The Ups and Downs of Philadelphia

Julie and I needed a getaway and we also needed to connect with my family in the Philadelphia area, so we stole away for a few days into my former home town. We spent the first couple days in center city at the Sheraton Hotel at City Center, formerly the Wyndham at Franklin Plaza (or something like that). We buzzed about the city in the midst of the Obama/Clinton campaigning with women brandishing Hillary signs on street corners and a few well-dressed young people parading about China town with Obama fliers.

My internet access has been limited because the Sheraton still charges their guests to use their internet. I find that so hard to believe since just about any dumpy motel off the interstate has free wifi these days. In fact, it seems that “free” is a very necessary prefix for wifi. So I’ve been unable to post on a few things I noticed during our time in Philly:

Of course the best part of our visit was hearing the crowd at the debate actually booed the moderators. If you know anything about Philly sports, you know that anyone and everyone is fair game for a round of boos. Some of our more shameful boo recipients include Santa Claus, Hall of Fame baseball player Mike Schmidt, and (if memory serves correctly) his young son. Oh, and just about every professional sports team in this town has been booed pretty viciously on a fairly regular basis. So if there was any town able to spot a lousy couple of moderators, it had to be Philly. They heckled and booed just like at any sports event. Take that ABC.

It was a bit more disappointing that while the temperature ranged close to 80 degrees we could not find a water ice joint in center city. We later heard about one close to Broad St., but when we needed water ice the most, when it should have been leaping out of welcoming store fronts, we only had the icy water ice cups of vendors available. What a shame to think that something so important to Philadelphia is not readily available to visitors in the downtown section! I suppose they concentrate the water ice joints in the suburbs.

On the plus side, Philly has been spruced up quite a bit. They’ve expanded the walking/running/biking path along the Schukyll river from the Art Museum (at the upper fringe of Center City) to Walnut Street in the middle of town. It makes for a great way to walk from Center City up to the Art Museum and then out to the river walkway and to Fairmount Park. Even if Philly is a hotbed of corruption and still needs a lot of work in the surrounding neighborhoods, it’s nice to see they’ve made some strides downtown.

The historic area was fantastic as always, Reading Terminal Market was a blast, and China town did not disappoint us. Overall we had a great time in town.