Goodbye Philadelphia

How do you wrap up sixteen plus years of your life? I am not so sure. I have lived in the 19130 zip code longer than any other in my nearly half a century on this planet but today I leave it for good. By early this afternoon, the boys and I will be driving south in a Prius packed to the gills, headed first toward the Blue Ridge Parkway, then New Orleans, and eventually on to our new home of Houston, Texas.

These last few weeks have been bittersweet, fêting with some of our oldest and dearest friends, all of whom I will miss dearly.

I will also miss the city itself: its grit, grime, and attitude. Yesterday, at the end of a long ride, I decided to take one more loop around the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with City Hall at one end and the Art Museum at the other. As I turned on to the wide boulevard, a car swerved, cut me off, yelled an obscenity out the window, and the driver thrust her hand out the window with her middle finger extended.

I laughed–that is my city.

And then I flipped her off right back.

There are many aspects of living here in Philadelphia that I will miss (and some that I won’t), and, after a couple of hours scouring my photos, here many of them are….

Liberty Bell

The history: we are going to the Liberty Bell and Constitution Hall one more time today before we leave. It has been incredible living in a city where so much has happened that has not only shaped this country, but changed the world.

The Fourth of July. This year was a bit of a dud, but we lived just a couple of minutes from the Art Museum which is the center of the Fourth celebration here in Philly.

The Fourth of July. This year was a bit of a dud, but we lived just a couple of minutes from the Art Museum which is the center of the Fourth celebration here in Philly.

My quirky wine cellar: our old basement was an unwieldy melange of bikes and booze. And I loved it.

My quirky wine cellar: our old basement was an unwieldy mélange of bikes and booze. And I loved it.

Dining al fresco in our 'hood: I know we will find new spots in Houston, but we won't be able to walk there. Our little Fairmount neighborhood has changed a ton in the last 16 years and now boasts some fantastic restaurants.

Dining al fresco in our ‘hood: I know we will find new spots in Houston, but we won’t be able to walk there. Our little Fairmount neighborhood has changed a ton in the last 16 years and now boasts some fantastic restaurants.

The Thanksgiving Day parade: In what had become a tradition, the boys and I would take the five minute walk down to the Ben Franklin Parkway and watch the parade with hundreds of our best friends from Southern Jersey.

The Thanksgiving Day parade: In what had become a tradition, the boys and I would take the five-minute walk down to the Ben Franklin Parkway and watch the parade with hundreds of our best friends from South Jersey.

Christmas in Philly: Another tradition was to spend a day seeing the city and it's preparations for the season: Love Park, the light show at the Wanamaker, Christmas Village, the Comcast Center.

Christmas in Philly: Another tradition was to spend a day seeing the city and it’s preparations for the season: Love Park, the light show at the Wanamaker, Christmas Village, the Comcast Center.

Coaching basketball at quirky Lloyd Hall.

Coaching basketball at quirky Lloyd Hall.

Yeah, I am even going to miss the Rocky statue. Every day, hundreds of people still run up the steps of the Art Museum (the "Rocky Steps"), celebrating a movie that is now 40 years old.

Yeah, I am even going to miss the Rocky statue. Every day, hundreds of people still run up the steps of the Art Museum (the “Rocky Steps”), celebrating a movie that is now 40 years old.

The first snow storm of the year. We have had a few big snows while here in Philly, and they always make me a little giddy.

The first snow storm of the year. We have had a few big snows while here in Philly, and they always make me a little giddy.

The week between Christmas and New Year's in D.C. The nation's "new" capital (Philly was it's first) is just a few hours down I-95 and we would typically spend a few days down there between Christmas and New Year's. It is a great time to go--hotels are really cheap, and the lines are really short.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s in D.C. The nation’s “new” capital (Philly was the first) is just a few hours down I-95 and we would typically spend a few days down there between Christmas and New Year’s. It is a great time to go–hotels are really cheap, and the lines are really short.

Watching movies on the Art Museum steps.

Watching movies on the Art Museum steps.

Watching Rocky on the steps that the movie made so famous.

Watching Rocky on the steps that the movie made so famous.

Helen Mirren. OK, I saw here in New York, which I was able to visit frequently, and is really the center of the wine trade here in the U.S.

Helen Mirren. OK, I saw her in New York, which I was able to visit frequently, and is really the center of the wine trade here in the U.S.

A city of statues: Just about everywhere you turn in the city, there is a statue. This is right near our old house--why there is a statue of Joan of Arc in Philly is still a mystery to me, though.

A city of statues: Just about everywhere you turn in the Philadelphia, there is a statue. This is right near our old house–why there is a statue of Joan of Arc in Philly is still a mystery to me, though.

Jeroboams of Mailly Champagne: Many years ago, we bought about 100 of these bottles (for $40 each, delivered), and we just drank the last one the other day. It was fabulous.

Jeroboams of Mailly Champagne: Many years ago, we bought about 100 of these bottles (for $40 each, delivered), and we just drank the last one the other day. It was fabulous.

Stoop Parties: I would regularly hold samples tastings outside my house. I discovered that people like free booze.

Stoop Parties: I would regularly hold samples tastings outside my house. I discovered that people like free booze.

Sabering on the roof.

Sabering on the roof.

Eastern State Penitentiary: The most influential prison ever. And our neighbor.

Eastern State Penitentiary: The most influential prison ever. And our neighbor.

My wine dinners at Fare.

My wine dinners at Fare.

Hershey Park.

Hershey Park.

Wawa.

The Wa.

Hating the Cowboys: I imagine you can't do that as openly in Texas.

Hating the Cowboys: I imagine you can’t do that as openly in Texas.

Penn's Campus: I got my graduate degree there, and always enjoyed going back.

Penn’s Campus: I got my graduate degree there, and always enjoyed going back.

Vintage Krug on the roof.

Vintage Krug on the roof.

The Rodin Museum.

The Rodin Museum.

The Palestra: if you are a fan of basketball, you have to see at least one game here.

The Palestra: if you are a fan of basketball, you have to see at least one game here.

City Hall: The largest municipal building in the country (bigger than the U.S. Capitol) and the tallest masonry building in the world.

City Hall: The largest municipal building in the country (bigger than the U.S. Capitol) and the tallest masonry building in the world.

My flower and herb garden.

My flower and herb garden.

The Bank.

The Bank.

Sip and Spin.

Sip and Spin.

The Orioles.

The Orioles.

Joe Roberts.

Joe Roberts.

Penns Woods Winery: I wish I had visited there more often.

Penns Woods Winery: I wish I had visited there more often.

Va La: some truly great wine being made in PA.

Va La: some truly great wine being made in PA.

Need in Deed: I was on the Board of a truly great organization that helped teachers better reach their students. (No, it did not involve an Elvis impersonator--this was at a 5k to support the organization).

Need in Deed: I was on the Board of a truly great organization that helped teachers better reach their students. (No, it did not involve an Elvis impersonator–this was at a 5k to support the organization).

The Linc.

The Linc.

Sledding in Fairmount Park.

Sledding in Fairmount Park.

Pat's King of Steaks (one more before we go today!).

Pat’s King of Steaks (one more before we go today!).

Our street in Spring.

Our street in Spring.

Van Coln Field.

Van Coln Field.

Fairmount Tae Kwon Do Studio: One of the best kept secrets in the City.

Fairmount Tae Kwon Do Studio: One of the best kept secrets in the City.

QCW cycling team.

QCW cycling team.

Our corner.

Our (former) corner of the world.

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About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Philadelphia with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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42 Responses to Goodbye Philadelphia

  1. Beth says:

    Awww, wishing you the very best. *sniff*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jimcaudill says:

    Lovely

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gina says:

    Enjoy the adventure, safe travels. A few of us have been talking about a road trip-the Quakers will visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill Barth says:

    Sending our best! My husband just wrapped up a program at Penn (spent a few weeks each summer there during the course of the program). Lots of great places & people in Philly… But the world is a fascinating & welcoming place…Enjoy the next bits. Good luck to your family & to you. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sean Munger says:

    Awesome memories! Good luck in your new home.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hope the move goes well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lots of wonderful memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dwdirwin says:

    Great pictures! Thanks to you, I have Philadelphia on my bucket list- 4th of July or not!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Fourth is a bit crazy, but it is really cool to think about all of the people that have been in town on that day (e.g., Susan B. Anthony in 1876, Nelson Mandella in 1993). Gives you chills.

      Like

  9. fitmumlife says:

    Beautiful pictures! beautiful family! Good luck with your new adventure!! 🙂 cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As a Philly fan transplanted to South Florida I know first-hand that you can indeed hate the Cowboys, no matter where you live! Stay Green! Loved your pics, BTW.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Two Quarts says:

    One door closes, another opens. Tis life. Change it good! Enjoy the ride!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. DK says:

    wishing you and your family all the best…….shhhhh…..agreed, no cowgirl hatin in Texas ;o)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. leggypeggy says:

    Thanks for sharing the memories. Now to create some new ones. Safe travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Those are some great memories. Nobody can take that away! Oh, and I’m pretty sure that you can hate the Cowboys all you want in Houston, home of the Texans!
    Safe travels, and new adventures in your new home.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. elizabeth says:

    As a former Philadelphian who has lived both north and south of the city since living there, there are a few truths I can share with you:

    1.) No convenience store holds a candle to Wawa. None.
    2.) Watching the opening credits of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will give you that twinge of nostalgia in your heart. Every time.
    3.) The PLCB will never not make you shake your head no matter how little their actions impact you.
    4.) It’s always there to come back for a visit.

    Safe travels, and make sure to download/stream the Chef soundtrack (both volumes, actually) for an excellent playlist for your trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Goodbye my friend 😦 Have a safe trip. I will be keeping up with you in your new home. It is ironic that you are moving just as the P.L.C.B is changing so you will have to come back to do some wine and chili dog matching at the 7-11 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. That was a great look at your life in Philly! Safe travels!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Terry says:

    Wishing you some great future vintages. We just left our home of 16 years, so I get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Sixteen years ago you had no memories of Philly just as you have no memories to tie you to Houston. I have family that moved from outside Queens almost 40 years ago to outside Houston; they consider themselves Texans through and through. Best wishes as you enter into this new and exciting time in your lives!

    Liked by 1 person

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