It was nice to be in a city where walking is still considered a useful way to get around, instead of something that happens between the car and grocery store. Winnie & Steve live in downtown Philly, which means easy walking access to most of the city center. Steve walks 30 minutes daily (round-trip) to get to Glaxo (the evil empire that is slowly taking his soul). Their apartment even gives a direct line of sight to Glaxo, so it’s pretty hard to ignore the darkness that lies to the west.
Oh well. He may lose his soul, but at least he’ll be in shape.
The tone of the city is cooler than I’m used to – it seems to be a common trait in places where the weather makes people miserable for half of the year. The cold weather combined with high population density may make it harder to see the people around you as individuals rather than bodies that happen to be in your way. Random small talk made while checking out are sometimes met with blank stares as though to ask, “Is this person talking to me? Why is he talking to me?”. …It’s not that there’s a higher rate of mean-spiritedness, just that the thick-shell index is a few points high.
If it weren’t for the ability to walk everywhere and the rich access to cultural resources (museums tend to have truly interesting exhibitions), I’d wonder who other than masochists would want to (and love to) live here.
Why aren’t we all living in Hawaii?
<insert thoughts on the selective advantage of individuals who are capable of living in harsh environments while maintaining a general feeling of well-being. denial and rationalization: essential, subtle, and amazingly powerful.>