The Stiftung conducted a recon in force up the 95 corridor. We clearly have a mole. Someone alerted the Center City, Philadelphia Front. Our arrival was anticipated. Every roadway turned into savage anti-tank traps capable of eviscerating the suspension of the most powerful armored vehicles. Epic gaps in roadway appearing from no where leading into dark, endless chasms. An ambush worthy of July 1943.
One can only imagine the cataclysm needed to generate political will and funding to return the tank traps to civilian thoroughfares. Why, the immense expenditures would need many people working en masse.
On a serious note, Philadelphia, even more so than Cleveland before it, deserves the semi-ironic “Well, it’s come a long way.” It’s infinitely better off than the day Ed Rendell took over from Wilson ‘Let Me Firebomb Your Neighborhood’ Goode. Public architecture continues to advance and City Hall actually looks beautiful instead of the almost-documentarian shots in Gilliam’s “12 Monkeys”.
We went to attend a social function akin to Hasty Pudding at the invite of old friends. Quite memorable although the social bubble in Philadelphia between Tweety’s ‘swells’ and his own hard working, beer drinking, law abiding, porch sitting, lunch pail set is impressive.
Dear Reader you may know that Philadelphia boasts an ‘avante garde’ (emphasis on the quote unquote) tourist attraction called South Street. It long ago ceased to be a legitimate bohemian, alternative arts scene. Worse than say the East Village in NYC, it’s become an outdoor shopping mall blotted by all the boring brand blight – T Mobile, Adidas, etc. We raise this because within 4 – 5 blocks along its main prime real estate section we counted maybe 14 or 15 empty store fronts. Even a closed Subway, the ultimate slap in the face.
As we recalled our patrols from the Center City Prohorovka tank traps for an encircling action, we noted Ardmore and other pockets of bourgeois reaction suffered similarly. Philadelphia and environs continue to be a conjunction of a wealthy First World City (hey, they even hang foreign flags and label streets in the country’s name along the Art Museum parkway! If that doesn’t say international, you know?) and some twisted genetic and physical blend of a Blade Runner set and the second ‘Resident Evil’ movie – the outdoor urban one. If only someone would think of some means of repairing all that . . . infrastructure.
We’re back in the Bunker glad for the mission. For all of its warts, Philadelphia is without a doubt a city and metropolis in its own right. Surely not the City, but neither it is the inert, narcissistic bloat that is D.C.
We used to say that on 95 by around Exit 13, the asphalt pulsates with cosmic energy, seducing the imagination with all the City can tempt. Not for nothing did one pay a toll to get in, and zilch to flee. If that’s the case, imagine crawling back to the Imperial City in our wounded panzer, suspension ripped apart by the Philadelphia tank traps. Closing on the Beltway conversely one can feel the life force, the energy, well – the Mojo simply begin to fade and die. And that’s something no stimulus plan can ever change.