On December 27, last week, I accompanied a friend into West Philadelphia where he was going to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for a medical treatment. I had some time to spend while he was busy and I used it to take a walk around Penn’s campus. Here are a few odds and ends from that little trek.
Penn is a private university, not public (the name throws people off as many state schools are the University of —-). It’s located in the city and it’s a truly urban campus. Almost 40 years ago, I took a couple of classes here that I needed for my job, in the night school. I’ve been here since then, of course, but not in the past few years. As I walked I reflected on the memories I have of the neighborhood.
Streets and buildings.
You can see Center City Philadelphia about 20 blocks or 2 miles away.
Did I tell you it was a miserably cold day? Well, it was, in the low 20’s. So outdoor scenes were deserted, no surprise, and it didn’t have anything to do with the fact that school was closed for the holidays, either. People are still around. But they are not out enjoying the fresh air.
I walked up the street and faced this building:
I wondered if this was the Charles Addams I am familiar with – you know, the creator of the Addams Family of print, cartoons, and TV fame? I turned into the walkway. Yes, it is. This sight made it clear.
At home I looked up Charles Addams and learned that he went to school here in the 1930’s.
A few steps further on I saw this gate – and I spent quite a bit of time examining it. Each hand holds some tool or implement used in art making. Absolutely fascinating and beautiful.
Finally, the Addams building and I are the same age.
I liked the look of the screen wall treatment for this building – I think it was a parking garage or else the utility level of the building.
These creepy dolls were in the window of an antique store, and let me tell you that I was glad they were on the other side of the glass and could not directly catch my eye. They look like they have malevolent intentions.
First I noticed this building because we have the same first name.
Looking up, I see it used to be called something else.
I would not like to have my name changed without my permission. It seems disorienting, to say the least. Looking up this building’s history later, I found that it has had a several different uses as well. If you live long enough, well, things change.
On my way back to the hospital to meet my friend, I took these pictures of the kind of notices you see plastered all over light poles and the like. I have noticed that they tend to be quite local in their subjects. Notice the one refers to Penn Medicine – guess what – it was right across the street from the hospital. My theory continues to hold up.
Well, I went back inside the building, ready to get back into a warm place. A nice walk around campus, I thought.