Saturday, April 27, 2013

Surprise Day (Part II: A Tourist in My Own City) ...

From what I hear, I have inherited this whole Surprise Day bit from my maternal grandmother, whom I never met. Although by all accounts she was a difficult woman who was challenging to live with, the love of travel, exploring, and exposing her children to a world beyond their usual borders was important to her. Another influence: I also remember one of the most wonderful days of my young life was waking up to find out that we were off on that particular day to Kennywood, a much loved amusement park in the Pittsburgh area, with my Aunt Rita and Uncle Jim. I think the most delicious thing about being young is feeling like each day can be one grand adventure.

The other thing I've decided I really want to do this summer (our Spring semester is just wrapping up here at Duquesne) is to be a tourist in my own city. When I travel for conferences, I always love wandering around the cityscape, relishing bookstores, restaurants, shops, etc. I have realized, however, that I tend to stick to spaces I am already very familiar with when I'm in my hometown. Which is bo-ring.

So, on this particular Surprise Day, after I picked up my students' final papers, we toured the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh. We didn't see everything. But we had fun. Here's a pic-tour of our day.

We literally stumbled into this place, because we were staaaarving, and they had THE most amazing pancakes I have ever had in my entire life!! Ever (and I do not usually gush about restaurants. Usually, I'm disappointed because I feel like I can cook it better. These, I cannot).  They are a cross between crepes and pancakes, and the crunchy edges, fried in butter, are out of this world. You must try Pamela's Diner if you are ever in the Pittsburgh area (and especially if you live here). 
Next stop was the Shadyside Variety Store, which is filled to the brim with toys. Toys galore. I loved especially that the toys were all housed on vintage shelves, which the owner told me had been in service since her parents bought the store over 40 years ago (true or not, I like the romance of it). I also like this vintage cash register. And they blew bubbles in the store for the girls to pop. 
One of my favorite things to do is to browse a good bookstore. Kards Unlimited is a great one, where I picked up this book filled with ideas for Literary Tattoos and Soph was entranced by the mechanical merry-go-rounds. 
Since we had a little extra time before our next stop, we hit Hidden Treasures, housed in an old McCrory's 5 and 10 in Canonsburg, PA and found Soph these awesome leather ballet slippers for $1. 
The last stop was a Kiddie Dance Party. She be clubbin';). 
Until tomorrow. This weekend is jam-packed with goodness. Tomorrow, the Ramp Festival, where my Dad was chainsaw carving. Yes, ramps. As in really smelly, but super-delicious onions. ~Alice

Linked up at...

The gathering spot Manic Mondays at Serendipity and Spice
Post a Comment