Friday, September 26, 2008

The "Bead Tree" in Philadelphia

Yes, I'm writing about another place in Philadelphia! The photo is a building just across the street from my old office. The storefront in the middle is the one that they actually used for Samuel L. Jackson's shop in the movie "Unbreakable". For two weeks while they were making that movie, there were movie crew and equipment trucks and trailers parked all along the street, and there were crowds standing around every day to see Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, and Haley Joel Osment at work.

The storefront on the left with the arched windows is a restaurant. The restaurant is called "Tequilas" now, but when I lived there it was the Magnolia Cafe. It was a New Orleans style restaurant with a big tree out in front. Following its New Orleans theme, the Magnolia Cafe gave out Mardi Gras type beads to their customers. Over the years, the customers came out and threw their beads up into the tree. So, there was this tree with hundreds of bright, colorful beads hanging from all of its branches. I loved that tree... it looked so festive. Some days, if it was particularly breezy, some of the beads would fall out of the tree and onto the sidewalk. I gathered a little collection of beads over the years, walking from my office past the "bead tree". I still have them, one red, one green, one blue and one gold. It makes me smile, for some reason, to remember that bead tree.

p.s. As I was googling "bead tree" hoping to find a photo of it, I found out there is also a "bead tree" in New Orleans, which is shown in the photo. I hope it's still there. The one in Philadelphia is gone now.

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