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A Sort of Homecoming.

Last week, I had to go to Philadelphia on a business trip.


I got there Thursday night, and Poliana showed me around for a bit.


My plane was late getting out of O'Hare (you don't say!), our plane switched terminals, the driver was at the wrong place, there was traffic, the meeting got started late, my taxi was 20 minutes late picking me up... all this led up to me meeting up with Poliana a good two hours after we'd planned, so a couple of the places we had planned on visiting were closed.

After a long day of sitting around, I was ravenous. We went to Ishkabibbles and got a chicken cheesesteak, Dutch Birch Beer, and sweet potato fries. I was full and I was ready to wander. Bad weather earlier in the day scared people off, so South Street wasn't very busy. I was grateful. We got coffee and then got beer, and we talked. It was really great. I can't really describe it, but it was like when you meet someone who you were so obviously meant to have met. The conversation flowed, laughs erupted, and we had a lot in common. Also, there was a cameo by a hot bartender who looked like a stick thin Patrick Wilson and talked a long while about music, specifically the recent 90's revival (The Jesus Lizard! Polvo!). I got back to the hotel at 1.30am on Friday, and I had to be downstairs and ready for a meeting at 7.45a. Worth it!

The meeting was painless, aside from the fact that it was at 9am. When I was done an hour later, I was free for the day... I just had to catch my plane at 7.30pm. Poliana took Friday off and graciously played tour guide. We had breakfast at a tiny crowded diner, and we set off on foot to explore the city.


I'm a history nerd and the city of Philadelphia made me want to re-read all of my Sarah Vowell. And re-watch National Treasure. But I digress.
We didn't go to the real Liberty Bell. There is a long line, a security check, tourists...

Besides, you can kinda see it from the street!

You can also see Independence Hall from the steet.

Poliana took us on a meandering path through town, and showed me this beautiful street:


There were cute decorations in the windows.

And on the windowsills.



Seeing plaques like this on the old houses meant that the house had fire insurance, so the then-private fire company would come and save you. Hmmm.


Old-timey Paperboy obstacle.


Andy and I watch Parking Wars, and I was curious to find out of the PPA really is the racket the show makes it out to be. It is. Also, look at how tiny the street is!


We ended up in a graveyard with very old gravestones that were very eroded. The visible layers in the stone were beautiful. All that time, all that weather.


There isn't very much graffiti in Cedar Rapids, let me tell you.


Hanging out with Thomas Jefferson.

Sure these photos may be awesome, but it was hot on Friday. It was very warm. We had been walking around for hours and miles, and it was still about 4 hours till it was time for my plane to leave. So we slowly trudged toward the Reading Terminal Market for air conditioning and refreshment. Also, it was right next to the train to the airport. Air conditioning and a roof, that was what we needed.

I got to meet Philbert.

We sat for a long time just catching our breath. I was pretty sore from walking all over town in a pair of arch support-free Converse. Also I was tired and hungry and very close to becoming evil and grumpy.
So I explored and got a chorizo and goat cheese empanada. I thought about the cheeseteak burrito:

But I ultimately decided against it, with a plane ride in the very near future.

Eventually it was time to part ways with Poliana, and I was sad, but also quite thrilled to have met her. I see a return trip to Philadelphia in my future. I'd really like to see Valley Forge. Andy has in mind a whole east coast tour, NYC and DC included. I am looking forward to planning it.


I liked that the Philly Airport had free pads and tampons. This is all too rare.


I ended up having this view for a long time. A thunderstorm delayed us long enough to miss the connector back to Cedar Rapids. So I got to spend yet another night at the O'Hare Hilton.

I could not have asked for a better guide than Poliana. This was seriously a great trip. I want to go back!

Comments

( 7 rode along the dark line — swift bliss passed through the night )
clankyrobot
Jul. 31st, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
this looks awesome! now i want to go check out philly! (and watch national treasure).
interiority
Aug. 6th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
It was a fun town - and it was so nice to see people of color and it was even nice to be in traffic again.

(Deleted comment)
interiority
Aug. 6th, 2009 03:02 am (UTC)
It was like Lucy and Harpo.
slicedgeek
Aug. 2nd, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
holy shit, doppelgangers. also, that pig picture cracked me the fuck up. you are the greatest.
interiority
Aug. 6th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC)
I thought it was hilarious that we both wore black dresses.
polianarchy
Aug. 5th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
THIS IS SO GOOD OMG

y'all come back now, ya hear?
interiority
Aug. 6th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
I will be back, I promise!
( 7 rode along the dark line — swift bliss passed through the night )

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