Total Eclipse of the Gum

5gumOkay, I’m not a gum chewer as a rule, but I was poking around CVS this weekend and I noticed this ominous, mostly black gum package. I guess it came out last Summer and my son has informed me that they have some edgy TV commercials. You’ve just got to admire a package with such a large amount of blank, black space. The removable wrapper, of course, carries some additional information, but the consumer dispenses with this and is left with an even cooler, and more minimal package. A veritable black hole at the checkout counter.

Ivins’ Famous Spiced Wafers

Discovered this seasonal, regional cookie item on a visit to South Jersey. Apparently it is a fall tradition around Philadelphia and the greater Delaware Valley area. (See related blog post.)

I admire how different this box is from other items in the same product category—(an Oreo package, for example)—no 3D edible typography here. Just plain old type being flat. Old fashioned design, but a bracing use of only 2 colors. I’ve always been a sucker for fluorescent orange.

We speculate that this obscure delicacy survives because of regional and seasonal recipes. (Much like Nilla Wafers, and Graham Crackers.) There is a recipe for a pie crust on the side which I am curious to sample.

Flying Off the Shelves

I had driven by De Luca’s General Store for 17 years without ever noticing its existence. It was not until our good friend, Jacqueline Goossens told us about this little hardware store in Rosebank where the proprietor, John De Luca, has airplanes made out of soda cans on display in his store front window.

I’ve always been partial to things made out of other things, so this summer I finally got around to noticing what had been there all along.


There in the window were a Canada Dry rocket, a large Foster’s Beer airplane, a small Diet Pepsi airplane, another Diet Pepsi item that, at first, I thought was a lighting fixture, but instead turned out to be a flying saucer, and a Spanish galleon — also made out of diet Pepsi cans (the only non-flying vehicle on display).

I quite coveted the flying saucer (when I thought it was a light fixture), but none of the items are for sale. John says it’s important to keep busy and has a number of other nicely re-purposed objects: a pull chain lighting fixture from a coffee can and a bird cage made out of shish kebab skewers.

Pepsiboatplane(more to read after the jump)

[Read more…]