Tuesday, September 4, 2007

On Rittenhouse Square and Rehoboth Beach

While F&FW is away in foreign lands north of the Red River, comments on food will include places visited. Such is the case here.

At first glance one might think that Rittenhouse Square (RS), Philadelphia, PA and Rehoboth Beach (RB), Delaware are as different as two places can be. But to my wife and me they have similar attractions. RS is in the middle of a city which is the fifth most populous metropolitan area in the U.S. with almost 6 million people. RB might have 6,000 in the winter months and tens of thousands in the summer. Okay, that's a big difference but in this they are similar.
Both have great coffee shops and bakeries, privately owned bookstores and restaurants, churches that look like churches, and places to walk, and people that walk.
And they don't have the same thing. Waves and waves of Gaps and SuperTargets, souless buildings, 8 foot ceilings, and homogeniety.
Rehoboth and Rittenhouse are as they should be as the places that they are. I mean that they have developed over the years "organically" and because of that have a kind of patina of place. Something, say, Southlake or Frisco can only try to imitate. (I like Southlake and Frisco but you know what I mean)
I remember the first time I went into an Italian restaurant in Italy, Florence to be exact. I expected to hear some good Italian music in the background, Pavoratti or Sinatra, even. But what was playing was Kenny Rogers, The Gambler. At first I thought that kind of strange but then I realized that this was an Italian restaurant and as such didn't have to create the mood of one. It was playing the music listened to by the patrons and proprietor. It was what it was.
For my wife and me there is nothing quite like a quiet evening walking along the beach with the lights and sounds of the boardwalk as a backdrop, but Rittenhouse Square with a good book and a cup of coffee on a cool summer evening is not too bad either. We are enjoying them both.

5 comments:

Andrew said...

You can blab on all you want about your fancy coffee shops and pastry cafes--but I'll take some Mi Cocina fajitas and a cold Negra Modelo anyday.

Do you, by chance, drive a Volvo?

Andrew said...

You Commie bastard.

Andrew said...

I see that you fear conflict with me.

Francis Shivone said...

:) --

Francis Shivone said...

To quote a favorite 60's bumper sticker: "What if they had a war and nobody came?"