Tuesday, November 27, 2012

thanksgiving in philadelphia

After partaking in my annual T-Give tradition of pizza and sweatpants I caught the Bolt Bus down to Philly to visit a dear friend and nourish my stress-diet ravaged body at the cheese steak capitol of the world. Lucky for my arteries I don't eat cheese or beef, but I do eat candy - and there was a store that sold in bulk, right across from her amazing apartment in Queens Village - so I was good to go.

After walking around QV, fraught with cute boutiques and questionable tattoo parlors I realized why people say Philly has charm. Sure there is history and patriotism oozing out of it's brick facade pores, but its these little neighborhoods with street art mosaics and painted sidewalks that really provide the setting for some generally nice strangers. You know you've lived in New York too long when common nicities become foreign and luxurious.

My first night there we popped over to the Royal Tavern to have a drink and although seating was a real issue the place was warmly lit and the staff was friendly and accommodating - so I give it a thumbs up. Being the gereatric swinging singles that we are we soon headed to bed - or in my case couch - where an electric blanket with my name on it was just waiting to whisper radioactive nothings into my ear all night.

Early to rise - sort of - and we were off on a walking tour of sorts. Both of us have at some point lived in both San Francisco and New York, so walking doesn't present an issue - however - frigid temperatures do and late November in Philly can be brutal. I have been talking about seeing the Liberty Bell for years so I anxiously awaited my first view in a long line wrapped around the building in which its housed chaulked full of midwesterners. And yes, I can tell. Once inside I have to say - I was underwhelmed. Perhaps I am not giving it it's due respect in terms of historic significance, but it was kind of small, broken and there were people droves waiting to get a shot of their mug next to a big chunk of metal to immediately post to FB. Needless to say, it was not my scene and we kept it moving, right past Ben Franklin's grave which evidently doubles as the wishing well at the Sunrise Mall and briefly pausing at Betsey Ross' house to make note os some strange cat statues in teh coutyard.

Being in what seems to be the art gallery district (Old City) we stopped into a unique galleries and upscale boutiques masked in flannel and pine scent until we could no longer go without ssustenance or heat and decided upon Cafe Ole for some wraps. Carbs - check! Tea - Check! Sitting on my fat ass for at least an hour - check! And then we were out the door again. Not far down the road Meghan talked me into buying an artisnal hat - which is fancy white talk for home made and expensive - but the head warmth was appreciated as we hit up the first church in the US before hopping on the inefficient subway and headng to what, at this time, is called Christmas Village in which stands the LOVE statue in the city of brotherly love. Let me tell you - that statue doesn't make me want to love any brothers. Once again small and unimpressive - and really - who wants that review?

An artic wind assisted our walk to the Rocky Museum as I call it by smacking us directly in the face on teh 20 minutes or so it took us to mount the infamous steps. After racing some 9 year olds in track pants and sadly losing we had our moment and hopped in a cab as fragrant as a Russian deli back to my electric blanket boyfriend. 

A little repreive from the cold and another coat of mascara got me prepared to head to Northern Liberties where you can find all the people that escaped Williamsburg and Park Slope because rents were getting too expensive or they were recruited by one of the corporations based in PA. First stop was Johnny Brenda's where I decided it was time to be a girl-drink drunk and have two greyhounds - making my spirits lift out of the gutter in which they currently reside. Then off to Frankford Hall where the friendly Philean (yeah- I think I made that up) proved to be true and Meghan and I made fast friends with some locals who escorted us to Barcade where I played video games from the 80s for maybe the first time ever.

Having chosen to have one additional beverage and still be the most sober of this motley crew it would only make sense to head to the late night diner where you're corralled in the foyer with wasted ladies covered in spanx and aqua net. My toast was divine and one of the more lubricated stranger/new friends was just the right amount of arrogant and hammered so I was thoroughly entertained. Good drinks, good toast and good stranger/new friends. If that isn't the holy trinity of a good time in Philly - I don't know what is...

november 2012