To The Lunar Inn

I remember the first time I went to The Lunar Inn. It was January 2020, and I was spending blustery afternoon exploring my new-ish neighborhood. Lunar had been open about a year, and I hadn’t made it there yet (I’m regretting that now). I was unemployed at the time, so I only ordered fries and a drink. A few weeks later, the pandemic started.

It was more than year before Lunar was open again for indoor dining, and I was glad to see it survive that long. I think I went back one of those very first nights, if not the very first night. We had to show proof of vaccination, and I appreciated that. I had ordered takeout occasionally during lockdown, but I think that first night back was when the love affair really started. I remember sitting at the bar, making random conversation with two couples. Those types of spontaneous, organic conversations that feel emblematic of city life and third places. The type of connection that I was craving after a long COVID winter and spring.

In a great food city, Lunar offered very good comfort food. Burgers, chicken sandwiches, BLTs, amazing boardwalk-style fries… I’m remembering so many good dishes while looking through old photos (I guess there might be a reason phone eats first). But where Lunar really excelled was the vibes. I mean this in the best way possible. The vibes — and the cocktails — were immaculate. Lunar’s motto, borrowed from Bill and Ted, was “be excellent to each other.” The staff really personified this. Lunar was always a warm, welcoming place.

Since the pandemic, partly out of necessity, I’ve become much more comfortable solo dining. But Lunar Inn was always where I was most comfortable sitting by myself, striking up conversations with strangers and bartenders. I think it’s what I’ll miss the most about it.

Philadelphia is such a great food city that for years when people asked me what my favorite restaurant was, I didn’t have a real answer. It was more like “This is my favorite Mexican place, my favorite pizza place, my favorite brewery, my other favorite brewery…” But Lunar became my favorite. It was the place I took visitors, celebrated special occasions and just stopped by just because.

Lunar closing is a real lesson in taking things for granted. Nothing lasts forever. But it’s still special while it’s here. I wrote this by hand in a notebook I borrowed from the bar. It’s the last real day, and I was still making memories, playing exquisite corpse with people sitting nearby. Little memories I’ll treasure.

Thank you Emily, Ryan, Sean, et. al. for creating such a magical place. You’ll be missed, Lunar.

That first visit
With mom
Mocktail night with Sheila
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So that happened…

And by “that,” I mean anything and everything from a global pandemic to an accidental three-year break from blogging (but that hasn’t stopped me from paying the hosting fees!!).

I don’t really know where to begin with this. It’s only in the last few weeks I’ve started to go into CVS or Aldi without a mask, and I feel guilty even admitting that. I’m ready to move on from COVID — we all are, but not all of us can.

Arya, March 2020. Perfectly encapsulates the mood. Eyes closed, hoping for the best.

For the longest time, in those first few surreal months of the pandemic, I felt like I was moving backwards. I started a new job in February 2020, was furloughed by the end of March and officially laid off by the end of May. I, fortunately, went back to work that July…at the same online publication I was working at in 2019, until I had been laid off there. I was also going through a breakup, and untangling all of… that. So while a lot of people I was close with saw their forward momentum stalled, I was actively slipping behind, despite my best efforts.

Yeah, that was a strange time of incredible isolation. Of feeling like completely insignificant with everything going on around the globe, but also feeling like your entire world was confined in your living room, if you were lucky.


That feels like a lifetime ago. I hardly recognize it.


So much is different now, but in a way that also feels like the natural progression of things, pandemic aside. I became the lead writer of that online publication, hiring and leading a team of two bright and hard-working writers, working myself to the bone and burning out like a flame. I started therapy again. I learned how to be a better cook. I got my third(!) tattoo. I fostered more dogs, and adopted a new-to-me dog! I saw my friends move away and get married and have babies. I got a new job and started recovering from said burnout. I spent more time in Florida than I have since I was 19. I got bangs (okay, that one is pretty new).

The bangs! Still a work in progress! Unrelated, I’ve been watching “Winning Time” and “Daisy Jones & The Six.”

Maybe I’ll write more about those things, maybe I won’t. The other day, I deleted draft posts that I started writing in 2015. Follow through is not almost-never my strong suit, and I blame the ADHD for that (something else I might write about).

I don’t know what’s next for this ~space~ though I doubt anyone cares. But I’ve missed writing because I want to write, so hopefully the future doesn’t involve another three-year-break from blogging. TBD.

~ Sarah

Arya and Buddy

Hello From The Inside

Arya, wondering why I haven’t left the house in days.

Like everyone else who isn’t on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, I’m dusting off old hobbies while I stay at home. So hello again, dear blog.

Right now, I simultaneously feel like I have a lot to say and nothing to say. I guess that makes sense since t’s a very weird time that we’re living in. It’s strange to think that we’re in the midst of something, that there was the time before quarantine and social distancing and eventually there will be an “after” — but right now, we’re in the “during.” I realized the other night that, if we’re lucky, one day we’ll be able to tell each other, “remember that time we were quarantined?” Nothing lasts forever, including this.

This is day 29 of quarantine/social distancing for me. I worked from home for the first week or so, but was furloughed afterward. Luckily, I’m still insured and I don’t have any dependents. So now, life is a waiting game in many ways. Waiting for unemployment. Waiting for warmer weather. Waiting for normalcy to return, whatever that may look like.

Most days of my days remind me of summer vacation — but without money and without being able to go anywhere. Restaurants are closed. Movie theaters are closed. Libraries are closed. Target is open, but you need to wear a mask to go inside.

Of course, if you’re reading this in April 2020, you know all this because you’re living it too. But I’m writing this for myself because one day this will feel like a distant memory. Part of me wants to remember how uncomfortable and uncertain this time is. This will be part of my life, and I want to be able to look back at this. (It’s part of the reason I blog — it’s like a journal with a search function.)

The days are blurring together, but mercifully go by quickly. Some are better than others. I’m passing the time watching television or reading. I dug out my adult coloring book from 2016. I scroll on Instagram and walk the dogs. Happy hour happens on FaceTime. Sometimes, I cook or bake so I can have something new to do. This is the first time I’m writing, for my own enjoyment, in months.

Right now, I have a handful of drafts from the time before. I have all the time in the world to finish them, but don’t want to risk sounding incredibly tone-deaf. Does anyone care about x,y or z when people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and trying to stay healthy? I’m going to keep writing because it brings me joy, but I’m also trying my best during this weird time. And things will probably be weird for a while.

I’ll wrap this up before things totally devolve, but stay safe and stay home if you can. Sending my friends and family a virtual hug.

~ Sarah