"As I got nearer and nearer to Grumblethorpe, I will leave any one to guess how my heart felt."
- Thinks-I-To-Myself by Edward Nares
Kathryn Pannepacker (no hyperlink b/c there are MANY, just look her up if you don't know!) is hosting a 2-part Tapestry Weaving workshop at Grumblethorpe, which is an awesome, AWESOME place in Germantown. It was built in 1744. That detail alone is amazing enough for my imagination. I'll be back there this coming Saturday to pack in some more weaving experience.
K stewards the property with Diane Dunning, which, when I got there and recognized the scope of their operations, blew me away. This place is so many things and, not least by far, a vibrant community center. On our lunch break (still in the off-season, mind you), students were walking through the grounds with plants, chickens and bees were doing their thing (you can purchase eggs and honey from the residents)...and Caspar was crushing daffodils.
Grumblethorpe got me to that sweet fantasy of how fully and wildly beautiful urban Philadelphia must have been before industrialization played us into the 20th century. I'm always ambling past an austere little green on Spring Garden that seems to be holding its breath or whispering or something. And there is a shockingly beautiful diversity of trees and vegetal growth, even around the most depressing urban monoliths, that is easily overlooked here. I also got to some refreshed thinking about the sweet, sustainability-conscious, infrastructural movement happening these days (Grid Magazine is a great way to stay recent). I grew up in Vermont, so I have this freakish, nature-starved appetite that makes me do/feel weird things in cities. Won't get into that.
Philly shines enormously for its natural history and seekers-of. If I even attempt a list of formal institutions to visit (Barnes Foundation arboretum, Morris Arboretum, Schuylkill Center…), I'll be flashing ignorance.
Stay tuned for a weaving update!