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Let It Snow!
by The Finn
It’s no secret to anyone that reads this column that I love this town. And why the hell not ? It’s mean, old and dirty and those of like minds tend to flock together. Actually, that’s not entirely true. During the holiday season, the town becomes a little less mean, and mired in nostalgia. The Wanamaker Christmas Light Show has been running in the same space for years (1952!!), even though the space the store was in has changed hands several times. Macy’s, who now owns the space, is still running the same show and has even restored the Santa Express train that so many of the old timers in this town remember fondly. Sure, there are still homeless guys waiting outside to threaten your children if you don’t give them a dollar, but the city still has its heart in the right place.
One of the things I love best about the town though is the winters. It doesn’t get really cold (negative numbers once you factor in the wind chill)until mid January or so, but it is cold enough to snow for the majority of December. And that’s all I’m waiting for this holiday season. You can keep the trees and the presents. I just want snow.
There are three amazing things that happen when Philadelphia see a decent amount of snow. Firstly and fore mostly, the city doesn’t ever look prettier than when the trash that consistently litters the streets is covered under a few inches of the white stuff. The streets appear cleaner, the plows shove the standard trash and debris directly to the gutter and the once great building that have fallen into disrepair look a little more habitable. Seriously, Rittenhouse Square always looks good, but a few inches of snow can make Franklin Square look just as pretty.
Secondly, the city gets a little kinder. You actually see guys holding the holding doors for old ladies, men carrying bags for their wives and only half the kids that’re trying to sell you candy in the street ripped it off of their friends. People actually put change into that bell ringer’s bucket taxicabs don’t give you the finger when they blow by you at 3 in the morning. Hell, it almost brings a tear to my eye. It’s beautiful.
Thirdly, all the bars are open. And packed. A good snowstorm is a fantastic excuse to go out and have a few drinks. And there are few things finer than sitting in a bar with your good friends, watching the white stuff come down and hoisting a few. Old stories you’d forgotten about get broken out, the jukebox gets a workout and no one kicks you outside to have a cigarette. For a few hours, you have a real sense of community. And when you wake up hungover the next day, it’s just the impetus you need to start hating them all over again.
So, how about you ? What’s your favorite part of the holidays in your town ?