A new take on an old standard… a last light for a Last Light, if you will. It’s pretty wild to stand on the new South Street Bridge at sunset, gazing out across the Schuylkill River and the construction equipment on its banks, picking up the little new things, like the river trail’s footbridge across the railroad tracks, the massing of 2116 Chestnut, how bright PECO’s LED sign is. And there as ever, from the most spectacular postcard view in town, stands the Philly skyline, bathed in its urban alpenglow.
With the exception of the annual long-weekend visit home, I’ve spent the past three and a half years in Portland, Oregon. It’s a beautiful place, to be sure. The trees are tall, the seafood is sensational, the beer is plentiful. The cars and the bikes coexist in peace. They put birds on things. And while I wouldn’t say that the grass is greener, it’s definitely cheaper.
It’s all very nice in the Northwest, and I really enjoyed my time there. Maybe it just takes me longer for things to sink in, but at a certain point, I realized something was missing. Home is where the heart is, after all, and my heart was longing for a cigar on a bench in Rittenhouse Square. The sound of 45,000 people roaring “CHOOOOOOCH.” The beads of condensation rolling down the side of a Prima Pils when it’s 95 in the shade. That big maple tree on the Belmont Plateau, decked out in its orange fall splendor, the Philly skyline glistening in the distance.
So hey. Nice to see ya, Philly. It’s great to be back. And it’s an honor to be working with a team as dedicated to finding—and understanding—Philadelphia as Hidden City is.
About the author
Bradley Maule is co-editor of Hidden City. He's a native of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, a four hour train ride from 30th Street Station on Amtrak's Pennsylvanian. He lived in Philadelphia from 2000–09, during which time he created and operated Philly Skyline. After a three and a half year vacation in Portland, Oregon, he's back, bearing brotherly love. Follow him on Instagram @mauleofamerica.