Monday, August 31, 2009

Vacation at Home

Thursday at 9:30 am, I frustratedly (stoopid Windows Media Player) ran out of the house and jumped into my Smart Car. I was off for vacation in Philadelphia, my home for 27 years and part of my identity. First stop was Emmaus, PA which is outside of Allentown. I had to pass a childhood favorite summer destination, Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom. I was heading to Wizards World of Tattooing and Piercing III to see my friend Ben.

Ben has done 8 out 10 of my tattoos and every one a masterpiece which I am proud to display. This time I was getting a garter belt around the left thigh of the Philadelphia skyline. Living outside Washington, DC in Northern Virginia, I found myself missing the Philly skyline or any skyline for that matter. In the suburbs, you always feel surrounded, I like to aim high in steering and ponder the possibilities in the distance. This is also possible to achieve in a rural setting and this city girl sure has gone county. And I love it, my other thigh will eventually get a farm/rural/cheese related garter belt. One thigh for the city and the other for the country. I will post pics of the skyline tattoo once i get home.

Ben does incredible work and takes his time to get it right. He is excited for a challenge. If you ever need work, see this man. I got into Emmaus around 2, we had lunch and talked design. Got started around 4:30, went to 8:30 with a few breaks. I was on the road to Philly around 9.

Driving from Woodbridge, VA to Emmaus, PA, I went through York, PA where I got my first piercing in 1996. I skirted Kutztown and Lancaster, drove on 30, 309, 222, 476, 76, 422, 202, 29, 363. And there was construction on every road. The whole drive from VA to Philly was a tour through my history. More fun than ever in my little Smart Car with the top down and system thumping. I drove from Woodbridge to Emmaus, to Philly on one $20 tank of gas.

My tattoo is the Philly skyline from the South Street Bridge. This bridge I connect with very early memories. There was a poem written on the side of the bridge, I think it was one word per panel. I wish I had written it down, I don't remember what the words said but it spanned the bridge. The story goes, the gay author wrote it then committed suicide by jumping off. I was heart broken when they covered it up a few years ago. But now the bridge is gone, which I had forgotten about as I hadn't been in town since January of this year and I never saw a sign on the matter.

I did see one for construction at University City which I thought didn't apply to me as I was getting off one stop before but I got caught in it. I got into Philly around 10:30. My dear old friend Erik was putting me up and has a lovely home with Bill and are wonderful hosts. Bill was out of town till tomorrow night. Erik had some Dolce and Carini Sicilian pizza waiting for me. I had it cold and loved it then it was my breakfast all hot and toasty for the next two days. Yum, can't get crust like that in VA/DC.

Friday, was a leisurely morning spent with Erik, then Eric came over. We walked down South Street from 22nd and Fitz. Hit Spool for fabric for a hat Erik was to make which is completed and fabulous. Then we walked up to Rittenhouse, hung in the park, into Anthro and Urban. Then Tria for a cheese related orgy. That experience will wait to be a post of its own. Tria was followed by a stop at 20th & Sansom for some of the best Gelato in the universe at Capogiro. Which we took back to Erik's via cab.

We received a visit from the Fox, then Stein. I went round the corner to visit Lance and meet his new puppy, a Frenchie and see his old Pug. Then Erik, Stein, and I hitched a cab to meet Eric and Stephen for dinner. This dinner will have to wait for a post of it's own. Something unbelievable took place, it is a shocker! Stein, Erik, and I then cabbed it back to Erik's and watched good old Female Trouble.

One reason I could no longer stand to live in the city was because I got sick and could no longer walk everywhere and I got motion sickness so easily. I get sick in the back of cabs, on subways, buses, trains. If you don't know, I have M.S. and started to get sick about three years ago. Doing great these days but the first two years were rough. But that is a different post.

Saturday morning I got up and out to see my Holistic Health Consular, Alex at the Lansdown farmer's market. I highly recommend this lady and I am proud to call her a great friend for over a decade.
But I am not biased, I have been working with her for the past many months and have gotten healthier with her help. And we can work through the distance by phone and email. The farmer's market was great, and we fit the two of us, a checkers table, folding chair and groceries all in my 'lil car. Went to Glen Olden, saw her wonderful husband and two kids and enjoyed a fresh farmer's market salad.

I set off for East Norriton with a stop at the Plymouth meeting mall was is a pig in a dress. The Macy's is a joke as are most of the other stores but there is still a carousel. Tried to go to the Bakemister in Norristown which is gone. Got to my grandparents with my arms hanging down. Grandpop was amused by the tiny car. Grandmom was 86 today and a bit more worse for the wear, she had recently started chemo therapy. Had a nice visit and they feed me and wanted me to eat more. It's hard to get Grandmom to sit down when I visit but I offer her help which she never wants.

From there, I went to see an old friend Adam, in Phoenixville which sure has changed. I have been in love with the Colonial theater for ages, been to Steel City it is surrounded by hip trendy restaurants. But I wouldn't mind living in a town like that. It is very walkable, nice Main St., accessable to city or farm, and beautiful Victorian houses. My friend's place had been beautifully renovated with a thriving garden.

Heading back to Philly, I got caught in a storm which I didn't mind but no one else could seem to drive. Going 35 on 76 in the left lane, give me a fucking break. I got my 'lil car to go 60 and the SUV is scared. But Philly was fairy dry once I got into town then it rain 20 minuets later.

Back to Erik's, then down to 13th and Dickinson to Bonnie's Capistrano Bar. Great hole in the wall which I think has been the same forever. It was a friend, Anna's birthday and a great time was had. The only downfall was the cigarette smoke. I am a retired smoker but sometimes I regress. This night, it made me so ill and I wasn't drinking. When I got back to Erik's I had to wash the stench off, got to bed after 2 a.m.

Sunday, woke up late had a big yummy breakfast made with love by Erik. Then I was off to see Laura, another birthday girl. Went to B2, I got a tiny vegan doughnut and an iced blue eyes tea from a blue eyed barista of a certain Philly variety. Him and Laura chatted as I looked for movie times and noticed that a second show was added for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia "The Nightman Cometh" and they went on sale Friday. I was rude and called from the counter and was sad to learn that once again I failed. I hope they come to DC or a miracle occurs. Funny that I had a picture taken of myself in front of their Ad the day those tickets went on sale

Went up to 4th st to Bus Stop shoe shop and Eye's gallery on South. Happily spending money in independent and female own businesses. Then to the Ritz 5, where I worked in 1999. I miss the small art house cinemas. Enjoyed a movie then off to Honey's Sit-n-Eat in the Northern Liberties. I hit Honey's every visit and LOVE their food. Took the lady home to 9th & Porter, then back to Erik & Bill's.

Bill and I took the go cart up to the Art Museum. Walked up the steps and down to the waterworks at dusk, taking pictures all the while. The light of the setting sun was brilliant. In the Waterworks lounge sitting outside looking over the Schuylkill river, I had a glass of Champers from Loire, France and toasted my mother. She would have loved to see what they did with the place. It was so gorgeous by the Waterworks that I wish I could marry Patrick all over again and have it there, white dress and all.

Next was a return trip to Capogiro for more gelato, in total 3 pints and one large cup. Back to Erik's, watched Mad Men, True Blood, then bed. Now here I am, with Bill & Erik's all to myself, sitting on the couch hungry in front of their enormous TV on the computer.

Stay tuned for part II!

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