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  • 949 South 9th Street Philadelphia, PA

    I turn the corner and I’m off. Searching for something new, I plug my headphones in and pretend to act like I know where I’m going. I don’t. Life passes me by as the music in my head creates my pace. Next thing I know I approach a corner and make my way right down an intriguing street. My eyes open wide and before me it appears as if I'm transported back in time to the 1930s. In an antique place filled with rich colors, interesting people, and oldie music. The red, white, and green-striped flags cover the sidewalks and suddenly I’m treated as family. The music and voices of crowds of people invite me in, but all I want to do is stand at a distance to watch and listen. It is almost mesmerizing. Both sides of the sidewalks are completely filled with cart vendors and people yet, neither are positioned or moving in any particular order. I'm mesmerized. I ask to myself where to even begin.
    A permanent smile is plastered to my face as I immediately make my way towards the left hand side of the street. I’m approaching slowly because I’m trying to gather my thoughts as I watch everyone walk by at ease. I have no idea where to start. I see a young family walk up to a vegetable cart. The father plays a chasing game with his son. The boy looks up at me and sticks his tongue out. I do the same, as my smile grows wider. The mother is choosing her vegetables carefully. She goes for the juicy red tomatoes and adds them to her crinkled plastic bag. I begin to approach the cart myself to get a better look. The bright colors of the fresh vegetables meet my gaze. Flowers and books are mingling amongst the cart as well. Then the door suddenly opens from the shop across the cart. I immediately look up and raw meats are now in front of me. A decapitated pig head seems to be looking me in the eye, begging me to come in. I can’t muster up the courage to approach the door. I’m a vegetarian and know I won’t be able to take it inside there. I laugh to myself at the frivolity of a vegetable cart next to a meat shop.
    I then begin to take notice at the buildings. To my left and right are old brick buildings. At the bottom of them are shops while the top has windows with power lines running past. I glance behind me and see the modern skyscrapers of the city skyline at a distance. I take a step away from the cart again to watch. The people walking around me don’t have a mission. They don’t treat me as an outsider. For all I know they are new to this street as well, yet we are all here together. All here on this hidden street eating, watching and listening, together. I will be back.
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