(Originally posted in February, 2010)
My mobile phone’s area code is 215, and that’s a Philadelphia area code. When I switched my mobile carrier from Verizon to AT&T, I was already an Indiana resident, and I was afraid they would force me to give it up. But I found a way to retain my good old 215 number, and I’m happy about it.
I like the city of Philadelphia, perhaps just because I lived there nearly a decade, and I haven’t lived longer in any other towns in this country. I’m sure Philadelphia isn’t one of the most livable cities in the world, but it has its charms. I still have some friends living in the greater Philadelphia area. I received both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Temple, and my first job in the US was in Philadelphia. I got my very first driver’s license there, and I did my first Bach cantata concert there. Philadelphia is a bit like my hometown without home and family.
What connects me to the city of Philadelphia more than my mobile phone’s area code, though, isn’t just my memory of the city or the Philadelphia off-season office of Marlboro Music Festival I work for in Vermont every summer. There’s something very important in that city that draws me back to it every year even now — it’s the Philadelphia Eagles.
I like my Birds, or, as the Philadelphians lovingly call them, the iggles. If you are wondering, that’s an American football team in the National Football League. Singing the Eagles fight song with 65,000 other fans in the Lincoln Financial Field is just crazy fun! The team really unites the people in the city and its surrounding areas as a whole, especially when the team is victorious! I like the feeling of being a part of that community.
I wonder what my future relationship with the city of Philadelphia is going to be like… Will I ever live in the city again? Can I keep paying a visit to the birds’ nest every year, for many years to come…?