I’ve been enjoying my summer. I thought it would be all downhill from my Playa del Carmen vacation, but I’ve managed to go places I never considered before. Hildon and I went to Philadelphia for a birthday party one Saturday and decided to explore this historical city the following Sunday morning. With only a maximum of three hours to spare before we hit the road before that notorious Sunday afternoon traffic on the 95 began, we Googled some of Philly’s must-sees. Our first stop was the Liberty Bell.
A lot smaller than I imagined.
Then we headed over to Franklin Square.
Then we walked what seemed like a mile to what slowly turned into a sketchier part of town to visit one my favorite authors, Edgar Allen Poe’s, home. We got there at half past 12 to find out that they were closed for lunch. They would reopen at one. Hildon needed something to drink and I told him that I think there is a bodega around the corner further down the block. He asked me how I knew that and I jokingly told him because we were in the hood and all hoods have bodegas. I was right. We took our time getting back and stopped to take some photos of a mural of Poe at the side of a building across the street from the museum.
Two other people were waiting to enter the historic site when we returned. Once inside, we watched a short film on Poe’s life and explored the old house. Something about houses with a lot of history makes me at once uneasy and excited.
The parlor. Spooky right?
This scared the shit out of me.
If you’ve ever read Poe’s The Black Cat you would know why I thought whoever put that stuffed cat there (the cellar) is an asshole. If you haven’t read it, please do. You won’t regret it. We hurried back to the car and drove back to New York.
Speaking of New York, you want to hear something funny? While we were in Philly, I made fun of our friend Simone. She’s lived in Philly for years and has never been to see Liberty Bell. Meanwhile, I have never been to the Statue of Liberty. Granted, I enlisted in the Navy less than three months after migrating to Brooklyn. But I’ve been living here for five years since being discharged and two Thursdays ago was the first time I had ever been to Liberty Island. It was arguably the hottest day of the summer, but I refused to let the beads of sweat slowly making their way toward my ass crack dampen my mood. I was so excited. Then an older woman passed out from the heat as the ferry docked. I joined the choir of people screaming for a doctor. I stood still waiting, listening for someone to yell, “I’m a doctor,” but unlike in the movies when a physician would always miraculously appear, no one came. I stood there hoping she got the help she needed until we were herded off the ferry like cattle.
I was in such awe of this large, green woman and what she represents. At times I stopped and stared at her in silence amid the sea of tourists. Those large cups in our hands are from the Bill’s Lemonade stand. It tastes homemade. If ever you’re on the island you have to try it. It made the heat somewhat bearable as we stood in the sun waiting on a ferry to take us back to lower Manhattan. Then we went to my favorite place in the city: The Highline. I try to go there at least once every summer.
We finished off our day at my favorite pizza place. It never disappoints.
The Bella Mia pizza at Don Giovanni.
It was a good day.