Dispatches: My Old Philly Home

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Philadelphia will always hold a special place in my heart.

When I was young, it was the place my Dad would take me and our family to on a Sunday in the summer to see a Phillies game down at old Vet Stadium. We’d get up early, he’d drive two hours, down from Northeast Pennsylvania, to sit in the hot sun to watch bad baseball. Then he’d drive us two hours home, pulling in around 7:30 pm.

By 7:30 the next morning, he’d be at his post at the state prison he worked at for 36 years. What a way to spend your weekend.

I went to college in Philly, then stayed, probably to the chagrin of my parents. I took jobs that paid the bills, nothing that had to do with my college major. Lived paycheck to paycheck but I was happy. I was truly independent.

Philly still holds a allure to me, and I love going back to visit. Now, I’m getting the chance to explore it with fresh eyes with my kids. (c)JSP_secretgarden_2251

A couple of weekends ago, we pulled off I-95 South and parked in Old City. Walked around the Betsy Ross House and the nation’s oldest street, Elfreth’s Alley.

Old City has gone through a major revival in the past decade. It’s not longer the rag-tag area next to Philly’s Chinatown. Now, little boutiques, eateries and coffeshops about.

Still, remenats of it’s no-so-distanct past abound.

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After lunch at, yes, a diner, we piled back into our time machine – I tell my kids our minivan is a time machine because we’re always going into the future – I took them over to Kelly Drive (named after Philadelphia-area native John Kelly, an Olympic rower and Princess Grace Kelly’s brother) and the Philadelphia Art Museum area.

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When I lived in Philly, I drove the windy Kelly Drive hundreds of time at all hours of the day or night. Hardly ever got out to look around at all the statues that dot the landscape. Just the short time I was there with my kids showed me more than I had ever seen before.

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Eventually, we worked our way over to the Art Museum area. It was a mild day, though the crowds weren’t bad. Liv really wanted to go up into the Art Museum, but since I had Matt in his stroller, and the ramp was way around on the back of the building, we had to settle for exploring and playing in front. The kids loved the hill in front of the build – see that first shot. I waited and waited for Chase’s head and body to hit that patch of sun just right – while I saw what I could see.



By 3 pm or so, the winter shadows were starting to lenghthen. It was time to corral everyone and head back into the time machine. In less than an hour, we were home, back in the Great State of New Jersey, far from the rabble cobblestones of Old City Philly.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved 2013

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