Philadelphia on the First Snowfall of the Season

Posted on
Jan 9, 2018

Our friends insist they are not romantics. When they were married in Philadelphia half a decade ago, an unexpected storm had shut down the city. No one showed up to open the church that day so they were married in the snowy lot outside, the drift coming up to their knees.

They celebrate their anniversary on the first snowfall of the season not because they are romantics, they insist, but because they are bad with dates. The result is that they never quite know when it will be. When the snow starts to fall, they make a reservation, they uncork a bottle.

They insist they aren’t romantics, but when they tell us this, I swoon.

This year, we were in Philadelphia for the first snowfall of the season. We are from the Pacific Northwest; any precipitation that isn’t rain is always a bit of a novelty.

We walked through Philadelphia in the snow.

And I noticed how it stuck to his hair and his eyebrows.


And how the city looked like a model train set.


It never got dark. Deep lavender is the best that a night sky can achieve when there’s snow on the ground. This rebellion against darkness has always been my absolute favorite part of any snow day. Like the earth is defying its own bedtime.

We wished our friends a happy anniversary as they insisted that they were not romantics. We nodded.

They’re full of shit.

Leave a Comment

  • Brian Glick

    Just be glad you’re not here today. 1/8″ sheet of ice covering every surface.

    I’m reading this post on the 40th minute of my 10 minute walk to work.

  • I love their story – thank you for sharing (and you have one more person on your side insisting that yes, it is indeed romantic).

    Last year (not really last year, I keep saying that when I actually mean 2016) we were in NYC for the city’s first snow of the season. It was right before we planned to fly out, and instead of taking the subway, we decided to walk the last mile or so back to the station before heading to the airport. I don’t like the cold weather, but I never feel warmer than when it is snowing.

  • This is such a classic Everywhereist post! I love everything about it! The tone, the subject and the way you said it! Nice shots of Philadelphia, too!

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  • Theresa

    What a lovely tribute to their anniversary! My husband and I were going to attempt to buy a bottle of wine from our vintage (2006) every anniversary… But it turns out the longer you’re married, the more expensive that shit gets! Also, I always fan girl when you post that you’ve been in my neck of the woods. Philadelphia’s not so bad 🙂

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  • GaryWGoodwin

    The ending has a nice little pragmatic twist to it.

  • Donna

    I’m not a fan of snow, anywhere, ever, but I do love the description of how it defies the darkness of night. So true. If I did like anything about it, it would be the reflection that happens 15 minutes after dusk, making the sky appear as if 15 minutes before dusk.

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  • Amanda Tatro

    Love the deep lavender comment. So true. I’m a Philadelphia girl who is now in the Pacific NW so this post was great!

  • Downtonian

    This is wonderful and you’re right, your friends truly are romantics, starting with the fact that they still held the wedding in the parking lot! That would be a deal-breaker right there for a lot of Bridezillas. Love your photos and love the description of the snow keeping the world awake. I’ll remember that. I remember one snowy night, when it wasn’t freezing cold, just beautiful white stuff streaming down, where I bundled the kids in their coats and we went and ran around in our quiet suburban street just for the fun of it. It was magical.

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