Archive for May, 2010

The Captain Is Cooling On South Street Jet Black Benz Plenty Of Friends (And All The Philly Steaks You Can Eat)

Besides St. Louis, of course, I’d say Philadelphia is my favorite city.  I went there every summer from up until I graduated high school, which makes it almost a crime that I haven’t been back since 2003.  I had a lot of ground to make up, but luckily I had 48 hours and a few good friends to help me.

My long-time buddy Grellner and his hip new girlfriend Rose drove up from Baltimore on Friday and we spent the day taking in all that Philly has to offer.  We hit my favorite local convenience store, WaWa

And picked up this little beauty

Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes y’all, and now with a Phillies logo!!!

We spent most of our day on South Street doing the kind of things one does on South Street – eat and drink.  Every bar seemed to be having a PBR special, which was just fine in my book.

But the real MVP of South Street is the food.  I loved the giant pizza slices at Lickety Split

But the best by far was the cheesesteak at Geno’s

Some people will say that Pat’s Steaks across the street are the best, but for my money nobody beats Geno’s

On Saturday I got to experience much more of Philly than I originally had planned.  Meg’s college friend Marissa saw my Twitter updates on Facebook and we managed to hook up for dinner.  Her husband Adam knew a great Indian restaurant, which was doubly sweet for me because

1.  Meg can’t stand Indian so I never have it

2.  It was by one of the few malls I actually like, King of Prussia!

Saturday nite was also a great opportunity to hop on the Flyers bandwagon for the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals

Flyer up for the Cup!

And I also got a rare opportunity to hang out with my cousin Jessica.  This was the first time I’ve seen Jess since she turned 21, which meant it was time to hit some bars.

She took me to hit the college bar scene in West Chester for the first time.  And while I felt a little old hanging out at college bars, I had a blast with Jess and her friends from high school.  Jess is leaving for Egypt in August for three years, so I was glad we got to hang.  Cheers to Jessica!

My two day mini-vacation to Philadelphia was super fun, especially considering that it required zero planning.  Being in Philly makes me feel like a kid again, albeit one who apparently has a slight drinking problem…

Ciao,

The Captain

The Captain Loves His East Coast Family

Today was all about my family.  Although it may have seemed like the main purpose of my trip was alcohol and food consumption, I actually had a good reason.  My great Aunt Lillian died last November down in Florida, and this trip was to honor her.  She spent the first 80+ years of her life in south Philadelphia and my family decided it would be fitting to bury her ashes here as well.

My family gathered early on Saturday morning for a private ceremony on what would have been her 89th birthday.  Her sister, my Nana Ruth, said some lovely words as we lay her to rest.

It’s been 20+ years since I’ve been out to the family graveyard.  It was good to pay tribute to so many of my ancestors.  And on a side note, I had completely forgotten that a nuclear reactor was so visible from the site.

My family followed the ceremony with an all day cook-out at my uncle Dave’s in Norristown.  I love family gatherings; the men play horseshoes

And the women sit around and talk.

Some things never change, which was a comforting thought.  Rest In Peace, Lillian.

Ciao,

The Captain

The Captains Is Red In A Sea Of Blue

As an avid baseball fan, there are many things that I enjoy about watching a live game.  But without a doubt, the most exciting live games I’ve attended involve me being draped in the opposing team’s colors.  As a Cardinals fan, the ultimate is attending a game at Wrigley dressed in Cardinal red.  For a Phillies fan, the same can be said about attending a Mets game.

On Thursday, May 27th, I got a taste of this great rivalry at my first Phillies-Mets game at the new Citi Field.  There were so many interesting things to witness in a 10 hour span that it seems like a perfect topic for Friday 5!

Top 5 Observations On A Phillies Fan’s Trip To Citi Field

1.  The trip to the stadium requires purchasing a lot of tickets

After a brief layover in Detroit, I arrived in Philadelphia by 2pm.  By 3pm my companion for the trip, my uncle Dave, and I made it to New Jersey to catch the train.  Ticket #1 was for the parking at the Hamilton garage, ticket #2 was for a one way trip to Penn Station on the New Jersey Transit.  There were plenty of other Phillies fans with us on the train to make the 1½ hour train ride plenty interesting.  It was a BYOB kinda trip.

Once we made in to NYC, we bought ticket #3 for the ACE line on the MTA.  This was technically not part of the trip to Citi Field.  We made a short trip to SoHo to meet my college roommate Scotty at Lombardi’s for some pizza.

We made it back to Penn Station in time to catch the Long Island Railroad to Citi Field, ticket #4.  Getting in the front door to the stadium was ticket #5, and probably the best view.

And after the game we had to purchase tickets # 6 & 7 to hop the Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit back to the car.  And while seven tickets for a ten hour round trip journey on public transit sound like a lot, it is way better than the alternative1.

2.  Mets fans + 2 hour rain delays = Rivalry!

Dave and I made it to the stadium just in time for the 7:15 scheduled start.  Unfortunately, so did a torrential downpour.  The rain ended up delaying the game by two hours, which sent forty thousand fans under cover to slowly let the rivalry simmer to a boil.  Phillies fans are traditionally known as rowdy , but the Mets definitely have their share.  The stadium was probably 80% Mets fans, and they were loving the opportunity to tell the other 20% how much they suck.  A rivalry isn’t a rivalry without snarky shirts, like this beauty I saw approximately fifty times.

After two hours of waiting for the game, the crowd was good and drunk and ready for some baseball2.  When the grounds crew was removing the tarp, the entire stadium booed a Phillies coach when he walked from the bullpen to the dugout.  The stadium broke out into a “Phillies-Suck-Phillies-Suck” chant as soon as the starting line-ups were announced.  It stayed like this pretty much through the entire game.  And as it turned out, the Mets fans were right.  The Phillies got shutout that nite, which was the third shutout in a row at Citi Field.  Still, even a losing game was a fun one with so much wonderful rivalry to witness.

3.  Food at Citi Field is an eye-opening experience

Eating at the ballpark is an essential part of any baseball experience.  The food at Citi Field was similar to that of most ballparks, but it was just a little different.  For example, the tasty funnel cake that I ate wasn’t called a funnel cake.  The signs read “Fried Dough.”  These are the last two words I wanted to think about when eating this

In fact, the whole ballpark seemed determined to make me feel guilty for consuming its treats.  I remember reading a couple of years ago that restaurants in New York City were now required to post calorie information, but I had no idea how far the law reached.  Every sign at the ballpark had calorie information like this:

A bag of peanuts is 960 calories?!?  I won’t even tell you how many calories the fried dough added to my waist.  And while I understand then intent of their truth in advertising push, it just made me feel worse.

4.  Mr. Met brings out the worst in me

As far as baseball mascots go, you can’t get any better than the Philly Phanatic or worse than Mr. Met.  This video sums up how I feel

Philly Fanatic vs. Mr. Met from beepboop on Vimeo.

And while I’ve disliked Mr. Met for most of my life, I’ve never actually seen him in person.  When I sat down at my seat I was treated to this sight.

And sadly, my first thought was “Good, I’m glad Mr. Met is sad!”  Later when I saw him in person walking around the stadium I had to resist every urge in my body to taunt him.  I really wanted to tell him that he was pond-scum and then push him over or kick dirt on him.  I don’t think it’s healthy for me to wish harm on a guy in a character costume, but growing both up a Cardinals and Phillies fan didn’t give me much choice.

5.  Cit Field is perfect for New Yorkers

Even though it’s obvious that Mets fans are mostly from New York, it didn’t occur to me that City Field would be packed full of New Yorkers until I was in the stadium.  And the stadium seemed perfect for a heavily Queens/Long Island crowd.  The stands are wide open and quite spacious

And the team managed to slap a Mets logo everywhere

The only thing we didn’t get to see was the big apple that pops up when a Met hits a homerun.

I guess it was a good thing that the Mets didn’t hit any homeruns, but I was secretly rooting for them to hit one…

Overall, the whole experience is probably the most fun I’ve had visiting another city’s ballpark.  The trip was a blast and the stadium was a site to see.  It gets a thumbs up from me, which is pretty good for a Met hater.

Ciao,

The Captain

1.  The last time I was in the city, August 2003, I made the mistake of driving.  After nearly dying several times on my way to Shea Stadium to catch a Mets-Cardinals game, I vowed never to drive in New York again.

2.  This is why I prefer weekday games; they bring out the real drunks.  Because if you’re drinking at 11pm on a Thursday, you probably don’t have anything important happening the next morning.

The Captain Set Sail Towards The Sun In The East

Tomorrow I am leaving for six days to visit the Northeastern branch of my family.  And it’s coming at a great time, as I am ready for a break from my dogs.  They are starting to drive me a little crazy.

Desmond is doing alright with his cast so far, which got re-wrapped over the weekend.

Our choices were yellow or pink with flowers.  If he doesn’t start taking it easier on his leg, I think I’m gonna go with the pink as a form of punishment.

While Desmond has required lots of additional time, the real problem has be Hugo.  We’ve had to separate the dogs when we leave the house so they can’t play and reinjure Desmond’s leg.  Hugo is having a hard time with the separation.  He kept us up several nite with his barking, and on Monday he broke our air conditioner by chewing on a cord1.  So our house has been like a sauna for the past 48 hours, and we still haven’t heard anything from the warranty people.

Besides dealing with the dogs and packing for my trip, I’ve been busy with family and friends.  My man D turned 30 a few weeks ago and we went to the Cards game to celebrate.  His dad got us some sweet seats, and good times were had.  Cheers to D.

In other milestone news, my youngest brother Charlie had a big weekend.  He was confirmed this past Sunday and went to his first school dance with his new girlfriend2.  Congrats Charlie!

My vacation schedule for the next week is already making me tired, so I’m going to finish packing and then try and get some rest.

Wait a minute, I don’t have to work tomorrow and my flight to Philly is not till 9am.  On second thought, I’m going to do some pre-vacation drinking and watch the late Cards game with D.  See you in a week St. Louie!

Ciao,

The Captain

1.  Of course, he couldn’t have chewed the cord last week when it was unseasonably cold.  He did it on Monday, the hottest day of the year.

2.  I discovered that Charlie had a girlfriend through a posting on Facebook.  My 14 year old brother change his status to In A Relationship.  Ha!

The Captain Enjoyed The Ride

I woke up yesterday morning with the idea of writing about the Lost finale, but I was convinced that one more discussion of The End might actually break the internet.  So I decided to wait for today to bring up a couple of thoughts, that are both dog related for some reason.

1.  Of all of the numerous touching scenes in the finale, the one that really resonated with me was the very last one.

Something about the smile on Jack’s face when he sees Vincent and the airplane flying overhead just tugged at my heart.  While I had problems with the episode, this was a perfect ending in my book.

2.  Desmond and Hugo helped save the island!  And they lived to tell about it!

Good boys!

As such, we have officially designated Hugo the protector of our house.

Ciao,

The Captain

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