I have always loved the city, Philly more than most. It’s one of the strangest setups, as far as why I feel such a deep connection to it. My parents grew up in the city and lived there till their mid-thirties. Once they moved out to the woods with their two little ones, they decided it was time for a third, and here I am.
I was raised by city parents, with city brothers, in the woods. Yeah….might sound strange.
Over the years I’ve visited the city hundreds of times and spent incredible amounts of time putting my feet to pavement and ducking in to random shops and such. From 2003 to 2006 my parents would take me to South Street for my birthday (at my request), and we would stay at a hotel across the street from Dave & Busters. From 2008 to 2011 I would go at least 6 times a year, staying at my brother’s apartment a few blocks away from the Art Museum, and then the second apartment when he and his fiance moved to West Philly.
I had a place to stay, a car to get there, gas money to spend, and a city calling me to be a part of her.
Last week I was on South Street for Philly Pod Fest, and for the past 3 days I’ve been driving down for Type-A Parent Mastermind Summit. An awesome, small group conference where attendees focus on content and strategy for our websites and businesses. A few months ago I spent two days around Center City and the Art Museum for the NFL Draft. It feels so familiar, and yet in a way, like I’m re-finding the city that I’ve loved for so long. But this time instead of the mindset of a youthful man coming into his own, I’ve got that experience.
I can walk around comfortably and take things in without having to focus on where I am so I don’t get lost. Being a Dad I now have a different outlook on life in general, quite a lens to view a city through. Everything feels different and the details pop out more. I feel comfortable where I am and now I can see all the things I’ve been missing.
How did I not notice all these beautiful details in City Hall? How did I not know there is an exposed area where you can view the cornerstone of the building? How did I miss out on the simple yet beautiful tile highlights on the floor? When was I here and walking around and not noticing the intricacies and somewhat haphazard and beautiful way they all fit together?
Hi, my name is Ben. I’m not who I used to be, and that makes the whole world a new place for me to discover. I can’t wait to get out there.