When you arrive in a city you’ve never visited before there’s a moment when you worry. It’s the moment when you realize that you don’t know where anything is located and you have no idea how you’re going to get your essentials… like whiskey. No worries though, if you didn’t drink on the plane you can surely drink at the airport… except when the airport is shut down around 10:00! WTF? Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the always running LAX? However, with the LA Riot Squad you always find your whiskey.
After arriving I immediately took a cab to Old City to start my adventure with the Squad.
As the new day begins, we’re sitting in the Philadelphia Bar drinking and watching the Kings abuse the San Jose Sharks; any time LA beats San Jose, no matter the sport, is a good day. While watching the game, we discuss the failures in developing US youth players in the past and the hopes we have in the MLS academy system fixing that, with our very own LAGalaxy leading the way. Riveting, I know. As the game ends in another LA victory, we continue to drink ’till the bartender begins to close up. Having just arrived, and rushing to catch the Kings game, everyone calls it a night, except me. I’m starving, I need food.
Being the adventurous sort I took the half-hour walk to the Cheesesteak Corner. This intersection has two of the most famous cheesesteak shacks in Philly, Geno’s Steaks and Pat’s King of Steaks. As I walked I had already decided that the one closest to me would get my patronage this night. It was Geno’s, and it did not disappoint. I’m not food critic, so that’s all you get, haha. Well fed, I head to back to Old City and a bed.
Didn’t find a place that served both pancakes and whiskey, very disappointed. So disappointed I didn’t even eat breakfast. I just dressed in my Riot Squad best, wrapped a scarf around my neck and headed out. No breakfast? No problem. I went back to the Cheesesteak Corner, this time to try Pat’s The King of Steaks. I have to say he did beat Geno, but still don’t know if he’s king. I did answer the question of Geno’s or Pat’s. It’s Pat’s, at least between these two.
Headed back to Old City, it’s gotten hot so the scarf comes off, and then I notice it: The Sexploratorium. I, of course, have to go inside. You, however, will have to travel to Philly, because this is a family-friendly site. The things I saw…
It’s raining now? And it’s still hot? And they say LA has crazy weather. I get back to the Philadelphia Bar where we’re supposed to meet up to head out to the game. We meet up with Chris from Jersey, who’s a Galaxy fan and traveled down to catch the game with us. Chris is being followed around by a film crew– Hi mom!– but it’s fun to talk to him about living blocks from Red Bull Arena as a Galaxy fan. The plan was to bar hop, but we start eating and then see The Franklin Fountain across the street, and who can say no to an old school ice cream shop? By the time we’re out we need to head out to the game.
On our way to the train station we hear a strange sound, it’s a Philly fan holding up a scarf, apparently he was speaking English, or so I’m told. At the station, as we tried to figure out how to get to Chester, we meet a couple of Union fans, they help us out which is awesome, since we were planning to stalk them from ten feet back to see where they headed. At the station in Chester they had shuttles waiting, we got loaded into a shuttle with Union fans, and so began choruses of chants from both sides as the front and back of the bus battled for supremacy.
Inside the stadium there was a friendly atmosphere, until the first goal. That, or they were always going to be idiots but they hadn’t warmed up yet. One of the drunk Philly fans proclaims that we “…still have to live in LA”… yeah, that’s why we’re awesome and you suck, your point? After chanting, “You live in your mom’s basement” things settled down a little. Or was it the three goals in the final 20 that shut them up? As we waited to be escorted out by security some runts inside kept yapping (ah the future of American soccer) so it was kindly pointed out to them that their educational system was subpar, because 4 – 1= losing
We arrive back in Old City, hungry and thirsty, so we headed to Rotten Ralph’s. There we were treated to an amazing live soap opera. I called it: Drunk Girl and Some Guy. At the bar Drunk Girl is trying to hit on another girl, and babbling incoherently. Until she starts sobbing in the corner next to Some Guy, then Some Guy says something to her, she cries more, Some Guy then leaves, and she pukes. That’s when our bartender goes to comfort her, arm wrapped around her, patting her back giving her comforting words… until he’s guided her out the door. After eating and listening to some Johnny Cash on the juke, we head back to our rooms, only to find Drunk Girl trying to get into another bar getting rejected by the bouncer. We stop to talk to the bouncer hoping she moves along, but we get to observe her trying to open a closed bar. As we’re walking past we hear, “They said they were open late,” and then more crying.
For that brief moment, I thought she was in LARS.