Long weekends in U.S. are well cherished by the natives because days-off are so difficult to come by. In traditional American style most people gratefully accept this state of affairs rather than try to fight for more time off; much like the UK now behaves in these days when liberty is regarded as a ludicrously anachronistic idea.
This particular “holiday” as it’s known here (which, in the UK, we would call a “weekend with a Bank Holiday Monday”) was particularly good because a friend and fellow Brit was on the continent and spent the weekend with us. Ralph came down from NYC on Friday night and so we did our best to expose him to as much traditional Philadelphia culture as we could in 48 hours: “center-city”, micro-brew bars that sell very good seafood, a broken bell, cheesesteaks, poncy bars, and bad driving. In fact, that’s about it.
It was very refreshing to spend some quality time with a London friend, in Philly, in the pursuit of fun.

We spent yesterday wandering around historic center-city; which basically involved sampling some very nice Belgian beers in-between a couple of minutes of conscience-salving time inspecting places where Ben Franklin used to hang out.

This morning we visited a local diner and somehow managed to persuade our guest into stuffing a cheesesteak down his throat. Sorry Ralph! I felt bad about this and so suggested, in fit of altruism, that we spend some time cleansing his polluted guts at the riverside bar of the Manayunk Brewery. It was a lovely couple of hours! Words can’t describe the pleasure of sitting on a lovely riverside bar, drinking some beautiful locally-brewed beers, followed by a walk home along the canal.

Rounded the day off with parrots, some good Chinese food (ie no MSG/salt), some red wine (natch) and the complete first series of Porridge.

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