Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday in the city

These cold winter days admittedly feed some ambivalence about our commitment to city living; particularly car-free living. We had a wedding to attend, just 6 blocks away, and my husband insisted we ride our bicycles. This meant bare legs and high heels in sub-freezing temperatures. This meant *really* forcing the girls to wear their hats and jackets. We bundled a down blanket over them in the trailer, and entered the church just in time to see the gorgeous bride walking down the aisle. Not being church-goers ourselves, we were blown away by the interior of the building (St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran at 5th & Walnut, A-town, PA). I had to spirit my almost 2 year old to the back room for most of the service (with some hand-offs to husband) but both girls managed the ceremony. We had an hour to kill before the reception, so rode up 5th street to the Allentown Art Museum (yay for membership!) They have the most amazing children's area. I wandered off to see the Antonakos exhibit (I love the collages) while the girls worked on their own collages. The museum was warm and cozy and quiet. We curled up on a couch and read books about color and artists until the docent told us they were getting ready to close.

Back into the chill, I was at fault for mis-remembering the reception location. My bare shins were numb by the time we entered the Barristers Club, but the good news was that it was only 2 blocks away from our house. By the time we pedaled home I was warmed by a couple of sidecars and a glass of wine. We had the babysitter meet us at the reception (she came by car, we beat her home!) and walked over to our neighbors house for a birthday celebration. The cherry on top of a brilliant evening was that little M went to sleep for the babysitter - this is a first and a welcome surprise! So husband just pedaled out the door to meet a friend for drinks.....

Any indignation I felt about getting dolled up to ride out on a cold day/night was ameliorated once we got out on the streets. The girls in the trailer bring smiles to those out and about, and I can only hope we encourage people to consider other modes of transportation. I had to remember our own wedding night, when we were whisked away by a bicycle rickshaw on a warm South Carolina evening.

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