Friday, June 27, 2003

Happy freakin' New Year! Literally! I saw in this week's South Philadelphia Review that the Mummer's Parade will be moved back to its traditional location on South Broad Street!

Hooray! No more hauling our backsides to Market Street like we've had to do for the past four years! I was Decidedly Unhappy about the parade's decision to move from its traditional Broad Street parade route when the change was first announced. But to be fair, I gave it a chance. I really did.

What I discovered was that the "four minutes between string bands" flow, which had been established on Broad Street, was completely destroyed by the new, circuitous route that the parade took through Center City. I missed being able to WALK to the parade from home, instead of having to take SEPTA there. The neighborhood atmosphere present in South Philly, where the parade was born and where it marched for 100 years, was totally absent in among the closed-for-the-holiday office buildings in Center City.

And speaking of those office buildings, one major drawback to having the parade on Market Street is that the tall buildings not only intensify the wind, but they totally block any sunlight from reaching the sidewalk. Translation: you could freeze half to death standing there to watch the parade. At least on Broad Street, the two- and three-story buildings allowed for plenty of sunlight to reach the crowd. You wouldn't mistake the temperatures on South Broad Street in January for springtime weather, to be sure, but the sunlight really does make the temperature noticeably warmer (or perhaps I should say "less cold").

Yay, hooray, the parade is coming home! It's jolly well about time.

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