Flash back to the holiday season. A day in that weird week between Christmas and the New Year. I meet up with a dear friend of mine in Philadelphia. First, some writing time on the SEPTA train. The rhythm of the train gliding along the rails is so soothing; maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker. The train is your chariot in New York. It will take you anywhere.
My friend and I meet in The Dandelion Pub, a charming British gastropub that makes two Anglophiles feel right at home.
After all, they serve Ribena soda.
I chow down on some pickled beets, and my friend generously gives me a bit of her bread because three toast points is not going to cut it.
It’s a cold, gray day, but we still walk around, visiting the (now closed!) Arterial Agents for vanilla lavender lattes and some treats. It is so sad to discover a gem only for it to disappear shortly afterwards. That’s kind of the whole point of this blog, though. So many things fade away, but I can still keep a record of them and, in some small way, keep them alive.
After some excellent thrift shopping, we once again stop for coffee, this time at Chapterhouse. (I’m well aware that I have issues but have no plans of lessening my caffeine dependency.) I warm myself up with a Dominican mocha, and we challenge each other to timed writing sessions. Breakthrough! Maybe it’s the chill vibe of the café. Maybe it’s the writerly camaraderie. Maybe it’s the caffeine. All I know is, the scene I had been working on to no avail for days suddenly springs forth, as if the movie playing out in my head is racing down my arm and through my pen.
I find myself thinking about that day a lot. On that day, I started feeling, in my gut, what I wanted my life to be. I started to remember what real friendship feels like. Most of all, I really understood how the energy of a city recharges me.
Not bad for a day of walking with a friend.