Philadelphia seems like a nice enough city (at least in the heart of the city). The maze of one-way streets was confusing when I tried to drive around and there were spots throughout the area that smelled of raw sewage, but other than that I enjoyed exploring the place.
I presented a poster on my most recent publication in Organometallics this year and everything went smoothly despite the printing SNAFU. I also caught up with Dr. Hepel from Potsdam and found out that she and Dr. Walker will be hosting a regional meeting in 2010. I'll have to go if I'm in the Northeast.
When I wasn't at a meeting session, I was sleeping or eating. I ate at three really good restaurants: Soho Pizza (Market and 2nd), Delilah's (Oprah and Bobby Flay claim that it serves the world's best macaroni and cheese), and Olympic Gyro (Terminal Market). If only there was a place around here where I could get really good pizza, macaroni and cheese, or gyros, I would be so happy. Instead I'm faced with spongy crusts, "world famous" slop (you know who you are), and pre-formed meats. My most adventurous meal was at the Chung King (Arch and 9th). Three of the Chinese students from my group took three of the Americans out for authentic Chinese food instead of that syrupy stuff we usually eat. The menu was almost entirely in Chinese except for unhelpful descriptions of dishes like "chicken." There was also a single page at the back of the menu titled "American Chinese Food" that included anything that Americans would recognize. We ate what was described as dry pot chicken, cumin lamb, hollow stem, and some kind of spicy fish and cabbage dish. They were all delicious and have pretty much ruined American Chinese for for me. At some point, probably while eating the chicken, I accidentally ate what I think was a Szechwan pepper. At first I thought I had eaten lemon grass, but then half of my mouth and tongue went numb. Beef with broccoli never did that! I also ate at one bad restaurant, Crown Chicken. It was late and we were desperate. It reminded me of Cluckin' Bell from Grand Theft Auto. They serve food that only a drunk could love.
Although I didn't get to the Liberty Bell, Constitution [Center/Independence] Hall, or the
While I was riding one of the surprisingly slow ACS shuttle busses, it hit another car and stopped by a blocked street. On that street were a couple of police cars and a large number of onlookers dressed in business suits. Suddenly the people started pointing up at the buildings, people went running across the road and the cars sped around while a cop roped off the road. I got off of the bus to get a better look. It turns out it was a movie shoot. The cars were labelled NYPD and there was a crane and boom operators standing near the center of attention. I've heard of Philadelphia being substituted for New York in movies before. I'm really curious which movie they were filming. I imagine that it is an action/monster/superhero film set in modern New York City.
In this photo you can see the shot being reset. The NYPD cars are being driven back to their starting points near the camera crane under the red lights. The onlookers are in business suits and the cop is collecting the police tape that he'll use to frantically clock off the intersection. More extras will run from the buildings at right, which are the center of attention. City hall is visible in the background.
There are some much better photos of the movie shoot here. It would seem that it is a Bollywood film being shot by Yash Raj Films (the biggest movie studio in India ). The movie is being directed by Kabir Khan and will star Katrina Kaif, John Ibrahim, and Nitin Mukesh. Sadly, it probably isn't Dhoom 3.