I have had a love affair with Philadelphia for as long as I can remember. My first memories in my life can be recalled back to playing on the banks of the Schuylkill River during many rowing regattas. I would watch boats coast along the muggy river while fall leaves would colorize its shores. It’s an unpolished city and perhaps that’s why I like it; unpolished like myself. Somehow I feel comfortable in my own skin here. In my times here, I always feel like I somehow just missed it, only touching on the very surface that has caught my eye. Pockets of the city echo its colorful past and vibrant future. As a city, it manages to seamlessly integrate the old and the new, never boring it’s dwellers with mundane cookie cutter architecture. Rather, every turn even invites you to open your eyes and take in something exciting. More than it larger New York rival, Philadelphia welcomes art in every nook and cranny. Somehow it becomes a less formidable and more inviting place. More than 3000 massive murals grace the facades of its buildings and it has no social prejudice in deciding where the art belongs. No matter how wealthy or poor the neighborhood may be, art becomes it. Once again we came here for a sporting event. Rather than sitting on the banks of the river, today I observed from Kelly Drive, a Parisian like road emitting drama and majesty. It was designed to feel like the France’s Champs Elysees. What better a way to see this beautiful city than by running its marathon? The lucky thousands would run by the Liberty Bell and pound the pavement along streets storied in history. Each runner would witness grand statues along the way, view the famed Boathouse Row, awe over the decorated Victorian gates of America’s first zoo and finish along the formidable and gorgeous steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The miles would tick by because of a course that would mesmerize the senses. My hours here are limited to the blink of an eye. I must soon come back and scratch deeper into the surface. I leave desperately wanting to capture more. This city is the miracle of America at it’s very best.
Ben Franklin Watches from High Above
William Penn looks below.