Friday, February 04, 2011
Cheese Steak City
But in less than 72 hours I should be back at home lounging on the couch with remote in hand deciding if I want to watch the Super Bowl. Life will get back to normal, whatever that is.
I have mixed feelings about Philadelphia. As a truck driver cutting my teeth driving out of Baltimore, I had many runs to the City of Brotherly Love. With the exception of my trips with bands to the Spectrum, my pick ups and deliveries there were always harder than they needed to be. It seemed every worker bee in that town I dealt with had some kind of chip on their shoulder. A union chip when I wasn't union, a non-union chip when I was union, and cops who were not that understanding of the difficulties of delivering furniture off crowded streets to 4th floor walk ups.
I used to attend a national bike show there back in the 1990s. We would stay at the Ho-Jos that was located almost under the Ben Franklin bridge. The Expo was only an eight block ride on our bikes from the Hotel. On one trip when I was out doing some urban assault surfing, a young man all duded up in the latest gangsta style reached out from a pedestrian crowded corner and shoved me into the path of the traffic coming up on my back door. On that same trip, my partner at the time and I were leaving a small bistro after a sumptuous Philly breakfast and from across the street a man came screaming and staggering at us. He was wielding a very large knife. I can remember just standing there watching him close in on us. I couldn't move or maybe wouldn't move. Thankfully his synapses clicked in. He changed direction and staggered back across the street still screaming and wielding the knife. No one on the street seemed to even notice or care.
I was hanging out at the city hall around lunchtime on a weekday once. Propped up against a building with busy power tied pedestrians rushing by was an homeless fellow with no legs. His zipper was down and he was pissing on the sidewalk. One well dressed lady walked by and carefully stepping over the rivulet of piss, gave him a dirty look. Other than that he was ignored.
To be fair to Philadelphia, I have had my share of good times there also. Drinking with strangers, sharing a joint with the guys at various loading docks, catching the many tourist sites. Philadelphia always leaves an impression. It is always a crap shoot what kind of impression is left when I finally leave Philly in the rear view.
See you all in a few days....................................