the streets of Philadelphia

There is an amazing man who distributes the Metro papers at Broad and Walnut.  He is a snappily dressed black man who wears plaid suits that could be 70’s throwbacks, but look more chic than out-of-date; he also has a slick pair of thick-rim glasses.  But the things that I first noticed about him on my first day of work, because he stands right at the top of the subway exit and coming from under ground this was the first thing I saw, are his alligator leather shoes.  On Tuesday I was so in awe of them that I almost said “Nice shoes” as I passed.  I have never had a desire for alligator leather, and I suppose I should be against it, but I could not deny their aesthetic beauty.  They were the most perfect gray I had ever seen.

So Wednesday I wondered, will he be wearing the shoes again?  He was –and they were aquamarine.  Thursday they were black.  Friday, white.  Now what I want to say to him as I turn the corner is, “How many pairs of those do you have?”

I should walk to work, really, but enjoy the extra time to sleep that the subway affords me.  Otherwise, the commute to work is uneventful and short, although Thursday I followed a guy heading towards Broad who was smoking a blunt at 8:30 in the morning and right there on the sidewalk.  Philly-ites to whom I relate this say, “Oh, that happens all the time.”  So apparently brazen usage of illegal drugs at all times of day and within sight of children and authority figures is something that, eventually, will cease to be noteworthy.


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