Ever Since I Left Ye Olde City

When I got the OK from my parents regarding my potential night in the city with my friends, I couldn’t focus on the video I was editing for class anymore. What should I wear? What time are we leaving? I need to ask my dad to withdraw money from my account for me. Will Natalie let me borrow her shirt? Wait…how cold is it gonna be? 

The questions never ceased.

Soon it was time. The city was waiting for me and my black-denim-on-black-denim ensemble. I (well, my dad) scooped up Julia and off we went.

Going into Philly never fails to excite me. That’s probably because not only do I live in a kinda bland area, but because I love the hubbub of urbanites’ shoes clicking on the Old City brick, first date conversation, and car horns every five seconds. A true symphonic masterpiece. Once my dad pulled away I shrieked, “Julia, we’re in the CITY!” If my brother had been there he would’ve said yeah, and water’s wet. 

We immediately sought out warm air and a seat. We found both at the Franklin Fountain, accompanied by the little ding! of their old-timey cash register, “Wait, call Cait and see where they are.” Turns out they were a little ways away, so to pass the time, Julia and I once again braced the cold to try and satisfy our hunger that had been lingering around since third block at school.

Julia pulled out her phone to see if there was a little cafe we could reach by foot. When she typed in our current location all these little dots popped up on the map, each one a different restaurant. We were clicking and clicking, then we saw it. In unison we belted out: “DAIRY QUEEN.” Cackling ensued and we started walking to get–ironically enough–ice cream in 35-degree weather.

Much to our dismay, DQ was MIA. And by MIA, I mean the place was closed. On a Friday night. At 7:45pm. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Juls that angry before, “WHADAYA MEAN THEY’RE CLOSED? IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT IN PHILADELPHIA. IT’S NOT EVEN ANYONE’S BEDTIME YET!!” I couldn’t disagree with her on that one. So Dairy Queen was a bust, but Big Ass Slices was not. Besides the cute cashier being a total jerk (when I asked if he had change for a twenty, he said “Not right now.” Not right now? You’ve been open for, like, twelve hours and don’t have one ten, and two fives?), and the actual ‘za being decent, Big Ass Slices passed the test with–I’d say–a C-.

The rest of the crew was with us by that point, so we all agreed to go find some art galleries. After all, it was First Friday. We began our hunt for any storefront that had any art in it whatsoever.

Well, apparently we aren’t any good at finding paintings or drawings or sculptures because we came up dry in that department. But Cait pointed out an art supply store and we hauled it over there to ask if they knew of any galleries…except I couldn’t think of the word gallery at that time, “Hi! We’re looking for art. Not like this art, like actual art. Like finished art.” Then Cait rescued me and said, “Galleries. We’re looking for art galleries. Do you know where we can find any?” The two kind cashiers said most finished art would be on 2nd and 3rd street.

We didn’t find any galleries that were still open, but we found a teacher from school, which was weird, and we happened upon a really cool vintage/thrift shop called N3rd Collective. You can find pretty much everything from the good old days there: old pins (I bought one that says “Totally Bogus”), secondhand vintage clothing (flannels, sweaters, dresses, coats…you name it–they’ve got it), and nifty knick knacks. I hate to even call them knick knacks because they were some of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. They had old Wheaties license plates, “risque pens”, old Philly mugshots, telephones shaped as various objects, vintage bumper stickers, and so. Much. More. It was pretty awesome to see the stuff my parents and grandparents used to see every day.

By that point all of us were city-ed out for the night. I called my dad, and the others started their trek back to the car. Soon enough I was back in my warm, suburban home, eating leftover Domino’s pizza and watching Elf.