PICTURE POST: trip to philly for the philly zine fest, my new home, lots of new friends, so much vegan food, and a very happy ramsey.
on thursday i had the best mail day i've ever had probably! 5 really excellent pieces of mail. i was super stoked. it felt like christmas
that evening, a chicago zine fest planning meeting
on friday after work, daniel came over to pick up rover for the weekend. here he is using my pull up assitance bands to look like an oi kid.... always being weird.
they're best buds! they were roommates for two years
waiting at o'hare with leslie. it was our first trip together! it's really fun taking faraway trips with friends by plane, something i haven't done often. leslie and i are in the same place when it comes to our restlessness with chicago. we both needed an adventure.
we got into philly after midnight on friday night.
our host, ryan, picked us up using a philly car share car and came bearing peanut chews and naked juice.
we planned to go to a pretzel factory but it wasn't open yet, so we went to a hole in the wall called ed's for delicious vegan pizza. you can get really good vegan pizza at several places in philly. it's so hard to find in chicago!
ryan has a big kitchen! something i certainly don't have right now. haha.
actually his whole house is big! he bought it in august. he lives alone in a 4 bedroom house, which, if everything goes according to plan, i'll be moving into in may.
we got acquainted with the house and with dodger dog, and then headed to bed once we were filled up on pizza.
saturday morning i just kept marveling at how much west philly feels like a greener baltimore. they look so similar! it felt like home right away.
we went to a coffeeshop down the street called satellite and ate bagels with vegan cream cheese, olive tapenade, and red peppers. delish. they also had good coffee.
and a case full of baked goods from a bakery in PA called vegan treats, which i had had my fill of when living in baltimore. when bands would tour through philly before baltimore, sometimes they would bring vegan treats to our house as a thank you!
lots of big old charming houses mixed with businesses and trees. the difference i noticed most between philly and chicago is that houses and businesses are all mixed together. in chicago all the businesses are on the same big streets, and all the houses fill the blocks between the major streets. there's not much diversity of real estate.
we went on a mission to find leslie a pair of shoes since hers had holes in the bottom (we failed the mission). we also stopped to get keys made for us!
on the way back to ryan's, we ran into toronto zine kids on the street!
amy leigh and chris, with their host, maria
stopping back home
the cozy living room. ryan is still working on the house. he took out the carpet upstairs and is re-finishing the hardwood floors.
we got the carshare again so we could get around easily since we didn't have bikes
then headed down to south street to go to wooden shoe books, where we met up with bree, a zinester from pittsburgh! she was super sweet
then we walked over to blackbird, a new all vegan pizzashop! a few zinesters met up with us, and a whole bunch of philly punks came too, a few of which i had been talking to online prior to the visit, thanks to a mutual friend who put us in touch.
ryan, leslie and kettner. we had to wait a while because we showed up just as another big crowd did. the shop wasn't prepared for a massive onslaught of pizza intake.
inside, getting our slices
so much for trying to avoid soy until my allergy test... haha.
nishat, joe and sarah. nishat was the mastermind behind organizing a 37 person trip to a haunted hayride and corn maze later that night! a true organizer. i showed up and recognized joe right away. he had stayed at my house in baltimore the last summer i was still living there. he had come through with a band. and sarah is a zine friend i met while in portland. she volunteers at the wooden shoe.
large quantities of food. kettner and lauren. lauren is one of my longtime livejournal friends! (luftpost )
lots more philly punk kids showed up, most of whom we would hang out with again later that night at the hayride
after pizza we went back home to chill out for a bit. then leslie and i walked over to satellite to meet up with kettner for a bit. he draws amazing comics! he's also xambush_bugx on here.
then frances, of hop along, came over to head out to the haunted hayride with us!
sarah (the wooden shoe volunteer that i met while in portland) drove our crew and had the best playlist on her ipod! it was nice to be driving in the middle of nowhere with good friends and good music. a simple pleasure you don't get often when you live in a big city. the haunted hayride was really silly and fun. we had a big enough group that we got a hayride to ourselves. i hadn't been to a haunted house since i was 11 so i was pretty sure i'd be a big wuss but it wasn't very scary at all. no flash photos allowed. bummers, but kind of good because i didn't have my camera to carry. afterwards we all went to a diner
this is how vegans eat at a diner. luckily french fries are my favorite food. haha.
we woke up sunday morning to ryan making us vegan pancakes, sausage and peanut butter, almond blueberry smoothies. best host! he'll make a really good roommate.
leslie and i ventured out sunday morning to find the rotunda where the zine fest was being held. we rode the trolley train.
we arrived and set up. i was sitting next to a distro that i had just mailed my zines to just a few days before! so it was nice to put a name with a face. i met a few other distro kids who also are carrying my zine.
ms. nicole introvert is one of them. she does click clack distro and also sets up the richmond zine fest
lots of friends came to visit. frances used it as the destination of her run. she's training for the marathon! so she ran to the zine fest. ryan came and brought us samosas. joanna matters stopped by. hillary came up from baltimore. lauren luftpost and eric came. a bunch of hayride kids. a surprising amount of strangers came by and said 'oh, YOU make this zine?' which makes you feel really special. haha. it was a good day of tabling.
bree and taryn were sitting right behind us
we didn't know anything about the philly zine fest and what to expect in terms of size or attendance. we mostly just used it as an excuse to visit philly. i was really happy with how the fest went. lots of people came.
amy leigh and chris, post fest
waiting around after the fest for my friend dan bress, who drove up from baltimore just to go out to dinner with us! best dude.
we got four appetizers
aaaand four entrees. we went to new harmony, an all vegan chinese place with a huge menu.
we ate it all, and then we ate cheesecake
on the way back to dan's car, in true dan bress form, he asked if i bet he could jump over this gate. dan is good at jumping over stuff.
he cleared it with no problem but i took the photo a second too early
after food, dan dropped us off at sarah's house and we hung out with sarah and jordan for a while. jordan told us a funny story about collecting old oil from a restaurant in chicago for his veggie oil car when his band was on tour. things went crazy and he ended up covered from head to toe in oil and having to drive back to the house they were staying at like that.
jordan has an uncanny resemblance to our friend tom p. who is the drummer for the band slingshot dakota. he said people mix them up all the time. he did some spot on tom p. impressions.
we also talked a lot about bad tv and sensory depravation tanks.
my future room, which is way bigger than my room now. that's a full-sized bed. it'll be hardwood floors by the time i get there. two windows again! i haven't had more than one window in a bedroom since i've lived in chicago.
this is going to be the upstairs hangout room and guestroom. there's also going to be a little library in the 4th room.
dodger looking into the library room. the room with the closed door is ryan's bedroom.
monday morning, our last day there. heading out for a long walk with dodgey.
we met jordan at satellite and we all talked about being caretakers/teachers (leslie is a nanny, ryan is a high school physics teachers, i'm a nanny and jordan is a one-on-one life skills coach for kids with autism)
while we were there, every group of people who walked in were people that jordan knew. west philly is small feeling. i like it.
one of the groups was a band from dc. i introduced myself and the girl said 'if you're ramsey who lives in chicago now, i've heard all about you!' ahh to be back on the east coast where everyone knows your name.
after two hours at satellite we continued our walk and saw this funny flyer
and stopped at the highly regarded 'fu-wah' for vietnamese tofu hoagies.
waiting outside for our food
dodger had a rough life before ryan got him! he has a huge scar arond his eye and his lip is strange.
we walked to woodland cemetery and had a picnic
it was really pretty and a beautiful day
the edge of the cemetary overlooks train tracks and the river
new friend karen met up with us there. i've been friends with her online for a little while thanks to my zine so it was nice to meet in person!
we stayed for a few hours before moving on
in karen's car
after dropping off dodge, we all headed down to grindcore house, a new all vegan coffeeshop in south philly. here we finally had some vegan treats, and some delicious coffee.
we met up with kettner, who was there working on comics.
we had an in-depth conversation about all the bad teenage shows we watch
outside of grindcore
our final stop of the trip was to govindas for vegan chicken cheese steaks, to go, to eat on the way to the airport!
and then it was time to head back to chicago
ryan said i should take my key home so i'll have it when i'm ready to move there in may!
the flight was prety slow going because we had to wait over an hour on the runway with no explanation, and then there was lightening and turbulence in the air. fun fun.
we arrived in chicago and my two best friends picked us up from the airport.
There are a couple of REALLY GOOD soy free vegan cheeses out these days. The most cheese like is Daiya, and I like it way better than I used to like follow your heart. It's SUPER good. Another is we can't say it's cheese, and they have a bunch of different kinds of cheese spreads and just came out with sour cream (and I think will probably eventually come out with cream cheese and some other stuff) If you find that one, I highly recommend the smoky cheddar. And while you're at the store, pick up some celery, smoked paprika, and pumpkin seeds. I like to do them up like ants on a log, with a dash of paprika over the whole thing.
Also, I haven't tried it yet, but there's another kind of uncheese soy free product that's come out relatively recently. I don't remember what the brand is, but they make real small, I think spreadable, gourmet style cheeses out of nuts. It's kind of expensive to start with, but if you can't find it locally, it's hella expensive to ship.
also, I'm sure you're already familiar with it, but the uncheese cookbook has lots of recipes without soy!
ALSO, earth balance now has soy free earth balance, and it's bomb!
i don't know yet if i'm allergic to it. it's just a guess. i have an allergy test on tuesday. yowzas. it could be anything really.
i don't use a lot of dairy alternatives. the main thing i'd be concerned about is protein because i eat a lot of tempeh and tofu, but i'm sure i could figure it out. i already eat a ton of quinoa.