Friday, September 17, 2021

Philadelphia Freedom

We started off a gray morning with apple muffins for me and a fifth season episode of Hogan's Heroes. "The Kommandant Dies at Dawn" after Klink accidentally spills Nazi secrets at a party. Hogan and the others have to rescue him in order to get important papers from where they stashed them on his belt to an operative.

Headed out shortly after the episode ended. As we strolled down the White Horse Pike to Collingswood, we noticed a sign stuck in the grass indicating there will be a block party/church fair on West Collings Avenue Sunday afternoon. We tried to think of things to do Sunday afternoon besides sit around and freeze in my apartment. This would be perfect.

Our first stop in Collingswood was The Pop Shop. They closed for a little while longer than some of the other local restaurants last year, but that gave them time to remodel and expand after the South American restaurant next door shut down. They're still painted in pastels, but the clocks that were once on the back wall were likely moved to the new party room, and the bathrooms looked a hundred times better. 

They scaled back on their huge menu, too, but also added a few new things. I ended up with the chicken cheesesteak; Lauren had the Santa Fe grilled chicken sandwich. We got to try their new, delightfully salty and crispy tater tots. We both had ice cream floats for dessert. Lauren recreated her father's childhood favorite, seltzer with chocolate syrup and vanilla and chocolate ice cream. I went with a simple root beer float. They came in cute little mason jar glasses that slightly overflowed when we dug in.

After lunch, we strolled straight to the Collingswood PATCO and hopped on a barely-full train to Philadelphia. Got off at the 8th Street platform. We eventually clamored up the stairs to Market Street. Lauren spied a Ross rather appropriately on the ground floor of the beautiful old Lits Brothers department store building across the way, so we went there next.

The Ross was huge, bigger than even the one in Audubon, and pretty busy. They had luggage in the back of the store along with the usual clothes, accessories, and housewares. Lauren bought a shirt and another sweater vest. I picked up a rainbow-colored umbrella. My orange striped umbrella I got at a yard sale when I first moved here finally broke a couple of months ago, and my blue one lost its holding strap. I needed an umbrella I could carry around on trips.

Turns out it was a good thing I bought it. The clouds finally burst into a fine, light shower, enough for me to open it for us while Lauren figured out where to go next. It faded even as we made our way down a block or two to Five Below.

I'm glad we didn't check out the one in Audubon. It couldn't hold a candle to the two-story store on Market Street. Kids books, toys, and clothes were on the bottom floor. Candy, seasonal decorations, and computer accessories were on the first floor as you came in. I didn't get anything, but Lauren picked up a few small items.

Doubled back to the Fashion District to check out Burlington Coat Factory. They're pretty much the same thing as Ross, and maybe even bigger and more filled with clothing and last year's weird seasonal decorations. This time, Lauren couldn't find anything, and I picked up a long-sleeved pale blue sweater.

Went into the actual mall at this point. While it did look infinitely better than it used to as The Gallery Mall, it's still a bit dark and dreary in there. We checked out a small GameStop, but found nothing of interest and moved on. 

Left the mall and followed the crowds down the street to the big Macy's. This is the historic building that used to be Wanamaker's, until Macy's bought the company. I was looking for socks, but it seems they're remodeling or redoing their intimate apparel and accessories section. We eventually ended up using the bathroom and not much else.

Neither of us ever heard of Primark, the department store across the street and one of the Fashion District anchors. Research reveals it's an Irish-based store, not far removed from Ross, Burlington, and such. It was also mobbed to the gills. You could barely walk around all the people looking for outstanding prices on chunky sweaters, heavy boots, and thin socks. Lauren picked up some of those sweaters. I found nothing. It seems that Primark only started carrying plus sizes three years ago. I imagine any they had in that nut house disappeared weeks ago. The only item I saw even close to my size besides the cheap socks was a black raincoat. Not to mention, the music they blasted in the store gave me a headache. I waited in the main concourse, where I could actually think.

After all that, we figured it was time to go home. Took a full train back to Collingswood. Made a brief stop at PNC Bank for me to use the ATM machine, then strolled back to Oaklyn through Newton Lake Park. Despite the cloudy and cool weather, the park is beautiful, all bottle green ripples on the river and bright emerald leaves waving in the barest hint of a breeze.

When we got in, we rested for a while as we watched Match Game '77. Charles refused to give his Audience Match answer unless the camera was on him...which prompted director Marc Breslow to move it on everyone but Charles, and then over his head! New Year's Eve on Match Game '76 was almost as wild. Charles declared "the final Bicentennial Minute" as a paper mache bald eagle dropped an egg saying "Match Game '77" into his waiting arms. (For the record, "Bicentennial Minutes" were short bits of American history narrated by stars of the time broadcast from 1974 to the end of 1976.)

Buzzr jumped back to Match Game '74 as we settled down for a dinner of leftover salmon and vegetables. The first major riot on the show occurred when Ira Skutch, the show's producer and judge, didn't match "friend" and "girlfriend." Almost everyone had "friend," and they went crazy! Unlike later in '77, Gene was able to get them calmed down, though the girl lost. (They did bring her back a few episodes later to make up for the mess.)

We watched Match Game PM while eating applesauce and I did the dishes. Richard's still a bit grouchy in this episode, the second-to-last nighttime episode before the set changed. Joyce Bulifant got an especially cute answer to what Q hid in James Bond's shorts.

Took a shower after that, then went online. Finished the night with the pirate yarn Moonfleet at TCM. Young John Mohune (Jon Whiteley) arrives at the home of Jeremy Fox (Stewart Granger) with a letter from  his mother. Seems his mother has entrusted him with the boy's care. Fox is more interested in the smugglers who operate out of the title village. The two end up searching for a treasure hidden in the area, a fabulous diamond...but the smugglers would love to get their hands on it too.

Dashing tale with a few good action sequences, though Granger seems a bit stiff as the gentlemanly rogue in love with three different women. Little Whiteley has a lot more fun as the wide-eyed kid caught up in it all. 


Linda said...

Have they put anything into the old Strawbridge & Clothier store we went past when we visited in 2009?

Also, why are you freezing--is it because Jodie turned on the A/C? Is there no separate thermostat in the apartment? Can you close the vents a little instead?

Emma said...

They're FINALLY putting a small-scale, high-end Giant Grocery Store in the bottom floor. Apparently, the upper floors have been offices for years.

I thought I had a separate thermostat, but from what Jodie says, it doesn't sound like I do. Yes, it's because she turned on the A/C, and her side of the house gets hot as heck. I'm not sure there are vents - it's central heating. I think it's just because this side of the house is so small and boxed-in.