The other night, a weeknight I might add, your friend here made plans with her bestie to see a local comedian that makes us both laugh at the level of tears. I wish he would have brought better eyesight instead!
My bestie got the tickets without reading that the show STARTS at 10:45 p.m. I’m usually way into REM sleep at this time since I’ve been AWAKE since 4:45 a.m.
Then this Mrs. Magoo failed to notice the address of the venue. We assumed it was in Center City. NOPE! It was at an “upscale dive bar” under the El. (short for elevated train). Hookers, junkies and two middle-aged women out past their bedtimes. Suddenly I’m singing “two of these things is not like the others.”
After endless text messages back and forth trying to decide if going was worth our lives, we finalized the deal with “if we can’t get safe parking we’ll just come home.” Bam!
I head out of my house at 9:15 p.m. on a weeknight, put some 80’s Janet Jackson on the playlist, and channel my inner 23-year-old self to pick up my bestie. The difference between actually being 23 and the reality of being middle aged is I was doing wash before leaving the house.
As soon as my bestie gets in the car, she is happy to hear Janet Jackson doing her thang, and we start to reminisce about our “club days.” We concluded that our 23-year-old selves were either fearless, extraordinarily dumb or a healthy mix of both.
At 23 we were getting into cars with strangers, at 54 we were worried about safe parking.
At 23 the only thing I had to do before leaving was getting dressed, at 54 I was making lunches and folding laundry.
At 23 I was deciding on which cute panties to wear, at 54 I was deciding between the regular or super-sized Poise pad.
At 23 leaving the house at 9:15 on a weeknight was acceptable, at 54 my son was asking me if I was “going through something.”
At 23 rolling in at 4 a.m., getting a shower and heading straight to the office smelling like vodka actually happened, at 54 it took me 3 days to recover from coming in at 2 a.m., and NO ALCOHOL was involved.
Thankfully, this section of “under the el” was an up an coming millennial hub of coolness. The venue was, in fact, an “upscale dive bar” as described. Low lighting, sparse seating, but our feet didn’t stick to the floor, so all was good in the hood. The crowd was an excellent mix of ages with the same sense of humor. The comedian, Aunt Mary Pat did not disappoint as we laughed from beginning to end leaving us with sore cheeks and permanent smiles.
YOLO! Keep Laughing and Enjoy the Ride!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in the Rocky Run here in Philly. It was a 5k or a 10k run or Ralk. I just made that up because that’s what I did. The festivities started where else but at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Rocky ran those beautiful steps giving everyone hope that the underdog can make it to the top with nothing more than determination.
My dear partner in crime a/k/a the Lucy to my Ethel signed us up for this event for several reasons, the first being the big fat medal you get when it’s over. Sad, but true. Little did we know we would be getting so much more out of this experience.
All 7,000 participants were broken down into corals based on their run time. The folks in the front of the line were hardcore wearing all the proper running gear, that they no doubt wear every single day of their lives. Let’s just say things started to look differently as we headed to our coral at the back of the line.
We went from a sea of Nike logos to a middle-aged man dressed as “Hulk Hogan” holding a model of Rocky made of balloons in a few small steps. I seriously debated having my corneas burned after this site.
I was suddenly back in grade school when our math groups divided us by using the names of flowers. Row one was filled with roses, while me and the rest of the dandelions sat in row six. Those Catholic schools really knew how to make us feel like shit! I think it’s safe to say that Sister Mary Make Me Feel Like Shit underestimated the resilience of a dandelion …. just try to get rid on one in your yard, I dare ya!
We stood in our coral of racing misfits eyeing up our “competition” and confirmed that there was NO WAY the Louie Anderson look-alike was crossing that finish line before Lucy & Ethel. Game on!
The Eye of the Tiger was playing over the speakers and we were off running, only to be stopped in our tracks by a huge crack on the running path …. oh yes, the crack of Hulk Hogan’s ASS was right, dare I say…. in FRONT of us! Once the nausea passed we blew past him determined to leave him in our dust.
You can all thank Lucy for this photo. It wasn’t easy for her to capture the essence of the moment while moving in a crowd of running people. All in the name of “what NOT to wear” for a list a mile freaking long!
Once we left that crack in the road behind us we were able to see the true beauty of our city. The race went along Boathouse Row, which just happens to be one of my favorite city landmarks. It is located on the east bank of the Schuykill River and home of social and rowing clubs, each having their own history. They are gorgeous day and night.
This entire area oozes with architecture genius that put the skyscrapers in the background to shame. Structures such as the Fairmount Water Works and The Philadelphia Art Museum are certainly a thing of the past. Another reminder that change is everywhere.
We finished in less than an hour and that included several stops along the way for pictures, laughing and of course … trying not to pee our pants on this very cold morning. 50 year-old female problems.
We celebrated with free protein bars and water before heading over to tackle those famous museum steps like Rocky! When in Rome ….
It was a morning filled with a bit of everything, especially some much-needed soul feeding.
- Belly laughter with a friend
- Ralking among the beauty of my city
- 15,000 steps on my Garmin before 10:00 a.m.; and
- Feeling like a CHAMPION were the perfect way to Enjoy the Ride!
Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.
I’m from the wonderful City of Brotherly Love, better known as Philly or Philadelphia if you want to be technical. That’s right folks, I have the pleasure of living in the same town as some very well-known historic landmarks such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the ever so famous icon….The Philly Cheesesteak.
No one, and I mean no one, visits this fare city without delving into the wonderful world of crusty rolls, rib-eye beef and of course … melted cheese. It’s your duty as a visitor to partake in the consumption of this local delicacy.
Here’s a little heads-up to the outsiders who believe that they can walk into any Philly eatery, order a cheesesteak and therefore claim to have lived the experience. No, that’s not how it works around these parts. We actually have our own Cheesesteak etiquette if you will. Yes, there are rules. First you must master the ordering procedure, then and only then, can you venture out to indulge.
When ordering one does not just walk up to a counter stating “Can I have a cheesesteak?” not unless you want to be stared at as if you are an alien of some sort. Don’t let that Brotherly Love stuff fool you, we can be a tough town and our patience have been known to run thin…especially in a cheesesteak line. So please, for the love of god have your order and money ready. You will need to follow these instructions carefully….very carefully when ordering.
Once you have your ordering method memorized and money in your hand you are ready to venture out to a location that will allow you to have the best authentic cheesesteak experience. Hmm where to go? Well, chances are if you ask around town you’ll be steered in the direction of Pat’s and Geno’s. Just imagine a Hatfield & McCoy rivalry with meat and cheese. These 2 famous eateries have been partaking in a friendly competition for over 4 decades to claim fame as Best Cheesesteak in Town.
They are kind enough to keep their grills sizzling 24 hours a day to satisfy your taste buds whenever they feel the need to be slathered by one of Philly’s finest. Believe me when I tell you a cheesesteak never tasted better than at 3 in the morning after a night on the town. If I was asked to cast my vote between the 2, it would go to Pat’s.
However, these aren’t the only two guys in town who can assist you in your quest for experiencing the authentic flavor of a Philly Cheesesteak. You can also check out Jim’s, Tony Luke’s, John’s, Steve’s, Rick’s, Soni’s, McNally’s, Shank’s, Campo’s and Dalessandro’s … just to name a few.
Everyone has their own reasons for liking one cheesesteak over the other. For some it’s the roll, others the quantity of meat vs. distribution of cheese. It’s serious business. My hubby likes Philly Steak & Hoagie for the roll, while my son enjoys Steve’s Prince of Steaks due to the size. My daughter enjoys the dripping cheese on a Pat’s steak and for me … well, I crown Dalessandro’s as “Best Cheesesteak in Town” for the texture of the meat.
So, whether you’re Wit or Wit-out (pronounced Widout) either way … Enjoy the Ride!