Saturday, November 12, 2011

Awesome coffee houses in Philadelphia

1) Cake and the Beanstalk
1112 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA

2) La Colombe Torrefactiction
620 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147-2028

Picture from Owner

3) Chapter house Cafe in Philadelphia
620 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147-2028

4) Philly Pourhouse
262 South 10th Street Philadelphia, PA 19107

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Your input, your stories part 2

I guess West Chester, Pa is the place to live and I absolutely agree with all of you. I do love West Chester. I am very happy that I go to a University that has such a lively town! It is one step below Philadelphia because at least I know that this town eventually goes to sleep, unlike the city.

As for Meg, I am really happy to meet another Philadelphia lover and the fact that you live so close to the city has got me jealous! You’re comment brought up a really great issue and that is what college students do after graduating. My plan is to hopefully live at home for a year, save up money, and then move to the city. There is more to do there and I just can’t describe how much I love it there.

A lot of your comments focused on traveling and I have to say, although I love my location right now, I think it would be neat to go on week long vacations to different places. I love the idea of living on the West coast to see how it would be (I hear that east coasters and west coasters are complete opposites at certain things)

I think the most exciting thing about life is that we really have no idea where we will end up in the next few years. We have hopes and dreams of where we will end up, but nothing is ever concrete. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Nicholas Sparks visits Upenn campus!

Famous author, Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, The Last Song, A Walk to Remember) visited University of Pennsylvania's campus for a meet and greet and book signing for his new book  Best Of Me. My friends and I decided to take a trip down to Upenn to see Sparks and he was quite a treat, with a great sense of humor and love for his loyal fans! 

Making his way around the line to greet fans, take pictures with them, and even give them hugs!

When he first arrived. Sparks arrived an hour early just to meet his fans!

his new book front to back

Upenn's bookstore. Very impressive, right?

So this weekend has been a fairly successful and great one in Philly! 

On Friday, I had my first day volunteering at the William Way Community Center. I was there for 3 hours just reading and studying in the library. Sadly, no one came in on my first day of volunteering to check out the 10,000 LGBT-related books that this amazing center has in it's library. I've already compiled a list of books that I want to read from the collection. This library is such a great resource and I would love to see more people take advantage of it. 

The center even has autographed books for patrons to look at!

The center gets donations of books that can barely fit on the shelves

The women's fiction section at The William Way Community Center

The WWCC also rents out DVDs to members

A better view of the center. The men's fiction is behind the couch.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Your input, your stories

My past post was dedicated to my most recent weekend in Philadelphia. I was lucky enough to witness Occupy Philly and participate in Outfest. These things make me want to live in a city, more specifically, Philadelphia. 

I guess my main question to all of you is, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why? Or are you satisfied with where you live?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Oh the people you will see and the places you will go...In Philly!

This weekend was a really great weekend in Philly. On October 8th, I began my volunteer work at the William Way Community Center and then I met up with a couple friends in the city to just walk around and enjoy the beautiful weather in this beautiful city. The Occupy Philly protest was an added bonus.

Protesters walking down Market street

Fox 29 right there, ready to film the action

The protests happening at City Hall

Also, Outfest was this past Sunday (October 9th) and that was a blast as well. Outfest is an outdoor block party for the LGBTQ community and allies.

William Way Community Center represented at Outfest!

They did not rain on our day

Sisters bar and nightclub in Philly

All in all, this weekend was a great weekend in Philly!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Not your typically werewolf story.

I have always thought that werewolves were more dangerous and awesome than vampires. I mean, who wouldn’t want to change into a wolf during the full moon?
Although I know the whole “vampire vs. werewolf” scenario has been overplayed in many young adult novels these days (believe me, I know) I think I have found the best werewolf series by far.  
I first discovered the book, Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater while I was hopefully searching for something “read-worthy” in the “juvenile” section of the library (really? Juvenile? I am offended! ). What I didn’t expect was to the enjoyment I got out of Shiver’s scientific take on the werewolf story.
The story follows Grace, a young woman who is fascinated with the wolves that seem to gather in her back yard during the winter time. The story takes place in a town called Mercy Falls. Grace’s fascination with the wolves starts after she was attacked and bitten by a pack of them in her back yard. Saved from one of the leaders of the pack, Grace is returned with nothing but a scratch and a bite mark.
The Mercy Falls wolves are actually werewolves but unlike popular belief, they do not change every full moon. There is nothing magical about the Mercy Fall werewolves. They are wolves during the winter and are humans during the summer. They stop changing once they get a certain age and they become a wolf permanently. There is something more scientific about these wolves and something more natural.
The cool thing is that Stiefvater doesn’t write about these wolves in the paranormal way and she does not introduce other paranormal creatures and yet, the young adult audience has gobbled up these books faster than I did the Pretty Little Liars series.
But here is the catch-it is a love story- but a sweet one at that! The stories revolve around the growing relationship with Grace and the werewolf-who-saved-her-life-but-turns-out-to-be-a-really-cute-guy, Sam and their struggle in staying human, letting the inner wolf, and making sure that their fellow furry friends aren’t hunted or hurt.
I recently finished the second book in the trilogy, Linger. I was pleasantly surprised at how the story twisted itself (In the first book, Sam discovered a cure to make him human forever) while Grace, in the second book, is making herself sick by keeping her inner wolf inside. I loved the irony of the entire story, watching Sam discover that he could be human with Grace for the rest of his life and then….well, I don’t want to give the ending away.

I not only suggest that you check out all 3 of these books but also check out the author, Maggie Steifvater. She is a really cool cat (or wolf…)

Photo taken from:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Not the classics but who cares!

There is nothing I love more than a guilty pleasure book series.
Photo taken from:

In high school, I gobbled up the Gossip Girl book series like it was Thanksgiving dinner. Within a week, I had the first 10 books in the series read.

This time, I have to say, the Pretty Little Liars book series are my new meal.

I have recently just finished the fourth book in the series and I must say, I’ve never been 
more captivated/involved in such character’s lives like I am with this series.

The series follows 4 best friends who are dealing with the disappearance of their mutual friend, Alison, who is the “Regina George” of their somewhat-damaging friendships.  Three years after the disappearance of Alison, the four girls (Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna) all receive threatening messages from a mysterious “A” character. All the girls are convinced that the person who is behind these text messages, is their friend, Alison. However, when Alison turns up dead, the girls are in a frenzy. Who could know all of their secrets that only Alison knew? Spooky, right?

The great thing that the PLL books bring out is the constant subject of cyber-bullying and glbt issues. Emily, one  of the four girls, begins to question her sexuality. Emily formally told Alison about her sexuality issues and once the threatening text messages from “A” starting coming in, Emily was being harassed and threatened that all of Rosewood High (the prestigious school that the girls go to) would know that Emily is gay. When Emily fibs to a police officer about “A” and the horrifying text messages, emails, and personally notes that she is receiving, “A” gets her revenge by posting posters of Emily kissing another girl all over the school. It touches on the sensitive subject of the “coming out” process that GLBT youth go through and how cyber bullying can escalate into something more damaging.

PLL takes place in Rosewood, Pa, an imaginary town that many PA residents could replace with the Mainlain. There are mentions of WaWa, the “King James Mall” aka The King of Prussia Mall, West Chester Pike, Philadelphia, and many SEPTA references.

The series has also be developed into a highly successful television series on the ABC Family network. Although the stories and the aesthetic looks of the character have been altered, it seems to be the one book-to-television series that mostly stays true to itself.

Although the PLL series is mostly geared to the young adult demographic, I found myself thoroughly engaged. If you want to enjoy a quick, yet intellectual read, I’d say go for the PLL liars series.

However, be warned. This series is in no way a “chick-lit” series.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The beginnings of what I hope to be, a fun adventure

I usually go through little obsessions that last for a few weeks and then die. First, it was the Hanson brothers in the 6th grade, then it was gel pens in the 9th grade, anything Paris, France-related during senior year, and just a few weeks ago, I went on a 2-week obsession with anything Selena Gomez-related (don't judge me!) 

However, there are 3 obsessions of mine that have yet to go away. In fact, they have aided me through the rough times and have given me even more encouragement during the good times. Coffee, Books, and Philadelphia are my 3 main loves and without them, I would probably just collapse from boredom and exhaustion. 

So I have finally decided to devote an entire blog to a beverage, a city, and the power of Literature. My plan is to hopefully entertain you lovely readers with my adventures in the city of brotherly love, talk about the different coffee shops that I go to that are not Starbucks, and tell you about the books that I am reading, whether they have been out for decades, a week, or a day. Hopefully this will not get too expensive....

                          City Hall in Philadelphia. Photo Credit: Angela Thomas