Catching Up with an Old Friend, Center City Style

I must say it is nice to work in the heart of Center City. Although it takes a little more time and effort to get to and from the office, once I'm here it's awfully convenient, since many of my clients and meetings are within easy walking distance. If I shopped or ate out, I'd be even happier, as is evidenced by my co-workers who do shop and eat out who have enjoyed having many more choices at their disposal. (Not that University City was a slouch in these categories.)

Earlier this week presented a particularly tangible demonstration of the advantage of being downtown. An old college friend and former housemate of mine contacted me on short notice to tell me he was in Philadelphia real quick for a business conference, and was I able to connect with him while he was in town. It turns out he was staying at a hotel two blocks from my workplace, so I told him I'd meet him in the lobby at noon the next day.

It just so happened to be "National Walk at Lunch Day," so we made a beeline for City Hall, where we circled the area along with thousands of other participants in white T-shirts. We never did figure out where they were giving these free T's out, but we did score a bottled water, banana, and Tastykake. We decided to negate our calories burned by heading to Five Brothers for burgers, and for even more dramatic effect, we brought them back out into the midst of all the lunchtime-walking, so we could enjoy the juxtaposition of pounding a six-inch thick cheeseburger while chirpy volunteers in bright shirts were yelling affirming things to passersby like "attagirl, way to keep it moving!"

We ended up eating and chatting at Love Park, a gorgeous view of the Art Museum in one direction and the swarming masses around City Hall in the other direction. Two models were doing a photo shoot with the fountain in the background, kids splashed in the water, and thousands of office workers were enjoying a warm and sunny day during their lunch hour. The whole place was pulsating with motion and energy and rhythm and chatter. It was a great set-up to catch up with a dear friend, a great way to do a lunch hour, and a great reason being in the middle of a big city is so fun.

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