Sunday, June 19, 2005

Philadelphia week

I'm always happy to head out to the East Coast because it reminds me how much of a Westerner I am. Colorado born-and-bred, for nine years now a proud resident of the Pacific Northwest...I like it out here. I think I could live in Boston, but beyond that, I can't imagine being happy anywhere on the Eastern Seaboard. Politeness is not valued. Here in Seattle, we wear jeans to the nicest restaurants. I LOVE that. I also find it strange how, out east, there's a new metropolis only two hours away on the freeway. Boston to Providence to Hartford to NYC to Philly to Wilmington to Baltimore to DC...really, really too many big cities in a small area.

Other thoughts, in no particular order:

--I had some negative preconceptions about Philadelphia coming in. I'd heard that the City of Brotherly Love had more rudness than perhas any city. Survey People were quite nice. As I tried to find my way to the hotel in the rental car, I was late moving on a couple of green lights. Nobody honked. In fact, I didn't hear anybody honk all week long except for a couple of cab drivers (and they honk everywhere, so they don't count).

--Philadelphia had the most pitted downtown street, Walnut Street, I'd ever driven on. I complained about it to my students and friends out there. The next day, they paved it. Cool.

--Citizens Bank Park is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.

--There was a bizarre billboard northbound on I-95 as you head into Philly that just said "I HATE STEVEN SINGER" on it. I was sort of hoping that it was just a guy with a big grudge who decided to take it out on Mr. Singer by sharing his displeasure with commuters, but no such luck. It's a reverse psychology ad for Steven Singer Jewelers. Sort of disappointing--I wanted a vendetta.

--Delaware has become the 47th state I have set foot in. When you cross the border from Pennsylvania to Delaware, there are instantly more trees.

--Reasons to have friends #1205: Competition ended early one day, and we had 90 minutes to kill in Wilmington. I don't know ANYTHING about Wilmington...except that I have a freind whose (amicable) ex-girlfriend lives there. I called the friend. He gave me the number of the amicable ex. I called her--I'd never spoken with her before. "Hey, it's TRP, a friend of Rob's. I have two high school kids and we need somewhere to eat for an hour and a half. Any suggestions?" She sent us to Gallucio's. Delicious and very 1970s Wood Panel Atmosphere heavy. Nice people. I owe the amicable ex when she's in town this summer.

--Valley Forge was positively gorgeous. There was a terrible tour guide we ditched. He kept saying "They were starving! They were naked!" Then he'd say "It wasn't that bad. Washington may have exaggerated the situation to his superiors to get more supplies." Then he'd say: "They were starving and naked!"

The weirdest part about Valley Forge were the many, many people who were jogging, walking dogs, power walking, etc., wearing their I-pods and hustling through a workout in the spot where the Continental Army bucked up and prepared for victory. Something felt strange to me about that.

--Tommyspoon visited. We mulled over this question: If forced to make a decision, which of the following would you make a monument for? General McClellan? Or Pauly Shore? You MUST choose. The monument would be near the Washington Monument and face towards the Capitol building.

--The guy next to me on the plane heading home had no sense of personal space. As he read his paper, his arm extended halfway across my seat. He bumped my pencil as I did a crossword. I was annoyed, so I turned my pencil around so that the point was facing out. When he turned the page of his newspaper, he pricked his hand on the point. Snotty, sure, but he had it coming. (But it didn't stop him from taking my space.)

Anyhow. TWO MORE DAYS OF SCHOOL. Then another month and I'm a married man! (Sorry, ladies.) You'll hear a little more from me over the summer.


tommyspoon said...

Nice to see you too, TRP. Here's some East Coast stuff for ya:

* Um, is it nitpicky to tell you that you chop the legs out from under your first argument against east-coast living by telling us that the citizens of Philadelphia were "quite nice"?

* And I could make a really snotty comment about the fashion sensibilities of Pacific Northwest denizens, but I'll refrain. ;-)

* (Which reminds me of a question I have about the wedding: What's the dress code for the choir? I'm assuming that, since this an evening affair, the men will be wearing tuxedos. But I'm not sure you've ever stated a preference. I'm telling you right now that I refuse to wear denim to your wedding. Ain't gonna do it, man. Not even for you.)

* I'm still working on the Pauly Shore/George McClellen question. Early returns favor PS, but not by much...

Looking forward to July!

Alison said...

So you made it to your 47th state - congrats! Joe and I were just discussing that, actually. Does it count as going to a state when you never leave the airport? Our flight out for the wedding takes us through Denver, and I am trying to decide if I get to claim Colorado for the list (oddly, this has never come up before).

I have to admit I giggled a bit at the fact that you talked about the general rudeness of east-coasters (with which I heartily agree), but said you could probably live in Boston. That city may very well be the rudest place I have ever been, and I worked in midtown Manhattan for a brief stint.

Joe is finding the spaced-out-ness (it is too a word) of the cities in the midwest unsettling. We're driving out to Chicago soon, and it just seems to him that we should be passing through several major cities en route. Unless you count Gary (and why would you?), that ain't happening.

lemming said...

I've run a 102+ degree fever in the Philly airport on three occasions and on each ocasion was treated with great kindness. Therefore I love Pennsylvania.

I vote for Geore M - even the mediocre and egotistical deserve a hero.

kaphine said...

Welcome home! Real Super Girl and I have intentionally held on to our RSVP card so that you could be there when it arrives. I guess we can send it out now!

Shannin said...

Gotta go with Pauly Shore, because being mediocre will get you some where, some proven by GWB.

TeacherRefPoet said...


Shannin--you put Pauly Shore up to the lofty heights of "mediocre"?