As you walk the city streets lately, you may notice an alarming silence where once there was the constant hum of air conditioners. Autumn has been slowly creeping in, and with it comes cool air and new perspective. That new perspective for me is: This weather doesn’t make me want to throw myself into traffic. Like many people who can’t spend their entire summer fanning themselves while sipping margaritas on the veranda, I’ve been looking forward to fall since some time around Memorial Day. Fall is the best season in Philadelphia by a mile. To wit:
Quite simply, it’s just nicer to be outside during the fall. Besides the meteorological transition from face-melting to temperate, there’s also a shift in mood. Strangers seem less likely to tackle you and steal your cold beverage when you pas them by. The leaves are lovely as they change color and ready themselves for the end of their times on trees. Those plants that have been making you sneeze all summer will soon be dead.
Fall sports are exciting. Eagles mania is in full effect, and unlike Michael Vick and a football, that’s not something we’ll drop any time soon. After watching the worst officiating call in the history of the NFL the other night, I couldn’t help but think that if that happened in Philadelphia and adversely impacted the Eagles, I’d be writing this post from a smoldering pile of ashes known as post-riot Philadelphia. One interesting challenge this fall will be seeing how I psychologically handle the impact of not being able to watch the Phillies in the playoffs. On the bright side, if there has to be one, I’ll have more time to myself and less time screaming at my television.
As a runner, I love being able to exercise outside while simultaneously breathing. It’s just a personal preference. I’ve been training for a marathon on the first weekend of October, and while I’ll miss the scantily clad runners on the Schuylkill, I’m happy to give up running in the hot weather for a cool breeze and a smaller risk of dying from dehydration.
Fashion-wise, Philadelphians really bring it in the fall in a way that they don’t in other seasons. The desperation of summer wear goes away, and we haven’t quite given way to the drab shapeless doldrums of winter wear. Autumn brings scarves, sweaters and fun colors. People actually look comfortable, and not just because there’s a 75% decrease in the amount of random, unwanted, visible ass-crack. And personally, I look better in layers.
Food and drink take on a different dimension in the fall. We begin to develop appetites for hearty fare again because subconsciously we know that time to hibernate is on the way. Most restaurants and food producers celebrate this fact by making a Pumpkin Spice version of everything. Coffee, beer, muffins, everything.
The Presidential Election approaches, and, as a political nerd (and staff member of a campaign), I love this time of year. I can’t get enough of the news stories, the drama and the polls. I check them every morning and begin my daily over-analysis. I also become energized at the prospect of arguing those who disagree with me. It’s fun and easy. Because they’re wrong.
Entertainment is better in the fall. Television shows that we’ve missed for months come back. Movies are no longer merely a series of explosions; they start to take on my favorite cinematic traits: great story telling, awards bait and existential dread. And Philadelphia will feature some entertainment of its own, like Design Week, Philadelphia Outfest and the current outdoor art and light installation on the Parkway, Open Air.
Philadelphia’s better when the heat is off.