Category Archives: Philadelphia

Northern New York state of mind

Yes, tomorrow I head off to Northern New York, for a week of relaxation, pleasure, and my first ever Thanksgiving.

Thankfully, where I’m heading is Albany, not Buffalo, about 300 miles west, where that incredible dump of snow has been. Where I’m going is fine, a bit chilly, but no snow. Or so I was told last night by the wonderful gentleman who invited me across. So all will be fine.

Funnily enough, I’ve been to Albany twice before, but seen hardly anything of the city. First time, in 1988, I stayed overnight at a motel, just outside the centre of town, and I dont even remember us venturing in, though knowing me, and Sheila, we probably did. The second time, a couple of years ago, I stayed much closer to the centre of town, somewhere close to the college relating to nanotechnology, and the like. But did I see any of the city, not really!

This week, I will put that right, even if a day or two (part of) will be spent on a very interesting side trip to New Hampshire. More of that, after the event probably, though if you’re good…I might let you know on Sunday, just before it happens!

To be honest, the only entertainment tomorrow will probably be the change of planes in Philadelphia. If all goes fine, then nearly 2 hours is fine, though not by as much as you probably think, by the time you go through Immigration, Customs, and Security! And then the shuttle bus to the terminal where the Albany plane leaves from. I had about 5 minutes less (admittedly the plane from Manchester was late) when I flew to Richmond, and that ended up being a very tight thing.

Other than that, it will probably only get ‘fun’ if I pull out that Harlow biography I’m not meant to read, and start reading it! I shouldnt, I know, but it might be entertaining to see just how awful it is. If a publisher reads this, and want to give me the funds to write an accurate Harlow biog, let me know!

OK, I’ll end this string of UK based blogs with a Harlow moment. Not too far north of Albany, is a place called Saratoga. To me, it has 2 significant points. Firstly, there is a racetrack there, and sometimes at work, we cover the racing from there. Secondly, and the film buffs will have already worked this one out, Jean Harlow’s last (uncompleted) film, was called Saratoga.

Popular demand at the time meant that MGM finished the film, using doubles, and the like, to cover for the fact that Jean was sadly no longer around. Here is a little scrap of that film

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A friendly welcome

Yes, I’m sure that in every sense but one, I will get a friendly welcome to the US tomorrow. And no, I dont mean the Immigration official either, as the vast majority of them I’ve found to be fine, or better. Of course, the one time it wasnt, was Philadelphia, so…hope I dont get her tomorrow lol! Not that she’d recognise me, I’ve changed a, err, bit since then!

No, what I’m talking about is the forecast weather for Richmond, tomorrow afternoon and evening. Yes, I get to be greeted by thunderstorms, oh joy! No, not that they really bother me, but will probably limit the walking I can do tomorrow evening, a tactic I normally apply, given the legs tend to stiffen up on long flights. Ironically, its the only lowlight currently in the weather forecast for the whole week!

Thankfully nowadays, you can get food delivered in, so I wont starve, and I’m sure I can walk a few floor lengths indoors if necessary, but anyway…With luck, the weather forecast will be wrong, but…I doubt it!

So thats it, the last words from the UK for a while. I will try and do some posts from Virginia, but it will be dependent on things, so if I dont, then forgive me.

The video, well, here’s the weather forecast lol,

How much!

Yes, its one of the big meetings at York next week, so if I travel at the ‘right time’ next week, between Wednesday and Saturday, I will get to see the people dressed up to the nines, returning from the races. Well, Friday and Saturday at least, thats for sure. Wednesday, I finish at 5, so should be through before they return, and Thursday I’m off, so will go nowhere near York, unless some beau is offering to escort this ‘lady’ to the races at least, lol!

No? Thought not! 😛

And seriously, if you did, how rich are you? To be fair, you can get into the Course enclosure for £8 a day, but thats the basic deal, and I do mean basic. The Grandstand (pretty decent) is £29 each, and the County Stand (posh level) is an eye watering £54 each! And thats just the admission price! Add in travel costs, food and drink, and of course, if you’re a gambler, betting money, and hey, wow, a lot of money!

May I add that there is another level, the Melrose Club, at an incredible £123 per person!!! And the frightening thing, its sold out, and I thought there was a recession on?

Do you really want to hear some more news, the last time I went racing, admittedly a few years ago, how much was entry to the main stand? Err, nothing…free of charge, and all that. You’re right, it wasnt in this country, it was Philadelphia Park, in the US, and agreed, they have a tote system, not bookmakers, but…And equally, it wasnt high class racing, but…free! And not only was the entry free, the food and drink was very reasonably priced too, more than York will be next week! And no, dont get me started on the train fares to get there!

Thats not to say it wouldnt be fun to go to my first race meeting as a lady, all dressed up, but not at those prices! Go racing they say, if you can afford it!

The video, well alright, its about Ascot, not York, but close enough, an Audrey Hepburn gem.

The pleasures of baseball

Though I’m sure many of my European readers will be thinking what pleasure is there in a game of ’rounders’ lol! Dont get me wrong, I dont entirely understand the game (to put it mildly), but love the atmosphere of the games, and hey, its fun! Also the fans dont have to be segregated, unlike our wonderful soccer fans in most of the world!

One of the things I really love are the stadia. No, not the modern iniquities like Philadelphia, or the indoor dome of Minneapolis (no longer used) but the delights of Wrigley Field (Cubs), AT&T Park (Giants) and now I can add Fenway Park (Red Sox) to that list.

AT&T is new, even more so compared to the other 2, but it doesnt have the feel of a modern behemoth. It also has the major advantage (for night games at least) of having the sun setting over the bay while watching the game. Fenway and Wrigley are just the opposite. They may have been greatly modernised, but both stadiums still have that unique feel of having been built a long time ago. And they were, both fast approaching their 100th Anniversaries. Also fairly uniquely for sports stadia nowadays, they are both very much part of their city. Part of their problem actually, is the ability to expand to take modern sized crowds.

But I love these places, there is real soul in these places, not just somewhere for fans to sit and watch a game, as is so often the case nowadays, and I love that. I know, time has to move on, but all the same…But as AT&T has proved, you can build a modern stadium with heart, just wish a few more designers realised that!

And I leave you with the ultimate baseball song, recorded even before Fenway, and Wrigley were built!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4-gsdLSSQ0