Sunday, October 16, 2005

Elephant & Castle

Here I am in Philadelphia for a business conference.

I took Delta, the bankrupt airline, but we made it all the way. No problems with stopping halfway or anything. I was half expecting to get off half way and thumb a ride.

I sat in first class since that's all I could schedule through the Enterprise website. As soon as I sat down I was offered a drink. I was looking a bit green around the gills I guess. The rest of the poor folks had to scurry past me, to the back of the plane.

I made several comments to them as they passed. I tried not to be a snob. I just wanted to give them some friendly reminders as they passed:

        Hey, careful there lady with your oversized purse. I'm drinking here.

        Watch that gym bag mister.

        Hey buddy, check your circus tent at the counter, it ain't going to fit in the overhead bin.

        Hey, watch the roller cart there, those are my feet!

        Can you hurry it along folks? I need to stretch my legs and you're clogging up the isle.

You know, I was just giving some friendly reminders. Folks who sit in coach don't show any consideration for us folks here in first class. They should have more respect.

I arrived in the afternoon on Sunday, about 3:00 or so but since I can't register for the conference until 4:30 I decided to take a walk about near the Wyndham Franklin Square Hotel.

Many of the stores are "artsy" and some are plain weird. There was one called The African Woman. Lots of old stuff there but I didn't dare go inside.

Anyway, even being in first class, all I got was free wine and a bag of chips, so I was hungry. That's why the Fish 'n Chips looked so good here at the Elephant & Castle restaurant. It's got sort of on an Irish/English theme.

I asked my waitress if the Oktoberfest beer was a light ale. She said "yes" but brought a dark, heavy, iron beer. Still good though.

The walls are built of thick brick (three feet). There are arches into the adjoining rooms. The walls facing the street are of timber and plaster. There's a huge mirror hanging on the wall with gold lettering that reads "Barnett & Sons Distillers and blenders Glasgow & London." All the tables and chairs are made of thick natural oak.

There's a large flat screen on the wall, the football games are on. But it's like looking at an old Japanese film. The mouth is out of sync with the sound. Just a bit disconcerting. Cowboys and the NY Giants are playing. I try to understand this stuff but I miss the significance of what's happening on the field. I once went to a Giants baseball game in California and rooted for the wrong team! To me, it just a bunch of guys in shinny tights chasing a ball across a stripped green field. The Cowboys won.

Men in tights. How is this different than ballet? Just a different dance really. As I see it, football is ballet with a ball.

But I digress.

The waitress came and I ordered the Highland Bread Pudding with coffee. The pudding is great and the coffee is awesome.

Now they've switched to the Falcons and New Orleans game. The Falcons won 34 to 31.

I'm going back to the room and crash.

Pro football is like nuclear warfare.  There are no winners, only survivors.  ~Frank Gifford