We woke up Saturday bored and anxious to travel around a bit. So we headed down 287 and stopped in Somerville. We used to live near this town, and being the closest town with a downtown, we hung out quite a bit. There is an old strip mall in the middle of town that is in the process of getting demolished to be replaced by more storefronts which will extend the downtown.
Somerville is the county seat of Somerset County and houses the county court and jail, I think. A good crop of restaurants, funky shops, but lacks a downtown park. We still enjoyed our time there.
After that, we decided to head towards Princeton. Fully set on spending our afternoon in Princeton, we instead swung out to Philadelphia. Yeah, just a little bit out of the way, but hey, we were in a driving mood. Once in Philly, we spent a ton of time walking around South Street. We used to come down to Philly about once a year, but it had been a couple years since we’ve done this.
Philly is unique in its own sense with the variety of architectural styles. The row houses are interesting, and street by street, it is a guess whether or not the neighborhood is totally gentrified, or remains in its somewhat original state of Philadelphia grittiness.
What is a trip to Philadelphia without a cheesesteak? We hit up Geno’s, I had a wiz witout, while my wife had an American with. This is the first time I had Geno’s. I’ll be sure to stop by again. Well worth the long wait in line. While in line we struck up a conversation with a guy and his son who just left the Phillies game. Turns out, he too is from New England, but relocated to Philly. Incidentally, the Phillies won, so the city was in good spirits that night.
One definite positive I noticed is that the parking is nowhere near a hassle as it is in Boston or NYC. I was able to park right on South Street across from the new Whole Foods and later only a block away from Geno’s in their Little Italy neighborhood. Maybe it is because the majority of people hanging out in Philly are locals just walking or biking it.
I saw a ton of fixies around Philly. That was a little funny to me. While these folks are set on proving their individualism, most of them failed with their similar style and bicycles. Ah well, we are all young at one point in life.
After polishing down the cheesesteaks, it was late and time to head home. I figured I had enough gas left to make it to the Trenton NJ area where gas is cheaper. I barely did. My meter was down well below E and I figured my tank was running on fumes by the time I found a gas station in Trenton that was actually open. What is up with that area of Jersey? Does everything close at 10:30? The gas station I found was willing to serve gas even though they just closed a few minutes ago. The 4 other were unwilling.
Other than the scare of almost stalling in Trenton, the trip was fun and easy. Philadelphia is a good option to NYC maybe once a year.