Friday, June 22, 2007
The Eagle Has Landed
"Brotherly Love" has become something of a punch line to most Philadelphians, but like so many cities on the east coast, Philadelphia is a fascinating explosion of humanity, living in, on, and around each other. It's a beautiful city, my hometown, and I love walking the streets, my mind flooding with memories of the past on every corner. The giant buildings of granite and steel still crowd the middle of Center City, but many more shiny glass towers decorated with neon borders at the top climb higher and higher, obliterating the view of William Penn on City Hall, and creating a cityscape unrecognizable from the pre-dawn backdrop that Rocky shadow-boxed thirty years ago.
It's astounding that so many old buildings have been swallowed by retailers. The golden eagle above, symbol of freedom and our nations liberty, carved and gilt a century ago, now hovers above an entrance for a "Sharper Image" store. Yes, my fellow Americans. "Liberty!"... "Freedom!"... "Massage Chairs!"... "Air Purifiers!" Graceful marble staircases and polished brass railings lead up from the street and into a ..."Staples." Oh, such effort by craftsmen of so long ago to build stone buildings that would stand the test of time, only to have ink cartridge sale posters hanging from carved marble gargoyles.
I elegantly strode into Staples like a 19th century banker, and bought a dozen of those Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens. Yes!! I've been looking for those things everywhere!
Love from Wilson World,