Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Weekend in Philly

I returned to Philly, where I have a house and a boyfriend, for a long weekend. I have to say I really miss it. Sure New York is awesome, but to me it's a drug that never satisfies me as I run through my life doing event, after event after event with little time to sleep as I was wondering what I was missing, who I didn't get to see, what I didn't get to do. On Saturday I returned to my hometown, Philly, PA, I must of sleep 20 hrs, something I would never allow myself to do in NYC because in NYC you need to be out and about. When I awoke to the silence of the streets and no horns honking it was actually a relief. I went out on my balcony, you can have one of those in Philly without having paid more than a quarter million for your apartment compared to the at least a half a million in NYC, and took in the view of the City (This is not my view. This is the view looking down the Parkway towards City Hall from the Art Museum Steps, or the Rocky Steps as a reference to the film and the steps Rocky climbs at the end of the movie)One of my favorite spots and a place I take a lot of visiting friends is Olde City where Elfreth's Alley is located. It is the oldest continuously inhabited street in the United States dating back to the 1600's. Olde City is a quaint section of town and has a nice combination of historic homes and trendy eateries, bars and nightclubs. High at the top of the list is Rittenhouse Square. Like NYC, Philadelphia has a lot of parks dotting the cityscape and one of the most popular parks is Rittenhouse Square, which is really a 4 acre square parcel of land. It is very popular with sunning people, picnics, and people watching. Another favorite tourist spot is South Stree. People often call it Phily's version of Greenwich Village, which before I lived in NYC thought it didn't look anything like Christopher Street, but now realize they must me Bleeker Street. I like what Wikipedia has to say about South Street: The stretch of South Street between Front Street and Seventh Street is known for its "bohemian" atmosphere and its wide variety of shops and eateries of many different styles. The street is comparable to a large outdoor mall, with the occasional bar and club providing live music. It is one of Philadelphia's largest tourist attractions, and today is mostly frequented by people from outside the city as well as tourists from other states and/or countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Street_(Philadelphia) Fairmount Park is the largest park in any city's environ's. I live across the park and love it. There are countless sights within the park, The Horticulture Center, The Azeala Gardens, The Japaneese Tea House, Boat house row where the local colleges keep their scull boats, and the best part about the park is the 8 mile path loop around Schuylkill River (Indian word for hidden river), where you can run, bike or blade. The Philadelphia Art Museum - The Museum contains over 225,000 works of art, and in its sweep of 200 captivating galleries visitors find many surprises and changing exhibitions. Recently a building on the grounds of the Art Museum, overlooking the River has opened as a new resturaunt with rave reviews of the food and sunstets. I look forward to returning to sample the delights. What's this you ask? It's a Mummer and I think New Yorker's, especially the ones that go to Times Square on New Year's Eve, the ones that catch the fireworks in Central Park, you know the ones, you guys who go to the movies in droves the next day, standing in line for hours, because what else are you going to do, then you find out your movie is sold out for the next 5 showings. You, yea youse need to take the train down to Philly and see the Mummers Parade. The Mummers Parade is held each New Year's Day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Local clubs (usually called "New Years Associations") compete in one of four categories (Comics, Fancies, String Bands and Fancy Brigades [w/music]). Each year, about 15,000 people participate in the parade. Close to $400,000 in prizes are awarded, a small fraction of the cost of sequined, ostrich-plumed mardi gras esq costumes, which can run several thousand dollars each. http://www.mummers.com/ I bet you didn't even know this parade existed, I know most of the New Yorker's I talked to didn't know, but they said it sounded like fun and they would be making the trip next year. I hope to see you Next Year. Finally, Philadelphia nor any City can compare themselves to NYC. NYC is unique in everyway, alive, vibrant, changing, moving at a hyper-frenitic pace, CROWDED. But there's not a lot of relaxing, for that I recommend the Sixth Borough - Philadelphia. Philadelphia compliments NYC by virtue of it's activities on a smaller scale, by providing a more manageable peaceful pace, less crowded and just 95 miles south of it's borders; a commute that is just about as long as travelling to Staten Island my NYC coworker tells me. And if there's something I want to do in NYC, it's not a problem for me to jump in the car (there's plenty of street parking in Chelsea [our little secret]) or get on a train and return to NYC. But when my year long+ business trip is done in NYC, I choose to live in Philly, which to me has all the activities of a big city, and all the charm of a small town, its the region where I grew up, my family is here and most importantly, My Mike is here.

2 Comments:

Blogger Melanie said...

it's nice to see where you are from, it looks like a nice place.

8/15/2006 8:36 PM  
Anonymous nancy said...

Wow what an awesome skyline shot. Thanks for giving us an inside look at Philadelphia...

8/26/2006 1:33 AM  

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