Day 1: Philadelphia
Quote of the day:
You hold it like this and throw the shit out of it (on how to throw a slider)
Weather: Warm and windy, sunny, overcast, drizzle, very very windy at ballpark (hold on to your hats windy) with heavy rain at times
Pics: The new Barnes Foundation site, one of many murals, Giwa, Citizens Bank Ballpark
Fitness center, breakfast of cheerios and yogurt in TGIF (connected to the hotel, and overrun with teenagers….the elevators are so crowded the hotel staff is telling people to go up to get down; THB is telling them to take the stairs!). THB asks at front desk where he can get an NYT; well, maybe at the 7-11 a few blocks away. THB crosses street to Four Seasons Hotel and asks at bell desk where news shop is in hotel…bellman hands him an NYT (THB is still in his workout clothes, so looks like any other Four Seasons sweaty clientele back from a run). Ethical dilemma: does THB now feel obligated to stay at a Four Seasons? At least THB does not wait in the line for a free fresh-brewed cup of espresso. Then for sure he’d have to upgrade next time.
And, to answer yesterday’s question as to what one sleep talker says to the other sleep talker: I didn’t know you talked in your sleep? And the second sleep talker replies: mmmm, ok, mmmm, yeah, mmmmm, ok.
Pop Quiz: What do Detroit, Tokyo, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia (twice) and Minneapolis have in common? Answer below…
Up and out by 9am, walk up a few blocks from the hotel and see the handsome new building housing the Barnes Foundation. For those unfamiliar with the story of the Barnes, watch the documentary The Art of the Steal, it is fascinating. THB was here (see the blog entries from early 2009…go ahead, see if you can find them!) when there were pickets shouting (or more likely, placarding) in front of the new site during groundbreaking: keep the Barnes in Merion.
Continue walking the backroads of downtown, ending up at Reading Market for a snack (roll, muffin, café au lait, $6.35), and then we pick up a walking tour guide of the downtown murals (see blog entries from early 2009….bet you’re still trying to find them…here’s a clue:
For the next few hours, we slowly meander the downtown, seeing some pretty decent murals, finally passing right in front of where THB stayed in 2009 (with the rest of the OMCA tour), the Union League (see pic).
Lunch at Giwa, Korean spot specializing in bibimbop (last time THB had bibimbop was on one of the flights back from Beijing Olympics on Korean Airlines). LHB has cold bibimbop, and THB has Dae Ji Bulgogi (not sure THB would’ve ordered this dish if he heard it pronounced first), which turns out to be spicy marinated pork with rice, very good! The guys next to us had hot bibimbop, which comes in a special hot pot tray holder (see pic). With Snapple, $30.
Back to hotel to rest up for the game.
Take the subway to the game, very easy: about 7 stops from downtown, 20 minutes or so, one token (approx $1.50) each way. And, THB bought some mighty fine tickets. The Phils sell out most games, so this was the best they had on sale: second to last row in the left field “bleachers” (there are no real bleachers in this park), only $45 each after all fees are added on (that gets you in the dugout at an A’s game, batting cleanup). We can more easily eat in the café behind us than see home plate. And, with THB’s proclivities for food and poor eyesight, maybe we should’ve waited to eat at the café and watch from there instead.
THB has a Tony Lukes roasted pork sandwich with cheese and broccoli rabe (TRUE! Actual broccoli rabe, chopped and boiled well past death) and one large pepper, and a Flying Fish extra pale ale, $20, both excellent, and a taste of LHB’s cannoli cupcake (sweeeeet). And a baby’s arm holding an apple from home.
Random shopping note: THB and LHB find the one woman in all of the ballpark shops that knows they have a t-shirt with the ballpark’s name on it for sale. LHB graciously treats THB to another shirt for his collection. See pic.
Answer to Pop Quiz: It has rained in each of those cities when THB has been in town to see a baseball game. Yes, even in Tokyo, where at least they had the good sense to play indoors that night.
Tonight is no different, and there’s a significant delay of almost an hour in the 5th inning. See the pics of the tarp coming off the field. See pics of the rain. See pics before the rain. The good news, our seats are so bad we’re under the overhang, and stay dry! THB is thinking that hey, right about NOW he could be trolling through the new Barnes…instead of wondering if the rain could get much worse.
Big item of note: right after the rain delay, if you were watching the Phils put it to the Marlins and saw Hunter Pence’s home run, you got to see LHB and THB staring at the little kid about 6 seats away come up with the ball, beating out a bruiser in his mid to late 30s.
Back to the hotel to rest up for tomorrow’s game!
Final word: shades of yesteryear and THB’s childhood, we fall asleep to the radio broadcast of the game, THB dreaming that the Phils held on to win….mmmmm, ok, mmmmm, yeah.