Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Philadelphia - a cultural experience

Recently, a friend of mine (Aaron Twicthell) and I made a trip down to Philadelphia to immerse ourselves in the culture of this historic and storied city. We began our trip by visiting one of the most important sites for citizens of the United States; Independence Hall. We were able to see the liberty bell housed nearby, as well as partake in a guided tour of this famous and historic building. We saw the chair upon which George Washington sat when the continental congress convened to sign the United States Constitution. We heard the Centennial Bell ring atop the spire of the hall marking off the hours and we inhaled the musty air of a room where name after name of founding father strode, sat, debated, and forged a nation. Benjamen Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and many others. It was surreal and amazing!
The next leg of our Philadelphia journey took us to the area near South St. to two well known eateries across the street from one another. Ask any local and they will tell you, the only place to get real Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches is at either Geno's or Pat's. Legend has it that neither owner as set foot on the other's property. Aaron and I availed ourselves of the culinary masters and each sampled the cheese steaks. It was a delectable experience. Both were amazing! However, if we were forced to choose we had to lean ever so slightly toward Geno's. There was something about the meat that was just a little richer, just a little more tasty.
The final stop on our runaround tour of the "City of Brotherly Love" was the local major league baseball park. It is called Citizen's Bank Park and it is home to the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. This was an unforgettable experience. The game was delayed from the beginning by rain, thunder, and lightning; however, after waiting for two hours the game began and the sun broke through the clouds! On the mound for the Phillies was former Seattle Mariner Jamie Moyer. The highlight of the game had to be our seats which were in center field just above the grass and right next to a TV camera man! Although in close second to the seats was Jamie Moyer's bunt for a triple in the third inning which was made possible by two Pittsburgh Pirate errors. Aaron and I went to a Mets game at Shea Stadium in New York and during the game there were at least 10 fights in the crowd that had to be broken up by security. I thought that was pretty bad; however, the fans in Philly proved to me that they could one up Mets fans. I kid you not there was not a single inning where the entire left field section chanted at, yelled at, and cajoled the left fielder for the Pirates. I was blown away at how crazy they were! They didn't cut this poor guy any slack, and to make matters worse he dropped a pop fly in the 6th inning and they let him have it twice as bad for the rest of the game!
All in all this was an awesome outing to the home of Will Smith and Rocky Balboa! If you are ever in Philly I recommend taking in the sites, the sounds, the tastes, and avoiding any confrontations with the athletic fans!

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