Musing with Max

Musing with Max

April 3, 2011

The City of Brotherly Love

For some reason I can't explain I fell in love with Philadelphia the minute I stepped my dainty foot in it. That was over ten years ago when we decided to take a ride to Center City on a beautiful Summer afternoon and landed right smack in Rittenhouse Square. The place was jumping, people everywhere and such a vibe, such energy...You may find it odd that I should say this considering that I spend the majority of my time in New York City but New York is where I work and toil my life away and yes, there's plenty of play there too but I've been there a very long time and familiarity breeds boredom. I run everywhere in New York because that is what I am accustomed to, being in a hurry because I'm usually going to work and doing things that have to do with work (well, not anymore...but more on that another time), the energy is stress. And while there are countless restaurants, plays, museum exhibits, bars, you name it opening up on a daily basis in New York I've done so much of it that it doesn't grab me much. Philadelphia on the other hand grabs me every time, and there have been many since that first jaunt. I think the first time we went was in 2000 or who knows maybe earlier but the one I remember as the beginning was New Year's Eve 2001. What an infamous year that was, in many, many ways. Personally it was our Charles Dickens year and by that I mean, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. We started out the year by, oddly enough, a jaunt to Philadelphia for dinner I can't remember where. We followed that by going to New Orleans for what turned out to be the first weekend of Mardi Gras and a completely crazy, wacky, decadent 3 days of unstoppable fun in a crazy, wacky, decadent city. We then flew down to Miami  in June for a perfectly planned vacation in which we spent one week at the beach and the following week at my Mom's house and did all kinds of great family stuff and I actually achieved, for the first time in my life, the PERFECT TAN which lasted all Summer long. That was the best of times. Then one absolutely glorious September morning the world was shattered, 9/11 happened and everything changed. While trying to grasp all of this, my aunt Tata had a stroke in November and I had to fly (oh no, not after 9/11) to Florida to sit with my Mom by her deathbed. She died a week after I left on December 5th, 2001. It was the worst of times. We decided to go to Philadelphia for New Year's Eve and booked a room at The Rittenhouse since they accept pets and we wanted to take TJ with us (he didn't come after all) and made a reservation for the New Year's celebration at Alma de Cuba. We arrived and the temperature dropped by 20 degrees but it was wonderful; the Rittenhouse was amazing and our room overlooked the park. On New Year's Eve day in lovely 17 degree weather Frank went record shopping and I just went shopping on Walnut  and then we met for lunch at Rouge, the beginning of another love affair. The world wasn't going to end, happiness could still be had. Since then we have been there countless times, unfortunately for them every time we go the temperature seems to drop by 20 degrees; sorry but I'm still going to visit. The year before last we discovered the guy who rents the houseboat in Penn's Landing,

where Max is very very welcomed,

and went there for Thanksgiving (try cooking Thanksgiving dinner in a boat galley kitchen!). So we went again last weekend and stayed at his other boat which had a loft berth that Max couldn't figure out how to navigate
and of course the temperature dropped by 20 degrees so we had to pull out the winter wear

but we finally figured out how to get cozy warm on the boat

and regardless of the freezing weather, the trees actually know calendar date and bloom anyway.

I love Philadelphia, it makes me feel young :)

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