Hot enough for you? There’s nothing like a sustained heat wave to make even the smallest errand horrific. Was that me drenched in sweat after walking around the corner for an Italian ice? Then coping with a completely melted Italian ice before I could take three bites? Sure was.
But this weekend was actually cool. I was visiting some old friends in Philly. Getting caught in a downpour followed by hours in air conditioning with wet clothes does wonders to cool you off. Something else cool? Was reuniting with this building on South Street:
Those of you who’ve read All I Need may recall the scene where Skye is visiting Seth at Penn and they’re walking around Center City and he shows her this building covered with tiles. Those tiles are real. They extend all the way into the courtyard:
Are there other actual places in All I Need? Of course. I love including real locations in my books. I’m all about realistic fiction. Including real places helps to make my stories feel more authentic. A few of the Philly places mentioned no longer exist, though. But I adored them when I lived in Philly while I was at Penn.
There was this place called Phantom Fountain on 21st and Pine that was magnificent. It was an old-school soda fountain with a preserved counter and original stools and those vintage blenders and milkshake cups. That’s where Seth works in the book. Diner on the Square will also live on in my heart. My friend Jim and I had brunch there almost every Sunday. We called it sun brun. We invented abbreve. You know how everything is all fro-yo and apps and vacays now? Yeah. We invented that language. We talked in abbreve every sun brun way before abbreve was a thing. Jim is convinced that there were spies at Diner on the Square who blew up abbreve into standard hipster speak. Guess I missed the part where they gave us credit.
A visit to Philly wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the Rittenhouse Square Barnes & Noble. I used to go there all the time in college back when it was a different bookstore. So finding some of my books to sign was another full-circle moment:
There have been a lot of full-circle moments lately. Mainly because of my BF/soul mate. We’re connected in tons of non-coincidental ways. Like how we grew up 10 miles from each other in Middle of Nowhere, New Jersey. We didn’t meet as teens. He’s two years older than me and we went to different high schools. The Universe brought us together when it was time. I’ll be telling you more about him soon. For now, just know how thankful I am that Matt makes everything in my life better. He’s my #1 fan. He even stickered the books after I signed them:
How cute is he? When readers tell me that All I Need made them believe in the possibility of true love, I let them know that soul mates are real. And just like those tiles, they can be found around any corner. Keep your heart open. And keep looking up.
Stay cool, friendly neighbors.