Sunday, October 8, 2017

[PHILADELPHIA] A Philly Weekend Night Out

I was starting to get depressed and I dreaded the thought of spending the weekend in Philadelphia. The original plan was to check out the U Penn Museum. The first Egyptology course I took online was courtesy of this university and I really just wanted to see their collection with my own two eyes. But then again, without Broadway to rescue me from my mood swings, depression pounced as soon as Megabus parked somewhere in downtown Philly. It pounced. And then it devoured me whole.

There are people who are good at sightseeing. There are people who are good at taking photos. And then there are people who are good at getting depressed. I belong to that last category. I eventually had to convince myself to step out of my Airbnb place for some fresh air, but instead of going to U Penn I opted to just take a stroll downtown. It was a weekend night after all, and perhaps people watching will be enough of a distraction to keep me from spiraling deeper and deeper downwards.

Philly was also pivotal to the birth of modern United States, which means you won't be getting shortchanged here if you decide to go sightseeing. Many areas of interest are located downtown. It's a good thing that the city of brotherly love looks radiant at night. It must be that combo of the skyline and old buildings lending an air of history and prestige to the place. My evening stroll began at Rittenhouse Square which has a park that seems to be a popular loitering area for locals and tourists alike.

As it started to get dark, I made my way to the skyscrapers and the city hall, which is hard to miss because of its imposing architecture. Despite my shitty phone camera, I think I was still able to capture some good shots of those buildings. I made it to Center City before my phone finally called it a night and died on me. I wasn't able to take a picture of the Liberty Bell, nor do I have a Philly selfie. But who gives a fuck anyway. Philadelphia is just so pretty at night that I simply had to enjoy the views.

Not wanting to go home just yet, I opted to to see what the night life was like. I decided to explore and went down a narrow alley called Quince. This area seems to be a part of the old town because of the different architectural style and tree-lined pavements. Like, Toto, I don't think we're in downtown Philly anymore! Quaint. I bet the houses here are expensive as fuck. But it's nice to find something historical in this country once in a while, for a change. It's a young nation, after all.

There were guys loitering in front of a door with a sign that said Bike Shop. I went in and realized that it was a gay bar. It looked ordinary, except that there were two screens with a montage of men showing off their dicks. There was also a billiards table and a slot machine. The clientele was male, although I did see some girls come in at different times. They all had male companions, though. It must have been LGBTQ Immersion Night or something. I ordered tequila and observed what was going on. I stayed for a while.

There was a disco upstairs but it had bouncers who wouldn't let me in because I wasn't wearing leather. There was also a dungeon and I was warned not to go down there because "I might get raped." Okay. I went down anyway. It was basically a dimly-lit bar with a bartender serving drinks in while in his underwear. A middle-aged guy approached me and apologized for being rude the last time. I asked him if the last time he was referring to was in PA. He said yes, after which I told him that it was my first time in the state.

I excused myself from the small talk and went back upstairs. The crowd was multiplying. Some guys just had undies and some leather straps on. I decided to leave the place, but not until running into the same guy again by the exit. He asked me if I wanted to cuddle. Dude, I'm depressed as fuck and I probably need a hug, but I barely know you and I'm so not in the mood for you to harvest my organs while I lay drugged and dying in some bathtub filled with ice somewhere in downtown Philadelphia.

I did give him a bro hug before leaving. Because I'm not a jerk. As I exited the premises I heard the sound of voices singing off-tune, which could only mean one thing: KARAOKE! My feet led me to Moriarty's two houses down the alley. I asked the waitress where the Karaoke was, although I was already running up the stairs before she could even reply. Not in the mood for more tequila, I settled for Baileys before belting my go-to Andrea Bocelli song. The audience was enthusiastic, but I just didn't know any of them.

And I guess that just confirmed my Karaoke hypothesis. It's not as fun as when you are singing with friends and people you know. And so instead of an encore, I headed to the tram stop and caught the last one going back to 54th. And that was Philadelphia for me. In the end I don't really consider it as a letdown. The objective was to survive the weekend without trying to kill myself and I think I was able to achieve that goal. Given Philly's proximity to NYC, I'll just give sightseeing another go next time.

[PHILADELPHIA] A Philly Weekend Night Out

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