Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'm not dead

But I am jumping off a cliff into the depths of Philadelphia to “hunker down” in the dark wood paneled halls to master my understanding of landscape. The campus is gothic and the program (and city) seems the type that will burn any weakness out of me. I will be white-hot when I finally emerge.

Already I'm planning my summer escapes back to California--maybe Santa Barbara or San Francisco--to fortify my horticulture and to reconnect with its plants and land.

I'm glad I have this summer to transition from one extreme (living alone at Big Lagoon) to the crowds and screaming subways. It's nuts.


Ellen said...

I was wondering where you were! Are you already in Philly? Will you start classes this summer or are you just easing into the eastern-urban scene? Seriously, if you ever come up to NYC during the week, please let me know.

Gardener of La Mancha said...

Right now, I'm in an apartment in Eureka working at the art museum for the summer. I'll leave for classes and for Philadelphia at the end of July. I've come and gone to Philly already. I have mixed feelings about the place, but I think it'll be a good adventure for me in the long run. I didn't get over to Chanticleer. I felt like I needed to spend as much time as possible on the streets and in the museums of Philadelphia and on the campus to try to get used to the idea of living there. My dad and I did take a train to the Morris Arboretum on the last day. It's a little too out of the way to be a practical refuge, so I think I'll be hanging out in the indoor, reconstructed Japanese tea garden of the Archeology museum. :) I seriously will take you up on that offer as soon as I can, but it's going to be a while.

Max said...

There's lots of cool shit in Philly, but it is going to be hard to get used to for a Californian. The weather late July will be an appropriately rude introduction.

I haven't been there in years, so any advice I could offer would be painfully obvious. Cheesesteaks. OMG, cheesesteaks, they're one of the tings I miss most about the east coast. Duchamp's large glass at the art museum. I'm sure you're aware of the other horticultural wonders of the area.

Good luck!

Frances, said...

Way to live your life. Interesting phrase, 'white hot'. How exciting to be where you are in your life. Good luck!

Gardener of La Mancha said...

Max, I'm a real health-nut these the cheesesteak isn't much of a draw. I hope to be the only Philadelphian never to have one (ok, I'm a snob).

I went to the art museum when I was there and the Duschamp glass was the work that star-struck me the most. I just thought to myself, How did they get a hold of this? Every other Duschamp I'd ever studied was there in that room too. They also had every Kahlo (traveling exhibition). The collection is impressive although it was a bit much to cram into one day. The medieval armor section was awesome as well.

Frances, thanks. Hopefully I'll be able to reconcile all this romanticism with the realities of the city.

Brent said...

Congrats! This will be a great adventure - exciting stuff. There's nothing like going away to give you a fresh perspective.

I do have to confess that although I spent considerable time in the Philly area on business travel, I never did find a cheese steak that lived up to its reputation.

mmw said...

Ban, I forgot about the armor. That was probably my favorite thing in the world when I was a kid.

I'm starting to suspect that cheesesteaks are a kind of alimentary-cultural one way street. You can only appreciate it if you grow up with it. It being the culture of cheesesteaks, not any individual cheesesteak. Similar to pizza.

chuck b. said...

Even if you can't eat a cheesestake, perhaps you can still enjoy the occasional water ice. Pronounced 'watta-ice". In July, you'll be hard pressed not to.

Alex, the seitan cheeseteaks at Jaye's are awesome good.