On the one hand, I'm a little overwhelmed by the idea of moving to a whole new city, and Philadelphia is by every means, a city, old, tribal, complicated. But, in a little more than 24 hours, I'm already beginning to feel it's doable. Yesterday afternoon, Jon Conrad and David Fox shot the breeze with me for a couple of hour's at Monk's, and they gave me a lot of information about the local theater scene--more than they knew, probably. One bottom line: the Philly theater scenes sounds a lot like the PDX theater scene but bigger and closer to NYC. The same psychodynamics apply.
Yesterday evening, I met Frank--a friend of Neal Corl, from their NYC days--who is a one-time film actor who now fronts his own band and runs a music/comedy venue in South Philly. I met Frank's mom, brother, father, and assorted music people. This was a profane and warm-hearted lot. My old friend Christine (we've known each other since I was nine) and I ate dinner in an Italian place--don't ask me which one, and yes, there are a lot of 'em down there--and I walked up and down a good length of Passyunk St. It felt like being in the North End of Boston, if the North End of Boston had ever allowed anyone in but Italians. The ethnic mix of South Philly has obviously been changing over the decades, seemingly peacefully, but... probably not entirely.
Today, I take a bus tour of historic Philly and probably meet a photographer/realtor friend of Christine. I'm thinking the big loft spaces in Kensington--a marginal neighborhood--may be my best best, rents in my range, secure parking, close-in, and great rehearsal space. That is, of course, if I'm not working in Ashland or Staunton or NYC, and if I've learned anything so far, it's not to count on work anywhere.