Friday, May 02, 2008

Frivolous Fears in Philly (or First Impressions)

Today I am extremely proud of myself. I have combated a fear that I never thought that I would. In fact technically I have combated two. One is the fear of heights, the other is the fear of lifts. The pride I feel for myself is somewhat glowing in all honestly.

After a scrumptious breakfast of Eggs Benedict in their full American glory with Ellen (the Visitors Bureau rep), Tami (Gay Personality of the Year in Philadelphia) and Fara (Four Seasons PR) which was a magically momentous display of out doing and out knowing but with wonderfully saccharine smiles all round we headed to Ellen’s office before one of the most boring interviews/meetings I have ever endured. So much so I shall not mention it again.

In the reception of Ellen’s office I noticed that we would be getting a lift, I hadn’t from the outside bothered to check how tall the office itself was. In future I will be more aware of everything around me. As I noticed she touch the 30th floor I felt a small moment of dread. As she calmly said ‘I love this lift its so fast, I mean it doesn’t even stop until the 21st floor and it gets there in 15 seconds’ to Simon S2 I felt even more edgy and moved to where I could hold on, not that the sweat from my hands was helping my grip. Suddenly we were there.

I decided to leave the fact I was scared of heights and lifts for a short while. Well until Ellen asked me why I was so quiet and then I divulged. She gave me a hug. She then added a little to the torture through a laugh of ‘therapy’ and showed us a 360 of the view from the height, it was fantastic. Next up the 400ft balloon in the zoo if we go!

The afternoon (after a delicious lunch of a Cheese Steak – you should go to Philly purely for one of these) we were left to our own devices. Simon S2 went to check out some art. I decided to be a complete tourist and hop on the Philadelphia Trolley via a huge ice cream along the sidewalks of Market Street. The trolley took me on a tour of various hot spots of the north east and centre of town, past the ‘Rocky’ steps of the Art Museum and to a destination I almost jumped off the Trolley to get into, a destination that was not so much a travel feature destination but a very much Simon Savidge destination… The Eastern State Penitentiary.

The sun was shining so really I should have just wandered a nice park but this was too good a chance to miss and any Most Haunted fan would have done the same. Considering the sun was shining so much and that the prison is derelict and open in places to the elements I have never been so cold. I can only describe it as the spookiest place I have ever been. Though no one was ever killed on death row ‘the official way’ it had seen many murders and stabbings. The whole place had a dark, dank and typical ghost train feel only real. I was happy as a pig in the proverbial. I spent a good hour or so in there, including a few minutes in Al Capone’s cell which was odd. Now am happily sat at my desk at the hotel typing up this blog, that you probably wont get until I am back, watching the people of Philadelphia frolic in the fountain in Logan Square in Philadelphia’s Museum District. With the sun reflecting radiantly is as I type from the corner of the window where the skyscrapers seem to wink and shimmer. It feels like I have walked into a movie and as first impressions go, this movie will be my years blockbuster!

No comments: