When we finally awoke to see the light of Thursday, we ventured down to South Street ~ a cool and quirky shopping area (think Melrose Avenue). Did some browsing, made a couple of purchases at Vixen (earrings - cuz they always fit and one can never have too many; and more gloves - hey, they were cheap!), grabbed a cheesesteak from Jim's (yum yum) and headed back to the hotel. We, along with Ro-Ro (hey, he calls me Ree Ree, so all's fair) and JP, were heading to the Trocadero to see (who else?) The English Beat. JP couldn't make it, so the 3 of us braved the cold (OK - I was the only one to brave the cold since the other two are used to it) and hit the Troc. The venue is pretty cool, though sectioning off the bar area from the social/dance area? I reject that totally. I explained to R&L I'm in my own little happy place when at a show, so they would more than likely be ignored by me. Yeah, that's a lie. They *would* be ignored by me. After the show, Lys said "Now, I completely understand your English Beat show blogs: aggro pogo boys, drunk dancing girls..." Yep, they were out in full-force. The stage was up pretty high, a barrier for the drunk dancing girls. One guy actually made it up there (had to text Scot!) but that was it.
The English Beat at the Trocadero, Philadelphia PA 02.28.08
After the show, Dave Wakeling makes it a point to greet the fans who approach the stage. Truth be told, *all* of the guys in the English Beat do that. Dave takes the time to listen to each person who has a story to tell, or he shakes their hands, accepting the kudos and praises. Wayne Lothian, bassist, does the same thing. Both men - correction - ALL of the band members are gracious and charming and good guys. I approach Wayne, of course. Then Dave and Rhythmm (drummer) come over. We wait to go backstage and I make introductions. Rom and Dave talk about The Smile Train (the band's philanthropic organziation); Lys and Wayne talk about music, Florida and the business. Ahh, what a good night.
Other than enjoying a great show and doing a little networking and business, something else happened. A guy from my past, another life really, crossed my path - and it shook me to my core. He's been out of my life for several years, but was part of it for longer than he's been out. It's a long sordid tale...which ends with me shaken and stirred (and not in a good martini sort of way). Anyway, I'll find someway to deal with it...
The 3 of us headed to Silk City ~ a *totally* happenin place! Diner on one side, jumpin club on the other. The music was ridiculous! The DJ was killin it! Biggie, old skool, Doin' Da Butt, pop, dance ~ a phenomenal mix that had the whole club dancing. 2 Stellas and 3 car bombs later, we left (and that was just my order).
This picture is much clearer than how I actually saw things that night...
Friday was jam-packed with plans. I made plans to have lunch with my new friend Cortney! Several emails and texts later, we met at the Marathon Grill. It was great to meet her! I was honestly thinking it would be a weird meeting. Ha! It was NOT. She's funny and smart and it was really like emailing/texting each other...well, without the emails/texts. It was easy. I met her through a mutual friend; when I asked about him, she said he didn't plan on seeing me. I've been in a pretty 'fuck it' place in my head re: this mutual friend. But what he said really hurt. This trip has been planned for almost two months - and he knew...just felt compelled not to respond. All day that situation stewed in my head and my heart. I was hurt and angry then apathetic. I was upset and sad the next day. Now, it's just gone. Anyway, Cortney is cool people and I had a great time.
After lunch, Lys & I headed to Cherry Hill NJ for shopping. Did you know that there's no sales tax in NJ?! I didn't go overboard with the shopping, but Rissa did do a little damage in that mall natch. Had a little customer service mishap at the Lane Bryant store (poor customer service is my #1 pet peeve: if I'm not greeted when I walk into a store, I walk out. And that's just what I did), spent almost an hour in Sur La Table (Lys fondling the copper pots and me picking up all these effing gadgets thinking 'WTF is this for?!'), hit Macy's and Torrid pretty hard and was disappointed with the clothing at Ashley Stewart. But you know me ~ any shopping is good shopping :)
Saturday was the day, with 'there are no coincidences' as the motto. Lys & I hooked up with Chris for lunch at the Copa on South Street (we got there at 12:30 p.m.). While there, we obvously started talking about "the past." During one of the many sordid stories, our client J called. Chris & J haven't seen each other in a dozen or more years. J shows up within 20 minutes. We're chatting, we're drinking, we're discussing business and the past. Out of nowhere, Lys spots LH - yet another link in the chain of the past. These guys sit and chat it up. Then Rom shows up! Shit! All of these guys, with 20 years of catching up to do...so strange how they all showed up...anyway...we didn't leave until 8:30. Yeah, we put in a full work day at the Copa. Worth every minute.
J, Chris, Rom, Lys and I ended up hanging at the hotel lounge, swapping war stories and just enjoying the company. Oh ~ BB King walked in!
Today was travel day...stopped by Geno's for a cheesesteak to-go and hit the airport.
I really do love Philadelphia - South Street, cheesesteaks, Penn's Landing, the history of the city and friends - old and new. This trip accomplished exactly what I set out to do, which makes me happy. And this trip tripped me up, which makes me unsure.
No matter...thanks to my friends and to PhilaPA for showing me a good time :)