leslie Richards head of SEPTA is very familiar with Ardmore because she spent enough time campaigning during events when she wanted to be county commissioner, didn’t she?

And the trash. Can I talk about the trash on the sidewalks again? Or the trash cans that needed to be emptied that are Township trash cans? Does no one get that people notice these things? And I think one of the things about the trash is people in general have gotten worse since COVID. It started with all the disposable masks and even disposable gloves just chucked on the ground. I think people in general are just littering more and it doesn’t help when trashcans aren’t emptied enough in business districts and shopping centers. Gateway Shopping Center has trash issues too in Tredyffrin. (but I digress.)

Which brings me to the Ardmore Initiative. It’s a marvel they were renewed. They are supposed to be all about the business district and even their own front stoop looks like crap. If their job is to make Ardmore look good and help the business district why isn’t there attention paid to the little things that help businesses? I was thinking of Borough, and even West Chester Borough when I was in Ardmore last night. All of these main street oriented municipalities are struggling through the same economic uncertainties, yet Malvern and West Chester just seem so much more alive and Malvern doesn’t even have the number of stores or restaurants that Ardmore does!

Quite literally the Ardmore which the Ardmore Initiative features on their website doesn’t look like what I saw last night and it makes me sad.

It was like the lights under the bridge tunnel entering Ardmore? The tunnel was dark last night, so what happened to those expensive lights?

My photo from years ago and
lights weren’t on last night
My photo from years ago

So if there’s this business district authority, and it costs people to belong to it whether they want to or not because it’s kind of like a tax /assessment thing, what are they doing for the businesses and people in Ardmore? The last Executive Director who took over when the one which preceded her who got sick, literally worked her ass off and no matter what you thought of the Ardmore Initiative, it showed. Not the same now at all.

I just looked up the Ardmore Initiative website today and they have MORE people working and what do they do? Ardmore has enough in the dining arena that it should have more vibrancy at night and it does not. And there also aren’t as many stores where you can look in the windows, which is pretty basic for a main street business district to make people want to stay and poke around.

But then again, people always said Ardmore’s biggest problem was that Lower Merion Township was headquartered in it. Also what ails Ardmore will not be solved by more infill development. You can’t artificially manufacture energy. Elbow grease and a certain mindset goes into that. Ardmore still deserves better.

Now where we went and where we ate, which was terrific, and why I think Ardmore deserves better once again. We started out at Matatawny Still Works Ardmore tasting room. We buy their whiskeys sometimes now, but I had never been to one of their tasting rooms. It is a really cool space and a fun vibe and they had great music on so a couple of people did a whiskey tasting and I had this amazing spiked apple cider, which was just the thing to warm you up on a chilly night. And the fun thing about this place is you can bring takeout dinners into there and eat while you do a whiskey tasting.

From there, since we already had a parking spot, we headed to Cricket Avenue for dinner. We passed Buena Vista which we go to in Lincoln Court Shopping Center which was packed in Ardmore and Maido the Japanese grocery store which is so cool.

Crossing Lancaster Ave there at Anderson Avenue in Ardmore has not improved since people still don’t pay attention to pedestrians crossing correctly at the lights. Oh, and people still blow that light headed east on Lancaster which begs the question of the police station is right there, so you would think traffic would be better, right? Especially if Lower Merion wants to persist in their pedestrian walkability fantasy?

So on Cricket Avenue I still miss MilkBoy Coffee on the corner. Sorry but pucciManuli doesn’t do it for me and I had a friend tell me recently that they wanted to go in there for a gift and had to be buzzed in, the door wasn’t just open during business hours. I tried to patronize them a bunch of years ago, even before they were at that location and I just found them overpriced. And I love handmade and better quality things, but their prices? Meh.

I will admit that I still think that 1 Ardmore Place is super ugly. For those of you who grew up around Ardmore, these apartments are on the parking lot that used to exist for the old movie theater, which also does not exist anymore . I still hate the design aesthetic of this building, and it totally doesn’t fit in with the area.

We had dinner at Nam Phuong Bistro on Cricket Avenue. They have really wonderful Vietnamese cuisine. It was a terrific meal and I would go back again. I will caution people they don’t have much staff so you have to be prepared to be patient but the people who work there couldn’t be nicer. Their spring rolls were awesome and they also do softshell crabs which is one of my favorite things and they were fabulous. The prices were good and it’s one of those places that I had such a good meal. I forgot to take pictures of the food!

That was the end of my Ardmore re-entry adventure and we headed our way back home to Chester County. Walking back up Cricket. I was glad to see McCloskey’s had a good crowd, and looked as cheerful as ever. One thing that bummed me out, though is there is no more Marjorie Schneider Antiquary. I loved that store and used to love looking in the windows from the time I was young. She had wonderful antiques!

Before we went home, we drove around Ardmore a little bit, and I hadn’t been down some of the streets I used to walk on regularly for years. I came to the conclusion, however, that as much as I miss a lot of my friends down there, I do not miss Lower Merion at all. I think it is probably because the area I grew up in still exists because a lot of the buildings and people are still there, but it has lost so much of what made it very special. It has lost a feeling.

And seeing Ardmore with finally new restaurant destinations but no foot traffic and vibrancy on a Saturday night made me just shake my head. As I said earlier, Ardmore was one of those places where people would say hello to each other on the street as they passed by. Now there is this more transient nature, and a lot of that I think has to do with the infill development. The rental price points, like many other places, are off the charts, so people come, but they don’t stay.

I know this is kind of a mixed review of a visit to a place that I just loved so much once upon a time, but it just really disappoints me that Lower Merion Township just doesn’t really seem to give a crap about the Ardmore Historic Business District, even worse than before. What did we save Ardmore from when we stopped eminent domain for private gain years ago?

Small businesses need a lot of local love. If you are from outside Lower Merion, show Ardmore some love.

If we don’t support small businesses, they cease to exist and we are stuck with homogeneous box stores and chains. And if you live in Lower Merion Township still, I encourage people to stand up and not only demand a better police department but better township management and elected officials. What I saw last night wasn’t “first class” it was “We don’t care, just shut up and pay your taxes.”

Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it starts with baby steps and standing up and caring. Use social media to show why Lower Merion needs to do better on so many fronts. It’s also time to question why the Ardmore Initiative exists. They obviously aren’t living up to their mission statement which of course also begs the question of do they deserve their non-profit status?

Discover something new in Main Street towns like Ardmore, and even West Chester and Malvern Borough. Discover what makes them tick. And if you don’t like something a municipality would be responsible for, hold local government accountable, don’t take it out on the small businesses.

Have a good week.

hey union league with all that dough you are making from worshipping desantis, why not build a streeterie on broad street, not in your gladwyne parking lot at the guard house?

Guard House Gladwyne, pre-Union League days

When Albert Breuers retired and turned over the Old Guard House Inn in Gladwyne to The Union League in Philadelphia, it was an end of an era. But people, myself included, were relieved the Guard House would live on, even as a private club extension. Well now I don’t know what to think.

Inquirer: Changing of the guard at Main Line’s Old Guard House Inn
New Year’s Eve will be the finale. Owner Albert Breuers struck a deal with the Union League in Center City, which in January – after some light redecoration and a kitchen makeover – will take over. The Union League Guard House will be open to its members and their guests only.

by Michael Klein
Published Dec 16, 2016

Albert Breuers remembers the day – May 12, 1979.

Three days before, he had bought the Old Guard House Inn in Gladwyne – even then it was “Old” – a warren of dimly lit dining rooms with log-cabin walls backing up to a bar regarded as the Main Line’s answer to Cheers. The previous fall, he started working in the kitchen for previous owner Jack Callahan, who opened the restaurant in 1949.

“One of those blue-hairs – we had them in those days – she called me over and said, ‘Hey, boy. If you keep your nose clean, you will do very well here,’ ” Breuers recalled this week….New Year’s Eve, though, will mark Breuers’ farewell from the Old Guard House. It also will spell the end of the Guard House as we know it.

Breuers struck a deal several months ago with the Union League in Center City, which in January – after some light redecoration and a kitchen makeover – will take it over. The Union League Guard House will be open to its members and their guests.

It’s bad enough that The Union League is still honoring Ron DeSantis today who is no student of Abraham Lincoln, and I hope they get LOTS and LOTS of picketers. But now what I am hearing with regard to their possible Gladwyne plans is also wrong.

The news out of Gladwyne this morning is the Union League is doing a presentation in front of the Gladwyne Civic Association this evening at their regular monthly meeting for…wait for it….outside dining. Umm hello, a streeterie in the parking lot much? Eww. Maybe they should go for a streeterie on Broad Street instead? Yes, I know both are ridiculous ideas. I will also note, the Union League is building rooftop dining in Philthadelphia.

All – at our civic meeting on Tuesday, there will be a presentation from the GH Union League on an expansion to have an outdoor eating area. The civic never heard about this expansion (which is quite surprising and disappointing).

A few commissioners have questions as this expansion will take away some current parking spaces.

If you are interested, or have comments, please come to the meeting Tuesday, Jan 24 at 7pm at the Gladwyne Firehouse.

We are all surprised that the civic and even our Commissioners did not know about this until the other day, so we apologize for the delay in letting people know.

~ gladwyne civic 1/24/23

I will also note myself that this presentation to the Gladwyne Civic is VERY last minute. Why? Because apparently no one told the civic association these plans were in the works based upon what I read. Interestingly enough, I found reference to this on a Lower Merion HARB meeting agenda dated 7/26/22:

  • INFORMAL – 953 Youngs Ford Road – Old Guard House – Gladwyne Historic District
    Applicant seeks comment on a plan to create new window openings on the exterior wall of a non-original dining room extension adjacent to a proposed new outdoor dining area surrounded by a pergola structure.

So….why didn’t anyone tell the folks in Gladwyne this was actually in the air? I received a comment this morning from a Union League member. Allow me to share, although I will do the sender a favor and not share their name as that is not necessary, it’s just their opinion vs. mine:

This plan was in Place since they bought it. I think it is rather unjust to call the members discourteous. Parking is tight. You are correct. The UL is putting outside dining on the Roof at the UL and at great expense. It will be exquisite. They don’t do anything half assed. And BTW the DeSantis event is tonight. And what is wrong about that? The people of Gladwyne will be fine and will enjoy collecting the taxes from The guard house. Ain’t progress a bitch. BTW I do enjoy your writing very much. I just don’t see that you a a dog in this game. But free speech is free speech! Hope you are well.

~ Union league memeber to me 1/24/23

Dear member/friend, my “dog in the game” is not traditional. I used to live in Lower Merion (as you know) and I am aware of how hard Gladwynites work to preserve the history and character of this very important historic district. I also know how tight and bad the parking is and how people patronizing the Guard House these days don’t necessarily take care with their on street parking on Righters Mill Road, creating massive headaches for people who do live there. A plan as in their plans, is not the same as a filed plan, so is there a filed plan as in an actual plan, or is this still just a concept? This is also about being a good neighbor. This concept is not the potential act of a good neighbor, and it is that simple.

Ok, I will note it was part of the discussion when they came before HARB in 2019 as a Preliminary Review:

So now my question is, has this been formally discussed since? At a board of commissioners meeting or meetings? Any plans submitted even in draft form? Does the head of building and planning Chris Leswing know about this or the township manager Ernie McNeely?

I never object to outdoor dining where it FITS. It doesn’t FIT here. This is like when they wanted in Garrett Hill in Radnor not too long ago and diners would have been literally eating practically on top of Conestoga Road.

This is a very specific historic district. The Union League owns golf clubs with loads of outdoor dining space. Plus there is the rooftop dining project on top of the club’s home in Philadelphia. Here that idea just won’t fit. This is a village still, and parking for the Guard House is an issue, and having been there since the Union League took over to dine, the parking issue has never been sufficiently addressed. Righters Mill Road has been doubling as their overflow parking lot, and well the residents aren’t always so well respected when it comes to said parking. And when you add outside dining, there is also that good old expectation of quiet enjoyment so how would restaurant noises taken outside affect neighbors that way?

Now to be fair someone said to me they thought some sheds out back would go away and they would lose a “few spots” and everything would be hidden by a fence. Hidden by a fence made me laugh because it is now an extension of a private club, but it still comes back to village feel and parking. And this is a private club, not a public restaurant any longer, so there is that whole topic. I don’t personally care that it is now an extension of the Union League, except wonder what would happen if this club had a reversal of fortune? It is a valid question because they have been on quite the acquisition spree in the recent past

Union League, people can also go to Merion Cricket, Merion Golf, etc. for outdoor dining and they have the room locally. This location does not truly have the outside room. Leave Gladwyne Village alone, find another way to drive your revenue, and be a good neighbor. This is yet another reason I am glad I am no longer on the Main Line and no longer live in Lower Merion. In my humble opinion, this would be a very special bad plan if they go through with it.

Also worth pondering? What work should the Union League be doing on the Guard House building itself before even contemplating outdoor dining?

The Union League has a responsibility being in a historic area in Gladwyne. This is also a nationally registered historic district. They also just need to be a good neighbor here and not try this. Maybe my opinion doesn’t matter, but I do have the right to express it.

Why is the way something is, never enough?

Check out this fun on the history of Gladwyne by visiting the LOWER MERION HISTORICAL SOCIETY WEBSITE HERE.

Here are Google views screen shot taken today and you decide:

my list for treasure hunting and antiquing

Melangell Antiques yesterday. My photo.

Yes, I have a list for you all. For Main Liners, it means going past Wayne and exploring. This is my in-person open regularly list. These are all businesses that I go to. I am a regular customer. I am not a monetized blogger, so these are just my fun spots.

Surrey Services Consignment in Berwyn. 810 Lancaster Ave. Berwyn, PA 19312.

Frazer Antiques 351 Lancaster Ave., Frazer PA 19355

Dishfunctional which is now in Frazer, PA 225 Lancaster Ave, in Lincoln Court Shopping Center Malvern PA 19355

Old Mill Antiques/Shutters and Sand 5649
20 Ellis Lane, West Chester, PA 19380 (Wednesday- Saturday)

Melangell Antiques 1133 Pottstown Pike West Chester 19380 (opens at 11 am, closed Sundays)

Brandywine View Antiques 1244 Baltimore Pike Chadds Ford 19317 (Wed – Sunday 3 floors, 18th house, garden bits out back)

And finally if you really want to blow your mind, Brandywine River Antiques Market in a giant huge White barn that was turned into an antiques co operative. 878 Baltimore Pike Chadds Ford 19317

Other things include: there is Sales by Helen online in addition to their estate sales. And Smithfield Barn which is a picking barn and not open all the time and does have super fun online sales, but for them, it’s watch their Facebook page.

Also more of a gallery space BUT it’s old and new and I love it and am a customer is located in one of the best places in Chester County, it’s The Merchant of Menace in Historic Marshallton located at 1351 W. Strasburg Road, West Chester. And one of my favorite vintage/antique sellers and jewelry designer/artist is in there, Reimagined Style. Reimagined Style also has occasional studio hours at 1440 Telegraph Road, West Chester BUT you need to contact them first, not just drop by- (484)- 319- 7806.

And last but never least, Life’s Patina in Malvern, which has select events throughout the year and is not a store, although they have a merchantile which will be opening in Yellow Springs Village soon!

friends and small businesses

At Christmas I had a Christmas calamity. I had this beautiful number 3 crock that I use as a planter. I had bought it from the Smithfield Barn a few years ago. It always lived inside the garage against the wall in the winter.

Right before Christmas, when my stepson was pulling one of the cars into the garage, he accidentally smashed it with his tire. I was pretty upset. I love my old crocks.

So I contacted my friends who are in the business of old things that I buy things from and said to let me know if you see an old number 3 crock I’ve had a calamity.

Today I got a text message from one of the folks at Sales by Helen. They were telling me my package was going to be dropped off soon. So I texted back because I hadn’t bought anything. And they said no you’re being gifted something. So then I wondered who was still spreading Christmas cheer right up to the end of Christmas season – well it is not Epiphany quite yet.

Well, it’s John Romani, who owns Sales by Helen.

A perfect old number 3 crock with a note:

I am totally in awe of the gesture of kindness. This is a small business owner in a very uncertain economy and this is why I support local small businesses. No, not for free stuff because they will tell you I am not a free stuff blogger.

This is quintessential of local small businesses. They know their customers, and they remember what their customers are looking for. They are our neighbors and friends as well.

Sales By Helen is a business I have supported since I first went to a Helen sale and met John’s mom Helen, years ago. I have all the things that I bought over the years still today. Not only do they do house sales and estate sales, but they also have online shopping available. And there is complementary delivery within a certain area and shipping.

A random act of kindness on a cloudy day. Thanks John and Company ❤️

Thanks for stopping by.

what will become of the frazer diner?

The Frazer Diner on Route 30 in Frazer has closed. I am honestly concerned about this site, which has been written about a slew of times and is actually in a book about diners.

I love old school diners. Sorry not sorry, it’s scrapple and eggs for me, or a diner burger and a fountain coke. Remember the diner days of years gone by where you would see the lemon meringue pies with their high hats of meringue in the cases with other desserts? I remember that from the original Minella’s in Wayne and this cool old diner in North Jersey

Anyway, the Frazer Diner is a truly cool example of an amazingly intact diner. And now they have closed. Research indicates the Cavalati family still owns it, the owners live in Mechanicsburg, PA. So they are far removed from this now, will they sell? Find a new tenant?

Why am I concerned? We hear the continued whispers of developers sniffing around East Whiteland and the Route 30/Lancaster Ave corridor. West Whiteland is a hotbed of bad development and neighboring Easttown is not much better along Lancaster Avenue is it? Just look at that new construction gargantuan and hideous apartments or whatever dwarfing the Berwyn Pub.

Originally manufactured in 1935[2](though some sites reference 1929), it was purchased by Frances and Sylvester Cavalati in 1957 and moved to its present location at 189 Lancaster Avenue, Frazer, Pennsylvania in East Whiteland Township. In 1972, while retaining ownership, they leased it to others to operate and the name was changed to the Frazer Diner.[3]

Around 1983, the diner was leased to Tam Nguyen and his wife Hao (law school graduate and nurse, respectively) who had fled communism in Vietnam and moved to the Main Line in 1980. They operated it as the Linh Diner, specializing in Vietnamese-Chinese food, and it became a regular lunch stop for nearby high-tech companies in the Great Valley. After five years building a successful business, they were running out of space and looking to move to a new location that was to be built as part of a new shopping center nearby. Before that happened, the Cavalati’s served the Nguyens an eviction notice, and noted there was a buyer who wanted to move the diner to Hollywood.[4]

The Nguyens did eventually open the Linh Restaurant nearby, but the diner was not moved to California, and eventually re-opened, once again as the Frazer Diner.

~ Wikipedia

Diners have a place in our hearts and communities. It doesn’t have to be haute cuisine. It’s a community gathering place historically, and some diners were just breakfast and lunch, some did 3 meals, some were open 24 hours.

I find today especially out here in Chester County, we lack a distinct variety from the most humble through to fine dining. We are a lot of formula food, fast food, sushi, brew pubs, quasi steak houses. The only good BBQ is Farm Boy, and they are a gem (hope they re-open soon!)

There always were historically good diners in Chester County. And one by one they are biting the dust. DK still holds court in West Chester. The West Chester Diner used to be pretty good, but the last couple of years it has sadly gone downhill. But West Chester Diner was always too big. Frazer like DK had that little joint feel, which I think is part of the whole diner experience.

The funny thing about the Frazer Diner is how often it has been written up in diner articles. I am putting into this post what I have discovered. I am putting this out there in the hopes someone saves it, or in the hopes that anyone is interested at all.

We need fewer crappy apartment and townhouse developments. How about adaptive reuse of literally a historic diner? Thanks for stopping by.

#thisplacematters

in case you missed it…like me…

One of my favorite magazines is Country Living. When I have time, I read it as soon as it hits my mailbox, cover to cover.

But it has been a busy few months, and the magazines ended up in a neat pile next to my reading chair in my bedroom on the footstool. Until today when I decided to dig into my overdue periodical reading pile.

Well guess what business and who are right there inside the September, 2022 issue of Country Living magazine? One of my favorite Chester County businesses and owner. Yup, Malvern’s own Life’s Patina and the creative dynamo behind everything , Meg Veno.

You know how much I love Life’s Patina because pretty much every time she has an event, you can find me there shopping and taking photos! And my husband gets me Life’s Patina gift certificates for Christmas.

Part of the reason I love Life’s Patina is it’s simply put, beautiful. Every time I visit. But it is also because of Meg and her team. They are seriously the nicest. And Meg is just positive and kind. In the chaos of today’s world, this makes a huge difference. Also? They make everything look so effortless and magical. You can’t help but get a good feeling every time she opens her barn!

Also worth mentioning is how lucky is Historic Yellow Springs Village and West Pikeland Township that Meg Veno and Life’s Patina are sprinkling their magic on the Jenny Lind house? They have stripped her back to the beginning and done an incredibly painstaking renovation that is almost there. I feel that her renovation,when finally completed, will bring new life and renewed energy to Historic Yellow Springs Village which it needs.

I mean seriously, how lucky is West Pikeland Township to have both Jeff Devlin and Meg Veno taking an interest and putting businesses that celebrate Chester County and her history right there in this small Chester County municipality? So lucky! Adaptive reuse of the best kind totally loaded with heart and talent and effort!

And the funny thing is I was one of the first people who suggested Jenny Lind to Meg when she was saying she wanted a new challenge.

I have however almost regretted suggesting Jenny Lind and Yellow Springs to her at times because of the duration of the renovation, the obstacles and challenges of truly restoring the Jenny Lind. However, the renovation has survived COVID and all that this time in the world and supply chain issues that every renovation everywhere has suffered. When the Merchantile & Cafe opens it will be truly amazing!

So to say I was thrilled when I saw one of my favorite magazines featuring one of my favorite businesses and business owners was an understatement…even if I am a few months late.

So Meg & Company, I am so terribly sorry I didn’t open my magazine sooner! So well done and deserved. Lots of places are inspired by what Meg creates at Life’s Patina. Make sure you check out one of their sales when you can!

happy sober eve sounds great!

I think the article below is a really cool story. People who know me, know that I don’t drink so much. And it’s not because I’m an alcoholic, I just don’t drink that much, and I’m also allergic to different kinds of alcohol like red wine, for example.

I have plenty of friends in the “program” whom I support, and applaud because I know it’s hard, brutally hard work at times to maintain sobriety, and I really respect them for it.

As a matter of fact, it was some of my friends in the program helped me look at breast cancer very differently when I was first diagnosed. They told me to look at it as my own 12 step program, and to simply take things one day at a time.

There are some people I know of who aren’t particularly sober at this point in their lives. Sadly, some of these people just haven’t been able to keep it together. I’m not here to judge them, but there are a couple in particular that I really hope get their acts together because every time they go down the rabbit hole of a bad slip or a binge you wonder if they are going to crawl back out alive.

The sad thing about gaining sobriety and maintaining as per what my friends in the program have told me, is that there’s just a lot of work you have to do by yourself, and they’re are just a lot of people who don’t want to do the work.

I have seen too many people over the course of many many years completely tank their existences because of drugs and alcohol.

As a person who doesn’t have to be in any kind of an alcohol or drug related program, I am actually all for supporting a SOBER New Year’s Eve.

As a matter of fact, when all these developers are looking for their new business models, or they want to fill out their new shopping centers, apartment, buildings, or whatever, why don’t they consider an establishment like this out here? How many breweries and pubs do we need? How about a place where you can go and get a good Mocktail?

Here’s to a better 2023 for a lot of people .

Philadelphia Inquirer: FOOD
Spirits are high at The Volstead, Philly’s only sober bar

“It’s ‘Cheers’ without the hangover.”

by Rita Giordano
Updated Dec 28, 2022

The weather outside was frightful, but the warmth of the Main Street bar was so delightful, that one after the other, merry revelers came out of the cold Manayunk night last week to share some season’s cheer at The Volstead.

From the cozy, edgy-chic space arose the sounds of laughter, the chatter of holiday plans, and, of course, plenty of happy imbibing: a seasonal Partridge in a Pear Tree, swanky Manhattans, and, being Philly, the requisite down-and-dirty Citywide Special.

All the festivity you’d expect at a holiday gathering. Except for one thing.

None of those drinks had alcohol. Not a drop.

The Volstead is Philadelphia’s only zero-proof bar. Since it opened last March, its patrons have cheered on the Phillies and the Eagles while hoisting sober brews. They’ve dined from its modern vegan menu, toasted birthdays, and struck up acquaintances.

This Saturday, The Volstead will host a Zero Proof New Year’s Eve Party, ringing in 2023 with nonalcoholic sparkling wine and the kind of high spirits that onlycome from within. The restaurant will be open for dinner and bar snacks, there will be NA drink specials, and no reservations are required. Closing time is 12:30 a.m.

a beautiful saturday in marshallton

Yesterday was the celebration of Humphry Marshall’s 300th birthday and Marshallton was alive with happiness and history. It was so much fun!

These are the events I love. A pretty day spent with friends and family walking around a wonderfully pretty and historic village. I went around lunchtime and we started with lunch at the Four Dogs Tavern (fabulous), and then we explored. This way, I escaped the politicians who like to appear at fall events during election season.

I was a little disappointed the blacksmith shop was closed but thrilled that the Merchant of Menace was open!

I had a lovely afternoon. Enjoy the photos. I will also note that we are supporters of the Marshallton Conservation Trust.

why not visit dishfunctional in their new malvern location this weekend?

Dishfunctional isn’t in West Chester anymore. I open with that, because they were there for so many wonderful years. BUT Dishfunctional does have a terrific new location in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center in East Whiteland.

The store is long and wide inside and well lit. And full of so much fun stuff! Not just the china and crystal they are known for but so much else! They have some wonderful art right now too! My personal favorite? This amaze balls piece of Mick Jagger by Denny Dent. It’s huge, but very cool.

I found four extra dishes of the Johnson Brothers’ “Friendly Village” vintage ydishes I like to use in the fall and winter sometimes. They are hard to find, and were only $5 each which is an amazing deal!

I spent a lot of time looking through the store. It’s all very clean. Other things they have right in the front of the store I love is some fabulous antique cast iron lawn furniture. Also very reasonable in price and good shape.

Dishfunctional is located in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center. 225 Lancaster Avenue, Frazer, PA.

Tuesday through Saturday
10:00 am until 6:00 pm
Sunday
11:00 am until 3:00 pm

Check it out!

back to visit brandywine view antiques in chadds ford

Brandywine View Antiques is one of my favorite places, so I thought I would give them a little shout out today. I have been a customer for years, I am not compensated for mentioning them on this blog, I’m just a happy customer.

They are three floors of fun and outside for great garden accents. They are one of my favorite resources for vintage garden finds. They are also one of the best places to find vintage and antique mirrors and I think they are a wonderful accent for any home and everyone should have at least one.

And I adore the owner she’s good people. If you don’t find them here in their store you can often find them places like Clover Market. They are definitely worth the drive!

Location:
1244 Baltimore Pike. Chadds Ford, PA 19317
Hours:
Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. (610) 388-6060|lisa@brandywineview.com