Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Spring has Sprung

Yes, it’s a beautiful 60 degrees outside. Yes, it was almost 80 here yesterday and bordered on being “hot.” Yes, my crocuses are shooting up in the yard, the daffodils are starting to bloom and the billion tulips that I planted last fall now have about 6 inches of growth. Yes, it’s all beautiful and makes me want to start working in the garden. But no, all this doesn’t mean it’s Spring. What means it’s spring is that the Fruit Cart Lady is back.

All over Philly, and in other big cities, the sidewalks are filled with food carts serving up heart attacks and caffeine jolts to those who want their entire meal cooked in a 3 foot by 4 foot metal cart. In fact, I always marveled how they could actually create so many different foods from one little cart. It was an organizational freaks dream. They can make cheesesteaks, hot sandwiches, cold sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, have 8 different choices of bread and have soft pretzels, cocoa, sodas and chips all in that little metal box. Unbelievable. They stay out all year long and shiver in the winter and roast in the summer. They never take a day off. The only exception to the food cart every day, all-season work schedule folks are the fruit cart people. And, no they’re not some new tribe found in the hills of Borneo.

When I used to work down at 7th and Chestnut there was a fruit cart there and now that I’m over by 35th and Market there is one over here too. Ahhh... the fruit cart. For $3.00 you can buy a “large” (which really means it’s ENORMOUS) container of freshly chopped up fruit. You can have them make you a “fruit salad” or you can choose your own mix from strawberries, honeydew, cantaloupe, fresh pineapple, grapes and , sometimes if you’re lucky, mango. All this and then they hand it to you in a bag with a fork, a napkin and a banana. For $2.00 you can have a “small,” which feeds a family of four nicely, and you still get the banana. It’s the best deal in town. But only from mid-March to late-September or early-October. I guess it gets too cold in there to chop and wash the fruit and using a heater wouldn’t really work too well unless you wanted jam.

So, today as I was making my way back from a short stroll I stopped dead in my tracks. How did I miss it when I left the building? Who cares, the Fruit Cart Lady is BACK!!!!! So I bought a large, told her how much I missed her and am now trying not to get fruit juice on my keyboard.

Yeah, the bulbs are nice and all but they just can’t compete with the Fruit Cart Lady.


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