Friday, January 9, 2009


This morning, as I was riding into work, I admired the pinks, purples, oranges, and blues swirling around the sun and the clouds in the sky. I love biking during the post-dawn confusion of colors; I love that my commute usually takes me past the river and the city skyline. I couldn't help myself--I stopped this morning (even though I was already running late) and stood on the Spring Garden bridge with my camera in the crisp, windy morning, mesmerized by the sky and the city.

reflective Philly skyline

skyline with i76 traffic again

I suppose this is cheating a bit. It's such an easy subject: the river, the skyline, the cars zooming by. But, it was 25 degrees out with a wind chill of who-knows-what, so I at least get points for bravery.

On the way home, I decided to stop in Powelton to check out the new park. It had been a fenced-in dirt lot for as long as I've lived in West Philly. It's now a series of paths up a hill, where a tiny tree is planted. There are some nice new trashcans, and a view of the skyline. And that's about it. Oh--there's very, very spongy sod, as well. I stepped off the path and sunk shoe-deep into it. Ew. Of course, spongy sod or not, it's a huge improvement over the big mound of dirt surrounded by chain-link I've been biking past for the last eight years.

West PHilly Skyline view from park

keep Philly clean!
I love that there's an anti-littering slogan on the trashcan, but there's a smokestack or... something... off to the right. What is that, anyhow?

I have such a love/hate relationship with Philadelphia. My opinion changes with the day, with my mood. It's dirty, people are rude. Drivers go out of their way to be jackasses, it seems. Every spring, the gazillions of ginko trees (who, to their credit, feed on pollution and clean the air) throughout the city drop their putrid fruit, and the whole city smells like vomit. But it's beautiful. The architechture is amazing in places. There are so many open spaces in the area. It's fairly bikable, dog-friendly, queer-friendly, and it's just big enough. Or maybe just small enough. At any rate I'm here for a while, and I love it enough to be ok with that.


  1. Did you know that the reason the ginko trees smell so badly is that the city planted the wrong sex? Apparently, the female trees' fruit wreaks. I learned that in my history of Philadelphia class. One of the little ridiculous facts that my brain has clung to..