...visits to knitting stores! First off, Loop on South Street in Philly. Loved, loved, loved this store. Wanted to pack it up and bring it home to Chicago. It was bright, it was well organized, the people were so nice, the samples were all hip and beautifully done. I got some circulars in sizes I had been having trouble locating here. And, it is on South Street, which, if you grew up in the Philadelphia-area in the 80s, was the mecca for all things cool. Skinz and Zipperhead ruled. That's where you would go with your babysitting money to buy your Sex Pistols t-shirts that you were SO not allowed to wear to school, so you only wore them on, like, a day trip with your friends down the shore. (Yes, downtheshore, never down to the shore.) (Photo of the former home of Zipperhead--although I can't remember if the ants were there then.)
I love this place. This artist's work is all over the South Street area, but this is where it all converges.
Then to Jim's for a 40 minute wait, half of it in the rain.
Worth it. Cheese steak with onions, sweet and hot peppers, and Whiz. (That's Cheez Whiz, y'all. Something I absolutely, positively do not eat outside the Philadelphia city limits.)
NOTE: I have a thing about names intentionally spelled wrong like Klassy Kuts or Kidz Korner or anything of that ilk. Cheez Whiz gets a pass, but only when I am in the City of Brotherly Love.
We skipped Sophie's, which is around the corner because the aforementioned wait backed us up a little. It's on my list for the next trip in.
Then, back up South Street to retrieve the rental car, and on to the Chestnut Hill section of the city. Chestnut Hill is lovely. Historic homes, nice shopping, charming restaurants, etc. Try the Baker Street Bakery's Apricot and Pistachio Bread if you get the chance. Delish. And, they also had some decent Philly-style soft pretzels. These are not like soft pretzels anywhere else. Shaped different, taste different, must be eaten with yellow mustard. I love them. A lot. And these weren't bad considering they lacked that street vendor je ne sais quoi.
I stopped in at The Tangled Web and at The Knit With. I bought my very first book of knitting patterns at The Knit With a long time ago, so it has a special place in my heart. I also got some very sweet needles that, I must admit, I bought for decorative rather than practical purposes. Both of these stores were well-stocked but not much was happening at either, so I didn't get a sense of the "culture" at each. (I was really impressed with the variety, selection, and organization of the needles at The Knit With.)
Each LYS has a personality, and you have to find the one that works best for you. For me, I would like to rent a permanent space on the couch at Loop.