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.