Life in the Falls remains pretty peaceful. I'd almost say it feels totally secluded from Popeocolypse,... but for those sniper/soldiers/cops/hummers crawling down by Ridge and Kelly drives. Mmm hmmm...
So what are we doing in our little security box today?
Despite discovering, about two years ago, that I kind of liked the out-of-doors, I remain terrified of it. The wild animals, the potential axe murderers, the hunters (who almost blew me to smithereens last year)--What can I say, I'm leery. BUT: I found my happy hiking place in the Wissahickon. It's got loads of gorgeous, fairly secluded trails, but being as how it's plunked in the midst of a giant urban center, is never too far from humanity. I like knowing that I'm probably NOT gonna die alone if I trip and twist my ankle. I also like that it's hunter-free. I can wander with abandon, knowing the only animal likely to cross my path is Chip and/or Dale. The leaves are just starting to fall, and I can't wait to see it deeper into autumn. Check it out! (While you can technically get to a portion of the Wissahickon in East Falls, we cheated this morning and drove, sniper free, about a mile into Germantown to get to a favorite trail.)
Let's face it: After hiking for a sort of average 4 miles, I was FURIOUSLY HUNGRY. George wisely popped by the Trolley Car Cafe on the way home, where I picked up an oh-so-delicious pineapple and mango smoothie. Ah, sustenance. the Trolley Car Cafe is the sister restaurant of the long-established Trolley Car Diner in Chestnut Hill, and we're lucky to have her in East Falls. Located in the historic Bathey (read: old pool house), they've got lovely indoor and outdoor space, are pet friendly, and have a menu loaded with delightful and healthy treats, largely in the form of sandwiches and salads that feature ingredients from the in-house garden. Also, there are milkshakes. Delicious, delicious milkshakes. What's not to love?
Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. And you're always glad you came. You feel me? Ha! Billy Murphy's Irish Saloon is that bar for us, and, I'd venture, a significant chunk of East Falls. I'll skip the word dive--the beer list and food is way too good for that--and go with "cozy neighborhood spot" to describe the dark, picture-covered bar that serves up the best burgers (and, as I found out on today's trek, cheesesteaks) this side of...I don't know where. They're just delicious. (Don't just ask me; Philly.com readers named Murph's Turf Burger as the best in town.) As is the...wait for it...deep fried fluffernutter sandwich. The staff is friendly, the customers talkative and laid back (yesterday we all got into a conversation about the Founding Fathers that ended with "I think Ben Franklin woulda been a Murph's guy"), and you're always sure to hear a good bit of neighborhood gossip. Perfection.