Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Miss Philadelphia

Philadelphia has my heart. I did not grow up there, but it feels like home to me. We lived there for sixteen years before we returned to the midwest to be close to family. I've been thinking about all the things I miss about Philadelphia. I now wish I had walked around every day with a camera so I could look back on it all with pictures.

I took the train to town every workday for ten years. I miss the train. You meet such a mix of people when you take the train. Friendly people, busy people, polite people, rude, grouchy people, even a few weird people. There are fellow commuters that you see every day. There are tourists who ask you for directions. The nice thing is, you have time to read. I always had a book with me. One day I was so absorbed in my book that I missed my stop and had to take another train back.

When you get to town, there is the train station. Busy, busy place with dozens of little stores, restaurants, and usually at least one street musician playing for the crowd. You never knew what you would hear on a given day. They played keyboards, guitars, violins, saxaphones, and accordions. When you walk up the stairs to street level you come out into the city. The first thing I saw was the amazing Philadelphia City Hall. The first time I saw it my jaw dropped. The immense size of it, the many turrets and towers and sculptures... and William Penn on top, looking down on it all.

Walking down the street... street vendors. You pass all these portable metal stalls with flowers, magazines, lottery tickets, newspapers and food for sale. The best ones were the food... the smells of philly steaks, bacon, and Italian sausage in the air. You pass the same vendors every day. Most are very friendly. They smile at you, they say "good morning". Some of them become like old friends (more about "Gus" and the Chinese family later).

I will write more tomorrow... there is too much for just one post.


Derik said...

It's too bad that you moved away from the city you loved. On the other hand, when you said you moved to the Midwest and your profile says you're in Kentucky, I audibly laughed. We get little enough recognition as it is.

anya said...

Morning, Judy. Your reminiscence of Philadelphia is poignant. I've always had a little fantasy of living like that, in a city, for just a little while. (I'm a country girl at heart.) I would stop by the flower stall every week without fail!

Remember, Judy, unless you are desperate to sell your house any time soon, any devaluation is just hypothetical. My advice: don't sell any stocks now. It will come back.Sooner if they do the bail out which makes me resentful since we have to pay for other's screw ups. (And the people who took out those too high mortages bear responsibility too because they are adults and should know what they can and can not afford. If you do something you know you can not afford, how is it someone elses fault? But I said bear SOME responsibility. Certainly not the bulk of it. Also, a huge percentage of those mortgages didn't go to individual little families, but went to real estate speculators.) Still, those of us like you and me, in or nearing retirement, shouldn't have to see our security, everything we worked for in our lives wiped out either. It is nerve wracking though, isn't it?

Valerie said...

Beautiful, makes me want to go there.