Tag Archives: travel

Weekendroadtrip: The Illadelph: Days 2 & 3

Wonderful days, wonderful weather, wonderful people.  In addition to spending time with our hosts Jim and Bex (who had homemade chocolate chip cookies there for us when we got in…is there any more hospitable way to start a stay with friends?), we got to hang out with the amazing animals that they live with (3 good dudes, to be sure, Griffin, Andy and Jake).  As if that wasn’t nice enough, we had time with friends, Drew (who I have not seen in too long of a time) and his wife Laura, and our man Justin. 

Our meeting with Drew and Laura was at New Harmony, which is my favorite Chinese eatery in Philly.  Kingdom comes in a close second, if you’re keeping score at home.  Supper that night of Scallion Pancakes, Sesame Chicken and Pheonix Chicken was balanced out with a few pieces of Walnut Shrimp and Barbecued Glazed Ribs.  Honestly, if ya can’t be stoked on the vegan options at a place like that (because, of course, all of those selections were 100% vegan) I simply don’t know what to say.  It was a very nice night.

Saturday saw a short but lovely hang out session Justin, then a trip to the Art Museum.  I had been to the building before, of course, because the museum I’m referring to are the so-called “Rocky Steps.”  I had run the steps with my man Adam Kuthe while people we didn’t know sang the Rocky Theme to us as we did so.  It is one of my treasured memories.  This time, however, we went into the museum and I was AMAZED at the collection.  I had heard for years that they had many masterworks, but I didn’t know the scale to which my informants were referring.  It was FANTASTIC.  I wasn’t excited about 15 dollars per person to see art that should be free to see, but I was glad to see it nonetheless.  Examples?

Me with a Modrain:

Me with a Rothko:

A blurry me with a Pollock:

And me with some nudes descending a staircase:

All amazing to see in person.  Their collection is fantastic.  PLUS we got see the Gilbert and George exhibit that is there for a short time on loan.  I was super excited about that.  London’s greatest known performance artists (as “living sculptures”) famous work in my own Commonwealth.  It was brilliant.

Dinner (after a bit of shopping) Saturday night was at Horizons.  Steak.  Vegan Steak.  AMAZING four star styled gourmet food.  Creme Brulee?  Beautiful.  Had it.  Chilled English Pea Soup?  A JOYOUS PHENOMENON to my senses.  Again, with vegan food this good…why bother with anything else?  Amazing. 

An early morning out (after a quick breakfast at Satellites cafe a nice little coffee shop with beautiful drinks and food in West Philly) and we were off…to the LEAST traffic I’ve EVER encountered leving the 5th largest city in this country.  AMAZING. 

My Missus and I by the stream in York:

Thank you friends. 

Our benevolent hosts…clearly wowed by the art:

This was a wonderful weekend.


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After a week of work (and my first all-mechanized training for running), the Missus and I headed east for a few days. 
(Back to training for a second, I did a total of three “runs.”  One was by the ole’ elliptical trainer and the other two were treadmill runs.  I had never done anything like that before.  The first time, I looked behind me for some reason and almost fell off of the machine.  That was awkward.  The oddest thing about the mechanized training sessions is how I feel a good workout, but the breathing is different and the muscles that i feel in my legs are different.  I’m still obviously getting some “cardio” workout typ of situation, but it is different from running around the streets.)
Our days away started with an evening drive to just outside Harrisburg (Waffle House taters along the way, of course.).  The late dinner didn’t sit well with me, but I was overall, ok.  My Missus said the same of her situation.  In the morning, we ventured south on route 83 to the White Rose City of York, PA.  Famous for once being the nations capital for a short time, now it holds notoriety for a Harley Davidson factory, a Caterpillar factory and a riot between anti-fascists and fascists some years ago on a Good Friday.  For me, York is the town I went to for the first two years of my undergraduate schooling.  It still smells like a paper mill, but a little less-so. 

The campus of York College of PA has changed for the better.  The work done to Schmidt Library is amazing.  It’s EXACTLY the same for the outside and 100% different inside.  That, and now there is a new Humanities building with a posh new theater and all of the English, History and IT offices and classrooms.  It’s all very, VERY nice.  I even got to see the old house I lived in, at 50 West Jackson.  Somehow it looks even more run down than when I lived there.  This is hard to imagine, as I figured the next step for that structure was collapse.  Oh, and one still gets to drive through the stream to get from one side of campus to the other.  It was a lovely trip down amnesia lane.

More on the rest of the weekend next time…

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Too much…

A lot has been going on over the last few days…into weeks…and it’s too much and too scattered to all be taken care of at once.  So, this is the first of a few installments, as it were…

A few days ago I got back from the west coast…that lovely left coast of the United States.  I was in San Francisco for a conference.  the conference was a general success.  I had a good experience, learned some things and got recharged about the scholarship side of work, as opposed to the grunt-work side of my job. 

San Francisco was a great place to visit, and i can’t wait to visit again.  Living there, however, would probably not be ok for me.  I do miss that amazing climate.  I imagine that the lack of true seasons would wear on me.  I walked so much while I was there.  I clocked in more than one 12 mile day, so that was pretty good.  I also ate like a king.  I ate at Millennium (in the very unfortunately named Hotel California…seriously).  Millennium is the only 4 star all vegan restaurant that i know of.  It was really spectacular and I would LOVE to get there again some time.

My provincial sensibilities are always amazed by larger cities…Toronto, New York, London, now San Francisco.  I find it rather mind blowing that there is basically everything you could want in one place.  Pittsburgh is brilliant, but it’s never had everything.  That’s why I can cook and why I know how to do mailorder.

All that said, it was great to be in there.  I especially loved City Lights books.  It’s a quality place.  I’ve always been abit of a Ferlinghetti fan, so it was nice to see his place.

What was even better was seeing old friends Andy, and later Denis.  They are PA transplants to Berkeley and San Francisco (respectively).  It was great to see those guys. 

As usual, travel made me long for home and all that I love about living in this busted-ass city that has my heart and chains me with anchors to it.  It is SO GOOD to be back.

Now, I have to go plant some hostas.  More on that in the future.

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