I’m in Philadelphia for the SLA conference and have noticed that it’s just….different. The first word I think of is “gritty” to describe the city. The sidewalks have ancient globs of chewing gum permanently embedded in much of the sidewalk. There is a lot of garbage in alleys and on the streets. The smells of the underground infrastructure is smelly. You can’t buy wine in the local convenience store. There are no public drinking fountains aka the Benson bubblers we take for granted in PDX. I went into the Wanamaker building, which is now a Macy’s – they have the Eileen Fisher clothes locked up!
But it’s certainly not all bad. There’s a huge selection of restaurants and other food venues. The architecture of the old buildings is amazing. In the gay district, the street signs have the rainbow flag above it. The people are friendly, and the grid of the city makes it very easy to get around. It’s warm!
Photos to come later…in the meantime, I need to review my notes of Thomas Friedman’s opening speech. Did you know he doesn’t use Facebook or Twitter? He believes the world is getting flatter, and believes that average is not enough these days on the job. Interesting things to think about!