I might’ve mentioned this once or twice, but I adore Philadelphia. I don’t know how my half marathon is going to go tomorrow, but I am so glad I came back to the city that I’d most likely call home.
I lived here when I was 23 for work and again from age 26 to 29 when I returned for my MBA at U Penn. Although a lot has changed since we moved away, a lot is the same. Weirdly, it seems like every shop is playing 90s grunge music, which is exactly the music I loved back in the day. I feel a little in a time warp. We went into Urban Outfitters, which started here in Philly, and my husband informed me that I was now too old to wear their clothes. 😦
He’s right, but it didn’t change the nostalgia.
The restaurant we got married in closed long ago but as been reincarnated by its owner not far from our hotel. We aren’t planning a meal there, but we stopped by to ogle the menu, which is basically the same as it was. The old location was gutted, which was sort of sad to see. Our wedding was really cool, with the wait staff excited to work that night. It was like they were family too. We were good tippers, but I like to think they liked us as people as well. Or they just loved our son, who was two when we got married. He was a fan of their gnocchi with Gorgonzola and the coconut sorbet. Yes, at two years old. You should see what he eats at 18.
We lived just off South Street, which if you’re familiar with Philly you’ll know is a little crazy. It was fun to live there except when the drunken revelers peed on our doorstep. Basically every weekend, in other words. And Mardi Gras because we lived on the same block as the skeevy Fat Tuesdays bar. They started partying at 4 am like clockwork on that day, with helicopters usually flying overhead.
I have a lot of great memories from this town. It’s when I began to really figure out who I am away from my parents. It was a fun, but confusing, time for me. I drank a lot during my later MBA studying days. A lot of beliefs were being internally shattered. I suppose I had to go through it at some point to start to heal, so it’s good that I have so many wonderful feelings about living here to carry me through the self-destructiveness that coincided.
Last night we ate at a place called Serpico located on South Street that didn’t exist when we lived here. The food defies categorization, but it was delicious. It had pig’s head on the menu, although we didn’t order it. I miss being able to eat adventurously. My bank account, however, is happier with living in a less culinary town (although my town would argue this with me. It thinks its more cosmopolitan than reality).
This afternoon it was fun walking around Center City and Rittenhouse Square. We’re taking a break so I can massage my foot. Yesterday we had fun at the Fitness Expo where I picked up my race packet. Spent too much money on a water resistant SPI belt, replacement YurBuds ear pieces, a Rocky themed running shirt and short compression socks. I had to get out of there before I did more damage.
I’m nervous about tomorrow, but I’m planning for the possibility I won’t be able to finish the race. Regardless of the outcome, I’m glad I came back here, the place I began to find me.