Philadelphia - The City That Loves You Back.
An Opportunity Nearly Missed.
It’s been a while since I’ve had an opportunity to take out my camera and feel somewhat interested in photographing something. Not every day is filled with beautiful vistas or perfect photographic scenes. Many are filled with gray and spotty days where life fills in the voids. But once in a while, something taps you on the shoulder and asks if you are OK.
On a recent vacation to Philadelphia, My wife and I weren’t sure what to expect. I had always heard of Philly as having a somewhat rough reputation, but to my surprise, it was quite pleasant. At least the parts we saw. Sure there are rough parts, but that’s no different than any other big city.
Photographically I wasn’t sure what to expect either. And at times, I felt a little unsure what to look for. But in reality, it was everywhere. So much so that a lot of times I just didn’t shoot anything.
At first I thought I would focus on the architecture. The old buildings, the thought of avoiding the people and their so called rough reputation was something I was keen to do. But I couldn’t help myself. I was drawn to seeing what they were really like. Were they as tough on the exterior as everyone said they were?
Nothing of the sort. Would I have eventually found people that fit the bill? Probably, but I think that can be said for any place. Letting a reputation get in the way of things can prevent you from seeing the best of things. It gives them character and gives them life to an otherwise, one sided reputation.
They don’t call it the City of Brotherly Love for nothing. While some reputations are good and hold true to their word (I’m looking at you Philly Cheesesteak), letting yourself be held back because you are unsure of what you may find will cause you to miss out on some of the best things life has to offer.
What can I say about Philadelphia? Is the food good? Yes. Is it a tough city? Perhaps, but that’s what makes it so endearing. The city might have a reputation, for its demeanour, its food or its history. But if there is anything that it should be truly known for, it should be for its people. They are what truly makes the city what it is.
“As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life -and travel- leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks -on your body or on your heart- are beautiful”
- Anthony Bourdain
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