BUSINESSES: Sushi and Pilates
Two new stores are coming to the Longwood Village shopping center this fall.
1. Wasabi, an Asian restaurant and sushi bar, is the third in a local chain, all with the same name. The other Wasabis are in the Dilworthtown Crossing shopping center on Route 202 and the Ashbridge Square shopping center on Route 322 in West Chester.
2. Club Pilates is a studio offering classes in the popular fitness technique founded by Joseph Pilates. According to their website, "Unlike the mat Pilates classes offered in many gym settings, Club Pilates offers classes using an array of specialized equipment, including the Reformer, EXO-Chair, Bosu Ball, TRX Suspension Trainer, springboards and more." Club Pilates is part of a national franchise; other local studios are in Exton, Frazer, Collegeville, and Lancaster.
EAST MARLBOROUGH: High-level equestrian event
The 12th annual Plantation Field International Horse Trials will be held Sept. 19 through 22. This prestigious event draws competitors from all over the world.
Spectators can get a close-up view of horses and riders, including some Olympic team members, competing in the sport of eventing, which has three phases: dressage (Thursday and Friday), cross-country (Saturday and Sunday morning), and show jumping (Saturday and Sunday).
One of the superstar participants will be Cochranville's Boyd Martin, who just won individual and team gold medals in eventing at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
There will also be an antique car show, food trucks, a Victory Brewery beer garden, vendors, and a 5K Fun Run where dogs are encouraged to run with their owners. The event's beneficiary is the Chester County Food Bank.
The weekend schedule and tickets are available online. Admission is free on Thursday and Friday, but there's an admission fee on Saturday and Sunday.
Plantation Field is on Route 82, west of Unionville. The entrance for spectators is off Green Valley Road.
NEW GARDEN: Changes coming for Peebles
The Peebles department store in the New Garden shopping center is closing but will re-open under a different name. It will stock similar merchandise and will still be owned by Stage Stores, a Houston-based corporation that also operates Bealls, Palais Royal, Goody's, and Gordmans brick-and-mortar stores and stage.com.
RIP: Annie Burrows
Annie C. Burrows, a counselor who lived in downtown Kennett until just a few weeks ago, died on Aug. 10 at the age of 90. When I moved here in 1990, at first I was lonely and unsure how to get involved in the community. "Make it your own," she advised me, and I took her words to heart. In retrospect, they’ve made quite a difference.
Annie knew a thing or two about adversity: She grew up in Paris during the German occupation, emigrated to Canada after the war and finally moved to the States. She was active in Kennett Friends Meeting and a regular for many years at the Kennett YMCA. She was the widow of Richard Burrows, who died in 2012.
I'm sure many local people will miss her wisdom and her distinctive French accent.
A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at Kennett Friends Meeting.
PHILLY: A medical morning
It felt very odd backing out of the garage into complete darkness, but when you have a 6:30 a.m. appointment at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Center City Philadelphia, you have to get a very early start. The sun was up by the time we hit the Schuylkill Expressway, which was already crowded with people on their way to work. We took the Vine Street Expressway to Tenth Street, drove under the elaborate Chinatown Arch and parked in a garage next to the hospital building.
The Jefferson employees were universally helpful, polite, professional, and friendly, even at that early hour. One fellow in the waiting room seemed tickled when the warm-hearted nurse noticed that his blue eyeglasses matched both his shorts and his walker.
There was a big-screen monitor in the waiting room so patients could keep track of their loved one's progress (to comply with privacy regulations, each patient is assigned a number). I watched Dearest Partner's status move from "getting registered" to "waiting for surgery" to "surgery in progress" (right on time, 7:30 a.m.) and, after 90 minutes, to "recovery."
It was then we got the surprising news that the offending tissue that brought us into Philadelphia had actually disappeared on its own! The surgeon, Dr. Alex Schlacterman, assured us that he had done his best to locate it (D.P. fervently wished he had gone into less detail about that process) but it simply wasn't there anymore. He showed us photos. Well, he showed me photos.
We validated our parking pass, retrieved our car, paid $26 with the Jefferson discount, and exited.
As we tried to get back on the Vine Street Expressway, I quickly realized that my knowledge of Center City traffic patterns had deteriorated considerably since I lived there in the early 1980s. The bright side of our detour is that we got to drive past the William J. Green Federal Building, Independence Hall, a multi-story Target, the former Philadelphia Inquirer building (surrounded by scaffolding) and lots of old warehouses being converted to trendy apartments. The city looks really good.
We were considerably more lighthearted, if weary, on the drive home.
CARS: Pimp my ride
As per usual, we were watching the Longwood Garden fireworks display from the parking lot of the Longwood Village shopping center at 9 p.m. Aug. 10. What was distinctly NOT per usual was the fact that a steady stream of dozens of cars quickly filled up the entire east side of the parking lot. They weren't there for the fireworks; it was a nighttime car meet.
After the fireworks we walked down to investigate. The participants, mostly young men, were busy socializing and admiring each others' cars. Some of the vehicles were unadorned but others were massively modified, with thumping stereos, blue "ground effect" lights and loud engines. I was amused to see a Honda CRV (my own utilitarian model) tricked out with a graphic red-and-white paint job, oversize rims and tiny tires.
The event was organized via social media. "Everyone come out for a great night and see some sick cars!!!!" said the Facebook invitation.
MUSIC: A tale of two concerts
We had a great time on Aug. 9 at a concert by the Tongue in Cheek Jazz Band, a Baltimore quartet that plays lively tunes from the 1920s and 1930s, songs like "Button Up Your Overcoat," "Egyptian Ella," and the Rudy Vallee hit "Deep Night." We learned that what we'd call a "sugar daddy" was known in the Twenties as a "butter and egg man."
Tongue in Cheek performed as part of the Friends Folk Club series at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Oxford. The audience was small but enthusiastic and bought a lot of CDs after the show. The group comprises Bridget Cimino (vocals), Matt Andrews (violin), Ed Goldstein (tuba), and Zach Serleth (banjo and guitar). I think they'd be a great choice for next summer's Anson B. Nixon concert series.
Speaking of which, the final Anson B. Nixon concert for the summer was by the Sin City Band. We didn't go because of the rain, and the audience was so small that the musicians performed on the gravel in front of the stage. I'm told by one attendee that despite the soggy weather, it was an intimate and memorable evening. In fact, he said, it was his favorite concert of the season.
MODENA: Saving the Mode House
The Friends of the Mode House, along with the Borough of Modena, is scrambling to raise $52,000 to purchase the circa-1800 stone house at 120 North Brandywine Avenue in Modena. The owner has agreed to delay razing the house for six months, so the preservationists can try to raise the money.
The house is covered in vines and boarded up and clearly needs a lot of work, but photos show the remains of a beehive oven and beautiful old woodwork that's still in good shape, including a graceful and unusual spiral staircase.
A beef-and-beer fundraiser is planned for 6 to 10 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Moose Lodge, 1200 Airport Road, Coatesville. Much more information about the house and the fundraising efforts is on the "Friends of Mode House" Facebook page.