in the city of brotherly love

dan and i made it to philadelphia (my first time here) sometime after 8pm. we hadn’t had any dinner (save a beer at rdu), so we left the hotel in search of some authentic philly cheesesteaks.

of course we’re in that typical downtown core that’s pretty dead at night. there’s some neat historic buildings nearby and lots of tall skyscrapers. so we start walking in roughly a spiral, passing a chili’s, a mcdonald’s, a wendy’s, a dunkin’ donuts, and on and on. in other words we can’t find any place to eat.

eventually we pass a place that looks decent and is open—which is key—called hamburger mary’s. it’s got a bar with some beers on tap. it’s not too busy. it’s perfect. granted the closest thing it has to a philly cheesesteak is the philly cheesesteak burger…but hey, we’re here through saturday. we’ve got plenty of time for cheesesteaks.

so we order some beers, dan gets the fish, i get a wrap. it’s clear to me at this point that pretty much everyone working there is gay. the bartender, the two waiters, the host. turns out it’s also a chain. no big deal. so i tell the bartender we’re in town for a few days, staying at a nearby hotel and that there didn’t seem to be anything around to do. we were wondering where everything was.

and he says, “oh, well you have to go to the gayborhood, it’s on 13th and locust, there’s woody’s where pretty much everyone goes, there’s two-steppin’ at bump, and there’s this other place for karaoke…” at this point i realize dan and i are totally passing as a gay couple. when the bartender turns away, we exchange a knowing-glance-cum-stifled-laugh, and continue on with our meals.

7 Comments

jane

you DO make a lovely pair. congratulations!

If it’s “dead” where you are, then you aren’t really in downtown Philly!

There is a pretty good Chinatown area. I highly recommend the restaurant called Penang there (no relation to the awful Penang in Chapel Hill). There’s a Hello Kitty store just north of Penang on the same block, too.

The museum isn’t downtown, but has some good stuff including a big permanent exhibit of modern art, and an Asian section that I did not get to spend enough time in.

If all else fails, go to South Street. You won’t be bored.

thanks, any other recommendations?

Brian

Great story.

I don’t really know much about Philly, I’ve only been there a few times and only to the center of the city.

South Street is kind of touristy, but really fun. There’s bar there I like called something like “Your Mother’s Tattoo,” there’s an old-skool punk store called Zipperhead (check out the mural on the building), there are a lot of bars. I would avoid it on a weekend night, I hate crowds.

I like just walking around in the old part of downtown, I think that overlaps with the gayborhood. If the weather’s nice, there’s a path that runs along the river to the museum. If you go to the main train station check out the gigantic angel statue.

I think you now know everything I know about Philadelphia! As a vegetarian I can’t tell you anything about cheesesteaks, so you’re on your own with that. Have fun.

went to penang tonight, thanks for the recommendation. cool interior and as it happens, we ordered something and the waitress told us that we wouldn’t like it (that it wouldn’t be what we expect, that the chicken would be cold) so we got something else.

then kind of walked around saw the liberty bell from a distance and independence hall.

thanks for the other tips. clearly south street is our next destination.

It wasn’t exactly a man date

Simply defined a man date is two heterosexual men socializing without the crutch of business or sports. It is two guys meeting for the kind of outing a straight man might reasonably arrange with a woman. Dining together across a table without the aid of a television is a man date; eating at a bar is not. Taking a walk in the park together is a man date; going for a jog is not. Attending the movie “Friday Night Lights” is a man date, but going to see the Jets play is definitely not.

“Sideways,” the Oscar-winning film about two buddies touring the central California wine country on the eve of the wedding of one of them, is one long and boozy man date.

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