Christmas shopping, done. Drinks or coffees or walking dates every day with friends I’ve neglected during the term, ongoing. Syllabi for winter quarter, done. Tree up and decorated, done. Cookie bake off, planned.
So it must be time to think about the 2009 MLA Convention: Which sessions will I plan to go to? Am I ready for my session? Which friends back east will I get together with in Philly? Which cocktail parties shall I attend? Can I fit 3 fat novels, my netbook, winter boots, dressing pumps, running shoes, and actual clothes in my carry-on luggage?
And, most importantly, where can I RUN in Philadelphia?
Since I’ve become obsessed with started long distance running, whenever I travel now I seek out the prettiest running trails (though I’m quite partial to my own local river trail). And clearly I’m not the only one since most cities now have websites devoted to runners, including Run for Fun – PhiladelphiaUSA.travel.
If all that snow melts by the time I get there, I hope to run in Fairmont Park or this 8 mile run that will take me at some point to the famous Art Museum steps (remember Rocky?).
In June 1870, a young Kate Chopin was on her extended honeymoon with Oscar, and they stopped for a few days in Philadelphia. Biographer Emily Toth notes that the city itself didn’t thrill her at first, but Chopin conceded in her journal that “Fairmont is pretty though, a very pretty park, and I hardly think we will see any lovelier view in Europe than we had from the rising ground of the park, of the Schyulkill River, bright and sparkling–with its picturesque little boat houses–the city–like Campbell’s mountain looking more enchanting in the distance, and the full round moon staying the departure of twilight.”
Well I probably won’t be in a romantic mood at MLA09, and it will be just a bit colder in December than in Chopin’s June (despite global warming) but the next full moon does peak next week.