Tuesday, October 18
After being here in Philadelphia for just over two months, now, I have to make a real confession. This is not a juicy sort of confession that will rock anybody's world, but if there are any real patriotic folks out there, they will certainly be dissatisfied. This all sort of started within the first few days that I moved here. My friend, Pamela, and I headed for downtown to spend the day exploring, and just after arriving down there, it started pouring down rain and got pretty miserable. Being the smart tourist that I am, I had flipflops on, which made trekking through the city even more fun in the rain.
Because I had never visited Philly before, Pamela took the reigns and gave me an idea of what we could go do. At the time, I chose to bypass the historical district simply because it was too far from where we were at the time, and I did not want to have to walk across the city in the rain. I know...pathetic. In the end, however, Pamela's wallet was stolen at the Starbucks we visited, and we ended up passing right through the historical district en route to the police headquarters. Even as we passed right by things like the Liberty Bell, I had no hint of regret that we couldn't stop to see it due to the circumstances. There was actually a very small hint of relief.
Now, however, a couple of months have passed, and there have been many days free of rain. My confession? Despite both much time and good weather, I still have absolutely no desire to go see all of the historical landmarks and such that are accesible here in Philadelphia. I realize that someday this may come back and haunt me, but I definitely don't look at downtown and think history. Instead, I look at downtown and think about the plethora of shopping opportunities, entertainment, and food. Would this qualify as unpatriotic? Because I have never viewed myself as unpatriotic or terribly patriotic. I think I'm just neutrally patriotic. I dig America, but I don't have to put flags on my car and stuff.
My hope is that I'm not completely off-base feeling this way about the historical district of my new home. It's definitely not that I don't appreciate folks like Ben Franklin and all he did for our country (and the world for that matter), I'm just not highly entertained by those tourist attractions that display those accomplishments. And it may be that I've grown up in this highly materialistic and all-consuming society, which instigated such things as Fast Food Nation, and I have a majorly displaced sense of appreciation. If it makes up for any of this at all, I have read excerpts of Franklin's writings, and I do rate him as one of the best thinkers ever to reside within our borders.
Case in point: I'm guilty of lacking interest in historical Philadelphia.