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Dog Days on the Pier

The new Race Street Pier

It’s been so long since I posted here. I don’t know if it’s inertia, boredom, busyness, or Facebook. Things have happened that are postworthy, I just haven’t done it.

The dog days of summer are here and the extreme heat turns the city into a smelly, soupy mess wherein cockroaches rule the sidewalks and drains, the ice cream vendors cash in as if it were Christmas, and the population leaves town each weekend for the shore, abandoning the city to the the tourists or those too weary to drag themselves away. Or the unfortunates who have to work. I’ve been one of those unfortunates. I usually wait out the summer by working very long hours and cashing in on the overtime and waiting for the first cool of the fall. I plan that autumn getaway like a prisoner plans his escape, never knowing if it really will happen, but ready the moment there’s an opportunity.

I tried out the new park today, the new Race Street Pier. It’s a pleasant place right over the water, blessed with the breezes of property near to bodies of water (in this case the Delaware River). It’s a little strip of pristine cleanliness (maybe because it’s new… give it time) right against the huge pylons of the Ben Franklin Bridge. It has a little of everything, plants, grass, and benches and a lot of sun. The new trees aren’t old enough yet to provide much shade and I got a fierce burn in spite of my 55 SPF. But I suspect most people were there for the sun and breeze. It was quiet, no dogs and few kids. It’s a little strip of silence, the only sounds being the inoffensive white noise of the the 95 and the rumble of the NJ Transit train on the way to or from Camden. There’s a little market at the condo development about a block away in case of some badly needed cold drinks, but otherwise it’s kind of a food desert and that makes it hard to cope with in this city of Iron Chefs and a new restaurant every week. Rittenhouse has the enviable chain of eateries right on its doorstep and the Washington West has some nice fast food/ drinks places nearby and great stretches of lawn. But Rittenhouse is always packed and Washington West has had its every inch peed on by the neighborhood’s vast army of pets. The Race Street pier doesn’t have those crowds yet. Maybe it just hasn’t been discovered. It’s a non picturesque walk down Race and across the busy Columbus Avenue to get there and maybe that’s saving it from the crowds for now. The locals go somewhere else and the tourists don’t know it’s here… those not on the obnoxious duck tours that is. But if you bring your own food and drink and have slathered on the SPF, it’s a great place to sit and relax in the breezes of the river. I felt I owned a little part of it when I saw one of the trees had a plaque thanking the OCCA.

I finished the last of my mystery book and thought about September. I think I may be bound once again for England. I don’t know why. I could go anywhere. I could go to Croatia or Peru but I think that with the death of Greece as an option, I’m for England again with its gorse and rain and chilly politeness. I haven’t been back in years, not really, and my excuse is I need more pictures, this time in digital.

In other news:

  • The Flavia de Luce novels are a riot. Thank you, Alan Bradley!
  • Here’s to being done with two huge, anxiety-provoking work projects.
  • I am making ratatouille this weekend for the first time this summer. And here’s to sweet Lancaster corn.

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