Aug 28, 2008

Manayunk, at Last

I finally went to Manayunk.

How many years have I known about Manayunk's renaissance? Twenty years? Sad. Anyhow, John and I needed an excuse, and so we found one. We need a doorknocker. And a new mailbox. So we thought we'd check out Restoration Hardware, which happens to be located in Manayunk. Our babysitter was available on Saturday so we tooled on over.

Manayunk is fairly funky if you ignore the Pottery Barn. And the Restoration Hardware, which did have predictably acceptable door hardware. I fell in love with Artesano Iron Works, just under the big bridge on the west side of Main St. In fact, I have a terrible crush on a copper-topped table and chairs there. Their furniture is made of reclaimed lumber from Colombia. It's very heavy and square but has ornate ironwork on some of it, so some of the pieces look like treasure chests. The big old bridge, resplendent with arches, looms over the shop.

The best thing about Manayunk isn't the shops or the restaurants but the edginess of it, real edginess, not manufactured by a "loft" condo developer. The Manayunk Canal drifts dankly by, as you sip your California Dreamin' IPA at Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant. You can see people walking up on the railroad trestle high above the Schuylkill River next to the canal. A couple of kids jump into the river from that height, which surprises you.

After supper you walk along the Schuylkill River Trail, narrowly avoiding getting slammed by bicyclists. Across the canal, young men play a pickup game in a weedy city basketball court. Beyond the river, cars rush by on the Schuylkill Expressway. The sky turns pink and gray as you walk along. It's a Saturday night in late August. You walk in towards Main St. , where two tired women sit on a bench. There are more "For Rent" signs at this end of town than there should be. You see a sign for the SEPTA station and so you look for it. The tracks are elevated, and rise above the length of Cresson St., dwarfing and dominating the shops. Under the tracks you find The Cresson Inn, "Where the Real Yunkers Drink." All two of them. Edward Hopper, where are you now?

You could be "down the shore," but no, you're in Manayunk. It's hard to think of a more bittersweet place to be at summer's end.

6 comments:

Domestic Goddess said...

Hmmmm...you've given me good ideas. We've got a sitter this weekend. Maybe we'll check that out!

Mommychicky said...

If you think it's great now, you should have been there 10-years ago. On a Saturday night in the summertime, the vibe was unbeatable - there were tons of stores, restaurants and everything was open late. You couldn't go down there without running into people you knew. Next time you go, have dinner at Zesty's...

Lilian said...

Lovely post, although I've only driven through Manayunk...

Anyway... I never ever spend much time at facebook, but today for some reason I did, and that's how I found out you were posting again -- great!! :-)

Lamar said...

You missed some of the best galleries and stores by putting your visit off so long, Lauren. Even the Japanese restaurant - the name of which I should remember, but don't - is not up to its own standard from ten years ago. Sonoma is half as good as it was. There was a real kick ass barbeque place back when I still ate that stuff. Owen Patrick is gone. Instead there are more bars and apartments -- it will settle into being an approximation of South Street for the long haul, I predict. I must be getting old if I've lived through the renaissance and the beginning of the decline of a section of the city... Lamar

Jennifer said...

Ooh, that sounds like a good time. Although the jumping off the bridge? I'd have been this close to calling 911.

Signed, Nervous Nellie

you said...

好秘书 中国呼吸网 肿瘤网 中国皮肤网 癌症康复网 中国公文网 工作总结 个人工作总结 半年工作总结 年终工作总结 单位工作总结 教师工作总结 教学工作总结 学校工作总结 德育工作总结 财务工作总结 医务工作总结 安全工作总结 乡镇工作总结 党员工作总结 团委工作总结 公司工作总结 实习工作总结 班主任工作总结 党支部工作总结 办公室工作总结 学生会工作总结 工作报告 政府报告 述职报告 述职述廉 考察报告 自查报告 情况报告 调研报告 调查报告 申请报告 辞职报告 实习报告 验收报告 评估报告 工作汇报 思想汇报 汇报材料 情况通报 情况汇报 心得体会 学习体会 工作体会 培训体会 读后感 领导讲话 庆典致辞 节日致辞 开业开幕 演讲稿 竞聘演讲 就职演讲 比赛演讲 征文演讲 节日演讲 演讲技巧 工作意见 活动策划 工作方案 整改方案 实施方案 企划文案 营销方案 培训方案 应急预案 规章制度 法律法规 事迹材料 先进事迹 个人事迹 申报材料 学习材料 考察材料 经验材料 交流材料 自我鉴定 工作计划 工作规划 年度工作计划 学校工作计划 个人工作计划 团委工作计划 工会工作计划 单位工作计划 党支部工作计划 民主生活会 入党志愿书 入党申请书 入团申请书 转正申请书 党性分析材料 先教活动 整改措施 剖析材料 公告通知 模板范例 贺电贺词 常用书信 合同范本 社交礼仪 法律文书 论文