Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Day in Philly

Sunday was my day in Philly.

Having living and worked in Philly for over thirty years, I visit as often as I can.  

Delaware Tech offered a $39.00 round trip to Philly this past Sunday.  How could I pass up that opportunity?  

I had to get up early to catch the Jor-Linn bus leaving from the Delaware Tech campus in Georgetown.  Real early.

Always my worry in getting up early for a trip is my "bathroom needs" before the trip.  When I was young I didn't worry about such bodily functions but now that I have aged, I no longer have complete control over my bodily functions. Thank goodness my body cooperated with me on Sunday morning and "everything" came out fine.

The bus was going up for the Philadelphia Flower Show.  In previous years I paid the ticket price for the Flower Show, just to get to Philly for the 2 1/2 trip in the comfort of a big bus.  Those tickets were $89.  Now the ticket is $99 for the ride and flower show.  Just between you and me, the Philadelphia Flower Show never impressed me.  Just a bunch of vendors centralized at the Philadelphia Convention Center.  And oh, the CROWDS, so crowded.  No fun folks.  I'm glad I had the option this year to buy a ticket for the ride without the flower show option.

Getting on the bus at the Delaware Tech campus for the trip to Philly this past Sunday morning

The main reason I wanted to go to Philly was to visit my longtime friend and former co-worker Don McK.  Don lives in center city Philly. 

I talked him into switching from the God awful Windows operating system to an Apple iMac during my last visit to him last fall. But Don has a learning curve that he needs help with, and that was my goal during this visit to Philly.  And of course I always like visiting Don and sharing our Old Man Medical Issues.  Always fun.

As during my last trip, rain was forecast.  Lucky for me the rain didn't begin until I left Don's place and made the race for the bus.  And yes folks, I almost missed the bus again.  Just like last trip.  

I arrived in Philly at about 10:30 AM.  I walked to Don's co-op at 21st and Walnut from the Convention Center.  I don't walk like I used to.  When I lived and worked in Philly I didn't have to deal with my arthritic legs, hips and back.  Now I do.  Plus, there is so much construction in center city Philly, I had to make numerous detours. 

I arrived at Don's co-op and was admitted into the confines of his concierge guarded building at about 11 AM.  Got to his apartment and we spent about an hour updating our medical histories.  Then to his computer.  I showed him how to created folders for his porn Internet copied photos he had on his desktop. I told him "You don't want those photos laying around your desktop Don. And oh, can you forward me THAT one?"

After about an hour of iMac instruction, our stomachs were growling.  We were hungry!

Lunch at "More Than Just Ice Cream", a wonderful mostly gay restaurant off of 12th Street just around the corner from Walnut Street.  We took the SEPTA bus down.  Free ride for us, we just show our Medicare cards.  You see folks, there are some benefits once you reach the Geezer Stage.

Don and me in front of "More Than Just Ice Cream" restaurant 

After lunch, back on the bus, back to Don's apartment.  With the cleared desktop, we were ready to move Don's tax files from his old and SLOW Dell Windows based computer to his brand, new FAST iMac computer.  I just about completed the job when we both noticed I had only about twenty minutes to get to the Del Tech bus.

I called my tour director and told her I was on my way.  I wish I had a video of me hobbling down Market Street towards the Convention Center. Again, I kept encountering streets completely blocked off for construction of new skyscrapers.  Man oh man, has center city Philly ever changed.  Gone are the days when I worked there and most of the tall buildings, none taller than City Hall, were mostly office buildings.  Now that the computer has effectively eliminated the need for all those low paid office workers (me, being one of them), that prime real estate in center city Philly is quickly being converted into condos, co-ops, hotels (the bank where I formerly worked is now the Ritz-Carlton hotel) and apartments.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel formerly the Girard Bank - Philadelphia, PA
Lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel

All with high monthly fees.  I've been priced out folks.  Even the modest row house where Bill and I used to live in center city is now worth over $600,000.  We bought it for $27,000 in 1969 and sold it for $95,00 in 1980.  And at that time I thought I made a killing with that "huge" profit.  Anyway, I digress.

Bill going into the garage at our row house in center city Philadelphia - 1976 - check out his blue Maverick 

I got to the convention center but I couldn't find the bus.  I saw a couple of police officers on the corner of one of the convention center buildings.  I asked "where do the busses come in?"  They directed me to around the corner.  Stepping over several stinky homeless people mounds on the ground (some things never change in Philly), I found the Delaware Tech bus waiting for me. The bus was leaving at 4:15 PM.  I boarded the bus at 4:12 PM.  Three minutes to spare!  Seriously folks, I don't like cutting things that close.  

We depart center city Philly and the rains began. Luck was with me folks.  

An as I and the other whiteheads (old people) departed Philly, I reflected "Another good day in my old hometown."  

I return to Philly in early May.  I'll meet my Pat, my Canadian Travel Buddy.  We'll spend a week at Don's then down here to Lower Slower for three days. 

Life is good folks.

The banner photo today is of the tree line at the Delaware Tech campus where I was waiting for my bus


nitewrit said...


Glad you got to do this, sounds like fun. I wish I could of been there for a day in the city. Sorry the weather wasn't as in as some days have been. I enjoyed the videos. It looks so nice on film.


pat888 said...

Ron - thanks for the trip. I enjoyed seeing Don again too. It's great that you can get away and spend the day at the city you once spent so much time in. I love Philly - clean, friendly, and has everything you need - tho lots of honking horns. Actually way more than Toronto. I just wish for your sake the stay was maybe a couple of hours longer. But sooo looking forward to visiting there with you in May.

Bea said...

Being from California, I have to admit how woefully ignorant I was of the delights back East has to offer. I finally made it to Philly for the first time in 2010. I was struck by how friendly people were. The architecture was, of course, stellar. It's a great town. The SF Bay Area has become less welcoming in recent years. We're filled with an 'I got mine!' attitude out here. Anyway, glad you read you didn't miss the bus or have any 'WC emergencies' while traveling.

Ron said...

I'm thinking of spending several days in Philly next month prior to Pat coming down in Mauy. Maybe I'll need to call on my Uber driver. Let me check the dates and I'll get back to you.

Ron said...

The only problem with my Day in Philly, was the shortness of it. I'm thinking of spending several days in Philly prior to your visit. Just a couple of hours with Don was too short. I have to contact my Uber driver to see if he is available.

Ron said...

Always good to hear from you. I love Philly. Especially now since it is undergoing the transformation to being a "go to" city. Philly is expensive but well worth it. Unfortunately, the homeless still abound but not near as much as when I worked in Philly back thirty years ago. Oh how fast time passes by. I plan to visit at least several times a year plus my new favorite place, California! Who knows? Maybe Pat and I will eventually end up in California, albeit, very old men.

Jon said...

Wow, that was an incredibly full day - but I'm glad you enjoyed it and were able to catch the bus back home.
Taking the bus is so much easier than driving (usually!). When I was a young teen, before I had a car, I used to always take the bus to Los Angeles. We lived in Anaheim near Disneyland. L.A. was about 25 miles away and the bus ride was 98 cents.

Travel said...

Looks like a fun day.