The City of Brotherly Love

Trip Start Sep 25, 2011
Trip End May 08, 2012

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What I did
Ran in Rocky's footsteps

Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Friday, October 28, 2011

Well I arrived via Greyhound bus from The Charm City -Baltimore to "The City of Brotherly Love- Philadelphia - a short hour and a half or so trip.  I had a great seatmate, Jerrie, on this crowded bus and the time flew as we chatted. It turns out she is an entrepreneur with a professional matchmaker business as well as hosting  gold buying parties around Baltimore where she and her family lives, and Philadelphia, where she grew up.  She had lots of positive energy and told me the must do's in Philadephla including eating a Cheese steak from a street vendor (which I did for lunch and delicious and I didn't need any dinner), and a warm bagel with mustard (also did, also very good).  So I found my way from the bus station, past the Market much like the Lexington Market in Baltimore, to my hostel.  The City was hit with a snowstorm on Saturday and it was a miserable enough day I had to buy a hat at Macy's and deliberated buying boots!  Needless to say, I was not impressedabout the sleet and wet snow and wind all day  especially knowing Yellowknife and Sask were dry and warm still!  Fortunately the next day it disappeared and life was good again.  The snow did not return...  
The hostel staff were terrific and the hostel was in an old building in old city which is right where the Independent Hall and Liberty Bell is.  I had a tour of both and saw the building where the Constitution of the USA was signed.  Still lots of tourists around.  Macy's is in the old 'Wanamaker' Building, a beautiful restored building which has the oldest and largest organ, which was built for the World's Fair, in the USA with thousands of pipes and several keyboards played by an organist who gives daily half hour concerts (12 noon and 5:30 pm) in a tiny open but plexiglass encased cubicle on the second floor.  Beautiful classical music (mainly) resonates throughout the store and shoppers (some of them) stop and listen and tourists (like me) just come into the store to listen.  I have some more details but the pamphlet is buried in my bag somewhere.
There was a film festival on and so I took in a French film called "The Conquest" about Nicholas Sarkozy running for French election.  It was very good.  The Apple Hostel hosts a 'Ghost Walk' which takes in many graveyards around and a doctor's house with supposedly true tales of apparitions and voices.  By coincidence, i was there for it on Monday of Hallowe'en.  Hallowe'en seems to be a big deal there as all the houses around the old part of Philadelphia, with brownstones owned by professionals, had lots of Hallowe'en decorations with many decorated pumpkins.  And I saw parents picking up their little kids from school, (and going to school in the a.m.) and they each were dressed up in their finest Hallowe'en costume, just like home!  The hostel offered free beer after the tour too!  THen people were lining up at the hallowe'en party at the nightclub across the alley from the hostel and they came into the hostel wanting to use our bathroom and buy beer !  Quite funny. I also took in the free pasta night on Wed. at the hostel.  Very good deal!  Also a good deal was every week they show a movie at the hostel (hostellers choice of their selection) with free wine and cheese!  So we watched "Crazy Stupid Love" - the only downside is there are always people sitting around who talk, oblivious to or ignorant about people trying to listen to the movie! 
Aside from Independence related history, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is famous for its 'Rocky' steps - the ones he ran when training for his movies.  There is even a statue of Sylvestor Stallone outside the building by the steps!  It, as well as the Public Library, are more like palaces from the outside.   
One of my Apple Hostel roommates, Megan from Warsaw, Poland and I did a little touring around together.   She is a huge Flyer fan, and came from Poland to Phil to go to a live game, wearing her new jersey!  They lost in a shoot out with New Jersey.  She has worked in Canada and Ireland and is in the tv industry in Poland.
I delayed my leaving Philadelphia by a day as I was having a hard time getting a ticket to New York City, my next destination.   Several things happened the day I was trying to buy a ticket including having trouble connecting to Megabus online on my Samsung tablet, and so I went to the Library to use their PCs only to arrive in time for a building evacuation due to a water line break!  Then the next day after I decided how I was going to travel (I chose local commuter train to Trenton New Jersey and then transfer to New Jersey rail, for a total of $25 for 1.5 hours), the subway station computers for New Jersey rail was down so I had to go to another main subway station!  I was beginning to think the signs (I always pay attention to the signs)  were telling me I was to stay in Philadelphia......But I left and will write from NYC!
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