So Long Philly and Rittenhouse Square
by Nicki Marian

Hadn't a clue that you were Mr. Rittenhouse, a colonial astronomer! Wow! Your first name was David! Even William Penn in 1682 had a hand in your square. Double wow! It was bordered by Market St. (originally High Street), Broad Street, South Street and the Schuykill River was to the west. There were ferry companies for transportation across the river. A small tavern and some brick yards completed the barren scene. Eventually, the square became an ultra neighborhood - even more ULTRA now!

In 1944, I became a grown-up, married woman. It was necessary to wear hose, heels, appropriate dress, GLOVES AND A HAT when I ventured across the Square to shop. Geez, what a drag! I found a picture of the Square's early days and it depicted every- one dressed to the nines - even the children.

Joe found a job in his field of electrical engineering and his office was diagonally across Rittenhouse Square. Before the hateful snow set in, I'd take one of our shag rugs out on our balcony and wave it frantically, hoping that he'd see me. One day, I wanted to surprise him by lacquering our hardwood floors, then putting down the shag carpets before the lacquer dried. Was Joe surprised? H'mmmmmmm ... enough of that story!

My cooking, if you could call it that, was shaky and many times we ate at "Book Binders". Fortunately, Joe cooked the Thanks- giving dinner and we invited a couple from the 2nd floor to join us. My first attempt at making cranberry sauce from scratch was a real SMASH. It hardened and we couldn't get it out of the dish.

Isn't there a song about 'letting it snow, letting it snow'? Snow, it did without a let-up. Rittenhouse Square was totally obliterated by blizzards. We'd had it! Joe gave notice at his job; I gave notice to someone re the apartment. We bought train tickets, gave stuff away, left things, hailed a cab to the train station and, getting to the cab, I fell and sprained my ankle!

What a way to leave . My ankle was swollen to five times its normal size. Instead of dazzling Broadway, I was being tugged and lifted and heaved on to the train. Joe and I were on our way. So long Philly and Rittenhouse Square!

This would not be complete without giving a standing ovation to my on-line mentor, Daniel, for putting up with me ... a task!

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