The Good, The Bad & The Ugly! A Day To Remember In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The day started with my cousin E and I ripping shots of Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey. He's like the brother I never had so we were excited to have a guy's day. You're probably thinking this story will end with one of us face down in a toilet, but I'm thankful to report that did not happen. We were pumped up because it was our first time watching our beloved Philadephia Flyers in person since COVID-19 surprised the world. The Flyers have been very disappointing this year but we were happy about our recent vaccinations and ready to have an exciting day in the City of Brotherly Love. GOOD & BAD, it was a day to remember.
My cousin lived in Center City, Philadelphia for years but because of the pandemic and the rise of crime, he recently moved to Haddonfield, New Jersey. We started the day there and eventually hopped on the SEPTA, which brought us into the city. We wanted to enjoy drinks and food at our favorite city spots before we made our way to the Wells Fargo Center in South Philly. The first thing I noticed was the absence of people, there was pretty much no one around. There was no one on the subway and only a small portion of people walking the main streets of Philadelphia. It was eerie and sad. Keep in mind, it was a Saturday in the sixth most populated city in the country. Is there a pandemic? Yes, but you can tell many people, like my cousin, packed up and got out of there with absolutely no thought of ever moving back.
Like many major American cities, the homeless population in Philadelphia is evident. It's tough to see and I hope someday the homeless crisis in all of our cities will be resolved. I bring this up because the second we walked off the subway we were aggressively greeted by a homeless man. Three minutes later we were then yelled at by another homeless man on the street. He said some things that were appalling and unnecessary to write out about in this article. My cousin and I couldn't help but laugh at what was being said. Understand we are two guys who can hold our own but I can't imagine an innocent family wanting to go site seeing in Philadelphia any time soon. I got the feeling there are more people with nothing to lose than people with everything to lose walking the city streets. Like New York City, Philadelphia has always been known for "sticky" situations but it's clear things are only getting worse. I saw it with my own eyes. Things need to be cleaned up, as soon as possible.
We then stopped at McGillin's Olde Ale House for a few drinks and a bite to eat. This bar/restaurant opened when Abraham Lincoln was elected president! It's safe to say this place is a legendary Philadelphia spot. They are currently open inside at 50% capacity and they have separated each section with plexiglass screens. Like many restaurants, you can tell the pandemic is killing business. Honestly, it was pretty disturbing to see a Philadelphia favorite be lifeless on a Saturday afternoon. I was speechless but what am I going to do about it? I don't make the rules.
Now, let's get positive! As you might know, I am from Wall, New Jersey but my Dad is from the Philadelphia area. In the best way possible, I was brainwashed to become a Philadelphia sports fan. For years, I have been going to the city for games and I was thrilled to be back at the Wells Fargo Center. Cousin E and I had a blast! The Wells Fargo Center employees did a great job keeping everyone safe. The rules were simple, you wear a mask and stay in your seat. No one had any issues and you can tell people were happy to be out watching a live sporting event. I also thought it was pretty cool going to a game when the capacity was limited. We felt comfortable, it was easy to get around, no bathroom lines, and surprisingly the Flyers won! If you need to get out and get your mind off of COVID-19, I definitely recommend going to a Flyers, 76ers, or Phillies game! The stadiums are away from the city madness and the complex is very easy to get to once you cross the Walt Whitman Bridge.
After the game, my cousin and I made our way to the brand new Live! Casino Hotel, which is right near all the stadiums. I walked in with $80 and in ten minutes I left with $250. Roulette is fun... sometimes. I took that money and immediately bought a cheesesteak down the road at Philadium. The casino is beautiful and it will be a huge attraction for people going to games/ concerts. Many people will lose money they don't have but there's nothing you can do about that.
In conclusion, my day in the city was great. Cousin E and I always make memories together. No matter what, I will always love the city and the teams. Once we get past the pandemic, I hope it's nothing but success and positives for the city of Philadelphia. I think the best way to wrap up this article is with Neil Young's beautiful song 'Philadelphia'.