Philadelphia First

I’m just back from a day trip to Philadelphia, the first time I’ve actually ever been to the city proper, though I’ve passed through it countless times on my way back and forth between New York and Washington, DC. I went for a business meeting, but afterwards I took a little time out and met up with an old friend from junior high school. We had a quick drink, shot some pool, and I had my first, authentic Philly cheesesteak. Though I took the late unreserved train back to Manhattan, on the way there this morning, I took the Acela for the first time. It was a pleasant experience, though I’m not sure I’d ever pay for it out of my own pocket, given that it actually felt more cramped than the less tony trains that Amtrak runs along the eastern seaboard. Anyway, the real highlight of traveling today was spending some time in the gorgeous confines of the restored 30th Street Station, an enduring testament to a time when cities, people and architects used to imagine public spaces as truly grand specimens of human achievement. I wish I hadn’t forgotten my camera at home.