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Old 01-11-02, 12:11 PM   #1
young raoul
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Post Philadelphia Diversions

oy
I've got five days in Philly at the end of the month for an annual performance showcase - talent shopping expedition. Anyone know of anyone or anything interesting or subversive in that crazy old town? I really don't want to spend my off time pounding sides of beef in a meat locker and so far, all I've been able to track down is the Rodin museum and the birthplace of Kraft cream cheese. Any useful tips would be most appreciated.

willy loman

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Old 01-11-02, 04:01 PM   #2
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I can show you around Philly if you like (I live just outside the city). I'd offer crash space, but I'm in the middle of renovations on the house and the place is all torn up.

Drop me an E-mail and we can make arrangements to get together. Pokie-Poke, one of the other members here, is my roommate.
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Old 01-13-02, 03:00 AM   #3
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I'll be at that self-same thing. You know you are going to spend most of your time in the bar, Young Raoul! So get used to it!

Where the Showcase is, there's the University of Pennsylvania. The campus is nice (and there's a great museum of Natural History and a so-so Musuem of Modern Art on Campus (the Museum of Modern Art usually has one exhibit at a time, so can be quite spotty....)

See you there!


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Old 01-14-02, 01:40 PM   #4
young raoul
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thank you both....
i don't require accoms as my company foolishly provides for me and even accepts my bar receipts...while you are correct Adam, what i'm really looking for is bars beyond the hotel, bars that you can walk into and right away know you're at home. Two of my favorites of all time are the International Bar in NYC lower east side and the best bar in the world - The Alpine Club in New Orleans - both Archie Bunkeresque holes in the wall with kickass jukeboxes. But thank you again just the same...

flea willy


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Old 01-14-02, 08:45 PM   #5
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Young Raoul- Those were the days! But they're gone. Now the Alpine is gussied up and expanded into several rooms. It's called the Alpine, serves Cajun food,is owned by an Arab and serves American tourists. How multicultural can one get?
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Old 01-15-02, 05:33 PM   #6
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Yo, Willy. Not exactly an urban pursuit, but might fit into that subversive category you requested ...

If you've got access to wheels, a drive around 1.5-2 hrs to the north northwest of Philly brings you to a now non-existant town formerly known as Centralia. The area is the site of one of the biggest underground coal fires ever known, with an estimated 450 acres still smouldering. It's not a happy, touristy site, but sure fills the eco-tourist plans. It's eerie, to say the least, to stand on what used to be a highway or residential street and feel the heat radiating through your soles. The place looks like the top of mount Etna was dropped into the middle of the Sudbury landscape of 20 years ago (pre municipal beautification efforts).

You can't actually drive right in - highways are closed due to fissures in the roads - so you hafta hike a bit. Maybe not the best of plans for Feb in PA.

I'm not by nature a gawker at major disasters or even minor traffic accidents, but I found that I felt tremendous awe in the face of nature, unchecked and terrible, so evident here.

Failing that, the older part of the city (I'll try to find the street name) has a few great old and rare book dealers that I stumbled into. Dusty, musty, fusty humans behind the counters with encyclopedic recall of things in print at the dawn of the republic.

Gaeia Historica

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Old 01-15-02, 07:41 PM   #7
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Interesting info Lynneski. I just looked on Google and found lots of stuff about Centralia. Imagine a festival there? With fire juggling?

Here's a video:
http://www.nathanonline.com/dv_centralia.html

Jim
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Old 01-15-02, 09:14 PM   #8
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Thank you both Lynneski and Jim! The video was bitchin and I'm already a big Bryson fan - I'm there - just the sort of barren, apocalyptic environment I was looking for - PA in Feb? I live in the most forlorn and frozen wasteland this side of Siberia - the Paris of the northwest passage - i'm all over it like oprah on a baked ham!

Captain Willard
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