Photo TR: Franklin, Hamilton, Hershey, Morey, and Knoebel

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Photo TR: Franklin, Hamilton, Hershey, Morey, and Knoebel

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:10 am

Day 1: Requiem for a Delusion

I'm writing this from a New Jersey Transit bus. This is not what I expected to be doing right now, and I daresay it's not anyone's Plan A. But this is not a Plan A sort of trip.

It began innocently enough, with my wife driving me to SGF airport at 5AM to catch my flight to Philadelphia. Excitement swirled in my head. I'm going to Knoebels!

All went well with the first flight to O'Hare. The second flight was delayed, then overbooked as American piled a bunch of people from a canceled flight and I was bumped to a later one. Only to be un-bumped about 20 minutes later and I got onto my scheduled flight. Ah, the joys of air travel.

We got into PHL a little late. The flight was a bit turbulent due to thunderstorms, but no big deal. We flew right over Cedar Point, but since we were almost directly over it, there wasn't a good way to get a photo.

We landed in PHL and I got on the SEPTA train to go to the rental car place. I had booked a reservation for an offsite lot because the rental cars were so expensive at PHL. Plus, I'm a train enthusiast as well, so the idea of taking regional rail and an el train was appealing.

I texted Boldikus because he wanted to know when I landed, and I mentioned I was on the train to the rental car lot. He asked where it was, and when I told him, this is approximately the conversation:

B: You are so f*cked.
Me: Really? Is that a bad area?
B: That's the Badlands.
Me: What's the Badlands?
B: Google it. I hope you don't die.

I did not Google it just then, because I thought Googling the area to which I was at that very moment traveling would probably give me away as a tourist. Given that I was wearing a bright red St. Louis Cardinals T-shirt, using Google Transit for directions, and rolling a carry-on suitcase behind me, I figured I didn't need any more bright gleaming beacons. I also removed the luggage tag that said PHL and took off my Bluetooth. I figured I shouldn't be listening to podcasts while walking alone in the Badlands rolling a f*cking carry-on suitcase behind me and generally looking like the naive Midwesterner that I absolutely am.

I'm going to repeat that thought just for emphasis:

I thought that I should remove my Bluetooth headset and not listen to my favourite podcast, Holy F*king Science (actual name of it), a show where a bunch of nerds from Montana try to out-nerd each other with unusual science facts. The fact that I thought that, and the fact that I am writing that sentence on an Internet forum about theme parks, should tell you all you need to know about just how f*cked I truly was.

Boldikus strongly recommended I get a cab from the el to the rental car place, but no cab was in sight, and I really didn't want to stand around waiting for one, so I just went. I have never seen such a place as this. I didn't know such a place existed, or even could exist. There was just so much devastation.

I have a friend from the south side of Chicago who has told me a lot of stories. It's not that I didn't believe him, but that world just seemed like it couldn't exist. There couldn't possibly be any place where despair is so bad that people are willing to do the kinds of things the characters in his stories do. People just aren't like that. Not in America.

They are.

And this is who they are and where they live.

This trip is as much about Philadelphia as it is about the theme parks. I want to see all the Franklin sites, and the Liberty Bell, and Hamilton's bank. I want to see the history of my country. I want to be where my heroes lived, the people who built all the good and wonderful things I've come to appreciate and to depend on. I want to breathe in the air breathed by the architects of modern democracy.

Instead, I saw the people for whom that democracy doesn't work, the people who are left out of everything that I thought this country was about. I saw it, and I thought I was going to die.

So I came for Philadelphia, and I saw it. Philadelphia is Franklin's city. It is our first capital and the original seat of Congress. But it's also the Badlands. It's their city too.

So here I sit, on my way to a better part of town to pick up a rental car, a part of town I understand. A neighbourhood filled with museums and universities, gleaming office towers and condominiums. I'm going to the Philadelphia I came to see. But I will never forget the Philadelphia I accidentally saw.
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Approaching Chicago
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Somewhere down there is Cedar Point.
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First Chickie's and Pete's sighting!
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Yeah, I got a welcome all right.
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My train is here! Off to the Badlands! I have no more photos after this. I was not about to take any photos in that area.
Last edited by ytterbiumanalyst on Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:29 am.
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Re: Photo TR: Franklin, Hamilton, Hershey, Morey, and Knoebe

Postby Ed Farmer » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:01 am

Well, that was a great start. Looking forward to this one.
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Re: Photo TR: Franklin, Hamilton, Hershey, Morey, and Knoebe

Postby boldikus » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:09 am

:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

Oh man! Great start. At least I was able to warn you. :lol: :lol: Looking forward to more!

*And for the record I love my city! Just like any major urban areas there are really bad sections of Philly, and when Andrew texted me the address of his rental car spot, my mouth dropped open because I knew exactly where he was headed. There are just handful of small, but really sh*tty neighborhoods here, and he was headed directly into the center of one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Badlands
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V07llrs3Yhg
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Re: Photo TR: Franklin, Hamilton, Hershey, Morey, and Knoebe

Postby coasterbill » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:36 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Well this is definitely an interesting start to the report. Can't wait to see more. Since you're still alive hopefully we'll run into you tonight for some bull rides.

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Re: Photo TR: Franklin, Hamilton, Hershey, Morey, and Knoebe

Postby KBrylczyk » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:41 am

Eh, if the sun was up you were fine. Those parts of Philly only get mean when the sun goes down and the amber lighting takes over.
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Re: Photo TR: Franklin, Hamilton, Hershey, Morey, and Knoebe

Postby PKI Jizzman » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:47 am

Cards shirt, backpack, and headphones? Oh man that's an unholy trinity. Glad you made it through with no issues! Every now and then I read tripadvisor forums, and the typical hot threads in Chicago are "Got this sweet airbnb deal...wait is this close to millennium park?"

And they're down in Englewood or North Garfield in the zone.

Love Google transit, though. It'll make your life so easy in a new city.
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Re: Photo TR: Franklin, Hamilton, Hershey, Morey, and Knoebe

Postby boldikus » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:52 am

KBrylczyk wrote:Eh, if the sun was up you were fine. Those parts of Philly only get mean when the sun goes down and the amber lighting takes over.


A lost-looking white dude rolling around a suitcase @ K and Erie is asking for it, day or night.
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Re: Photo TR: Franklin, Hamilton, Hershey, Morey, and Knoebe

Postby bert425 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:44 am

weird you didn't just do what we did, and fly into Pittsburgh, and rent a car and then drive to Philly.

hope you had a great time, but at least the fact you're posting, proves you made it thru!
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Re: Photo TR: Franklin, Hamilton, Hershey, Morey, and Knoebe

Postby boldikus » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:47 am

Because he's not going to Pittsburg and thats a 6 hour drive. :lol: Hershey, Knoebels, Moreys, Great Adv and Dorney are all within an hour to 2.5 hours from here.
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Re: Photo TR: Franklin, Hamilton, Hershey, Morey, and Knoebe

Postby bert425 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:03 am

boldikus wrote:Because he's not going to Pittsburg and thats a 6 hour drive. :lol: Hershey, Knoebels, Moreys, Great Adv and Dorney are all within an hour to 2.5 hours from here.


but if you START in Pittsburg, the car rental is way cheaper, and you can start off with Kennywood.

that's why I was wondering ? :)
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