now with more cowbell
Running on metric time
Posted: 2004-09-16 15:00
2 comment(s)
Author: Phil Gengler
Section: Journal

In what surely must be a sign of the end of the world, all the trains involved in a nearly 600-man-mile (99.8 miles to, 97.2 from) trip to Philadelphia ran on, or ahead of, schedule. Last Satuday, Marshall, John and myself decided to take full advantage of NJ Transit's 'free travel for college students' promotion and headed to Philly for some cheesesteaks.

Beginning at the Hoboken PATH station, our meticulously planned course first involved a hop to the 33rd Street PATH station. From there, a brief walk to Penn Station got us on a train bound for Trenton. A little over an hour, and nearly 60 miles later, we arrived at the Trenton station, the ugly mess that it is. I hadn't been to the train station in Trenton in years, and what I saw was nothing like what I remember. Urban decay, I suppose.

From Trenton, we hopped on the (relatively) new River Line, a light rail line between Trenton and Camden. Upon arriving at the Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden, our trip shifted back underground with a short trip on PATCO, which by all reckoning, has not changed one bit since the 1970s. The trains look easily 30 years old, and the color scheme inside (of which I sadly do not have a photo) practically screamed '70s.

Minutes later, we arrived at the corner of 9th and Locust streets in Philadelphia. An arbitrary direction was chosen as south, and several blocks (and many curbside vendors) later, we arrived at our goal ... the seemingly magical intersection of 9th Street, Wharton Avenue, and Passyunck Avenue, home to two of the most famous cheesesteak places ever—Pat's and Geno's.

The two shops are situated across the street from one another, almost as if facing off in some conflict. In a sense, they are; one's preference in cheesesteaks could concievably be seen like a religious choice. At least it's a friendly conflict, and as such, we had no problem enjoying a steak from each. Prevailing opinion was that the Pat's steak was superior.

On the walk over to the region's cheesesteak capital, a plan was hatching. After steaks, we would head up to Center City and check out the Franklin Institute, an institution similar to the Liberty Science Center. As both Marshall and I had favorable memories of it from school trips in our youth, the decision was made to check it out. Some more walking, a short SEPTA trip, and yet more seemingly directionless walking later, we arrived at the Franklin Institute.

Upon entering the building, we noted that the price for a single admission was $12.50. After pausing to peruse a map and exhibit listing, all parties emerged disappointed. No doubt to do the subjectivity of memory, the place now seemed much different, and much less entertaining, than it did when younger. Having come this far, we were determined to do something, so we walked over the Art Museum (perhaps best known for being featured in Rocky). Admission was much more reasonable here, at $7 for a student. Most of our time was spent in the Arms & Armor exhibit, featuring all sorts of weapons and armor from eras long gone.

After the art museum, we began to reverse the previous course, leaving Philadelphia from the 15/16th Street Station. An uneventful northbound trip on the River Line ended not at the Trenton station, but at Cass Street. At this point our transportation changed to motor vehicle, and a short time later we arrived at my house for the trip's second purpose: retrieving an AI textbook for Marshall. After some pizza and some hot peppers, we were back on the road, this time to the Hamilton train station. Catching the train from there, we rode back to New York. With an earlier revelation that John had never taken the #126 bus from New York to Hoboken, despite working less than three blocks from the bus terminal, we trekked uptown a bit from Penn Station to the Port Authority bus terminal. Suffice it to say, the bus was taken and the trip concluded.

In the interest of keeping this update confined to the trip, I shall end here, with (hopefully) more, differently-themed updates to follow shortly.


Posted: 2004-10-14 14:04:39
Author: Jew

Bloody hell...i demand an update....<br /><br />-jew

» Hey Phil
Posted: 2005-09-08 06:09:37
Author: Mark Lee

Hey Phil, <br /> <br />It's Mark from Steinert and more importantly Mrs. Scott's class. Anyway, I'm trying to see what your up to and see if you would be interested in a business opportunity that I'm currently working on. Shoot me an email or give me a call when you get a chance. havoczine a t hotmail d o t com phone number 609.538.8178 <br /> <br />- Mark

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