Found a Rave!














It always amazes me how far we can travel in such short a time. For example, today I traversed the entire North American continent in about 5 1/2 hours. Compared to the 33 hour flight coming home from Kenya, today's was hardly much at all! Walking through the airports, it feels like old hat to me, I know many of the ins and outs, the rhythms of air travel with all the trips over the last year. I love to travel, I thrive on that. It's so fun to expand my viewpoint seeing new places and meeting a variety of people.

When I arrived at the airport here in Philadelphia, Sean and his family were waiting for me. We were friends in high school and when Sean found out I was going to be in Philadelphia, he asked me about getting together. As we had missed each other the last time he was in Oregon, I welcomed the opportunity and this way, I got to spend time with his wife and kids as well. We had a blast! As they live an hour away in Delaware, we used one of my guidebooks to Philadelphia to find a good place for a cheese steak, the Philadelphia staple and one of my "must do's" while here. We chose Cosmi's as it was highly rated, plugged the address in and drove up through the city, around the city hall (twice), past the oldest church in the square, and on up north. For those who don't know me face to face, I am someone who studies up on where I'm going so I can get the most out of my trip while I'm there. Philadelphia is no exception. So I am sitting in the passenger seat, pointing some sights out in answer to a
question or two, and quite happy to be seeing some of the places I've read about. Driving through some of the neighborhoods, I have realized how poor some areas in Philadelphia are. After those touristy guide books, it was a good reality check.

We finally find the area of 8th street we're looking for, but it only takes a glance around to know we are not anywhere near where we want to be. Not because it was run down, which it was, but there were no restaurants in sight. After Sean and I conferred, we realized the GPS had led us to the north side of 8th street instead of the south. Oops! Never having seen the Yankee North though, I saw the whole thing as an adventure and a great way to see the city. Luckily, we all agreed! Thirty blocks later, we spy Cosmi's. Not a lot better than where we were thirty blocks to the north. It's on a corner but looks more like a
tiny little convenience store/deli and not in a great neighboorhood at that. Not exactly the classic tourist trap if you know what I mean. All a little nervous but not saying anything, we park the van and cautiously step in to the drink and chips cases with a deli counter at one side. We explain what we want to the youngish man behind the counter and he confirms they have good cheesesteaks. Willing to place our trust in the writer of the guidebook, we take our order and find the not cleaned table that sits outside. Soon, however, we were singing a different tune after one bite of those OH SO DELICIOUS sandwiches. That place might not look like much but the sandwich says it all. Never judge a deli by its door.

Sean and his family then dropped me off at Emily Stewart's place out in West Philadelphia with whom I am staying while here. Emily and I met at a conference last March in South Carolina and then were in Kenya together as well. As we traveled together for nearly three weeks, I was really looking forward to spending time with her here. Emily is also going to the conference in Richmond so we'll get to spend even more time together there
as well as with our friend, John, who is the Kenyan member of the Editorial Board and a dear person to us both.

We spent the evening walking around West Philadelphia talking about our lives and what has been going on since we last saw each other as she showed me the sights. I admit, I am quite jealous of all the cuisines offered a very short walk away from where she lives. I have been wanting good Etheopian since getting back from Kenya and she has one down the street with three more besides! She also introduced me to the Naked Chocolate shop whose hot chocolate is like drinking a melted candy bar with lots of whip cream to wet your nose with. Then, as if the night had not been exciting enough, we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of a huge rave where a guy told us if we went to 40th St, there was lots of free alcohol and parties while indicating to us that most of the people at the r
ave were already drunk. It felt like a flashback to my college days. Not the drunk part, but the young adults gathering on a college campus and exercising their rights to have fun. The campus walk was beautiful though with all the lights in the trees which Emily tells me are there all the time.

Emily lives in an area of Philadelphia where there are lots of young adult Quakers. She says they have been moving here in droves in search of authentic community. They are a representation of the many young adults in our culture today who have left the regular churches to form deep communities of their own. It was a fascinating conversation to have: what people, and young adults in particular, are seeking that they decide to leave the churches to find it. I find it interesting many churches want young adults to come at the same time the young adults are looking for authenticity and deeper searching. I would venture to say, young adults are the barometer to what our churches are lacking. They are not the complete picture of our church culture's strengths and weaknesses, but they can definately point to some of the weaknesses, the harder things to look at. It's definately something to think about.

Getting back, we looked through photos from Kenya I had brought with me and processed our thoughts, memories, and lessons learned with each other. It felt so good for both of us to process with someone who was there, who knew exactly what we were talking about and who has the same memories, the same aches and joys.

Tomorrow I am going to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and whatever else I want to see before meeting up with Emily to go out to Pendle Hill to visit Harri
et. Harriet is going to the conference too but I am so close to her here already and I would rather not wait. Besides, after hearing so much about Pendle Hill, it will be fun to see it for myself.

Have a great weekend wherever you are!



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Walking the Sea: Found a Rave!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Found a Rave!














It always amazes me how far we can travel in such short a time. For example, today I traversed the entire North American continent in about 5 1/2 hours. Compared to the 33 hour flight coming home from Kenya, today's was hardly much at all! Walking through the airports, it feels like old hat to me, I know many of the ins and outs, the rhythms of air travel with all the trips over the last year. I love to travel, I thrive on that. It's so fun to expand my viewpoint seeing new places and meeting a variety of people.

When I arrived at the airport here in Philadelphia, Sean and his family were waiting for me. We were friends in high school and when Sean found out I was going to be in Philadelphia, he asked me about getting together. As we had missed each other the last time he was in Oregon, I welcomed the opportunity and this way, I got to spend time with his wife and kids as well. We had a blast! As they live an hour away in Delaware, we used one of my guidebooks to Philadelphia to find a good place for a cheese steak, the Philadelphia staple and one of my "must do's" while here. We chose Cosmi's as it was highly rated, plugged the address in and drove up through the city, around the city hall (twice), past the oldest church in the square, and on up north. For those who don't know me face to face, I am someone who studies up on where I'm going so I can get the most out of my trip while I'm there. Philadelphia is no exception. So I am sitting in the passenger seat, pointing some sights out in answer to a
question or two, and quite happy to be seeing some of the places I've read about. Driving through some of the neighborhoods, I have realized how poor some areas in Philadelphia are. After those touristy guide books, it was a good reality check.

We finally find the area of 8th street we're looking for, but it only takes a glance around to know we are not anywhere near where we want to be. Not because it was run down, which it was, but there were no restaurants in sight. After Sean and I conferred, we realized the GPS had led us to the north side of 8th street instead of the south. Oops! Never having seen the Yankee North though, I saw the whole thing as an adventure and a great way to see the city. Luckily, we all agreed! Thirty blocks later, we spy Cosmi's. Not a lot better than where we were thirty blocks to the north. It's on a corner but looks more like a
tiny little convenience store/deli and not in a great neighboorhood at that. Not exactly the classic tourist trap if you know what I mean. All a little nervous but not saying anything, we park the van and cautiously step in to the drink and chips cases with a deli counter at one side. We explain what we want to the youngish man behind the counter and he confirms they have good cheesesteaks. Willing to place our trust in the writer of the guidebook, we take our order and find the not cleaned table that sits outside. Soon, however, we were singing a different tune after one bite of those OH SO DELICIOUS sandwiches. That place might not look like much but the sandwich says it all. Never judge a deli by its door.

Sean and his family then dropped me off at Emily Stewart's place out in West Philadelphia with whom I am staying while here. Emily and I met at a conference last March in South Carolina and then were in Kenya together as well. As we traveled together for nearly three weeks, I was really looking forward to spending time with her here. Emily is also going to the conference in Richmond so we'll get to spend even more time together there
as well as with our friend, John, who is the Kenyan member of the Editorial Board and a dear person to us both.

We spent the evening walking around West Philadelphia talking about our lives and what has been going on since we last saw each other as she showed me the sights. I admit, I am quite jealous of all the cuisines offered a very short walk away from where she lives. I have been wanting good Etheopian since getting back from Kenya and she has one down the street with three more besides! She also introduced me to the Naked Chocolate shop whose hot chocolate is like drinking a melted candy bar with lots of whip cream to wet your nose with. Then, as if the night had not been exciting enough, we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of a huge rave where a guy told us if we went to 40th St, there was lots of free alcohol and parties while indicating to us that most of the people at the r
ave were already drunk. It felt like a flashback to my college days. Not the drunk part, but the young adults gathering on a college campus and exercising their rights to have fun. The campus walk was beautiful though with all the lights in the trees which Emily tells me are there all the time.

Emily lives in an area of Philadelphia where there are lots of young adult Quakers. She says they have been moving here in droves in search of authentic community. They are a representation of the many young adults in our culture today who have left the regular churches to form deep communities of their own. It was a fascinating conversation to have: what people, and young adults in particular, are seeking that they decide to leave the churches to find it. I find it interesting many churches want young adults to come at the same time the young adults are looking for authenticity and deeper searching. I would venture to say, young adults are the barometer to what our churches are lacking. They are not the complete picture of our church culture's strengths and weaknesses, but they can definately point to some of the weaknesses, the harder things to look at. It's definately something to think about.

Getting back, we looked through photos from Kenya I had brought with me and processed our thoughts, memories, and lessons learned with each other. It felt so good for both of us to process with someone who was there, who knew exactly what we were talking about and who has the same memories, the same aches and joys.

Tomorrow I am going to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and whatever else I want to see before meeting up with Emily to go out to Pendle Hill to visit Harri
et. Harriet is going to the conference too but I am so close to her here already and I would rather not wait. Besides, after hearing so much about Pendle Hill, it will be fun to see it for myself.

Have a great weekend wherever you are!



Labels: , , ,

1 Comments:

At April 18, 2010 at 7:34 AM , Blogger Gil S said...

Oh dear Sarah, your photos and blog remind me vividly just how much I wish I could be in Philadelphia right now as we had intended to be - if it hadn't been for the Icelandic volcano. As it is we are not going to be able to make it to the QUIP conference at all which is so disappointing! I do hope the Youth Book launch goes well and that you enjoy the cake and take lots of photos!

 

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