Posted by: Waheeda Harris | March 11, 2013

Have I been here before?

I knew I had visited Philadelphia before. But would I remember it? I had vague recollections of that trip – of what we did and where we went.

It had been a weekend with friends to celebrate a birthday by going to see one of our favourite bands of the time, who were from Philadelphia and playing two nights at a local club.

And now several years later, I returned to the city, to see, explore and photograph as I came on assignment to the city of Brotherly Love.

Philadelphia - Liberty BellI wondered if any place would seem familiar – would I remember which hotel I stayed or what part of the city I spent most of my time?

Would I have an epiphany about a restaurant or a street or a building? I knew I would remember visiting the Liberty Bell, one of the historic must-sees of the city.

I wondered this as my flight jetted me from Toronto to Philaldelphia – what would be the most familiar when I arrived?

As my plane landed and taxied to the gate, I felt my usual excitement and energy to disembark and see what was going on.

I walked from the jetway into the airport gate lounge and then it struck me – I had been here before.

The small space of the gate lounge and the corridor were overwhelmingly familiar – like a deja vu. I felt like I had just returned a day or two later instead of several years. It almost felt like I had made it up – that flash of memory.

As I walked down the corridor to exit, the airport became like any other – busy with people, small shops and unique scents of cafes and restaurants. I was soon waiting for my shuttle to take me to my hotel – like many others who were arriving.

I knew that I would be visiting a familiar place with good memories and ready to experience more of what Philadelphia offered. But that flash of memory was hopefully an indicator that more memories would be coming back too.

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