I walked all over Philly today. I still don't know all the places I've been.
I started at my hotel and went around the corner to The Bourse. A bunch of kids were out of school evidently. I couldn't find a sweatshirt appropriate for my collection. So I circled the place a couple times. then I headed downstairs to the little bookshop. I figured they could tell me where I could get to a public internet place. None of the branches of the Philadelphia Public Library shows up on Google Maps, and me without a functional air card or power cord for my laptop. That was at Fourth and Ranstead. She said the library was at 7th and Chestnut. OK. Easy enough.
So I headed out and wound up at the Mall. I decided to snap some pictures since this time I brought the Olympus. I walked around the Liberty Bell building and acted suspiciously in front of the guards. I don't know why I do that, but whenever I enter a security situation, I start evaluating the security. There were guards on every corner and I got pictures of most of their positions without looking as if I was. Actually, I think the security is pretty good around Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. From what's visible however, a determined assailant team could do damage. Anyway. I got a phone call and handled some business as I walked around the Liberty Bell building. Then I headed up to 7th.
At 7th there was no library, but there was a police station. So I went into the lobby and asked for directions. The library was half a block north. There were three officers in the substation. One had his feet up on the desk.
The library was closed earlier that week because of a broken water pipe but it was open and I sat down to the terminal. I needed a library card, but they gave me a visitors pass after eyeballing my California drivers license. The pin code was 5688. I logged on. There was a 33 minute timer. My assignment was to find a FedEx code to send to the Spousal Unit in order for her to mail a borrowed laptop (the one whose high quality wireless and battery life would have obviated this trip to the library) back to the vendor. The desktop was wrapped in a secure wrapper and I pulled up IE. The connection was so pitifully slow that it took me about 20 minutes to do just a few things. I couldn't even use Google chat for a moment. But I did get the addresses of some real internet cafes. I put them in the Treo and booked up.
Next thing I need is a little lunch, so I stopped at a Quiznos. My destination was the Cosi at 12th and Walnut. According to the website I found, this was an internet Cafe. I got there, but it was basically just like the other Cosis I'd seen. A coffee shop with big comfy chairs. So I snapped some pictures. The other locations were way over at U Penn and not within walking distance, so I'd need some cash. I looked up Bank of America. Walnut and Broad. Good. I can walk there.
At Walnut and Broad, there is no B of A, but there is a Wachovia, a huge one. I walk in singing Sade and check out the huge slabs of marble. Nice. Looks like a bank. I get 80 bucks and curse under my breath for having to pay the 2.50 fee. This time it's getting kind of cold, and I'm still just wearing a t-Shirt under my ski jacket. The wind is cutting me up. Fortunately, there's a Banana Republic across the street and today is payday. What the heck.
While I'm shopping, Spence calls me up. I'll probably be hooking up with him tomorrow or Sunday in Baltimore. That's going to be off the hook. Meanwhile I got me a sweater. So now I'm warm and am heading towards Rittenhouse Square. I snapped many pictures on the way including two of my favorite joints, Mahogany and Alfa. By the time I got to the square my camera hand was frozen stiff. I took a few more of Trinity Church which was closed and continued down towards my destination, the Ants Pants Cafe on South Street near 22nd.
I turned the wrong way on 22nd, and for some reason I thought that Ants Pants was near U Penn. So I ended up all the way over at Race Street before I pulled out the Palm and tried to get my bearings. I thought I was going West but I was going North. Now I'm at the Franklin Institute. What? I grab a cab and 7 bucks later I'm at Ants Pants. It's 4pm and they're closing. It's just a coffee shop hole in the wall, not a real internet cafe. Crap. I buy a coffee and head towards Digital Age. That's got to be the right place. 1818 S 13th Street right? That's a hike from 22nd and South Street. But I start hiking.
By the time I get to Passyunk and 13th, I can tell that this cafe does not exist. Now my feet hurt, and I'm pissed. So I head back to Broad Street where at least I know that I'm only a few minutes away from a cab. So I cab it back to my office and I write this.
Ahh. that's better. Safe indoors. Warm. Found. Speaking of which, it's time to go watch Amazing Grace...