Thursday, March 27, 2008

Evidence of Green in Philadelphia

The boys are home on Easter break this week, and my husband and I hired a babysitter yesterday and headed across the bridge into Philadelphia. We had no plans except lunch reservations, and it turned out to be a day of green in Philadelphia.

Our reservations were at White Dog Cafe, a restaurant known for using fresh, local, natural ingredients and for being socially active. We were lucky enough to get a parking spot right on the block where the restaurant is, and when we got out of the car the first thing we noticed was a sign on a gate that read King's Court English College House Green Roof Project. The sign described the garden that will be on the roof of this University City (the neighborhood of Philly we were in - Penn and Drexel are located there) building that would help to cool the top floor of the building as well as the surrounding block. 

We then passed a huge recycling bin that was divided into three sections right in the middle of the block. It was ugly, but it was in plain site and made it easy for anyone walking by to recycle plastic, glass or paper. In a college neighborhood, that's really convenient.

We had some time to kill before our lunch reservations so we headed to the corner college bookstore. Outside on a sale table I found a wonderful Seasonal Food cookbook, something this locavore wannabe snatched up for only $10. Inside the store, the staff was listening to the local station that carried All Things Considered, and they were discussing the growing desire in our country for local food, and the problems that some farms are facing being able to supply it. 

I sensed a theme. In one city block there was a rooftop garden being developed, a restaurant catering to locavores, an in your face recycling bin, and talk of the local food movement being broadcast from the speakers. Green was everywhere. Oh, and in the bookstore when I purchased my cookbook and another small book, I was asked, "Would you like a bag?" instead of just being handed a bag that was completely unnecessary to carry the small amount I had just purchased.

Our first half hour spent on the 34th block of Samson Street set the mood for the day. Green was the topic of conversation. At lunch, my husband and I talked about creating a website that points people in our local area to all of the environmentally friendly businesses in our immediate area. We talked about how we're going to try to make the addition to our home we are planning as green as possible. Sitting at the table at White Dog Cafe, I finally got the confirmation that my husband is really on board with the direction my life and my writing are taking. 

It was a good day.

After lunch we headed to Old City and hunted down a new green home building supply store called Greenable. Come back tomorrow, and I'll tell you all about this fabulous store and their knowledgeable, helpful, friendly staff.

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