An Evening Celebrating the Hungry Pigeon’s 3rd Birthday (18 January 2019)

After calling the Oyster House to ask if their Restaurant Week menu could be made gluten-free, which it could have been, and finding out their earliest reservation for Friday would be 8:45 PM, I opted out. All the other other Restaurant Week restaurants weren’t gluten-free and I took this as a sign that celebrating the Hungry Pigeon’s 3rd birthday was meant to be. I made reservations at one of my favourite restaurants for Friday, 18 January 2019.

I decided not to go ice skating this week. Instead, before dinner I went to Supercuts and had my undercut freshened up, plus a half an inch taken from my split ends.  It was fun to laugh with my hair stylist and I find getting my hair washed to be relaxing, especially if the stylist massages the scalp. Same with buzzing my undercut – Supercuts helped me feel relaxed. My hair looked great, I dolled up for the birthday bash without breaking the bank ($20).

I was a bit early when I arrived at the Hungry Pigeon and I decided to get a few photos of the decor. It’s no surprise that simple photos can take me 15 minutes and once I had a decent shot with decent lighting, I walked into the Hungry Pigeon for my 5:45 reservation.

I discovered the Hungry Pigeon accidentally on 25 September 2016 after I finished the charity walk for CHOP. I was looking for Red Hook Cafe and as I was walking to the Red Hook Cafe, a sign with a pigeon wearing a bib grabbed my attention. I love pigeons and I wanted to check out this restaurant: the Hungry Pigeon. I had an Austrian pancake with chicken sausage and I was instantly hooked. The Hungry Pigeon will appear in my 2016 Happiness Jar scrapbook when I make it, but I cut one of the bags for the collage that is on the cover of my Happiness Box.




I’m a total foodie and many moments of joy that the employees of the Hungry Pigeon and the Hungry Pigeon itself fill Happiness Boxes 2017 and 2018. When I had to go gluten-free in April 2018, it was refreshing to know that they could make my dishes gluten-free and that my waiters knew ingredients inside and out. Being gluten and dairy free is hard, but they add some ease to it. The Hungry Pigeon is farm to table, homemade, and I think that is why there is some ease. While they can’t make everything gluten-free, I can always find something on the menu. I am also thankful for the patience of the staff because there were points where I had tons of questions. I wasn’t made to feel small and they also double checked on certain things for me too. I never had a bad experience.

I was sitting at the bar and as I was waiting for my prime rib without the aus jus and Yorkshire Pudding, I would be getting extra veggies and mashed potatoes instead, I was chatting with the young man sitting next to me. He asked the general manager for one of the cookbooks and we started talking. I said to him that The Hungry Pigeon brought me so much joy that I wanted to meet the owners and get a photo with them to add to my Happiness Box. The man was a chef at one point and he said, “ask to tour the kitchen. They would gladly let you tour the kitchen and they would be glad to get a selfie with you too. Kitchens and owners are happy to do that.”

After he left, my meal came out. The prime rib was juicy and tender, it melted in my mouth. I was savouring the taste when the general manager came to ask me if everything was okay. I said it was and I had a bit of confidence from talking to the gentleman sitting next to me. I asked the general manager if I could get a selfie with the owners because the Hungry Pigeon brings me so much joy and they have been a part of three Happiness Boxes so far. Sadly, the owners celebrate elsewhere on their anniversary, but they would be happy to some other time. So, in two weeks when I get my full-time pay, I’ll be there! 🙂


I couldn’t finish my Prime rib and ended up getting half of it wrapped up, along with the veggies. I ate the creamy mashed potatoes in a few bites. They were so good too and reminded me of how Nan used to make hers.

Sooo, in typical Jessica fashion, after I ate my meal, the general manager stopped by again to ask if there was anything else I needed. I said the meal was delicious, I was okay, and asked if I could get a selfie with him. His name is Caleb, we chatted for a good ten minutes, and he was such a kind (and kind of cute) guy. I’m such a foodie.

Happy 3rd birthday, Hungry Pigeon! Thank you for the joy you have not only brought me over the past three years, but to other diners as well throughout the region and the world. Here are to many more happy and healthy years ahead!


Last month one of my friends suggested writing a song about Mimi, since I was worried about her dying in 3-6 months and was not looking forward to that time. My friend is a melody writer and I thought that would be a great idea. I wrote the following poem:


In the sun where warmth glows,
gray paws neatly stretched out in rows
that makes her place, where memories lie
of a decade filled with love from an angry sky,
stories and songs in the distance flow.
I am old; a few months ago
I was spry, clean, felt dawn blow,
played with toys and chased the boy, I lie
in the sun.
Drool hangs low; I fight an aging foe,
I hop on the bed, claw the throw,
chase around toys, burst of energy high,
I will not rest, we will laugh and sigh,
we will revel with merriment, gray paws grow
in the sun.
This morning when I woke up, I had an e-mail waiting from my friend. It was a copy of the song and sheet music! The timing was apropos and brought tears to my eyes. The song she wrote is gorgeous; I’m burning it to a CD later and will put it into my Happiness Box.

Thankful Thursday 17 January 2019

Miss Mimi peacefully died on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 at 6:56 AM. Mom texted me with the news. While we have the stray cat we neutered last year in the house, it’s not the same and I need some time to grieve.

I thought of a post this morning, for the future, that I want to take my time with. I am grateful for Mimi’s love for the past 10.5 years. As Terry at the library said, “while they brought us joy and love, we also gave them joy and love that they will take with them.”

I am grateful for the friends, co-workers from both jobs, and relatives that reached out to me after Mimi crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Ms. Ernestine has let me keep Blu, her pet fish, on my desk so I won’t feel so alone. Terry gave a copy of the Rainbow Bridge poem with condolences, Shetana and Kathleen sent me e-cards, Aunt Peg sent all of us (mom, dad, and I) a pet sympathy card.  I’m also thankful for all the blog buddies that reached out. They have made the transition easier.

What are you thankful for today?’

Oh, here is a picture of the boy. Mom and dad have been spending time with him, but I can’t right now. I sort of had a blow up about it the other night with friends, we started bringing him in when Mimi was alive and he stalked her a few times. She was visably shaken and felt like we were going to replace her. I said that he killed her and he belongs in the trash (I wouldn’t hurt the cat, but he’s a stray and went from trash can to trash can). I offended an old friend who is vegan and she didn’t want to hear anymore of it. She didn’t think my anger was justified and she didn’t think a stray cat could bring in diseases. Most of my friends agreed with me, that he could have brought disease, but they also understood my feelings. I just lost Mimi and I have a right to my feelings. They also agreed that I just need some time to grieve.



And mom sent me these two of Mimi from last month:

My Sweet Mimi

Mimi, my cat, is not long for this world. Last month our new vet saw jaw/tooth cancer present in her and we knew it was only a matter of time. We just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. I took this photo of her yesterday, our selfie, for my Happiness Box. While I know death isn’t happy, I’m going to include her passing with a beautiful memory and the photo of us after I graduated in December 2013. I am grateful for all the love she has shown me over the years.

Tonight, until I go to bed, I am going to sit with her and spend the time I have with her because if she makes it through the night, I have both jobs tomorrow. I’m going to miss Mimi.

A Quiet Weekend In

After work yesterday (library), I decided to stay in for the weekend. I was planning on skating yesterday earlier in the week, but I was feeling tired. My goal for this year is not to push myself when I need rest. I’m also an introvert and I have found that when I over extend myself by constantly running, I become a mean person. I need me time to recharge.

I had lunch at Panera and went shopping at Trader Joe’s. Before Trader Joe’s, I stopped into Kabob Cafe and found that the Turkish Delight is gluten free! They also have chick pea flour cookies, but I could only afford the Turkish Delight. The cashier understood, she stated they have the cookies all the time and next week I’ll go back to get them. Yesterday made up for my snafu in Philadelphia on Friday night.

Dad lit the fireplace last night and we all enjoyed the fire. It was indeed very peaceful and it was nice to sit in front of the fire and read.

Sundays in 2019 will be my day of rest. I want to designate a day where I don’t spend any money and I think Sunday is a great day since I don’t have either jobs. That will also be my cleaning day. We had snow this morning and I managed to get to the playground. I had fun playing in the snow. 🙂

I’m calling it an evening to watch 60 Minutes and (hopefully) scrapbook! Have a great Sunday evening.

Friday Night Skating 11 January 2019

Last night I ventured into the city and went ice skating. I actually walked from my full-time job to Manayunk and had a nice hike. It was freezing — 28 degrees F — but the cold air hitting my face was refreshing. Yes, I love winter and the cold. When I arrived in Manayunk, my attention was diverted to a restaurant. They were closed, but one of the workers gave me a menu and said they can make oatmeal and tater tots gluten free for me. Next time, I’ll have to go before 3pm. As I waited for the bus into the city, I picked up a magazine and there is an Iranian tea house in Manayunk that I want to try.

I skated without an ice walker and met some kind people. One was a photographer and took a few photos of me with my camera. We had a blast and I also had a blast taking photos of the rink.

A little snafu with trying to eat out last night. Find Me GF led to me to a GF Korean place, but when I arrived, they had foods I wouldn’t eat. I also can’t do dairy or soy for the same reasons as gluten. It was also mostly pork based and I can’t do that for religious reasons. I found the restaurant Charlie was a sinner, but after twenty minutes of waiting and no sign of a table, I left. All of the gluten free restaurants stretching from 11th-13th and Market Streets lost power and no one could dine. I ended up going home hangry and warming up a frozen dinner in the microwave. Next week I’ll just make reservations somewhere.