Last night I broke from normal tradition when it comes to the last Friday of the month – I didn’t go to the Art Museum and didn’t see their final Friday. They are renovating and the bus doesn’t pick up near the Art Museum and I have to walk a few blocks. While it’s usually no big deal, last week it was miserable, cold and I was getting over acute bronchitis – it wasn’t appreciated last week and I didn’t feel like doing it this week. I’ll return in May (April’s Final Friday is Def Poetry and has a $50 fee attached).
Instead, I decided to have dinner at the Hungry Pigeon and after go to Barnes and Noble. However, before I trekked down to South Street, I wanted to head to Arch Street and go to the sock shop. I always passed Philly Socks on Sundays before skating, but the shop was never opened. I needed new socks since I go through socks like water.
Fortunately, Philly Socks was opened and I will be honest, I was a bit surprised when I walked in. The shop always display funny, hip socks in the window, and I assumed a young, urban professional owned the shop. Instead, it was an older Italian man, who was extremely sweet and helpful. He reminded me of my great uncle – who made socks (ironically) before he moved (and later died in) Arizona. I hadn’t seen him for 20 years and since he died two years ago, I don’t have that opportunity anymore, but the owner reminded me so much of him.
Last month when I walked by, I saw Drake socks in the window. They said, “God’s Plan, Ask and It is Given”. When I walked in, he noticed my Blue Jays jersey and asked if I was from Toronto. I said no, but was hoping to move there one day. He smiled and I asked him if he still had the Drake socks – he handed me a the only pair left. He saw me look at the Canadian flag socks he had hanging up, then suggested the socks with all of the Canadian PMs. I couldn’t resist. I also found “professional” socks that I can wear with my work clothes. As I was checking out, I told him my needs – heavy, good quality socks, since I go through socks like water. He reassured me his socks were high quality and they are. He thanked me for the business and I was so happy with not only the product, but customer service. I’ll go back in the summer to pick up some more socks for the fall.
Friday was a beautiful day and it was a nice walk to South Street. Since Friday was so nice, for the first half an hour I sat at the bar at the Hungry Pigeon, the restaurant was empty. I guess 5:15 is a bit early for dinner, but I enjoyed the lull of activities. I had the opportunity to chat with the manager and my waiter. My waiter was great, he was knowledgeable of gluten-free (actually, all of the waiters are and I am most grateful about their knowledge) and suggested socca for dinner. A Middle Eastern chickpea flour with grilled carrots, vinegar onions, and Labneh. It was good. Filling and needed a doggy bag (this will be Sunday’s lunch).
By 5:35, the crowd was picking up, and when I left at 6:10, there were no tables left. An older couple came in and sat next to me and as I was eating ice cream, my cute waiter suggested socca to the older woman. I said to her, “you will love it. I just had it – it was savory and tasty, a dinner pancake, and it’s filling.” She smiled and thanked me, she couldn’t wait to sink her teeth into it.
Before I left, I asked my waiter for a selfie. He agreed and the older woman said to me afterwards, “that’s my nephew. He’s a great guy.” She smiled and I smiled too, “I come here a lot and this is my favourite place. He’s one of my favourites too.” I left and I realized that I forgot his name! Since I paid in cash, he took the check away, and I didn’t get a receipt with a name. Next time I go back, I’ll remember to take the check since I’m teaching myself to pay for most things in cash.
I took the bus to Barnes and Noble. I wanted to buy Jesse Duquette’s The Daily Don and according to B & N’s website, they had copies in store. I didn’t see the book with the new releases and I asked a staff member. He went out of his way to search the computer, walk through two floors to find this book. There wasn’t a copy in store, but he put in an order. This morning, Jesse responded to an e-mail I wrote a few weeks ago asking if he could sign a book for me when it was released. He apologized for not seeing this sooner, but he would be honoured to do so. $20 for a signed book, that includes shipping and handling. I guess it worked out in my favour that B & N didn’t have the book since I will now have a signed copy – the signed copy plus S & H, will cost me what I would have paid at B & N without the signature. Actually, it’s cheaper because it would have been $22 after taxes. I can’t wait to get my hands on the book.
I listened to the Blue Jay’s game on the way home. They won!
Today’s entry in the Farmer’s Almanac is a simple phrase, “a kind word is like a spring day.” Spring is finally here and the kindness of both Philly Socks and Hungry Pigeon yesterday testify the validity of that assessment.
I’m thinking about writing Hungry Pigeon a thank you note, thanking them for the care they take of me for ensuring a safe dining experience. Also, the staff is kind and make the dining experience too. Would that be too much?