Lost In Philadelphia

lost. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved May 26, 2008, from Dictionary.com website

1. no longer possessed or retained: lost friends.
2. no longer to be found: lost articles.
3. having gone astray or missed the way; bewildered as to place, direction, etc.: lost children.
4. not used to good purpose, as opportunities, time, or labor; wasted: a lost advantage.
5. being something that someone has failed to win: a lost prize.
6. ending in or attended with defeat: a lost battle.
7. destroyed or ruined: lost ships.
8. preoccupied; rapt: He seems lost in thought.
9. distracted; distraught; desperate; hopeless: the lost look of a man trapped and afraid.

I had not pondered the many definitions of the word “lost” until the other night in Philadelphia, though only two of the above applied to that evening. It started as Shelly and I left a reception at a hotel and walked our way to Rouge, a restaurant on Rittenhouse Square

Walking with Shelly was like having a tour guide, only better. She noted the points of interest along the way and those that were elsewhere that I should make time to see.  For those unfamiliar with Philadelphia, there are the great historical sights from our country’s fomative moments, places of new culture (i.e. Art Museum) as well as sections of the city where they intertwine.  

We met our friends Frank and Sarah at Rouge. The four of us go back to a former employer. Though they were all in Philly and I in Chicago we had many overlapping interests and got to do some things together that bind you for life around those moments. Dinner as always was great food, great stories and great company.

So back to lost. Definition #8 applied to both my thoughts about Philly as a city as well as my time with my friends. For the evening I stepped out of my usual world and became lost in thought, preoccupied, rapt.  It makes for an exquisite evening.

Then came definitions #3. The weather was pleasant and I chose to walk back to my hotel. It was supposed to be a 15 minute walk, just like the tour with Gilligan and the Skipper was supposed to be 3 hours. Simple instructions. Walk to the corner, Walnut St. Turn right. Follow that to Broad St. Turn left. Find hotel. Somehow I missed Broad St. Earlier in the evening I had been told that Broad was 14th. All the other streets were numbered. Therefore when I started to see numbers in the single digits that would have been my clue except for one thing–I have no short term memory any more. I did not remember that Broad was 14th.

My hotel was across the street from city hall– a massive and ornate building with a statue of William Penn on the top. Hard to miss– for most.  I kind of knew that when I hit the building with the Liberty Bell that I was most likely in the wrong place.  But I forged ahead. At one point I mad it to water. It was time to turn around. Being a guy I chose to figure this out myself rather than ask for directions. I not only made it back but walked through several sections of town I would like to go back and visit. At no time did I feel unsafe.

My 15 minute walk took well over an hour. I went 12 blocks past Broad and 12 blocks back. Finally I was no longer lost.


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One Response to Lost In Philadelphia

  1. Michael Petrucelli says:

    You came to water?!?!!? Dude, you should have just yelled out, “PAX!!!!!” I would have dispatched a driver to come fetch you.

    Voices carry well into the Garden State.

    Philly is a great city, ain’t it? The place I was born.

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