I was going to title this post “Heart On for Philly” as a veiled attempt to cover up my intent and as a blatant steal from the newest Eagles of Death Metal album (because that title rocks my socks) but I went for the more lewd of the two. Well, you’re reading this post aren’t you? So I guess it worked. Now, where was I? Right. I fucking love Philadelphia. You’ll have to excuse my language but I felt the expletive was necessary to properly convey how passionate I really am for my second home. For years I took the city and its accessibility for granted, as it was never more than a 30 minute car ride over the Ben Franklin bridge from my house. That, or during the times I worked in the Olde City section of Philadelphia, a 20 minute ride via NJ PATCO, or the “Speed line” to those in the know. In my late teens it was my plan to run as far away as possible from South Jersey and its western neighbor, toying with the notion of attending college in either New Orleans or San Francisco. Thankfully, for Me AND The Bee, that never panned out as we would have never met on the steps of Temple University’s White Hall our first day of freshman orientation all those years ago, but that’s a whoooooole ‘nother story. A good one too, but let’s save that for another time, shall we?
A huge chunk of my family lives in the city, which is both truth and the perfect allusion for how I feel when I finally cross over the Delaware River from NJ to PA. It’s then that I realize I’m coming home, ever comforted by its undeniable familiarity. From the skyline to the cobblestones, the city is full of history, often overshadowed by a bigger and more boastful city in New York. How unfortunate, since so much of our country was founded in the humble structures that make up Philly’s close knit neighborhoods. I’m not aiming to speak ill of NYC, even after last night’s crushing loss to the Yankees in the World Series (we’ll fix that next year). I’m only wanting to boast about the amazing city that Philadelphia is and that so few, living where I currently do, really appreciate.
Since moving from South to Central New Jersey almost 5 years ago, and oh yeah there was that ill-fated move to North Carolina 2 years after that (another story, another time), I frequent the city much less than I used to in my college-aged heyday. When the opportunity arises to see a band play, I always scout out their dates in Philly before New York, because, frankly, I prefer traversing the streets of Philadelphia than the labyrinthine gridlock of NYC any old day. My allegiance is ALWAYS to Philly teams, during good seasons and bad, the only exception being the addition of the Pittsburgh Steelers which I have adopted per request of The Bee because he loves them and I love him. So there. At least they’re from Pennsylvania, right?
So, I left behind my beloved city and my South Jersey roots for the love of The Bee. Although I miss my old home always I have no regrets at leaving as I know I would miss The Bee more if we were so far apart. I know, “Awwwwwww”, right? Maybe we are all designed to spread our wings and fly away at some point, trying out new places in the hopes that it will be better and brighter than the dismal existence (we think) we’ve left behind. In my experience, running away for the sake of running away is rarely better or brighter, just different. I’m looking at YOU Greenville, NC.
Anywho, we are finally beginning to recover from our mini-vacation to Philadelphia as a part of my birthday celebration a few weeks back, complete with lengthy walks in the rain and WAY after dark binges at Jim’s (they have the best cheese steaks, don’t let anyone tell you different).
With that, I leave you with some of my favorite shots we took during our most recent stay in the city.
outside of the coffee shop where "The Waitress" works from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
interior of Silk City (5th & Spring Garden), decorated for Halloween
view of a rainy Broad Street from our hotel window
And my personal fave:
photo by The Bee, of me and the color changing leaves (around 10th & Locust)