Visit to the City of Brotherly Love

We had Friday off from work because of spring break, a nice perk of the job, and that allowed me to take the early NJ Transit train out to 30th street and meet with my friends from Penn, to visit Sweeten House, to eat lunch with Lisa V. and Jason at Distrito on 40th Street. Then, got back on the Chestnut Street bus, and tried to remind myself of the things I won't miss on from the city, and there are a few. Public transportation, for example, has many things to like (it's cheap, it doesn't eat up valuable resources, it's fast, you don't have to worry about traffic on the train and you're not driving if you're on the bus, and you know exactly where you're going). However, it's also crowded, smelly, and you can never let down your guard. At least I can't--I'm always on the look out for the weirdo who might want to talk to me or the iPhone snatcher scanning the crowd for easy targets. And then there are the things people do on the subway that remain annoying and inescapable, such as loud gum chewing and screaming at someone on their phone, or blasting shitty music, or abusing their children. Okay, so I will try to remember that the next time I'm driving on Route 1--I don't have to turn my head to watch a young mom alone with three kids, beating the oldest with one hand while texting with the other. Here's the photo montage from my weekend. 
Here is a familiar site--one I passed twice a day at least when I worked at Penn. Ann Taylor Loft, having yet another sale. I resisted.
Two of my favorite girls and former co-workers, Lisa V. and Colleen, both pregnant with their second bambinos.

Here is a sign on the Walnut Locust stop I took home from Penn, with an ad for suicide prevention that you can only read if you're on the very edge of the track, thereby setting you up to possibly become another suicide statistic if you slip.

Obnoxious middle school age boys swearing up a storm.
Breakfast with mom at Green Eggs Cafe where they serve you actual sugar cubes and you have to resist putting all of them in your pocket to feed to any horses you might meet later.

Then I forced Mom to go to Green Street with me, and I bought two shirts I didn't need along with a pair of soft jogging pants that I sort of needed because I forgot my p.j.s The day before, I went to the Green Street in West Philly and bought a pair of navy pants that were too short, but they only cost one dollar.

We did some other running around, such as upgrading my mom to an iPhone and going to the pet store to find Ernesto another cushion for the window seat as the old one was getting flat. Just a few more to add, and he will be like the princess in the Princess and the Pea.

We walked to Tasker for dinner and I was able to catch a snoozing cat, propped up against a Virgin Mary. These are the moments I miss most about Philly.

We ate dinner at an Italian restaurant in view of the square that gave my mom free wine. The dinner was average, but the staff was authentic Italiano and very nice.
On the way home, we again admired the windows, which are celebrating bunnies and the return of Jesus.
And Emma Carol waits patiently for our return, another cat in a window. 
This morning, we visited Jenn and Amelie and Amelie seemed to like Mom and I okay. Jenn bought delicious pastries and I did not hesitate to sample them. 
And a calico we saw in the window on the way home from Jenn's. He rubbed against the screen when I tried to touch him. 

Today, I got to see Carrie and Padhriag and Seamus at the park on 9th and Fitzwater. Seamus was all rosy cheeks and smiles.

View from the window as we pull out of the city, headed once again toward Jersey.

And then finally, this woman on the Northeast Corridor to Hamilton, who left her bags with us to search for a bathroom. I imagined she was on her way to New York, where everyone is infinitely more cool and interesting than in most cities. At least that's how I think of New York.

I'll be back in Philadelphia in two weekends, I hope to see everyone again. It sometimes seems like Philadelphia is so far away from me now, but it's only just a drive, train ride, and then SEPTA, and I'm back. Not in a flash, but it's not like trying to get across country. I have to remember that.