Friday, February 17, 2017

Philadelphia, at Last


First breakfast at home in Philadelphia. Friday, February 17th.

It's been quite a while since I last posted, and a week since I last wrote.  The past month has been spent diligently preparing for our move to Philadelphia: packing, throwing away, donating, and carefully cramming our entire host of worldly possessions into about 50 boxes destined for our new home in West Philly. The kitchen alone took an entire day to pack -- the last day -- and another to reorganize everything into our new space.  


After finally getting heat in the apartment on Tuesday night (we had a bit of a rough landing, and the house had not even been cleaned when we arrived), we have spent the last few days exploring the neighborhood, trying new cafes and restaurants, and unpacking our lives into our new home.  West Philly is exquisitely beautiful; giant Victorian mansions of impossibly intricate shapes and detail line nearly every street, shaded by ancient and wizened trees, their naked winter branches writhing densely against the sky.  Our house sits on the edge of a park: the wide open, tree-canopied epicenter of public life in the neighborhood.  

From our living room window we can survey the southern corner of the park and look across it to the University on the other side.  Built just after the turn of the century, the house exudes the ancient character of bygone days.  None of the original hardwood floors are truly flat, and the kitchen is a melody of curves and angles.  The floor slopes so much that you feel like you might slide right off your chair, and all the oil in the pan runs quickly to one side, making it difficult to cook anything without burning. The pantry door will probably never close.

The living room has high ceilings above an arched bay window, the new home of our piano and outdoor-furniture-turned-breakfast-table.

The skylights above the stair and master bedroom and bath flood the rooms with light at all times of the day. The house itself is huge, with our apartment occupying the top two stories.  We've turned the upstairs into two dedicated workspaces for Chris and myself, and guests will sleep here in the nook, where I have my writing desk.  The nook is the size of our bedroom in the old apartment, with a single small desk and one bookshelf and a chair. The white space is magnificent. 

After picking up a few essential groceries at the neighborhood co-op, we were finally able to cook breakfast at home today.  After feeling like a stranger in our own home for three days -- we arrived to a cold, filthy shell on Monday night -- everything is finally falling into place.  At last, we are at home in Philadelphia: my kitchen is organized, the radiators are warm, and I can walk through the house without my feet turning black from the grime of someone else's life.  

This first breakfast -- a simple spread of eggs, toast, and greens -- was truly something to be grateful for.  

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