3.31.2007

History

Amy and I had a wonderful evening out earlier this week with another
couple from our church. We dined at the Water Works Restaurant, a
beautifully converted water treatment facility that at its peak was
actually the second most popular tourist destination in the US,
trailing only Niagara Falls. Philadelphia was the first big city to
consider the delivery of safe drinking water to households a municipal
function, and to this day its water department enjoys a solid
reputation internationally.

And we had an elegant dinner on that very site.

And that's why Philadelphia is so cool. It is emerging as a hot young
city with new amenities and trendy spots, but all of that is layered
upon a rich tapestry of historical sites and meaningful places. It
provides our city depth and character, and contrasts with newer
cities, which while they may not have to deal with the challenges of
crumbling infrastructure and ingrained ways, seem shallow and
soulless.

History matters. And I just have to imagine that one's quality of
life is enhanced and deepened when you get to rub shoulders with it on
a daily basis. So you can take your McMansions and your 32-screen
movie theaters and your mega-churches. Give me Liberty (Bell) or give
me death.

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