Monday, October 26, 2009

Back in the Hood

I had to take my car in for inspection last week. I am fearful of the dreaded car inspection. My little POS mitsu has alot of rattles and pops and all sorts of fun sounds. While I firmly believe the car is safe, it’s condition would probably warrant a fair amount of repair which I cannot afford right now. And so were clear, “safe” is probably a relative word. Safe to me means that there is no imminent danger of the wheels spontaneously falling off or the engine blowing up. “Safe” to most people means the seat belts work they way they should.

So, I got this guy in Northern Liberties (that’s the trendy Philadelphia nickname for the former shithole known as Fishtown) whose recommended to me by Karen at the office. I am told that he is one of those type of mechanics that will just put a sticker on the car. *Wink Wink*

Anyway, so I drive the car over to the drive after work. Surprisingly, the mechanic tells me that I can wait for the car if I want. I was kind of shocked – I’d figure I would have to leave overnight. With time to time kill, I decided to take a nice stroll through the neighborhood. Oh, and for the record, the mechanic told me that I should check out the corner bar – the bartender has big tits.

Now, what man doesnt love Fishtown Bartenders with big tits, I ask you? So I make my way down to this fine watering hole, but I detour to the small coffee shop right across the street from the bar. I figured there might possibly be a barista with big tits as well. I kid.

I grabbed an ice coffee and sat down on a couch. What I saw for the next two hours amazed me.

Northern Liberties aka Fishtown aka Port Richmond is, and has been, an upcoming neighborhood for the past couple of years. Philadelphia has these boom ‘hoods. Many years ago it was Manyunk. Then the Art Museum area. Then it was Bella Vista (another fancy way of saying South Philly). Northern Liberties, or “No Libs” as the locals call it, is the rising star right now. As with any up and coming area, there’s been an influx of folks moving in. Many of these folks are what are commonly referred to as “hipsters.” If you dont know who the hell I am talking about, we’ll get to that later.

Anyway, so I am sitting there, I am seeing a steady stream of folks in and out of the place. Everyone seems to know everyone. Some of the customers would leave, then come back again some time later.

I got a real sense of neighborhood out of this, and when I mean neighborhood, I am referring to type of environment that I grew up in. I grew up in a row-home neighborhood. A row-home is kind of like a townhouse, only the shitty version. Anyway, in my hood, when I was kid, and I guess to a certain extent now, everyone knew everyone. In the summer, kids played out at night until god knows when. The neighbors sat out of front every night and shot the shit. It was a great place to grow up, and it wasnt the Main Line, and I think that’s what made it unique. Listen, when you live in Gladwyne, where the houses sit a quarter of a block from each other, there is no “neighborhood.” The township throws the word “community” around, but that’s just as much of farce. Perhaps the parents know each other from the kid’s schools or sports leagues, but that’s about it. There’s no neighborhood there.

As I was sitting in this coffee shop, I got the sense that this place was the hub. The corner bar, right across the street, is alive and well. This coffee shop, however, is the corner bar for the hipsters. To be fair, I saw a wide of assortment of customers coming in and out of that place, so I dont want to pigeon hole the joint has a meeting spot for a bunch of trendy dirty hippies. I think it would be neat to live in a place like this, just to have the element of being part of a real neighborhood again. Oh, and I got my car inspected without any problems. *Wink Wink*

Work has been a blitz. Again. My hours have been more in-line with a forty hour work week, but I’ll tell you whats killing me: these goddamned Phillies. I have been staying up late way too much, and that just throws my entire schedule out of whack. I cant get up early to go the gym, and I tend to work an hour or two late, so by the time I leave the office, I want no parts of going to the gym. Last week, I did some traveling, and that threw me further out of sorts. This week is more of the same. I’ll be in NYC for a couple of days,and the week after that is no better, with my impending trip to Cali.

All of this wouldnt be a problem if I could control what I eat, which I cant, so who the hell knows how much weight I am putting on now. I am scared to get on a scale.

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