Saturday, August 23, 2008

It was west Philadelphia born and raised on the playground was where I spent most of my days.

Dennis, me and the red mustang took a 24 hour road trip up to Philadelphia yesterday on my day off. (Hahaha...that sounds so crazy. "Yeah, I went to Philly today, no big deal, eh! Yeeeeah common' guyy!!") We arrived into the city late Thursday night and the drive went surprisingly quickly. We spoke in unnecessarily thick east-coast tough-guy accents for long periods of time and circled around the pretty deserted downtown area taking pictures and watching the late-night folk walk aimlessly down the city streets until we began to have trouble keeping our eyes open.

It was almost 3:30 by the time we found someplace inexpensive to sleep. We both passed out very quickly and woke up relatively early the next morning to start exploring. The morning started off with a nice drive over this huge blue bridge into the city. We stopped at this sea-side port that had a beautiful scenic view of the city. It's funny because, if I wouldn't have been exposed to the insane skyline that I am fortunate to see almost every day in Manhattan, I would have thought that the Philadelphia skyline was very impressive. The city looked so tiny though. As we walked along the path by the water, I was surprised to see how disgustingly polluted the ocean was. I just cant even describe the filth that was festering in the water below us. It went out for hundreds and hundreds of feet...just pure sludge. The sad part was that there was tons of wildlife that had adapted to just sitting in the waste or swimming in it. Yuck. I later noticed that it wasn't just Philadelphia that was filthy like that, New Jersey was also VERY dirty.

Dennis and I eventually parked the car downtown and he convinced me that it was absolutely neccessary for me to eat a Philly Cheesestake while we were in town. I've got to admit, I'm not a huge meat eater...but mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm-mmmmmmmmmmmm it was delish!! All of that melted cheese...drooool. After our huge sandwiches, we walked around the historical area to find the Liberty Bell.

A few hours went by and we decided that we had seen most of the tourist spots in the city. It was only 2 or 3 by this point so we decided...what the heck? Let's drive to Atlantic city!

Okay, so talk about being blown away a little bit. This place was definitely different from what I was expecting. I didn't realize how many casinos would be on the boardwalk so that was definitely a surprise. What was an even bigger shock was how rundown Atlantic City actually was. There was such extreme poverty bordering these million dollar hotels and casinos. Most of the houses looked completely unlivable but they were most definitely inhabited by families. Even the homes with totally boarded-up windows had people living inside. I just couldn't believe it. After seeing the filthy water in Philly and these poor poor poor areas in Jersey, the events of the day really started to wear on me. We decided to take a long walk on the boardwalk. Seeing the ocean and all of the cheesy tourists made me superficially feel a bit better about the kind of environment we had just been exposed to.

We decided to eat dinner at the Rainforest Cafe which was a lot of fun. Around 10:30ish we grabbed a couple of Starbucks Chai Lattes (which I've deviously gotten Dennis addicted to within the last week) and we decided to roll out. On our way back to the car, we hit up this western casino for a quick game of slots just so Dennis could say that he'd gambled before. He put in $5.00 and we walked away with $2.50, so I'd have to say that it was a pretty lucrative experience. It was a long drive home. I kept falling asleep which I felt really bad about. It took about two hours to get back to Brooklyn and by that point I was really exhausted. Luckily, I was able to get a pretty decent amount of sleep once I laid down in bed. After a quick shower and a boost of caffeine this morning, I felt pretty good and pumped up at work. I think I just needed a really good day off to get me back into the groove of things. I'm a travellin' woman!!


ckblue said...

hi, i nust read your blog about visiting Philadelphia and i agree that it is a dirty city. But I disagree with you about all of Jersey. Although I don;t like the state myself, there are a number of places that are beautiful. not all of Jersey is a great big superfund site. if you have the time you should explore central Jersey (like Princeton) and the farmlands in S.Jersey.
if you need suggestion just email me:

jennajuice said...

AAAAHHH Tara!!! I must confess I haven't had a chance to read all of your posts until today, and I just got caught seems like everyhting is going super well...I miss you girlfriend!

Sending out my resume for a few jobs today...wish me luck so I can get out there!!! xoxox, take care of yourself girlfriend and call me once and a while! uh, I miss ya, but I'm so happy you are having a good time!!!!

Anonymous said...

tybo-you are such an adventurer! But you seem to be finding the underbelly of the east coast. Next time in Philly go to the Franklin Museum of Technology and walk through the model heart as it duh-dumps, duh-dumps. And follow Rocky's footsteps up the art museum steps and go inside - some great stuff. Keep driving past Atlantic City and go to Ocean City which is alcohol-free (amazing) and clean and charming. Or all the way down to Cape May to see the gorgeous victorian houses. And ckblue is right about central NJ. Go to Morristown and see George Washington's false choppers made of elk teeth!

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