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Slice of Suburbia: Wayne

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Wayne is a great place, no bones about it. Food, music, the arts, antiques, shopping, and did I say food? This place is a great gem along Southeastern PA’s famed Main Line (called so because in the mid 1800's where a stretch of the Columbia Railroad between Philadelphia and Harrisburg was called "The Main Line of the Public Works of the State of Pennsylvania”). About that time, a banker named J. Henry Askin purchased a large amount of farmland and named 'Louella' after his two daughters, Louisa and Ella. That didn’t pan out for him, forcing him to sell, so George W. Childs and Anthony Drexel bought Mr. Askins' property and called it 'Wayne Estate' after General Anthony Wayne.

These days Wayne is flourishing. I took a leisurely walk through here the other day, (and oh boy, was it hot!) and enjoyed the town, it’s laid out nicely and easy to get around, all the while taking in the old architecture and Victorian houses. It’s about two hours from the shore, the mountains, and it has a great school system and a low crime rate. Situated in the western ‘burbs, you can hop the train and be in downtown Philly in 30 minutes.

So during my stroll, I found one of my favorite stores. Wayne has … Anthropologie. This is the company’s very first shop, located at Lancaster & Bellvue, in an old car dealership, a store associate named Judy told me. Even the fountain in the middle of the store was from the former store. I LOVE this store, because it has eclectic household items, soft gauzy pretty prints, flowy dresses and way-cool hooks and knobs and mirrors to decorate your house. I had been in IKEA about an hour before, and so many things in Anthropologie are one-of-a-kind designs that you don’t see in mass-produced marketplaces. I got some goat’s milk-lavender after-sun soap and continued my stroll. I stopped in at Antiquities, Etc, which is a very nice store with amazing items. I also chatted with Joanne, who told me this store specializes in UK finds.

The old-fashioned Anthony Wayne theatre sits in the middle of town, with shopping and restaurants on either side on North and South Wayne Avenue. The center of the Wayne business district is the intersection of Lancaster Avenue and Wayne Avenue, its main street. The historic Wayne station is located one block north of this intersection. Other institutions and attractions in Wayne include the Valley Forge Military Academy, with a monument from the Battle of the Bulge located by the parade ground.

There are restaurants such as Christopher's (great place for a date or to bring the whole family), Glenmorgan Bar and Grill, Silverspoon Café or Tokyo Fusion. Really, there are places for whatever type of food you’re in the mood for.

There are also great cafes to relax at: Cream & Sugar Café, Gryphon Coffee, Joe's Place, and don’t forget bread and pastries from the Great Harvest Bread Co. Also, be sure to check out the Wayne Farmer's Market for all kinds of goodies.

Wayne also hosts First Fridays every month from 5pm to 9pm’ which includes shopping, art, music, food, wine and desserts. It is kid- friendly, so bring the whole family, and don’t forget to take advantage of the Free Valet Service.

I ended my stroll with some ice cream from Baskin-Robbins (Chocolate Peanut Butter!) and headed on home, but not without promising to come back soon!

Got a ‘Slice of Suburbia ™ you’d like me to check out- drop me a line or leave a comment!

You can contact Christine Tarlecki at engchik@comcast.net  or http://engchik.blogspot.com/