When I first took my current job in 1999, I thought that the view on to the Center City streets would make an excellent place to see a parade. A sports parade. One like the Flyers parade in '74 which I saw or the Phillies parade in '80 which I missed.
I was right.
It just took 9 years to prove it.
Youngest son was hounding me since the Phils won it to go to the parade. I mistakenly assumed he meant with me.
No chance. He went with another dad that took him and 4 friends. He blew me off. Maybe it was because I headed into the city at 7:00 AM or because he could only bring one friend (it's an office, not a party I was thinking) or that he would have to spend 4 hours hanging out in my office.
I didn't mind that he was going with his friends but the Dad he was going with sounded like a center city amateur. I'm a pro. This is my neighborhood. I go here every single day.
Either way I was on my own.
My train ride in was uneventful. There were a few Phillies Phans on the train but nothing crazy like there was going to be in few short hours.
His was crazy. Every Patco station was packed. Some ran out of tickets. He couldn't find the Ashland station. At least I know where the Ashland station is. They ended up driving around to three Patco stations before a friend of theirs got in line in Haddonfield.
I slipped into town and went to work.
The co-workers that rode Septa had a different story. Theirs was a tale of packed trains, open beers and missed stations.
We didn't get much done at work today either. There were little kids running around and Phillies chants outside all morning long. We watched from our perch as the tide of souls came in with every train load. We could tell when a train came in by how much the stair wells filled up and onto to the street.
By ten the crowds were several people deep along the parade route.
We ventured out at about 11:00 to see how it was outside and were surprised at how easily we got up front. We could see but we figured the view was better upstairs 18 floors above all this.
The parade seemed to get a late start since it was about 12:15 when the parade came past 15th and Market.
While it was good to see the crowds and the "big picture" that high up, you couldn't see that Pat Burrell was on the Budweiser wagon or what Phillies were where. You missed the detail and being in the crowd.
In 15 minutes it was all over and then the chaos began.
A friend of mine at work had tickets to the Linc to see the festivities at the end of the parade so we thought we would try to get on the Broad Street line and head that way.
We went out our front door only to find that they closed the entrance to underground concourse. We should have stopped right there and asked ourselves why but we pressed on. We attempted to fight the crowd on Market headed towards 16 on the Souths side of the street.
It took forever.
We eventually got to the concourse entrance at 16th and Market and headed down. There was along line to buy tokens. (what were you thinking? You didn't get two tokens on the way down?) Since we had passes to get on we headed onto the platform for the El. We walked along that headed for the Subway on Broad only to find that it wasn't running.
We turned around and headed back and that's when I lost him. I turned around and he was gone.
I decided to get something to eat over at the Food Court on 16th which of course was a zoo.
I headed home on the Patco. I left the office at 2 and was home by 3:30. On the way home I heard that the festivities at the Linc had not happened yet and for the briefest instant I considered heading there.
I was glad I didn't. The real fun was CBP.
I'm beat and I'm tired of taking pictures.
These guys were the best