Fun in Philly on a Laboriously Labor-Free Labor Day Weekend!

As I sit here writing, I am looking out the window and can see that the deep green color on the trees is beginning to fade. In fact, there are a few arrogant leaves that already decided to show their rust and yellow colors.  That’s the sad thing about this holiday weekend of Labor Day; a fare thee well to summer as Mother Nature prepares to bring her living things to a dormant stage and then onto hibernation.  The weird thing is that summer isn’t technically over yet. It’s still hot, hazy and humid. And this pattern of weather will continue through into late October. Fall isn’t fall anymore.

Tree in front of house

Check it out. If you look closely at the tree in front of my house, you can see a few renegade leaves that have changed color…

But I’ll continue that subject another time.  Today, it’s all about the great, lazy but productive weekend Bonaparte and I spent with Roman!

Due to his upcoming schedule of working on the weekends for SNL, his weekend visits will be few and far between. And on Friday evening after work, I picked him up at Paoli for a couple of days of chill.

Saturday was kind of a lazy day with the running around of errands.  Adam cut Roman’s hair—and I’ll tell you, Adam has become our family hair cutter/stylist.  First it was Oona, then me, and now Roman.  And nobody is ever disappointed.

Next it was on to pick up some last-minute groceries for dinner. Bonaparte’s daughter, her husband and their daughter would be joining us; and from their off to Iron Hill Brewery to pick up a growler of beer for Roman and Bonaparte’s son-in-law. Boys love their beer!

Refilling the Crowlers

I don’t think Iron Hill Brewery is aware that these empty growlers will be used as decor in my home.  I love the way they look! Boys and Beer!

Dinner was lively and enjoyable with a ton of food and sleep was welcomed.

But the real fun was in yesterday’s adventure in Philly.

Our plan was to hit the store “Art in the Age” to replace a pair of Warby Parker sunnies that Bonaparte broke.  Then we were going to head over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to put our membership into good use.

Art in the age bag

If you will be in Philly soon, might I suggest a trip over to Art in The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction? It’s a cool shop!

Things didn’t exactly turn out as planned.   We forgot all about the “Made In America” music fest that was taking place in Philly by the museum.  Rather than take a “just-my-luck” train of thought, we just shrugged and headed over to the shop instead.

Now. You have to understand something before I go any further with this.  I can’t stand going into Philly.  And it isn’t necessarily because I hate Philly—it’s because the street parking is so f*cked up.  I’m serious.  Philly may be the “City of Brotherly Love” but it is also “The City of Parked Vehicle Hate”.  Illegal towing is a common practice and the towing mafia seems to be of no bother to the governing officials.   The signage throughout the city is ridiculously confusing—at least in Manhattan, the verbiage is more “in your face”.  And God forbid if you are three seconds late to your metered car. The Philly meter maids can sniff out a car that is thirty seconds over the metered time the way drug-sniffing police dogs can smell contraband.

CONFUSING SIgnS iN PHILLY from AxisPhilly got the right idea with this confusing photo!  Actually Philly parking signage is even more confusing!! The site has ceased. I hope it isn’t because of it’s expose on the parking…..

I want to love Philly so badly, but the parking issues just won’t allow me to do so.

Fun here

I DO I really want to give Philly some lovin’–but parking prevents me from doing it!

But yesterday something different happened.  As we approached the shop on Third Street, we saw an open space on the street. It was directly across from “Art in the Age…” We studied the sign which mentioned that it was a loading zone. But was it a loading zone on a Sunday during a holiday weekend?  And it was stated that two-hour parking was allowed. We took our chances. We parked.

Sign at Art in The Age

…and then we headed into Art in The Age…

We’ve been to “Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction” once before. It was for Bonaparte to purchase a pair of Warby Parker sunglasses—and I also did a bit of Christmas shopping for the boys.

cool key holders

Art in The Age just has some seriously cool stuff…

This time back had Bonaparte not finding the same sunglasses he original purchased but a different purchase was made.  He spotted a vintage lightweight coat for me.  Although rust can be a difficult color to wear, I tried the coat on. It fit beautifully. The cut was incredibly basic and simple. Very ’60’s.  He said it was the perfect weight coat for our visit back to Paris this November.  Sold!

The coat front and back views

The coat is so basic and doesn’t look like much when on the hanger, but when worn, it looks great. I’m too lazy to put it on with clothes. I’m in my pj’s now. but I’ll snap a pic in the future. I promise… the meantime, check out the details on this basic coat. It was a find!

We walked around a bit and returned to the car because Bonaparte was really concerned about the parking.

A Walk down third street

We admired the Philly spirit as we flaneured around town…

Philly Phinds

I’m glad to see this is Hillary territory!

He suggested we drive around and see where the drive would take us.  It took us straight into the Society Hill section.  We spotted what looked like a spot in front of the restaurant “Twisted Tail”.  I swear to God, you have no friggin’ idea what goes into parking in this city.  We saw another confusing sign and mulled over whether or not it was an actual “space”. Luckily one of the staff who was serving outdoor diners told us the space was, in fact, legal and she suggested we just move the car up a bit.  This took fifteen minutes.

The Twisted Tail coaster

South Philly. Society Hill. Great location. 509 S. 2nd Street. We were lucky to get  a space!

Bonaparte headed over to the kiosk to pay.  After another solid ten minutes of Bonaparte standing in front of the kiosk, Roman went over to see if everything was ok.  It took Roman thirty seconds to figure the process out and we had a couple of hours to kill.

We headed over to the farmers market, Roman picked up some Bloody Mary sauce and a jar of Bloody Beans. Let me tell you, these beans were the bomb!  Hot’n Spicy veg..of which I’m sure were Weight Watchers friendly!!

We walked some more and headed toward Penn’s Landing.  On the way we stopped for pause at the Vietnam Vets Memorial.  It’s a shame there were not more people in this tiny area.  All vets deserve more love.

vietnam war memorial

A small memorial for a war that wasn’t even a legally declared war….and war continues…

more memorial

The space was small but the memorial was a respectful tribute to our veterans…

At the war memorial with help from the vietnamese community

We also found this to be very moving.

And when we arrived at Penn’s Landing, we were in for the best surprise ever!  I had no idea of how great this area is. None.  We had a blast!  Roman picked up a cold beer; we sat down on a bench in front of a huge ship and under the shade of trees.  In between the trees were hammocks that people were laying in and relaxing.  Adirondack chairs were scattered for visitors to sit and just-well, just do nothing more than chill and people watch!

A beautiful day at Penn's Landing

I felt as though I was Christopher Columbus discovering a great land. It was a great landing that I didn’t discover!

Roman stopped for a beer at a stand…

Beer Stand


Roman said this beer was a good one. I tasted it. It was awful. I hate beer.

We enjoyed the green beans. We enjoyed watching the people.

Bloody Beans. Bloody Awesome!

On the other hand, the pickled Bloody Beans that Roman purchased were Bloody Amazing! I loved them!

Boats 1

 People watching and a walk along the boat-lined landing made for a great afternoon. Notice the clear skies. Where’s the big storm?

Boats 2

Submarine from WWII

Boats 3

A ship turned restaurant. Too bad there was an event taking place. It would have been fun to try this out!

We walked the landing and then hit the Punk Rock Flea Market.  Roman ended up buying a bowl made out of a vinyl Boz Scaggs album.


This is pretty much what the bowl looked like but I forgot to take a photo. You can DIY following Wiki’s instructions…but…

The Vinyl Record Lady

Black.Vinyl.Fashion had incredibly beautiful vinyl bowls as well as jewelry…

Jewelry from Vinyl

Vinyl cuff bracelets and earrings. The earrings were beautiful and I should have bought a pair. I’ll be back…

Bonaparte purchased a framed butterfly for his granddaughter from Fine Arts A Flutter.


The framed butterflies and bats–yes–BATS from Fine Arts A Flutter were incredibly intriguing.


Bonaparte picked up a framed butterfly–not this one but a large blue butterfly, for his granddaughter. Butterfly love runs in the Lartigue family…

Bats from fine arts a flutter

I LOVED the framed bats. I know–it seems a bit creepy, but trust me, these were great.  I feel the need to buy a couple of framed bats and hang them on one of the bathroom walls.  I’ll be bat–I mean, I’ll be back!

Arthur and Annette from Fine Arts A Flutter

Arthur and Annette, the proprietors were really patient in explaining the whole bat thing. They were very kind to answer our questions and you could tell they were enjoying what they do!! 

I also noticed that there is parking in a lot at Penn’s Landing. This means we will be back. Oh yes. We will be back!

It was the best afternoon I’ve ever had in Philly!!!!!!!

Not to end it there, when we returned to the car, we still had some time on the meter so Roman suggested we head into the bar at The Twisted Tale for a drink.  Since Bonaparte was driving, he passed. But Roman and I were in the mood for a nice Bourbon.

Bourbon and diet coke

Still life with Bourbon and Diet Coke.  I’m not big on hard liquor but bourbon just goes down so smooth and it so warm. I love it! 

The bar at this restaurant is great. I hadn’t been to a “bar” in a long time and I enjoy the socialization that transpires as you enjoy a good cocktail or beverage.  Our bartender, Cody, was entertaining and knowledgeable as she explained the story of the Jefferson’s Ocean bourbon that Roman was drinking.  My choice was more basic. I opted for Jim Beam!

Bonaparte and I need to revisit The Twisted Tail for some serious cocktails and dinner.  It was a comfortable place and not snobby in the least.  This is a stellar neighborhood bar in every way!

Armed with our treasures we headed home, but along the way, Bonaparte wanted to drive by the boat dock to have a look at the United States–the ship his sister Isabelle sailed from France to the USA.

The gate was opened but I got violently kicked out.

The gate was open. So I sauntered in and was chased out by a guard who had a gutter mouth worse than mine. I was so impressed but petrified at the same time. I never got close but the boat yard smelled like old socks. It was awful!

Abandoned ship in ship yard. The United STates.

Instead, I opted to take this artsy photo behind a chain link fence. If I stayed any longer my post would have been about being arrested in Philly!

Then it was off to drop Roman off to spend time with Bonaparte’s daughter and her family.  We enjoyed our dinner on the deck and both agreed that we need to spend more time discovering Philly—as long as we can figure the damn parking out!

Chippy wants wine

We were able to spend time with our OTHER child–Chippy!

With Roman coming back home just after the most intense college football game aired on TV, the remainder of the evening was filled with stress and excitement.  Bonaparte left us on our own while he headed upstairs to watch the more refined sport of tennis.

University of Texas was playing Notre Dame.  I’m a Longhorn mom.   Jake, my oldest, attended University of Texas in Austin.  And he flew there for the game.  My brother, Pete, is a die-hard Notre Dame fan.  Although my sibs and I are basically undereducated scrubs, a few of my relatives and many friends attended Notre Dame.  So it was family v. family!


My brother Pete apres tailgate. He wore Longhorn sunnies upside down. Joke was on him.  UT won!!!!


A sea of burnt orange is always a beautiful vista!!!

Happy to report that after a near heart-attack inducing three hours, UT won!  It was the best game ever!


Hook ’em Horns!  May you have a fruitful and successful football season!

And today, we dropped Roman back at the train station for his return back to New York.

I managed to bake cookies. Corn cookies for Roman to take home.

And I made sure to bake a batch of Corn Cookies for him to take home!

Things are back to normal for now.  I’m listening to the sounds of those late-summer crickets, there is a small breeze outside. The breeze isn’t cooling me off, and it is strong enough to rustle the leaves on the trees in front of the house, but it isn’t enough to make the leaves fall yet. That’s nice.

Hope your Labor Day Weekend has been a great one…and now we will get ready to welcome fall and the coming holidays……

Due to the nature of last night’s game, and the great backfield in motion, I can only think of one song……… Mel & Tim with the great song Backfield in Motion. Thanks to Oldies But Goodies on YouTube.

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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14 Responses to Fun in Philly on a Laboriously Labor-Free Labor Day Weekend!

  1. hipchick66 says:

    So glad you enjoyed a day in my city! I told you that you’d eventually warm up to it. Lol. Penn’s Landing has been a favorite spot of mine since they built it, way back when. I even got engaged there (never made it to the marriage part) As for parking, my Dad was an ace, always found a spot. Of course, that sometimes involved driving around the block a few times! As for me, I either take SEPTA, or park in a centrally located garage and walk around.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Lori! I actually thought about you yesterday! Perhaps one day during the winter we can meet up in Philly! It would be great. Maybe for lunch???? But yeah, I’m slowly warming up to Philly. A lot! A real lot! If only the parking sitch could be easier……XOXOXOXO!!!

  2. June says:

    Hi Catherine, Glad you enjoyed your day. We were there last weekend at the Franklin Institute. Great place, especially the planetarium. Yes, i hate the parking too, but we either take the train or find a parking garage. I’ll always be a Philly girl, even though I now live in the burbs.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi June. Ugh. It’s about control. Even when I lived in NJ, I HAD to drive into Philly. I need control over my time spent. The parking garages are fine but after a few hours are expensive–and I had a bad experience about 15 years ago with one. But…I’m improving. We’re going to a Phillies game in a couple of weeks–Bonaparte’s first ever baseball game and PARKING will be free since it’s on the company I work for. That’s a good thing……XOXOXOXO!!!

  3. vadalia says:

    Have your ever written How and Why you ended up in Philly? If so, I would like to read; if not, perhaps you will consider doing so. About UT-Notre Dame, at 10:41pm CDT, I was wondering if anyone had had a heart attack watching the game. I stood up (in our family room) for most of the game. I was so tense, I couldn’t stay seated. (And, I don’t even like football!) Those young men played their hearts out; and I felt so happy for Coach Strong.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Vadalia. Actally, THAT is a good future post about how I ended up in the philly ‘burbs. The wheels are spinning! OMG. That game last night! Thank God I went to the bathroom before the game started and again at half time!! I’ll say no more about THAT! Roman and I were screaming for a good part of the game. SWOOPES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is the man!!! The man!!!! I need to go online and get me another longhorn t-shirt. I have a feeling I’ll be watching a lot of their games this season. And my brother needs to come over to the burnt orange side since my younger niece could very well be attending UT in another ten years if she studies hard. Going to a game at DKR stadium is a special event. I had goosebumps. Oh..and Coach Strong. I love him. I’ll bet he coaches with positive reinforcement. I love him! I can’t wait to talk to my son Jake about the game. He flew back today and has a busy work schedule this week. I’ll touch base with him later on in the week. The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You……………..XOXOXOXO!

  4. Love your description of Philly. I stayed in Philly in 1999 and loved every minute of it. We took a train up the east side of the States from Florida to Philly stopping two nights in Charleston and two nights in Washington. What a way to see the States and such a great opportunity to talk to the people on the train. OK once in Philly we stayed with friends in the centre of Philly, and we did everything you should do as a tourist and more – and all of it, my dear, on the bus!!!!! We went everywhere on their transport system and it really seemed to work for us. You see I like nothing better when I’m abroad to mix in with the locals and do what they do.

    The place we went to most was South Street – we went there practically every day as we couldn’t get enough of it. Didn’t actually realise that it had a bit of reputation until my other half’s cousin plus wife, who lived near Philly (actually in the ‘burbs) were invited to have a meal with us in South Street. I walked with cousin’s wife telling her, ‘oh, look, at this little shop there, we went there yesterday, and you see that place, we were there this morning’ and so on. It took me a little while to suss out that cousin’s wife was absolutely rigid, I mean rigid with staring eyes and a swivelling head and kind of breathing. I mean OK at every intersection there were police standing surveying the scene with guns on their hips but I saw it as really buzzy and rather like Brighton where I lived at the time, albeit a Brighton with guns. Catherine, she was scared!!!!! And so to calm her, ignorant tourist-me carried on, saying, oh look, that’s where I bought etc, etc. I found out later that she had never been to this part of Philly not once in 20 years, and anyway went to the city very rarely. And of course whenever we went to South Street it had every nationality under the sun including blacks, which I thought quite normal which maybe was dangerous, but our friends said not – but she was sooooo out of her comfort zone – sad.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Penny! Wow! I read about your experience in Philly. It’s so sad that people still consider a well-crowded and lively part of Philly–or any city for that matter–“dangerous” because of their narrow-mindedness. I used to get all sorts of questions about living in New York City from deep rooted suburbanites. They thought Manhattan was some sort of Sodom and Gomorrah place–which, for the most part wasn’t. I’m more scared of the odd people who live in rural areas..LOL! I’m just biased against parking! I’m amazed at how someone would be so scared to be among humanity. I can’t even…..XOXOXOXO!!!

  5. doodletllc says:

    Love Your Philly and Parking Post…is the train an Option? That coat is great…a great find. The bat?…I like quirky things but I don’t know about that…makes me feel kinda weird that the poor thing is encased in goopy plastic. Enjoy the Short Week!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Doodle. Train not an option. Why?’s because both Bonaparte and I are complete control freaks. I won’t even take the train into NYC. I drive! You enjoy this short week too. It’s already flying by–like a bat!! Hahahahaha! XOXOXOXO!!!

  6. iolacontessa says:

    THE BAT PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!
    I have NEVER had a BEER……….am I missing OUT?!!

    • Catherine says:

      No. Beer tastes like ear wax. I kid you not, I have NEVER EVER liked beer. It is vile. When I tasted Roman’s beer my reaction was the same “This tastes like sh*t!” I’ll stick to girly drinks and wine…or whine!! XOXOXOXO!!!

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