Friday, April 26, 2013

Zakka Shop

I've been "rediscovering" Philadelphia lately, finding out about all these neat developments since I moved away to the suburbs twelve years ago.  You may remember my discovery of the absolutely amazing mosaic destination, The Magic Gardens.  Yesterday when I went into Center City, I visited the Omoi Zakka Shop on Pine Street near 16th, which has been open since 2006.
If you aren't familiar with the term zakka, I understand it to be a kind of design phenomenon originating in Japan.  It basically refers to making everyday objects attractive and stylish.  So, for example, you wouldn't close an envelope with Scotch tape; you would instead use some pretty washi tape.  You wouldn't throw your lunch into a paper sack; you would house attractive bites into the many compartments of a colorful Bento box.  You wouldn't scribble appointments and phone numbers onto scraps of paper; you would maintain a visually pleasing planner.  So a zakka shop provides all the implements you need to improve the overall look of your home and your life.  (This is my understanding of the term, by the way, from the little bit that I have read about it, and I am by no means an expert!  You can search "zakka" on Pinterest to get a sense of how others interpret the term, as well.)
I knew I would find washi tape at Omoi, but other than that, I didn't know what to expect.  I liked some of the desk accessories, like cute little squirrels that could hold onto and dispense your tape.  (I knew I didn't have space to put another item on my desk, though, so I abstained!)
I was seriously tempted by the Bento boxes in the back room, since I am always trying to pack up lunches for my girls for picnics and playdates.  But while their compartments are perfect for sushi rolls and yummy Asian noodle dishes, I wasn't sure that their petite size would suit our Western-style sandwiches and bananas!
My photos are a little hurried.  I asked for permission to take them, but still felt self-conscious snapping them around the store on my phone, having forgotten my camera.  I encourage you to check out their web site and blog for more photos of the store and its products.  And they even have their own Pinterest page!  I shouldn't be surprised; I guess most stores do that now, too.
I came away from my shopping excursion with three new rolls of washi tape, a deck of matchbox stickers, and a copy of Uppercase magazine (their latest issue focuses on stationery!).  I haven't taken photos of the loot yet, but you are sure to see its presence in upcoming journal pages and mail art.
When I return to the city, a little bit of my twenty-something self returns, and I like the feel of it.  I knew its streets so well, since it was much easier to walk anywhere I wanted to go than to drive.  When I did drive, I prided myself on being a master of city driving, whizzing around like a pro, dodging in and around all of the traffic congestion.  On the day of my visit to Omoi, perhaps my greatest moment of pride was parallel-parking my mini-van in front of the store with just an inch or two to the front and an inch or two to the back.  Back in my 20s, I never could have foreseen myself as a suburban mini-van-driving mother-of-two coming into the city to poke around like a tourist for the afternoon.  But at this point, there's nothing else I would rather be!


Anonymous said...

Fantastic website you have here but I was curious about if you knew of
any message boards that cover the same topics
discussed here? I'd really like to be a part of group where I can get opinions from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

Review my webpage: chloe 財布

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I discovered your web site by the use of Google even as looking for a similar subject, your website got here up, it seems
to be good. I've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
Hi there, just became alert to your blog via Google, and located that it's truly
informative. I am going to watch out for brussels.
I'll appreciate in the event you continue this in future. A lot of other folks might be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

Here is my blog :: christian louboutin australia

uncustomary said...

Looks like a really fun shop! I love that you're going back to rediscover things. :-)

Anonymous said...

What's up, all is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that's actually good,
keep up writing.

My blog post :: free virtapay

eli said...

so many cuties Andria!!

aimee said...

So much to explore and see there! I love visiting my own city like a tourist! :)