I got into Philly around 4 this afternoon and surprisingly enough only hit minimal traffic down around center city. I don’t usually come all the way into the city but I’m staying with my sister and she lives in town now. What an adventure to find a parking space though.
21st Street was torn up close to my destination so I took it easy on my new car wheels, cruising down past her street peering left and right to find a space that would accommodate my SUV. It’s the one time I’m not proud of my car’s size, when I’m in the city. The spots I found were so tiny half of my car may have fit comfortably. And the honking from behind as I paused at each spot to gauge my prospects. When I stopped looking one showed up out of nowhere. Go figure.
Isn’t that the way it always seems to work? I eased into the spot, working with parallel parking skills that are sorely lacking from living where there are no parallel parking spots. It looks good in spite of all that though. Although it took me about five minutes to wiggle back and forth until I was satisfied. Which means until it looked the other cars in the block, snugly tucked up tight to the curb.
I locked up tightly (meaning I pressed the button five times — to be sure) and headed off on foot. Hell, I’m in Philly, my favorite place in the entire world. It’s like a fairy tale… with homeless people and cigarette smoke everywhere. I love it. Then I went on a stroll.
Six blocks to South Street and down, past small shops and condos, around dog walkers and smokers, head down so they don’t think I’m trying to make eye contact. That’s frowned upon here. I had almost forgotten. We pass each other by as if we are ghosts living in the same space but at different times. So I slid past in my rush to get nowhere and everywhere at once, taking it all in without missing a beat.
I was home. So I kept strolling, keeping time with the natives who still happen to actually live here. But I still belong, like one of those aforementioned ghosts who doesn’t know when he should stop haunting the place.