Trip to Mexico Dia 6 Guadalajara alone, more tacos, mas cervezas

This trip occurred in 2014. I had written these posts a long time ago on a different computer which I just gained access to again.  I hope you enjoy Mexico as much as we did. It is a wonderful place to visit and live. 

 

In the courtyard of our hostel was a small grill with a short menu of breakfast items. Beans and eggs primarily, but no free breakfast options as I’ve seen before at other countries hostels. It was delicious and inexpensive, less than $5 for a plate of food that would fill you up. I noticed a disheveled man wander into the courtyard while we waited for my friends’ taxi. The porter and he spoke for a few moments and the guy sat down. Soon after they spoke, a plate of food was set on the table and he ate quickly. I spoke to the chef/hostel clerk after the bum left and he told me he was fed every day. The bum never bothered anyone, he was just hungry. Beside, the hostel was doing well, it wasn’t much money for a plate of food to help someone, so why not?

I talked to the guy behind the grill, same guy who checks everyone in, and he said I was ok staying in the same room alone as it was open for the night. He said I was lucky we were there during the week when it was less crowded. There was an English guy seated at the table next to me whom I had briefly met the night before. I struck up a conversation, eventually joining him for a smoke while we talked about what brought him to Mexico from England.

He taught English at university there and was near the end of the semester. He ended his lease at another place in town and was staying at his favorite hostel in the city for the final two weeks of school. After final exams, he would take a train down south where he would crash on the beach for a month, living in a tent. He didn’t make much money as a teacher, just enough to pay for good living, drinks and food. He hadn’t been back to England in years and did miss his mates, but he was very happy here. He realized that it was basically the same life, in a much more hospitable environment. He said he was always just scraping by living in London and saw the future clearly: work all day to make just enough to buy a flat a bit closer to town with each raise, fight traffic commuting to work every day, repeat until retirement. In México, he made more than enough for a nice apartment, he could walk or ride his bike around town, loved the food and music, and the weather was near perfect most of the year, why not live here and be happy? I too was struggling with this reality my new friend was currently living. Is it worth it to give up friends and family to live simply, as you want?

What made it funny was how obvious it was to the few others around but to this kid, he was getting away with something. He had sunglasses on and would turn his head side to side, then the pipe was raised, lit, exhale, smile. Every single time for 10 minutes. It was hilariously obvious and I tried not to stare in his direction, thankful I had on sunglasses. I could glance his way with my head pointed towards the church, like I was checking out the architecture or something.
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 Turns out the cathedral plaza is many city blocks so there was even more on the other side that we’d not seen. It was a drum circle and dancing to a boom box. The drummers followed the tune playing on the boom box, the dancers moved as they saw fit, some to the rhythm, others clearly to the beat of their own drummer. I am not sure if this was a church supported event or a regular occurrence. Everyone celebrated more down here as it seemed everyday was some war anniversary or remembrance day. Festivities included music, dancing, parades, costumes invariably.
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I walked through the plaza past the drummers and dancers, past the bland but famous restaurant in search of street tacos. To my surprise, my travel companions were a bit hesitant to eat street food, preferring the comforting golden arches, restaurants and snacks. The closest thing I’d had that was street food was the breakfasts at the hostels. A couple blocks and there sat a guy on a corner serving tacos. A couple guys were standing near the grill, eating so I felt this was a solid option. There were no seats or chairs, you ate standing up. There was no menu, just tacos and sodas. This wasn’t a food truck, it was a food trailer as this one was attached to a motorcycle though some were manually pushed around.

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On the asphalt sat a cooler, inside was meat in plastic bags to one side, limes and beverages on the other with a no doubt sturdy divider separating the items. He shot a spray of oil onto the hot, metal sheet which immediately smoked, he plopped some meet onto the grill, which sizzled, and then a tortilla soon hit the metal. He took his time letting each one sit for what seemed too long before flipping. Back and forth he worked until at some point, they were combined. I am fairly sure it was chicken I ate, but it might have been pork, there wasn’t a menu. The pink meat was cut into strips so it was unidentifiable. All I know is I was eating the best tasting taco I’ve ever had. The tortilla was a bit crispy but still soft so it held together unlike a hard-shell taco so you could hold it and not drop everything to the ground. I quickly ordered another one, then another before waving goodbye. These tacos were 10 pesos or about 2 bucks

I snaked up road after road, through neighborhoods, dodging cars and scooters the whole way. Where the hell was I? All I knew was the sun was to my left and that meant I was walking towards the avenue a bit north of our hostel. As long as you could recall at least two known points, such as  street name or orientation with the sun, you can find your way back. If not you can pop into a bar or restaurant and ask, no worries. Unless you are the only person around for miles, I’ve learned you are never truly lost. I enjoyed walking in a new area and trying to figure things out. A short time later, I was on an avenue I recognized. The sun was just beginning to set so I hung around to watch it disappear behind some mountains.

This avenue was the same street that had the British pub on it so I decided why not, I was on vacation. I had a couple pints, watched Mexican sports and videos on the ring of TVs. I had found a choice place to people watch, which is my favorite activity in bars. You’d usually have a couple in love or fighting at a table, a group of friends laughing at another, a lone guy or girl waiting for a date. I ordered a couple Mexican beers I’d not had yet. The cervezas I bought was a very light, pilsner style, which was the most common option and a black ale, both were made with rice.

 

Before too long, I knew I had to leave. I located another taco truck on the way home and had a couple. Again delicious! I bought one for a passerby that was how good I thought they were. We all had a laugh, they enjoyed how much I loved their food. There were a few people hanging out inside the hostel so I bought a beer and hung out with them in the media room. It was just a place with a couple couches and TV. There was the cool couple from Sought America, just traveling the country and a couple other guys, one of whom continued to fall asleep in his chair. They were sort of watching a movie, but mostly talking and passing around a pipe whilst sitting under a sign that said No Drugs. This was the first conversation in a different language that I completely understood! A guy was explaining how he was late for a train and was running after it until he jumped on. It was in very basic Spanish which was the only common language we all had, no one spoke English but me. We all understood and laughed at his tale. After awhile I grew tired and wished them all a good night.

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Trip to Mexico Dia 4 Mexico City to Guadalajara, mercado, schwarma

This trip occurred in 2014. I had written these posts a long time ago on a different computer which I just gained access to again.  I hope you enjoy Mexico as much as we did. It is a wonderful place to visit and live. 

 

It was still dark when we checked out at the front desk. In the same spot near the cathedral the souvenir sellers and shaman were setting up. They were more into the mystical side of Catholicism here. I saw people’s arms outstretched like Christ while another person waved burning leaves all around them, enveloping everyone around with smoke. Words were chanted and souls were absolved. Baptism by smoke was an option here. The sun slowly peaked through the buildings casting an ominous mood on the activities as the light was refracted by the smoke.

 

We had left so early, we had to wait for the train station to open. We were not alone, many homeless and merchants meandered out front of the metal gate until it opened. Everywhere you went, especially trains or buses, people were selling candy, pencil sharpeners, most everything you could think of. I didn’t fully understand this until we popped into a store; the lines were at least 10 people deep. There is definitely no such thing as a quick trip to any store so everyone had to put up with a barrage of sales pitches wherever they went. If you wanted gum or candy to quiet a screaming kid, you got those types of items on the trip to work or home.

It was a short flight to Guadalajara, maybe an hour. There weren’t too many people on the plane or at the airport. I was again amazed at how big Mexico City was as we flew over for over and there was buildings, houses as far as you could see in any directions. The City was surrounded by mountains and even had a small one in the middle, one of the few places that weren’t covered by buildings in the City. Most of these smaller mountains did have radio towers so they tried to build everywhere.

There were more mountains around Guadalajara, but a lot less buildings. It seemed very much like a small, college town. Less people, less traffic, less rush were all evident as soon as we hopped into our taxi. We were en route to Tequila Backpackers hostel, a place that was the most highest rated online and had an intriguing name. Upon check in, a friendly guy came over and poured me a shot of tequila, my friends abstained. He said that they made this tequila out back, it was their house blend. This place was very nice; it was a former residence for a large family, so everyone got their own room. There were a few rooms adjacent to an open courtyard where people were already drinking and swaying in hammocks. It was before noon. Our room had two beds, a wardrobe and TV. A large window looked towards the courtyard and lit up the room. I got a bed as I found the room while my friends shared the other bed.

We walked down the street after settling in our new room. We were going to check out another cathedral and then meet up with some other friends who were staying in the city. It was about 30 minute walk straight down the street in front of our hostel to the square. Once we arrived, I noticed that the cathedral grounds had a lot of performers so I skipped checking out the inside of another cathedral. Whenever I traveled, I usually found a square with people performing, tumblers you could say. They flipped, somersaulted, and generally nearly face planted as often as they could for 10 minutes or so. There was usually a main guy who announced each performer and most importantly, passed around a hat for tips. There was also a sound guy who controlled a large boom box. There was always one really good guy who did the most stunts along with a couple others who would just do basic tricks. They took turns until the really talented guy got tired, and everyone applauded as a hat made the rounds for tips.

We met a couple friends in the square and quickly agreed to go with them to a huge shopping area. It was like a mall, but without walls. In fact, the amazing thing about this place was everything was handmade, sewn. We found a cooking stall where we were told to get a torta ahogada, a sandwich covered in sauce. What was surprising is that the red sauce was hot, but more like an Italian sauce with oregano, sage, not cumin or cilantro. You eat it with a spoon as the sauce makes the bread pleasantly soft.

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It tasted very good and was just the right size for a snack. We walked all over the large, two story market, passing your standard Mexican foods to sushi prepared by Japanese guys. There were many souvenir shops selling magnets, shot glasses and other Mexican items. There were many clothing shops, bag shops, hat shops, all filled with hand sewn items. I picked up a small hand bag as I’ve found all my pockets full of various items accumulated walking around all day when I travel.

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Our new friends were in route to a futbol game so we parted ways but promised to meet up later that evening for beers. We wandered back to the cathedral, the plaza de armas. There we watched a local symphony play against street performers. They did what they could during the quiet sections as the ever present boom box pumped out beats. The scene was an interesting mash up of strings in one ear, bass in the other, which we could only endure for so long. Plus there were many older people around trying to watch the symphony so we gave up our seats to them and moved on.

My friends communicated used a voice mail like system, speaking in rapid Spanish or Portuguese to each other in different countries. My friend received a message to meet later at a real British style pub a couple blocks in the other direction from our hostel. It was pretty authentic pub, nearly everything on draught was English, but they still had a fair selection of Mexican beers. When traveling, I enjoy tasting local beers to gain an idea of local flavors. In this part of México it seemed darker, amber ales were more prevalent than the lighter pilsners. Surprisingly I saw Corona everywhere whilst in Mexico and for some reason I thought it was a US beer they just built a brewery in Mexico just so they could label it as an import. Corona was everywhere the difference here was I saw it quart sizes usually, they drank quantity down here.

We drank many beers, even my friends who normally don’t drink had a couple. We soon wound up at a place that had Mexican schwarma! It was exactly as I’d seen in Europe: a large leg of beef or pork was slowly spinning around heat making a crust on the meat. We each ordered a plate mixed with vegetables, I elected to get cheese on mine. This would be the only thing I ate with cheese during the whole trip. You can get just a cheese taco, quesadilla, but cheese isn’t seen as a topping, more of a main ingredient. Aside from the torta I ate earlier in the day, this was the best thing I ate in Mexico. It was a perfect end to a very long day as we staggered back to the hostel, full of beer, schwarma and joy.

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Stevie Ray Vaughn grave site

No doubt the most famous person to die in Dallas would be John F Kennedy, but he isn’t buried here. I started morbidly wondering, ‘What famous people are buried in Dallas?’ The most famous was likely Stevie Ray Vaughn, born and raised in Oak Cliff. He was killed in a helicopter accident after playing a show in Wisconsin in 1990. His grave site is in Dallas, a statue is standing in Austin, where he moved to hone his playing and stage show before Bowie shown light on his talents. These are the only memorials to this local musician fans could visit.

In the coming years, a SRV statue will finally stand in Oak Cliff, but a design has yet to be finalized and they still need money. Long overdue memorial in his hometown, in my estimation, but then again, even the Dallas guys that helped influence SRV, like Freddy King or T-Bone Walker, don’t have statues either. Nor do most people know who they are, yet they are blues legends worthy of being declared a Lone Star legend by the Texas governor. Read up on the SRV statue saga if you like http://vaughanbrosart.com/faq

The Vaughn family has lived around south Dallas for several generations. Stevie and Jimmy went to school around Kiest Park area, and the family has a large plot at Laurel Land Memorial Park just outside the city.

Getting out to see SRV gravesite is a fairly easy drive down I-35 south until you see Laurel Land exit, take that and turn left. You’ll see the cemetery; it is very large and clearly stands out. Take the 2nd entrance on the right into the cemetery, turn left onto the first road you see. Not too far down, on your right, you’ll see a small island with a tree and that is where the grave site is located, you don’t have to get out of your car. There are usually guitar picks, pictures and other memories fans leave behind resting on the ornate slab. Be respectful if you go.

 

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Dream trip Day 140 DC to New Orleans by train, last stop

I’d woke up to hard rain again, but for the final time on this trip. No chance to get out and explore DC further.

Adding to my day’s frustrations was it had been my final paid night in the hostel. Jeff was out-of-town for the weekend.

I had a vague idea of just heading south, staying in a major city each night. Like Atlanta, Birmingham, whatever was on the way.

Reality slapped me, I was no longer in Europe. 3 hours did not get me into a new country. Hell most of the time, 3 hours was the halfway point from city to city in the US.

No place to stay within a 2 hour radius, well not hostels anyway. I was out of options that didn’t include an expensive hotel.

I did find a 26 hour train to New Orleans.

I had the notion of buying a hop on hop off train pass. You know, train it to a city, get out, stay a night, hop on a train the next day or evening.

That was a staggering price for a ticket, as was snagging a bed on the train, a roomette. $400+ for both options vs a ticket just over 100$.

I had a moment, sucked it up and got a train ticket. It was well less than half the cost of airfare. Plus this trip was to see the countries as they really are after all and I was going to see quite a bit of America.

I fortified myself with coffee and beer before walking to the depot. It was an early evening departure, 5.

Once at the train station I figured I should check off Shake Shack on my best burger list. I do enjoy a tasty burger and these guys were highly ranked and not an option in Texas.

Good juicy burger, should hold me through the night. I wasn’t anticipating much sleep.

I walked and lapped the depot several times. I’ll always remember this LA candy store, where they were selling sugar, candies but for models. Why?

I suppose around the 2nd lap the thought occurred to me to buy some fruit and maybe a pastry roll for the trip. Wrapped them up in some napkins, I had a snack and small meal.

You just never know about train food options. The pickings were pretty bad on the St Louis to KC line, all pre-packaged options.

I still don’t get why they make those plain, disgusting plastic container sandwiches which pervade gas stations, trains and bus stop in the US.

Not that I didn’t see similar packaged sandwich options in Europe, I just don’t get how hard it is to have a few handmade options at a place. Have someone make them in the morning and again mid afternoon.

At last the call was made and we passed through the 1st ticket check. Before you got into the car, another conductor took you to your seat after checking your ticket.

I was lucky that my seat was on the 2 seat row of the train. I had a neighbor already.

He was a nice enough guy, heavy accent.  Sounded like a rural Carolina drawl. It was during the 1st 2 hours of my train ride I learned this guy’s story.

He’d been in jail for a while, was returning from visiting his ill mom in NY and was well into a bottle of Jack.

This was not his 1st long train ride, he had small bottles of cola he had pre-mixed.

I’m not sure why I say bottle, they were plastic. Is there another name for a plastic vessel other than bottle? I just feel bottle means glass is all.

He went through 2 of those loaded colas on our journey and they looked tea colored, heavy on whiskey.

Every time a conductor passed he asked the same question, ‘smoke break boss?’ then cackle like it was the funniest thing he’d ever said.

The train stopped a lot in small towns, those weren’t smoke stops. Big cities we stopped 20 minutes so he had enough time to smoke.

We also stopped a few times in the middle of nowhere to let a freight train fly by too. That is truly infuriating.

In the US freight is given priority over commuter trains on rails.  Humans, who can sense the passage of time, have to wait for stuff, for things to pass.

What I am saying is whatever you are shipping is not more valuable than another person’s time. You can wait for that cheap razor of the month.

Thankfully he was getting off in S Carolina, his bitch had best come to pick him up soon too per his flip phone conversation I overheard.

I waved at him as he left the car, it was about 9pm. I had just enough room to lay down on the 2 seats, provided I didn’t have legs.

All the ladies around me reclined their seats as far back as they could go, they all had neighbors.

You know planes, train, options society pays to travel, could be and used to be a lot better.

I sure wish any transportation executive and family has to take the cheapest option on a long journey at least once a year. If nothing, they’d experience it.

Take a look at any pics of plane or train travel from the 60’s or 70’s. Everyone has leg room, smiling, smoking, etc. The food looked edible even!

Instead seat and room are minimized and prices go up! Thing is we think competition levels the playing field but really if every option does the same thing, is that competition?

I took advantage of wi-fi, so at least that worked, that was a good thing.  I watched several movies, eventually falling asleep around 3am but since I’m next to a window, as soon as the sun is up so is everyone else.

Pro tip, keep in your bag earplugs and eye shade. You never know the situations you may find yourself, someone snoring in your room. Maybe you find yourself at a rock show or perhaps you have to sleep in a room with no window shades.

I am pretty much a night person, which isn’t helping, so everyone around me is clearly morning people, all excited about breakfast, coffee and life.

It added an extra punch to the long train ride. Just knock the chipperness down a couple of notches, ya know?

One lady’s godson had just died, another was convinced his boss was after him, and another lady just kept on saying ‘uh hu or uh nuh,’  whichever was the most appropriate aside based on the conversation.

What can I say, it was a busy morning on the train. I can say I did feel a certain kinship with everyone. We were all, some literally grinning and bearing, on our hours long journey.

Without question, the people in coach smile a whole lot more than those in 1st class.

I took an occasion to procure a cup of coffee, incredibly cheap coffee beans as well as incredibly hot coffee to go with the pastries I’d picked up in DC.

The landscape wasn’t as green as I’d seen previously. The smaller towns here weren’t nearly as quaint and beautiful as some I’d seen.

In Europe the towns were pretty similar to the bigger cities just smaller. In the US, the towns just look poor, run down, like everyone moved away.

The scenery and car population changed even more once we passed Atlanta. It was like out of a dystopian film.

I started looking for Mad Max style cars or at least some Deliverance style bow hunters to reveal themselves between the trees.

Somewhere in Alabama sleep overtook me, I completely passed out for over an hour.

A much-needed nap. I had been watching videos most of the time. DRAM and Lil Yachty mostly. DRAM is so great.

Soon we were in the bleakest place I’d encountered thus far, Mississippi.

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Dotting the countryside in Miss were shacks, not houses. Some even just constructed using a group of trees as a frame, with pallets and other pieces of wood or metal as a roof or wall.

The US is rich but you wouldn’t know that looking at the rural places. Europe looked like paradise by comparison.

No occupied shacks that I saw overseas. Sure there were many abandoned structures but they didn’t look lived in like the dilapidated shacks in the US.

Where’s the money going? Some politician or their friends’ pocket most likely. Or building a new plane.

All countries are corrupt its just the level of corruption was the difference. It was like ok, we get it, you will steal, just drive a Mercedes vs McLaren.

Don’t be blatant with your graft, you dig?

I wrote 5 of these posts on the Atlanta to Mississippi leg of my journey, in my seats, alternating based on the position of the sun.

Pro tip, buy prescription sunglasses. Big difference walking around on a sunny day and being able to see writing on signs.

Before too long we were in Slidell, next stop New Orleans.

I confess, a tear dropped from my eye as we crossed Lake Pontchartrain. The sun was setting and I couldn’t believe I was here.

“Welcome to New Orleans, whoot whoot!” came the call from the conductor. Everyone out, final stop.

I called a car and I was swooped to my friend’s house. You forget just how pretty the houses are until you return to the city.

My friend and I sat on his back porch, beers in our hand. I took a long pull and gazed at the stars above.

Beer  NOLA Blonde

Song    the Meters    Talkin’ ‘Bout New Orleans

Dream trip Day 139 DC, Bluejacket, Nationals playoff game

Cereal and pancakes are the options for bfest at this hostel. One of the workers wins the honor of making stack after stack every morning.

I tell the guy to keep them coming, he makes 4 at a time and most people want 4 cakes at a time. Its best to heat the syrup up with a bit of butter and you gots butter-syrup.

All your problems won’t seem so hard whilst you eat butter-syrup. A fleeting feeling for sure.

I had a bit of time before I meet Jeff and there are few places as cool to walk around as the mall in DC.

DC is pretty consistent as far as posters on lamp posts go, State’s Rights for DC. Legalize weed in DC. Free DC.

DC wasn’t meant for people to live, just supposed to be government offices. Congress oversees DC and I don’t see that changing. Power is hard to give up.

It is pretty dumb, I mean at this point thousands of people live there, change the law, let the city decide. But congress won’t, because DC is pretty liberal.

One couldn’t ignore the reality that maybe if things were a bit different, a government that helped its people is all we really want.

I always wonder what Washington, Jefferson, Adams or Lincoln saw what goes on in DC these days what they would say. Maybe they would approve.

These days I am fairly cynical about government, but I do like all the statues and monuments they’ve thrown up for all of the politicians.

I always hope for the best, expect the worst every election. ‘

Typically I would just walk the 3ish miles from hostel to Bluejacket but this time I just got out at the mall stop on the metro.

Walked most of the mall and capital. White House!

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The area around the Nationals stadium had taken a turn for the super developed.

It was at a former port where I was headed, to one of the most gorgeous pubs I’d set eyes on, Bluejacket.

Lots of glass, gleaming sliver vats, good beer here. Had a couple before walking a few blocks to the stadium.

Luckily Jeff had another gov friend who saw a posting on an internal website for a couple tickets. We didn’t pay much over retail price, a fair deal.

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I was excited for many reasons about the game. I hadn’t seen a ballgame all season, one of my favorite things to do.

This was also my 1st visit to the Nationals stadium. I had an ongoing quest to visit every ballpark. One closer!

It was also my 1st playoff game to see in person. Just needed to catch a division finals game and a world series game. Lots of boxes to check.

It was a great stadium. Classic feeling yet modern. Great view of the water.

 

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Alas it was not to be the Nationals game this evening. Still fun walking around the stadium and hanging with Jeff.

After the game I took the subway to drop me off at Church Key, another pub near my hostel. Bluejacket and Church Key are the places I enjoy a pint when I am in DC.

No random encounters this visit. I usually had a good conversation with some stranger in DC on past visits.

This was also the time I finally admitted I didnt like Bens Chili Bowl, a late night DC institution I was able to walk to from my hostel.

A chili dog is just not that great even if it is made well. Especially at 2am.

Another great night in DC!

Beer  Sweet Sauce

Song   bad brains   Secret 77

Dream trip Day 138 Philly to DC by bus, beers with Jeff

Leaving is always hard, I am not good at it though I do it all the time.

The day began at Grindhouse for coffee and pastry. I still am not sure how they make vegan sweets or ice cream. I’m glad someone figured it out though. It’s good.

We hugged it out and then I queued up for the line to DC. This time I had a ticket.

Had just enough time to snap a pic of Philly’s Chinatown gate, a new thing I’d been taking pics of since I arrived to Boston.

 

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Another pretty quick bus ride and I was in DC. I was soon walking to one of my favorite hostels. I’d stayed here on a couple of other DC visits.

It’s in a good location, sort of close to a few subway lines which made getting around easier. Plus I knew the neighborhood.

Not much had changed at the hostel. Take off your shoes in front, bunks in the back. I decided it was time for a rest. Long night ahead.

I took the Metro to the stop near the capital, Jeff worked for the gov though I wasn’t 100% clear on what he did. I knew he helped a Congressman from Texas for a few years.

I’d know Jeff for over 15 years by this point. We’d seen radiohead together on The Bends tour, drove to Cali from Denton after graduation. We’d seen and done a lot.

A couple of transfers and we were at his car, parked at a station. This was sort of my dream commute situation. I just want to avoid traffic and downtown DC is pretty bad.

Initially we discussed checking out a punk show. I feel we both realized we couldn’t talk if we were in a loud place so we hailed a car to take us to a pub.

Jeff’s wife was actually Swedish, as in she spoke the language and had lived there for a time. That is a cool way to see a city and country.

He told me bout their honeymoon or maybe she just goes home every year and Jeff joined. I haven’t explored Scandinavia yet, looks fun but cold.

We caught the ballgame that was on. I ventured that maybe we could see a Nationals playoff game the next night. They had just won their division.

After sharing travel tales, his wife arrived to collect him for the night. She too is a cool kid and it was nice to get to know her at their wedding a couple of years ago.

Marylanders they were now. Ocean City for the summers.

I had to negotiate the Metro late and half sauced. I didn’t have a lady to pick me up.

It was fine, just sliver to red, head north and I was home.

Safe inside a roomful of strangers, snoring.

 

Song Fugazi   Kyeo

Beer  DC Brau   Corruption

Dream trip Day 137 More Philadelphia history, dog park, Saint Vitus

Jodi had to go to her workshop early so if I wanted a ride into town, I had to wake up with her. No problem, I can roll with it.

Her shop was near the Italian part of town so that was fortunate. I strolled through the fruit veg and meat booths that lined a few blocks.

I stopped in a shop and got a real Italian coffee, not an espresso but the guy who made it swore it was the same beans and method he’d seen ‘back home.’

Tasted fine to me but I’ll bet a real Italian coffee experience would be an espresso, just pure black coffee. Sipped in 1 go while standing.

Since the city was a grid, literally everything was just down the road. It was just some roads and destinations were longer than others.

My route today would take me through downtown.

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I was en route to another cheese steak joint, this one inside the Reading Terminal Market.

I had to keep up checking out city markets, I’d seen several overseas, let’s see how US does by comparison.

Market looked how it should, though every stall had big advertisements for their brand. I didn’t see much of a marketing budget on stalls in other countries. Sometimes a sign or logo, maybe business card but certainly not a full banner.

The place I was checking out today was Carmen’s Cheesesteak and Hoagie’s. You do have to know some lingo to understand the sammich.

Hoagie is a long piece of bread, not round or square like some places. Also roast beef, pork, shaved meats are used inside a hoagie.

This time I skipped the whiz and went with their cheese sauce. I hoped they used real cheese.

Gooey hot and delicious!

I kept on walking until I found a square with some statues.

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I soon met up with Jodi and her dog at a nearby dog park. It was so fun watching the dogs interact with each other.

It reminded me of the 1st day of school. Lots of free dogs who just ran, others cowered under seats. Why I had a couple pooches under mine. I coaxed them out so they can join in the fun.

Back to Jodi’s to get a bit to eat and freshen up before the show. She made me an awesome avocado toast with tomato soup. Easy to be vegan if this is what you eat.

Jodi seemed to know everyone in Philly. We didn’t have tickets but she ran into some friends as we walked in who had an extra one for her. I bought a  fairly expensive ticket,  so I could support the scene.

I was intrigued by the openers, the Skull. They were heavy, sludgy. The singer chain smoked the entire show. I mean he lit up after maybe every other song. Other times he walked off to the side with a bev an a cig while a solo or groove was going on.

Then it was time for doom! An older guy with long grey hair strides up to the mic ‘We’re Saint fuckin’ Vitus!’

It was so awesome to see someone in their 60’s maybe 70’s just tearing it up on guitar as well as shouting expletives in the mic between songs.

They were great, really groovy, great singer. I needed to check out more of their stuff.

The singer kept looking to his left the last couple of songs.

‘We’ve got a special guest on this next one, Wino!’ the singer cried as a viking walked out from backstage.

Long blonde hair flowing, tan work books, it was Wino from the Obsessed, another early doom metal band. He had started out in St Vitus so this was a homecoming moment.

He sang a couple of tunes while clutching a beer. It was a great show. Philly has a thriving music scene. Do check out a show if you are in the city of brotherly love.

There was a pub a short walk from the venue so we checked it out.

It looked very much like a diner, house of waffles type place. It has one of the best jukeboxes I encountered on my trip.

I think I pissed everyone off playing Velvet Underground Neil Young and Television. Oh well, best to play long songs I think.

He came dancing across the water

Cortez, Cortez

what a killer

Wicked cool night in Philly!

Song   Saint Vitus   The Walking Dead

Beer Old Tankard Ale