Sun Stories – 2016 to Present – I Can’t Believe We’re Open in Rittenhouse!

The entire front of the building looks like a construction site, or a bomb site.

We closed the old salon for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. We were open for business at the new location that Tuesday. We moved and entire business in three days! Achilles and the boys had been doing the build out on the new address for the last month, but it was an absolute herculean task doing what he accomplished.

We have had some setbacks and growing pains. No internet. No phone. New number that no one can call yet. The hamper disappeared. A new phone in the box disappeared in the move as well. We can’t take credit cards because we can’t get on any network yet. There is no sign on the door downstairs or an address. So almost no one can find us. The entire front of the building looks like a construction site, or a bomb site.

However, we do have all of the rooms up. They’re just sheet rock and doors right now, but three of the sun beds actually work, and people that can find us are actually able to tan. They are the two premium beds and one stand up unit. So we’re letting anyone who can find the place tan in whatever bed is available. The best thing about this is, the folks who don’t have the premium package get to tan in the premium beds for the first time. So they love it.

Sawdust and detritus are everywhere. I just keep sweeping, mopping and wiping things off throughout the night. I know it will all come together in time but we’re going to be at least a month or so in this condition. It’s a mess, but we’re all soldiering through it.

I’ll keep you all updated as the new place comes together.

 

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Sun Stories – 2016 to Present – We’re Moving and Adding Fitness!

“Tanning could go away, but fitness is here forever.”

I’ve been working part-time at the tanning salon for about a year and a half now. We wanted to take over the property next door, and make it a spinning cycle gym. We tried to make that happen for about six months until the landlord finally agreed.

But a week later he told us to wait. Then he jerked us around for another month until we found out that the building was up for sale. The whole building including the tanning salon. So we tried to negotiate with the new owners, but it was pretty clear our rent was going up and they had other plans for the building.

We decided to take matters into our own hands. We started to look for another spot. After searching for a awhile we settled on a 2nd floor space on Walnut street. It’s bigger than where we are currently, and a more visible to people walking down the street. Walnut street is mostly all upscale retail brands so we should do well down there.

The best part is, in the front of the new building is a big open space for us to build a personal fitness center. I’ll invest in that and become a managing partner in the business. So I’m super amped about that. I think owning a business in Rittenhouse will be a life changing event. I’m really looking forward to this move and building this business.

Tanning could one day go away. Maybe not completely, but what if science comes up with a pill you could take that would simply activate the natural melanin in your skin? You take the pills and you slowly become tan. That could happen. UV light would still be around for the people who love the feeling, and to treat numerous skin disorders, but a portion of our business could decrease. Fitness on the other hand, will never go away. People will always want to work out and stay in shape. If you had an established business with over seven hundred active clients, that liked to tan and be fit, a gym could succeed in a space like that. If you could do your workout in the same place you went tanning would you for the right price? I think most people would. So this could be a whole new age for our business and I’m happy to be along to make it happen!

 

 

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Sarika – 2014 to 2017 – Out Of The Web – Update

Just another pretty face…

I was just walking home from the salon. It’s been busy and Achilles asked that I help out Trish during her shift.

It’s was really warm out today. We’ve had a chilly Spring but this week the temperature really has finally risen.

So while walking home I decided to walk through Rittenhouse Square. I knew everybody would be out and I thought I’d see a bunch of beautiful women.

There were plenty all sitting outside at the three restaurants on the east side of the square. Rouge, Devon Seafood, and Parc.

So I’m strolling down the sidewalk checking out all of the pretty faces and well turned legs, and who do I see sitting with another girl and two young men?

Sarika!

I see her and she looks up at me and then averts her eyes back to who she is talking to.

She would never do that to me. She’s always nice to me and would call me over to say hello.

So this tells me one thing.

She’s read, phicklphilly!

Game over!

She’s cut me off because I laid it out there and told the truth about the lonely Black Widow.

The truth hurts.

But I’m not sad. She’s just another pretty face.

I have no use for her in my life.

What’s the point of having her around? So I can listen to her warble on about her dates and other failed relationships? I’m sure I didn’t hurt her feelings, because you must have feelings to have them hurt.

C’est la vie!

 

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Annabelle – 2012 – Chapter 1 – Nice to Meet You

I get the bill. “The second one was on me.”

The title for the Annabelle series was going to be: “The Final Elegant Arc” but in light of what I’ve learned in the last year, I can no longer call it that. So I’m not going to call it anything.

My life has its moments of elegance and moments of pain, but it is far from final.

I was meeting ex-girlfriend Michelle (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – Nice to Meet You) for brunch on a Saturday. She was getting her hair done in the morning and then we would do our usual Saturday ritual. I was early as usual and her hair appointment was running long. (That kind of amazing beauty takes time. Just happy we’re still friends!)

I stepped into one of the shittiest hotel bars I’ve ever been in. Just because it was a block from the hair salon. The Warwick Hotel is a beautiful place on 17th and Locust. They have a restaurant a coffee shop and a bar connected to the hotel. Prime Rib is a nice spot on Locust and Tavern 17 is at 17th and Chancellor. I’ve been to this bar many times before when friends would visit the city and stay at the Warwick. The drinks suck, the service blows, the management turns over on a semi-annual basis and the way the place is laid out is in a way where you can’t see anything. There are all of these large pillars or supports that are everywhere through the bar area, and you can’t see what’s going on at the bar. The bartender may not see you and you’ll have to wait.  You can’t find your friend, etc. It’s just a suck bar.

But I thought the number 17 would bring me luck. 17 is my family’s lucky recurring number. It is very prevelant in my father’s life and I thought there could be something there. Recently my friend Trish (See: Trish – 2011 to Present – The She Wolf) asked what my birthday was. I told her 8/9/62. She said,  “What’s 8 plus 9?” I responded…17.

I walk in a little hung over from the night before. The website I worked for at the time had a huge party the night before and we were all a little shattered from it. I walk in Tavern 17 around 1pm on that fateful Saturday. It’s empty and dark. Which for once I was happy about. Behind the bar was a very tall, fresh faced, slender blonde working the bar.

I swagger up to the bar and ask for a Corona. I introduced myself and run my usual program on her. “What’s your name, what do you like to do when you’re not working here?” She tells me her name, and says she’s a photographer as her full-time gig. The Corona is crisp and deliciously ice-cold. It’s actually just what I needed.

Something tall and golden that is no longer Michelle.

Annabelle seems nice and I’m making her laugh with my fatal charm. She’s 5’ll”. Taller and leaner than Michelle. We exchange business cards. I tell her I’ll check out her website. (Michelle is still way prettier though! Michelle reads this blog!)

I text Michelle and let her know where I am. I’m having a beer and she can just come here when she’s finished.

I crush the first Corona just to knock the edge off the day. Annabelle pops the cap from another and places it front of me. It’s just as good as the first. There is no one else in this shitty bar at this time of day, and she’s happy to have someone with which to chat.

She says she does a lot of head shots for local actors in the city. Annabelle is very connected with the local theater community here in Philly. She also does some wedding work as well. I’m assuming that pays pretty good. I can’t put and age on her but she looks to be about 24 or 25.

I’m feeling better now. Chatting with this tall blonde is good and the cold beer has reactivated the alcohol still in my system, giving me a gentle but effervescent buzz.

The door squeaks and the sunny afternoon light pours into the bar. Michelle enters the bar. “Oh, and here comes another charming and lovely blonde.” I say on cue. I introduce the two ladies and we have a laugh. “Your hair looks great, Michelle”

I get the bill. “The second one was on me.”

“Thank you, Annabelle!” I tip up to what the bill would have been and gather my stuff. We say goodbye to Annabelle and head out of Tavern 17 into the afternoon to have some delicious brunch and drinks.

Then we’d probably head back to my apartment and watch Netflix, sip wine, and smoke cigarettes. I’d be in my chair and she’d recline on my sofa.

I later checked out Annabelle’s website and reached out to her on Facebook, but nothing ever came of it. I didn’t ask her out on a date or anything. I may have asked if she ever wanted to meet for lunch or something. My usual gentle M.O.

But like I said, crickets.

When you meet someone like that, and it’s brief, there is a good chance they will quickly fade from your memory. I met tons of people back in 2012. I had a job that was 50% socializing. I didn’t forget Annabelle, but I wouldn’t see her again until a year later in 2013.

And it would be a whole new ballgame.

 

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Roman – Rock and Roll Bartender

I introduced myself and gave him my card. (I’m in sales. Automatic behavior) I’m sure he didn’t give a shit.

I started hanging at Square 1682 because of Carly. (See: Carly – 2012 to Present – The Mad Baker) It was our time to commiserate and share stories and just enjoy each other’s company. But along the way you start to love the staff too. Roman was my first.

I was sitting at the bar one night waiting for Carly. I started chatting with the bartender on board. He was 30’s, dark hair, a little long, medium build and a no-nonsense kind of guy. Not a big conversationist, but an attentive barman.

I introduced myself and gave him my card. (I’m in sales. Automatic behavior) I’m sure he didn’t give a shit. I told him his lastname was unique and I only knew two girls in my life with that last name. I knew them in my senior year of high school at Wildwood High School.

I was in American lit, and there was this girl Lisa with the same unique last name as this fine bartender. I would be reading Bell for Adano and checking out her lovely shapely stockinged legs and I knew she knew I was looking at her but she knew I would never have her. I was just a guitar player in a band. But… I was a straight A student in English and American lit, because I love words.

I told him about Lisa in my American Literature class in Wildwood back in 1980, and her younger sister Maria, and he said they were his aunts! God, I’m old. But I love this amazing connection! Lisa was in my class and a delicious brunette and her sister Maria was a blonde that was in my lead guitarist’s math class. Amazing. James was totally into her too.

So this guy who lives in Jersey and comes over on the PATCO everyday to work as a bartender is connected to a very old history of mine. Instant respect.

Roman is also a musician. He works the bar, and has been doing more work in the office when it comes to ordering product for the bar. But there is more…

This is a Kimpton hotel. Every night in every Kimpton hotel in the world at 5pm they serve free wine and cider in the lobby to all of the guests. Have I been a slob and drank my face off for free at those happy hours with my friends, of course. I have brought guests and everything. No one has ever said anything to me. I have drunk oceans of free wine at the expense of the Kimpton family. They either don’t notice or have accepted me as a regular. Regardless I’ve done it but I don’t do it anymore because it’s a bit of a weasel move.

On Thursday nights Roman plays guitar live in the lobby for everybody for an hour set. It’s really good. I work at the salon on thursday nights so I have not been able to see him perform in over a year and I really miss it. He is fantastic. The guests are sitting around chatting, stuffing their heads with delicious greasy truffle popcorn and slugging wine and Roman is singing his heart out. I have shot video of him performing Elton John and sent them to Michelle (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) so she can enjoy the power too.

Roman’s a good guy. Married. Nice pretty wife, and they just welcomed a happy baby boy into the world. So, rock n’ roll.

I love when life works!

 

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Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

I’m sitting in my go to bar with Church. It’s our spot and it’s what we do. He’s sipping a Sailor Jerry and Coke, and I’m having my usual Chardonnay with a side of ice. He orders a salad and I go with the sliders. There is a couple a few seats down from me to my right. I know the guy, his name is Brian, but I don’t know the lady he’s with so I wave but don’t approach. He could be working.

On the left of Church, is a brunette in her thirties and an older gentleman. Looks like a lawyer. We don’t really pay any attention. We’re chatting and doing our thing.

Daphne rolls behind the bar and says hello. She tells me it’s a slow night. Not much happening. She goes back to her hostess stand and it’s just another night in paradise.

Suddenly, the woman who was sitting to Church’s left, goes off the bar stool and hits the floor. Normally, I’d call that Thursday night.  We see so many banged up people around the city losing their shit. But this woman was having a seizure. People within visual range are shocked and the bar goes quiet.

I point to the phone on the wall, because the bartender on duty didn’t see one of her patrons suddenly vanish from the bar. “Liz, call 911.”

She starts dialing. Church, with his cat-like reflexes, springs into action and goes from sitting next to me sipping a drink to all the way around the other side of her on the floor holding her head to keep her steady. I get down there and untangle her leg from the lower rail of his bar stool. I have the legs. Church is focuses on the poor woman’s head. She’s thrashing about, and Church is barking commands to those around him. He’s literally single-handedly coordinating the effort to help save this poor woman, and keeping her from injuring herself further.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Church was formerly a Corpsmen in the United States Navy.

A Corpsman works in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics, aboard ships, and as the primary medical caregivers for sailors while underway. Hospital corpsmen are frequently the only medical caregiver available in many fleet or Marine units on extended deployment. In addition, hospital corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to sailors and their families.

They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and health care providers at medical treatment facilities. They also serve as battlefield corpsmen with the Marine Corps, rendering emergency medical treatment to include initial treatment in a combat environment. Qualified hospital corpsmen may be assigned the responsibility of independent duty aboard ships and submarines; Fleet Marine Service, SEAL and Seabee units, and at isolated duty stations where no medical officer is available.

Yea, pretty bad ass. That’s the guy you want next to you when somebody takes a header at your favorite bar.

She’s making what almost sounds like barking sounds, and staring wildly about. He’s got a good hold on her. He’s talking to her. But mostly he’s trying to keep her from bashing her face into the wooden wall of the bar. The bartender comes around, and some others have gathered. I grab a cloth napkin and ask if we need to put it in her mouth. I always heard that epileptics could bite or swallow their own tongues. Church says, no. He knows what he’s doing and has the situation well under control.

She seems to be calming down. I look over at the guy who was with her. He’s just standing there staring, and looking uncomfortable. The paramedics come and stabilize her. I feel so bad for her. It’s the holidays, and she’s out for a drinks and this horror befalls her. They get her onto the gurney and roll her out. The police are there and also ask some questions. Church is on point, he gives law enforcement the full report.

They also speak to the guy she came in with. He says he doesn’t know her very well. He met her over at DelFrisco’s steakhouse, and then brought her over here for a drink. That’s a big lawyer hang out. Not my scene. This guy didn’t do anything to help or comfort her when she had the seizure, and he didn’t go to the hospital with her. I don’t care if you just picked up the chick in a bar. Lady falls down, you go to the damn hospital with her. I’m thinking that weasel was married and didn’t want any problems. How would he explain to his wife that he was at the hospital with some other woman? I may be wrong, but I got the vibe something was definitely shady about that guy.

We go back to our seats at the bar and have another drink. Church is pissed because somebody was telling him to turn her head when she was foaming at the mouth and that’s not what you’re supposed to do. Me, I was just glad the lady was okay.

Daphne came over to chat and get a recap. I tell her what I know, and tease her.”You had to say it was a slow night and that nothing was happening, and look what you did, Daph…”

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

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Michelle – 2007 to Present – Chapter 10 – Night & Day

A week went by after the Friends of Rittenhouse Ball crashing incident. I figured that we got away with it without incident.

Michelle: “We’re going to get fired.”

Me: “No we’re not. My numbers are good, so are yours and everybody loves you. We’re in the clear.”

But within a few days we were called into the President’s office. He ripped us new ones. Then they sent us over to human resources and we were written up. Those fuckers. I hate them all. As a matter of fact none of them are at that company any longer. The Prez eventually left, our manager the crazy Russian was fired, and the lady from HR left a year ago. So we’re all equal now. We didn’t even care that we got written up. We were both prepared to go work in a restaurant somewhere together if they had really fired us.

Ain’t love grand?

The whole thing blew over and we were all none the worse for any of it. Funny thing was, if anything it emboldened us even more to pull stuff. We were high on love and life and we just wanted to have fun. People would overhear our conversations and buy us drinks. We were a little surprised by that but loved getting free drinks. We were out almost every night. We’d hang out at Twenty Manning and spend our last $20 on wine on Sunday afternoons. Michelle even went as far as taking out a $1000 loan from our credit union just to maintain our lavish lifestyle. We didn’t buy a bunch of things, we just went out and drank and ate all the time. We’d be hungover and go to The Continental Midtown for lunch and our favorite bartender Mike G would hook us up with cool free drinks. He made us these cool drinks called Kate Moss. I think it was champagne, a shot of booze and a sugar cube which represented a lump of cocaine. We’d hang out at Chris’ Jazz Cafe and close the place. It would be two o’ clock in the morning and we’d be sitting at the bar drinking and smoking cigarettes. Speaking of which. I quit smoking cigarettes ten years before when my daughter was born. But sometimes Michelle had trouble lighting her Parliaments in the wind, so I’d do it for her. Next thing you know I would take a little puff. She was worried I’d get re-addicted to tobacco. I told her I’d only be hooked if I started buying them.

I started buying them again. God damn it.

We’d supposed to be out making sales calls and we’d be napping on a blanket in Rittenhouse Park. We’d also pack wine and snacks and go to Concerts in the Park every Wednesday night. We’d go to Devon and destroy an assorted seafood platter. We drank oceans of martinis. We’d be banged up after a crappy day of meetings and sales, and head right over to Mantra (Which is now where Dandelion is located on 18th Street) We would run out of money drinking martinis and the awesome bartender Kevin would just keep bringing them to us. I would always go back the next day and give him money.

Her bitch faced roommate traveled a lot and we’d go to Michelle’s apartment and drink her roommate’s wine. She always drank Clos du Bois chardonnay and we would drink the whole thing. We used to have to keep going to the liquor store to buy replacements for her. She never found out, but we must have replaced her wine at least five times. I still had an apartment in Pennsauken, New Jersey but I was hardly ever there. I practically lived in Michelle’s room. It was insane. We would work all day together, and then hang out every night and sleep together and then do it all over again the next day.

We were out of control and loving every minute of it. One night I just lifted up Michelle’s skirt out front of the Philadelphia Public Library and went down on her right there. Her sitting on the wall and me just going to town on her. Right on the street.

One day while out on four-legged calls, we crashed a private event for Deaf Children at the Rittenhouse Hotel. We drank their booze, and ate their food. Grabbed a couple of gift bags and left. I remember us dumping out the contents on the ground and just grabbing what we wanted. I took the DVD of North by Northwest, Michelle grabbed up the make up. I know all of this is wrong but we just didn’t care. Nobody probably heard us leave anyway.

Hanging out in Alma de Cuba, going anywhere we wanted. Michelle would take me to bars and I wouldn’t even remember having gone there we were so drunk most of the time. Once we decided to go see a psychic. Michelle believed it that stuff back then. I know it’s just a parlor trick, but it’s sometimes fun to do. But the night we went, this woman started bring up all of this stuff about my life and it was freaking me out. I started crying during the reading. Bizarre!

Oh here’s one… One of the local sales reps had just signed a new client. It was the G Lounge. I called it the D Lounge because only a bunch of douchebags went there. But he was all happy about getting them. It was a thirty thousand dollar ad campaign. Somebody came up with the brilliant idea to make a promotional video for them. But they would use Michelle and our boss, (the crazy Russian) as romantic interests in the video. That is wrong on so many levels. They went and shot the video and of course Michelle looked amazing, but after that everyone was drinking and our boss tried to kiss Michelle! Awful!

Michelle always said: “I have so much fun with you, that when the day is over, I wish we could do it all again.”

Oh, and here is the crazy irony of it all. After shooting the video and running it on their website, running banner ads, email blasts and newsletter insertions, G Lounge never paid the thirty thousand dollar bill. Never. Then they went out of business. There is now a place called 1925 in that space. It is equally awful.

 

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