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Sometime the days get so long
Though sometime it seems, everything is wrong
Endless hours, you’re working so hard
In your fancy suit, exchanging business cards
So much pressure, need to run and hide
Get tired of the days, passing you by, ooh,
You wanna find a place to escape
It’s your life you gotta do whatever it takes

Nothing but the truth.

This past weekend, I did escape. I didn’t go as far as I would have liked. Ideally, if I had my way, I would have been laying on a beach in the Caribbean. Instead, I made a quick hotel reservation, jumped in my car and headed to the City of Brotherly Love. I’ll talk more about how much I love Philly in later posts I’m sure. It has such a rich soul music scene, with much better venues than we have here in the DC area. I’ve been up there quite a few times this year for different concerts and cultural events. Like Atlanta and Chicago, it’s just one of the cities where something about being there just feels good.

What was unusual about this trip for me is that I didn’t have any firm plans in mind. When I travel, I ordinarily have a specific reason for going or at least an itinerary planned, although it may be a loose one. This time I didn’t exactly know what I was going to do and that was alright. I did know that my primary goal was just to relax and think in a new space. DC was closing in on me. I needed some fresh air.

It was an enlightening weekend in many ways. I ate some great food (shout out to Ms. Tootsie’s Soul Food Cafe and Lounge and Sonny’s Steaks); had enlightening conversation about male/female relations with 31-year-old Philly native, Darnell; strolled around Olde City; listened to an anti-war speeches at a rally; attended a Young Friends Society fundraiser at the African American Museum of Philadelphia, hosted by the highly edu-taining, Just Greg, and was introduced to the experience that is the Urban Shamans.

I unexpectedly met a couple of people that gave me food for thought. I talked with people that are passionate and inspired about whatever it is that they do. One person in particular was Mr. Richard Watson, an accomplished artist and activist in his early 60s, who hipped me to the ArtJaz Gallery. It’s on my list for the next time I escape to Philly.

I can’t say I’ve returned totally refreshed, but I certainly did get that breath of fresh air I needed. Just taking off alone to a relatively unfamiliar city is not for everyone, but it worked for me.

One treat that awaited me upon my return was seeing Van Hunt in concert at the Black Cat. I hope to share that experience (and videos) with you in the next post.

Take time to get away
Free your mind
And fly away