I almost decided to skip this, since I had been out pretty much the whole day, joining the walking tour, lunch at a fabulous seafood place and some shopping…
But I said why not for a swansong jaunt to the park. Nothing quite prepares you for a Saturday afternoon here. Since many businesses not related to food or tourism are closed for the weekend, the area around this park had been cordoned off for makeshift food places, and the park was filled with people, mostly locals, enjoying the warm sun.
You could join in, or be like me, sit down and observe the proceedings. Far from the madding crowd (not maddening as a friend corrected me) you can sit in the centre of this recreation maelstrom, and watch the proceedings.
This isn’t a very large park, barely a city block in size, but it is packed like what Singaporeans do when they throng to the sales. The difference is people are simply out there, enjoying the sun, the cool breezy weather and perhaps also people watching like me…
Frisbee throwers abound, some doing it with some panache, others need large doses of lessons in hand eye coordination. Dogs and their owners are also about, and a man has the largest poodle I have seen, the creature is about the same size as a German Sheppard, as though it was on steroid even.
There are musicians, kids playing in the fountains, and the picnic or two here and there. Since the place isn’t big, there isn’t too much space in between, but no one feels claustrophobic, and there is harmony and synchrony in the apparent chaos.
The place is like a little United Nations with people from everywhere and all walks of life, strolling and munching or lying on the grass. Even the squirrels are extra busy, ferrying peanuts, and other items to their chosen burial hiding spot. Little do they notice the birds lurking above, who simply wait for the nuts to be buried, then help themselves. It does remind one of fellow workers in the office doesn’t it…
Philadelphia is a small city of compact dimensions and you can walk through it, but in each little alley lies a bit of history, and in this park, lies some of its citizens busy practicing the art of ‘chillin’.
I wish we had a park like this in Singapore, with people quite content to avoid the malls and sit down relax without thinking of the next shopping trip, or jostling for a better place in life and simply contemplating on their navels on a nice Saturday afternoon. Amen.
A must see in my books when you go to Philadelphia….