Love Note #170: Judi Rogers’ 40 year love affair with the Parkway

Here’s another installation in our Philly Love Notes collaboration –  an abiding affection for the Parkway.

Love Note #170: Judi Rogers’ 40 year love affair with the Ben Franklin Parkway

Favorite Spot: Ben Franklin Parkway
Neighborhood: Museum District

I am: A S. Jersey girl who works for a Philadelphia non-profit arts/cultural organization.
Years in Philly: 50+ in area

Dear Parkway,

I think it was meant to be. There were signs. You made an impression on me as a young child – you, with your flowing fountains, awe-inspiring vistas, and oh so many great museums. Me, with a yearning to explore, learn more about art, and stretch my long legs. Just this morning, I found a picture of us together when I was 16 or 17. My arms were wrapped around one of your statues, and I looked so happy to be there, sharing you with high school classmates on a field trip.

Fast forward roughly 40 years, and I must tell you that my love has grown deeper. I have come to truly appreciate you for you – quirks and all. Your Swann Fountain mesmerizes me – any hour of the day or night. Your buildings draw me in, their contents make me think, and (yes, I’ll say it) sometimes, even rock my world.After all these years, I still like the way you dress – adorning yourself in bright colors and mismatched patterns each and every day. I know you don’t wear those flags just for my enjoyment, but that’scool with me. I’m willing to share you, and frankly, there’s a lot of you to go around.

As you know, we work together now, and I think it’s actually strengthened our relationship. I look for new ways to appreciate what you have to offer, and sing your praises to anyone who cares to listen. I capture images of you like there’s no tomorrow. You’re quite photogenic, you know – and strangely (unlike those of us who acquire wrinkles with age), you have only grown more beautiful with the passing years. How can that be?!

I could sign off with an adolescent-like admonition to “never change,” but that wouldn’t suit either of us. I want you to change and grow, giving me even more excuses to spend time with you, to explore your treasures, to stretch out in new-found green spaces. You have always been there for me, and I’m counting on your welcoming presence for years to come.


Swann Fountain
(Philly Love Notes)

Visit Philly Love Notes

Philly Love Notes is a collection of reminders. There is too much in the city that is forgotten or overlooked. Philly Love Notes seeks to rediscover those places — to remind the city, and us, that it is loved.  Want to share your favorite spot? Drop Philly Love Notes an email with your idea.

Eyes on the Street has teamed up with Philly Love Notes to feature especially plannerdly love notes about places in Philly on this blog. So far we’ve shared love notes about bikes at Rittenhouse Squarea walk through Ed Bacon’s greenways, a twofer about Penn Treaty ParkDrexel ParkWayne Millswhere the Reading Viaduct meets Noble Streetstoop culture, the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library, the Woodlands CemeteryFrankford, a log cabin in Northern Libertiesmemories of Independence Hall as the city’s most prime stoopPassyunk’s singing fountain, the glories of 30th Street Station, the unexpected beauty of the Boxers’ Trail, and finding sweet peace at Laurel Hill.

This piece originally appeared on Philly Love Notes on April 15, 2013.

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