By Harry Watermeier, Arden Professional Apprentice
It seems like my fellow apprentices have already written some fascinating and articulate blog posts on children’s theatre, research conferences, and assistant stage management. Unfortunately, I’m not particularly fascinating or articulate. But, I do eat food, drink coffee, read books, and live in Philadelphia. So, for my blog post, I thought I could offer a “photo essay” of sorts that will evoke the impression Philly has made on me since I moved here last August. With the following photos and the passages that accompany them, I’ll attempt to describe the tastes, textures, sights, and sounds of my Philadelphia.
Tremendous tuna melt. Tremendous. I visited Little Pete’s for the first time with fellow APA Rob Heller. We sat at the bar, ate artery destroying sandwiches–Rob introduced me to scrapple–and had a great talk about theatre–what it means, what it should be, what kind of theatre we want to make. Little Pete’s is a great place to have that kind of talk. A passionate talk, a talk without hesitation. The clanging and clacking of plates and cookware, the hiss of scrapple patties on a griddle, the shouting and belly laughter emanating from the regulars who sit in booths that have molded into the shapes of their bodies–all that noise surrounds you like a cloud. You have complete privacy at Little Pete’s because no one, save the person sitting right next to you at the bar–can hear a word you’re saying.
An “eccentric” hair salon that seems to be run out of Barnum’s abandoned attic. It’s a strange place populated by really interesting people. Go for the decent haircut–stay for the most bizarre (if only partially true) stories you’ve ever heard.
Do you like organic mayo, but only when it’s sold to you by preposterously happy employees? Then Trader Joe’s is the place for you! They’ve got everything I love. Hawaiian shirts? Check. Bells to ring? Check. Pirate themes? Check. Little tiny cookies that look like Oreos but aren’t Oreos? Check. Hip chicks with non-prescription Elvis Costello glasses working at the check- out counter? Check. Bag boys that hug their managers when they say hello? Check. Seriously, it’s the greatest grocery store of all time, and I’m pretty sure the company was founded by a cloud made of giggles and Polly Pocket.
This is where I go to exchange my stocks. Stock exchanging is pretty complicated–I wouldn’t expect you to understand it, and I certainly can’t explain it in just a short blog post. I can tell you this–you have to have a pair of wingtips if you want to exchange stock. If you don’t have a pair of wingtips, don’t bother coming in. No, you can’t borrow mine.
This is “Captain,” the navy blue Vespa I pass every morning on my way to work. I’d like to have a Vespa some day. Clearly, I’ve grown quite fond of “Captain.” Lately, I find myself nodding to him as I pass–that’s right, I’m beginning to acknowledge inanimate objects. Maybe I should take a few days off…
This is an apartment building on the corner of 16th and Spruce. I think it’s gorgeous. Its design is heavy, and haunted–somehow ornate yet humble. It’s clearly been eroded by decades of Philadelphia winters, but it wears its history beautifully. I hope to save enough money (through my enormously successful practice of stock exchanging) to one day live in this apartment building. My favorite part of the building? The beam of light that is constantly shooting across it. Look at that beam. Mmmm….beam of light…
Harry’s Philly in Photos series will continue shortly!