GRATITUDE: Spring is coming
I was rescheduling a dental appointment and the receptionist suggested Friday, March 20.
I told her that would be fine -- and by the way, according to my schedule book, that was the first full day of spring.
"Thank you, Jesus!" she replied.
EAST MARLBOROUGH: Sovana Bistro fire was accidental
I had two questions for East Marlborough supervisor Eric Matuszak: (1) What caused the Jan. 3 blaze that destroyed Sovana Bistro? and (2) How much longer is the roadwork on Route 82 south of Willowdale going to take?
Eric referred my questions to the new township manager, Neil Lovekin, who replied promptly.
John Weer, the County Fire Marshal, officially listed the fire as an "accident." The township has received an application for a demolition permit from the owner.
"The site contractor is working on installing the sanitary sewer and water lines across Rt. 82, and they are working to widen the road for the crosswalk installation that includes a concrete center island for refuge. It is unknown how long it will take to complete this task. PECO subcontractors are working in the area replacing poles and upgrades to their infrastructure. PECO will also be extending their gas main in the travel lane of Rt. 82 from the Willowdale Chapel to the Unionville Walk development; unknown time frame/schedule."
Neil notes that "Toll Brothers is very eager to get their model house completed and all of these improvements need to be completed before they can open."
Thank you to Eric, Neil, and Jeff Simpson (East Marlborough's public works manager) for providing this info.
UNIONVILLE: A sold-out fashion show
A few weeks ago I mentioned the upcoming runway show that David Ferron, Unionville's own fashion designer, is holding at the Brandywine River Museum on March 28. I told David I'd write a lengthier item closer to the date to get the word out.
No need: It's already sold out!
David told me he was surprised and pleased by the sellout. And only a handful of the guests are friends and family, he said; the rest are clients and their friends.
He said he's thrilled to have his first show at the River Museum, which he has been visiting since he was a boy: "I always thought, if I ever did a runway show, it would be at the River Museum." All three floors will be part of the event. He timed the show to coincide with the sunset over the Brandywine and hopes the event is "leisurely and relaxed."
He'll be showing 15 to 20 looks, from casual to formal, which he hopes capture a "painterly" sense that's in sync with the artwork at the museum.
"This is my opportunity to say something important," he said.
When I visited his showroom in downtown Unionville, David showed me some of the clothes the models will be wearing. He said he stresses "good fit and good details" and does not use standard sizes, instead working with his client's body.
During our time together I got a sense of the amazing amount of work that goes into putting on a runway show. David's doing everything from selecting the models, choosing fabrics and colors, making and fitting the clothes, to supervising his assistant, to the less-than-glamorous work of cleaning cat hair off the showroom chairs with a lint roller.
David left the fashion world of New York City to come back home to Unionville and work for himself, and I'm happy to see him doing so well and enjoying it.
He'll be taking appointments for everyone who wants to see the collection or place an order for late summer/fall 2020 events and weddings. They can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (610) 470-1254 to set up an appointment.
HEADLIGHTS: Middle of the road
Are you stuck in a political conversation that's going downhill fast?
I have hit upon a guaranteed solution. Just change the subject to the blindingly bright headlights on cars these days, and the two of you will find yourself in immediate agreement.
It's not just a matter of aging eyes, either. I've heard from people of all ages that they are reluctant to drive at night because it's gotten so stressful. A couple I know will call a ride-hailing service rather than drive just a few miles to go to dinner.
"I actually have to stop on the road," said one friend. The new headlights seem to be even brighter than what used to be high beams. And rain makes the dazzling, blue-tinged headlights even worse.
I've tried to pick out which vehicles are especially bad, but I couldn't reach any conclusion: one Saab or Kia, or Mini or pickup, can be awful, but then the next is fine.
The other night I was eastbound on Hood Road and came to the stop sign at Route 841. The headlights on the car across the intersection were so bright that I simply couldn't tell if anyone was approaching on the main road. I had to wait for the other car to turn before I felt safe pulling out. And it wasn't until a mile down the road that my eyes returned to normal rather than snowblindness mode.
So next time someone's wagging their finger in your face, turning red and screaming "He's EVIL!" ... just say, "Isn't it awful driving at night these days?"
It works. Take it from Tilda.
SPRINGDELL: Route 841 will be closed through April
The open grate bridge on Route 841 at Thouron Road will be closed for repair starting Monday, March 16. The PennDOT project is expected to take until late April.
Route 841 (Chatham Road) will be closed between Springdell Road and Blow Horn corner at Route 82 (Doe Run Road). Here is PennDOT's suggested detour: "Chatham Road motorists will be directed to use Route 841 South (Chatham Road), Route 842 East (Clonmell Upland Road), and Route 82 North (Doe Run Road). Local access will be maintained up to the construction zone."
The bridge, which crosses the Doe Run, was built in 1932 and rebuilt in 1974. It's 81 feet long and 23 feet wide and carries an average of 502 vehicles a day, according to PennDOT.
At the West Marlborough Township meeting on March 3, the supervisors said they knew nothing about the project until a Springdell resident asked them about it. They said they wished PennDOT had given them more notice of the roadwork.
KENNETT SQUARE: Tubman mural
The Kennett Library board is looking for ideas on how to preserve the Harriet Tubman mural, which is painted on the side of a building on Willow Street. The proposed new library building will block the mural, which shows the famous Underground Railroad conductor holding a lantern to light the way for fleeing slaves.
Residents who want to offer input can meet with the library's New Building Committee in the library's conference room at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 14.
ANSON NIXON PARK: Concert series changes
Richard Lyon, chairman of the Anson B. Nixon Park Board, phoned me this afternoon to clarify the situation about the popular summer concert series in the park. He said they are working hard to hold some free concerts this year, although there won't be as many as there were in prior years.
He noted that the concerts require a great deal of advance organization and funding. "People assume the park has a tax base, but we don't," he said.
The first show will be on Wednesday, June 17, with percussionist Tony Vacca, and four more are in the process of being booked (no band names or dates yet).
Mr. Lyon said in an attempt to draw more audience members from the Hispanic community, he's working with local Hispanic groups to arrange a Latin music festival on a Sunday in August. In September a "Rock the Park" fundraiser will be organized by the Friends of the Park.
In addition to taking on the new role of concert impresario, Mr. Lyon is a well-known local registered landscape architect with Wallace Landscape Associates.
There will also be a concert at the park at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 25, by Countdown to Ecstasy, a Steely Dan tribute band. It's not free, though, and ticket prices vary based on whether you're a member of the Kennett Flash.