“Quelcy, Like the Pretzel”

January 2009

This is Ken.

I met Ken at a party at 239 Brown Street in Philadelphia, or if you recall, what I like to call “Quelcadelphia!”  I only knew three people at the beginning of that party, but I didn’t want to be a babysitter’s burden.  I scanned the room.  Ken had a cool t-shirt, the kind of little boy, well-worn, well-laundered, soft cotton t-shirt you score on a heavenly ordained thrifting trip.  I overheard him and his friend discussing a stakeout of a white supremacist, so between a t-shirt and a white supremacist, my friendship with Ken began, or so I thought.

It took a little longer for Ken to be convinced about me.  I later found out that Ken initially mistook me for a crust punk, only cleaned up in a polka dot shirt because I had come from a professional family portrait.  It was only a matter of time until I would don a uniform of cut-up carharts and a tattered, patched black t-shirt.  He quickly figured out that I was far enough from a crust punk and cliches.  I had to return to Pittsburgh, but I extended an offer to him to visit the ‘burgh should he be passing through on a road trip he was scheming.

Ken did come to Pittsburgh, and he brought Mike too.  We quickly became birds of a very quirky feather.

It was during our Pittsburgh adventures, a couple months since we had met, that Ken finally sought clarification on how I introduced myself at that party.  “Why did you say, ‘my name is Quelcy, like the pretzel?'”

I assured him I had never said such a thing, as my name has nothing to do with pretzels.  I attributed it to the volume of the party when we met.  Ken still seemed convinced I had mentioned a connection to the baked likeness of a child crossing his chest in prayer.  I was convinced Ken had convinced himself!

The “Quelcy like the Pretzel” joke continued on my next visit to Philadelphia.

Ken’s next visit to Pittsburgh was right around the time of my 25 years and 25 cakes.  Ken was quite brave and brought a cake gift for the picky cake maven!  It was quite perfectly themed!  Butterscotch and white chocolate “salt.”

While we were adventuring through Pittsburgh, we did some food wandering too.  We went to the Cafe at the Frick Mansion as an extended celebration of my birthday.  It was my first time AND my birthday lunch, so went big…wine-AND-dessert-with-lunch big!  Everything was delicious with layers of flavor, layers of flavor that kept us full for hours!

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