Monday, June 30, 2008

To the Shore! Atlantic City!!

The boardwalk

On the Eastern side of America, when you feel like some time at the beach, you don't go to the coast, you go to the shore. We went to the shore, to Atlantic City. Atlantic City is a beachside mini-Vegas with all the class and sophistication you would expect from a gambling town. The boardwalk is the heart of the city. It runs along the beach and is lined with huge casinos, malls, gaming parlours and an infinite number of souvenir shops selling some really, really nice stuff.

Some of the classier merchandise

Perhaps the most shocking revelation I've had in a while came while we were strolling along the boards. It turns out that the original game of Monopoly was not based on London, but actually based on the Atlantic City boardwalk! Egads! It took me a while to get over that.

Cold water

One mall had beach-themed resting areas set high above the waves

Globe of DEATH!!

We went to a restaurant that gave out free paper hats


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Philly Loves Rocky

Skip forward to the 1.50 mark to see the important bit

Apparently the Rocky character is based on someone real, and the Rocky tributes refer to both versions

Everyone in Philadelphia loves Rocky. The museum steps that Rocky runs up are probably the most important tourist attraction in the whole city, and this is the city where they signed the Declaration of Independence. At any one time, there is always at least one person skipping up the steps and jumping around at the top.

This is Angie and Stephie doing the famous run, but you'll notice that in the original, Rocky didn't run up the steps holding his best friend's hand.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Around New York

We spent a couple of days in New York, and it's a wonderful city. We ate bagels for breakfast, wandered around, navigated the web-like subway, ate pizza in Little Italy, saw a few sights, ate in Chinatown and spent most of the time gawking at the inhuman enormity of the place.

Angie and a taxi

The Statue of Liberty on Times Square

The real one through the fog

Outside the Rockefeller Center, there is this Meccano-ish model of the building

They're not shy with the flags

A walkway around Ground Zero

Ground Zero

Ray Shinnery, an old bluesman we saw at a club in Greenwich Village

Trippinvignettes - Number 5

In which a pair of recently graduated accountants from Canberra (how could this quote not be awesome?), discuss the horrors of travel and the bliss of Public Servitude.

‘We can’t wait to get back to our new government jobs, even though we didn’t vote for this government’


Point Hostel, Lima, Peru.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Philly Phoods

A Phake Philly Cheesteak (suitable for vegetarians, this is made with soy chicken and the closest I got to the real thing)

Philadelphians are intensely proud of their native foods, and there are two snacks in particular that are their absolute pride and joy. The first is the Philly Cheesesteak, which is a portion of a shredded up cow grilled and dumped on a bun along with some onions and a good dollop of Cheez Whiz. It’s the kind of thing best enjoyed at around 2:30 in the morning after all the bars in Pennsylvania close (for some strange reason, all the bars in Pennsylvania close at 2).

The second thing they love in Philadelphia is the bizarrely named ‘Water Ice’ Water ice is not really water; it’s not quite ice. It’s something in-between (but it’s not gelato or sorbet or a slurpee). Whatever it is, it’s loaded up with noxious levels of colours and flavours and served with a spoon and is fantastic in the sun.

A face-sized breakfast burrito for brunch at Sabrina's (a favourite of Philadelphia). It came with a side of half a dozen chopped and fried potatoes.

Angie destroys a Phillies hotdog

Philllies ice-cream, which is cream and chocolate suspended in a bath of cool sugar.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Baseball Game

We went to see the Philadelphia Phillies play the Los Angeles Angels

When someone scores a home run, this bell lights up and starts swinging. It stayed motionless while we were there.

The bell, the lights and the city

This is something called 'rally caps'. If your team is losing, you put your hat on upside down, spurring them onto wonderful victory. The Phillies lost 6 - 1.

The Magic Garden

This is the kind of thing that a person can do when they acquire a house, a bunch of tiles, glass and mirrors and a couple of decades to put it all together