We love Philadelphia. Not just because it’s the closest city to us, or because it’s full of wonderful intricacies. Things to do, things to see, people to see and people to…well….experience. It’s a perfect storm of city life that we enjoy but it also holds something special, or rather, a number of special things. The Mullen Family History has the majority of it’s claws sunk into the Philadelphia city limits. My parents were born and raised there, my brothers started off their life their, and generations of my family since we came off the boat from Ireland, have thrived there.
As a teenager I spent some time down their, whether it was for birthday trips to see all the museums and hang out on South Street, or to…..widen my scope….while visiting my brother and his friends for a weekend or so.
In any case, we love the city for what it is and the city loves us back. So it was only natural to take the little one to the Art Museum of Philadelphia when we felt she was ready. Age 5? Yeah….I think it’s time to crack open that part of her brain. But like most first trips anywhere, this was mainly for her to get used to the place.
We’ve taken a few walking trips before, as well as a trip to the Please Touch Museum. But this was different in a few ways. The steps of the museum, the hallways adorned with whatever the artistic flavor is this month, right down to the copper-faced doors. They are soaked in history beyond our family. How many millions have been here since it’s doors first opened? I remember these steps from my childhood, from countless times throughout my life including February when The Eagles Super Bowl winning team used it as a stage. Last month when we initially wanted to go, we couldn’t, because for the fifth (sixth?) time, Jay Z was using it as a stage for his Made In America festival.
More than all the well-known feet too, the every day men/women/children coming here for inspiration, for knowledge, thirsty for something more and leaving with that thirst quenched. Or the countless others, not even stepping inside but basking in the majesty of the building itself. How many selfies taken, tears cried, weddings had, marriages proposed, marriages ended, etc. There is so much more here than steps and artifacts of people that came before us. There’s a feeling and an attitude and it is magic.
She doesn’t feel it yet, but she will. I’ve lost count of all the times I’ve ever been here, and I plan on losing track on how many times we bring her back for more. There are people who say that holding onto the past keeps us from progressing forward, but remembering where you came from and who has been where and done what before you is important to remember as much as possible.
It doesn’t even have to be a museum. Maybe it’s a tree in a park, or a pier on a beach, something or some place that holds onto those memories for you like a safety deposit box for life.
Whats your spot? Where is your place?