Why Philly Icon McGlinchey’s Bar May Never Be The Same

McGlinchey’s is a bar I frequent with my friend Johnny R. Thought I’d share this piece with you.

Recently, a radical upgrade was unveiled at McGlinchey’s Bar: The infinite towel, that baby-blue loop of fabric and bacteria used to dry the hands of the thousands who were brave enough — or drunk enough — not to care, has been replaced with single-use paper towels. The bathroom, which wouldn’t be an incongruous setting for the climactic scene in a horror film, was left otherwise undisturbed.

That is to say, change comes incrementally to McGlinchey’s, a cash-only, dirt-cheap dive that has been owned by the same family since 1952 and that processed the arrival of a citywide smoking ban in 2008 with a shrug and a fresh ashtray. (The bar was granted an exemption because such a small portion of its revenue is from food.) McGlinchey’s, and its upstairs companion, Tops Bar, remain among the last great bastions for Center City smokers who find puffing outside on a street corner beneath their dignity.

“There’s less smokers every year,” said Sheldon Sokol, 68, the co-owner. “Eventually, we’ll have to go no smoking, because the smokers will all die off.”

He doesn’t smoke or drink himself. (“It’s bad for your innards,” he said.)

For now, McGlinchey’s remains as smoggy as ever.
“It’s going to be a two-shower night,” a friend grumbled as we made our way through the haze one recent evening. But it was a loving gripe: For him and others, McGlinchey’s is steeped in Philly nostalgia.

“It’s sort of been a place of quiet contemplation for depressives and alchies, which I was part of for a while,” he said. Maybe it’s the churchlike afternoon light filtering softly through the geometric stained-glass windows, or the smoke-darkened duck-hunter mural (an old billboard that was recently, clumsily repainted) looming like some devotional artwork, or the sense of communion provided by the wraparound bar. It’s the ideal place for drinking alone together.

We chose a vinyl-upholstered booth, and a waitress with pink hair and a fanny pack for a cash register brought us glass mugs of beer. The idiosyncratic price points, like $2.55 for a Yuengling, always seem to result in a pile of change on the table. (According to Sokol, prices were initially geared so you could easily tip a quarter a drink. They’ve limited the increases to a small percentage each year, so as not to anger his price-conscious customers.)
The waitress also put in our food order — which meant she had to go into the kitchen and microwave the chili dogs herself. “It tastes like SpaghettiOs on a hot dog,” a friend said. This was taken as an endorsement.

McGlinchey’s is the kind of place that accumulates tobacco stains. And lore. It provided the backdrop for the haunting series of portraits by photographer Sarah Stolfa that were collected in the 2009 book The Regulars. The jukebox, once heavy on the Cure, Bowie, the Smiths, had its own Facebook page, until it was usurped by TouchTunes.

 

McGlinchey’s Bar and Tops Bar 
259 S. 15th St., 215-735-1259, mcglincheys.com.
When to go: When you’re too broke to afford drinks anywhere else. When you want to be with other people. When you want to be alone. McGlinchey’s is open 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 2 a.m. Sunday. Tops Bar is open 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Bring: Beer snobs, smokers, Ms. Pac-Man aficionados, and anyone you don’t need to try too hard to impress.
What to order: There’s a surprisingly strong selection of craft beers here, including local favorites like Flying Fish IPA and Philadelphia Brewing’s Kenzinger. The $3.95 citywide special is a Yuengling and a shot of Heaven Hill. Or go high-end: You can get the Glenlivet 15-year-old for $6.95.
Bathroom situation: Richly graffiitied and dimly lighted. The men’s room, I’m told, requires a spotter (or a zeal for exhibitionism) as there is neither a lock nor a stall door. If you can, use the bathroom at Tops.
Sounds like: What have you wrought, TouchTunes? A world in which, on a single evening, the soundtrack ricocheted between No Doubt, Kraftwerk, Talking Heads, and, yes, Enya, at a noisy 98 decibels. Upstairs, at Tops, it was a much calmer 82 decibels, dominated by a rattling air conditioner.

 

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Phicklephilly – Night of the Huntress

The lady is sitting at her table sipping her drink, and giving me and Church the eye. Church pegs her for an “entrepreneur.” That’s what he calls escorts and hookers.

I was having a good evening at the salon. All of the sunbeds were working, we even got the washer and dryer up and running. Some of my favorite ladies came in to tan and I could feel that things were starting to fall into place at the new address. Achilles even stopped in with Sharon, so he could do a few things and she could go tanning.

I had gotten a text from my friend Alice, (See: Alice – 2011 to Present – The Cute Recruiter) saying she wanted to meet up for a drink. I was already meeting with my buddy Church (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Brand Ambassador) so I told her to meet me at Sofitel after 8pm.

I close up the salon and head to Sofitel. When I get there she’s already at the bar having drinks with her friend Bob. I’ve met him before he’s a really nice guy. Works in IT, makes good money, but no game when it comes to the ladies. I find out Alice’s company, which will find you a job and a date completely hooked him up with some dates, and number three girl was the charm. It sounds like Bob sort of has a girlfriend now.

Things are going well at Alice’s company. if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know that her friend Keila has left the company after a year or so to pursue other interests. Alice and Bob are hungry and ask if I am too. I’m not that hungry but she says she’s starving and putting it all on her corporate card. So I tell her I’m famished if she insists.

Church arrives and as promised and he makes delivery on another bottle he promised me. A bottle of the Macallan 17-year-old scotch. It’s a fantastic bottle, and 17 is my family’s reoccurring lucky number. They don’t even make this scotch anymore. It’s a $250 bottle of scotch. Did I mention that I love Church?

We’ve been coming to Sofitel more lately and Church is friends with the bartender, Liam and we’re getting the hook up on drinks. To explain what the “hook up” is, it’s when you have a bunch of cocktails and you get the bill and it’s $11. Then you just tip the bartender handsomely with cash. So instead of getting a bill that’s up to $40,  you only spend around $25 and the bartender gets a better tip. You can’t abuse it but you have to get to know them and become a regular, and you get the hook up all over town.

Alice and Bob have to get to another gig, so after devouring cheese steak tacos and fries and cocktails, she says they have to bolt. She pays for everything and off they go. That was awesome. Free round of drinks and dinner and now I can focus on my time with Church.

So this younger guy wearing a wool hat comes into the lounge and takes a seat at a table by himself. He appears to be waiting for someone. We assume a blind or Tinder date.

In a little while this attractive woman in her thirties glides into the room. She walks over to the gentleman sitting at the table. We assume that his date has arrived. But something just doesn’t feel right. Turns out that those two are not together, and after a brief exchange, she moves to a table adjacent to the bar. I’m on the end closest to her, and Church is to my left.

The lady is sitting at her table sipping her drink, and giving me and Church the eye. Church pegs her for an “entrepreneur.” That’s what he calls escorts and hookers. This chill black guy enters the bar and sort of just hangs back behind us. He obviously works there at the hotel. He’s definitely security. So we start joking with him about hooker patrol. We don’t look over at her while we’re doing this because we don’t want to make it obvious that we’re on to her.

Hat guy’s date shows up and joins him at his table. I look over. Not bad. Decent legs, curly black hair. After a drink or two, they pay their bill and leave. The entrepreneur, keeps smiling at me and making eyes. We’re still all talking about her at the bar, Liam and one of theservers have her pegged for a pro.

I’m ready to go out and have a smoke. We leave our coats on our chairs and the bag containing the $250 bottle of scotch. We’re just outside the building. Within a minute the lady comes running out to tell us we forgot our coats. I tell her we’re coming right back after I smoke. I thank her for her concern and she goes back in.

We head back in, and I’m chatting up the hot server Laura. We’re talking about scratch offs and she’s telling me how she’s trying to break up with the doctor she’s currently dating because she feels she should be dating someone her own age. She’s only 25 and this guy is into his 40’s.  She’s keeping her options open and he keeps buying her stuff, because that’s what guys with money do for younger hot women they like sleeping with.

The assumed hooker hasn’t paid her bill yet and Laura is getting nervous because she’s her guest. Laura thinks she’s going to run out on her bill, because now she’s moved to a table by the exit. But then the lady comes up to the bar to pay her tab. I’m sure at this point the only reason she did that is she thought one of us may strike up a conversation.

We’re all holding our breath to see if the card clears. It goes through okay, and as she’s leaving, she leans in to me, touches my arm and whispers, “I think you are very cute!”

We’re a little stunned, as she is walking out she turns and says that she’ll be back in a little bit. After she’s gone we all have a good laugh about the whole show that just unfolded before us.

A little while later, I’m well into my 3rd chardonnay, the entrepreneur returns. She starts giving me the eye again and I’m wondering where she’s been. I decide to go upstairs to the restroom and pray I’m not followed. Church texts me that she has attached herself to some Archie Andrews/Beeker  type from the Muppet Show guy at the bar. He’s eating this enormous club sandwich at the bar so he looks like an easy target to her.

Then this skater boy type comes walking up to me, singing a song about how he can’t find his waitress. He hands me his credit card. “You seem to have an honest face. I have to pay for my brother and my drink.” I’m surprised and sing back to him that I’ll make every effort to find his server.

Laura pops out from the back and I tell her what’s up, and the guy will be right back, he had to give his brother directions to the hotel. She looks surprised, but takes his card and runs it. The skater returns and she gives him his bill and off he goes.

We move down to the other end of the bar, and then this odd-looking older fellow comes in. He’s wearing what appears to be a red racing jacket with matching shoes and driving gloves.

Church says to me: “Welcome… to Fantasy Island.”

The guy orders some weird drink with some sort of Whiskey, B & B and some olives. I’ve never seen or heard of it before. We don’t talk to the guy. He just seems too weird and eccentric. It’s been a bizarre and fun night.

Or as Church and I call it, “Wednesday night.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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Daphne – Lovely Hostess – Part Two

“Drop the Clutch and Go!”

I know a server over at Misconduct on JFK Blvd, named Brianna. She’s a sweet baby with raven curls, caramel skin and slender legs. One day I’m lunching over there with my buddy, Rocco. I see Brianna giving her phone number to a guy that appeared to be in his sixties. I’m astounded. I call her over and ask her what’s going on. “If you just gave that old dude your phone number and you’re going to meet him for coffee, I want to go shake that man’s hand, on a solid close.”

She says she knows him from another bar, and he’s really nice. He looks lonely. He also comes into Misconduct to see her. (Hell, I did the same thing when Maria worked there) He asked her to meet him for coffee.

“And you’re going to go have coffee with him?”

“Of course not. I get hit on all of the time in here. But he’s nice and I didn’t want to be rude.”

“I really respect this man’s initiative at his age. But what happens when this guy texts you to set up a time to have coffee?

“Nothing. I just never get back to him.”

So I get it now. No matter how nice they are to you and even if they give you their phone number they will simply ghost you.

I was a little miffed, but understood. The odd thing was, Daphne knew me as a regular. I would hang with Carly and Church there all of the time. I get the hook up from Roman the bartender. I know basically everyone that works there and she doesn’t even have to get back to me even as a common courtesy.

But what right do I have to her? None. She’s young and beautiful and holds all of the power. There is truly nothing I can do about it. Fucking crickets.

So a few weeks pass and I don’t see her. I figure maybe she went on another of her global trips or was busy with school. Then one night I was sitting at the end of the bar with Church, and I see her. She’s chatting close by with a few of her coworkers. I tell Church what happened. (Rather, what didn’t happen!) I tell him I’m going to say something to her. Church at this point thinks I am trying to get her to sleep with me, and he says, “Pump the brakes.”

I am who I am, and have become the person I am by doing the very opposite. If you tell me I can’t have something, I will find a way to have it. If you tell me it can’t be done, I will find a way to do it. My father used to say, that if I didn’t apply myself and get an education, I’d never amount to anything. I’d end up like the homeless guys in the Subway. He even once said that if I had a woman, he would be able to take her away from me, because I was nothing. He also said, “(My Name) always takes the path of least resistance.” I was older by then, and tired of taking his shit so I said, “You know what else always takes the path of least resistance?”

“What?” he says.

“Water. Water always finds the path of least resistance. You know that thing where all life on this Earth has emerged. You’ve seen the Grand Canyon, right Pop?”

He didn’t say anything after that. He just glared at me. It wasn’t worth continuing the conversation. I just had to consider the source. So if I’m thinking something, or wanting to do something that I believe in, don’t ever fucking tell me to “Pump the brakes.”

It’s a matter of principle now. I’m going to “Drop the clutch and go.”

Daphne approaches. “Hey…” she says using my name in that honey contralto. “What’s happening?”

I tell her the story about my friend at Misconduct, and tell her it’s okay, and I realize now that’s how it’s done in this business.  When a gentleman asks to meet with you, you simply ghost him.  She’s like… “What?”

I remind her about the text I sent her and how we were going to try to meet up on that Sunday. She pulls out her phone and holds it up to show me. “See the last text is from me, thanking you for bringing me the cough drops when I was sick a couple of months ago. I don’t know what Daphne you sent the text to, but it wasn’t me.”

I feel like a jackass, but an extremely happy jackass. We have a laugh about it and she tells me to try again. She has finals coming up and the holidays are busy, but we should try to get together.

I text her a few days later and wait. An hour or two later I have a response from Daphne. So we’ll see what happens.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Daphne – Lovely Hostess – Part One

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

Daphne is a hostess at one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I have known her for a couple of years now. She is a slender blonde that is all of 23 years old. I love her face and figure, and especially her low buttery voice.

Obviously, I am not after Daphne. But she is a classic example of the type of girl who Phicklephilly falls in love with everyday. Kind of like how I loved Maria in the very first blog post. They just give off a certain energy that’s like catnip to me.

I would go to this place pretty regularly, and Daphne always seemed to be in a sour mood. Just all business with a pout on her face. She’s so beautiful, but she always was a sourpuss. I liked her but I stayed away from her. I figured a girl like her pretty much got hit on all the time. Probably every shift she worked . That has to get tiring. Maybe she had that attitude because if she’s too nice, these guys try to engage her and ask her out on dates. It’s hard when you’re the prettiest baby in the joint and you have to work the front line as a hostess. It’s like being in the infantry.

Maybe she was dealing with a health problem. Maybe just coming off a painful break up. Could be anything. But everybody was aware of her sullen attitude.

So I for the most did the opposite of what everybody else did. I paid attention to everyone on staff but Daphne. I was hoping she would start to wonder why out of all of the men that came into that place, I was the really friendly guy that talked to everyone but her. It’s just reverse psychology. My dad taught me how to run that program.

Then one day, Daphne disappeared. After a week or so of going there I simply stopped seeing her at the hostess stand. I asked my buddy Roman behind the bar what had happened. He said she went to Brazil for a few months to study abroad. So that was that.

When she returned, Daphne was a changed woman. I don’t know what happened while she was down there, but whatever it was, it worked. She was smiling, friendly and talkative. She would stop and say hello when I was at the bar. It was like she had been infused with a happy spirit. My father used to say that travel was very broadening. I have traveled some and have to agree. The world is a much bigger package than your little piece of real estate. She even gave me her number in case there was some cool event happening I could take her. What a turn around!

It appears she’s doing more than just hostessing now that she has returned. Serving and working as a bar back are also some of her duties now. She always smiles and says hello to me when I come in. We chat about what’s happening in our lives, but it’s always brief because she’s working. I like when she says my name in that lovely, low voice.

One night she was working and I stopped to say hello. She said she was sick. I back away and we both laugh. I told her she didn’t seem her usual effervescent self. I asked her the symptoms and she said throat was sore. We chatted a bit more and I told her that I hoped she felt better and went back to join my friends at the bar. But now I had an idea.

Later, when I went out to catch a smoke, I ran up to news stand up the street. I picked up another pack of smokes and a little something else.

A half an hour later me and my pals were leaving. Carly back to Manayunk, and Church back to King of Prussia. As I walked by Daphne sniffling at the hostess stand, I place a roll of sore throat lozenges on it. I smiled and said goodnight.

A month or so later, (like I said, I’m not really after little Daphne) I was sitting with some friends at the bar. She was at her hostess stand, and I look over and she smiles, and puts up her hands as if saying, “What’s up?”

I walk over to her and ask her if she’d like to meet me for a drink or lunch one day. She says, “Sure, text me.”

So I tell her, “How about Sunday after 4pm?”

“Text me.”

So I think it’s on if I can nail down a day and time. Which with her work and school schedule, will probably be impossible. I tell her I’ll text her this week.

I send her a text that Friday, and ask her if she’d like to meet me for a drink at Gran caffè L’Aquila, on Chestnut Street. It’s a really nice Italian restaurant that has been there for about three years. I figured she hadn’t been there, and I’d be happy to take her someplace a little fancy.

I never hear anything from her but the deafening sound of crickets.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Cheyanne – Elegant Power

“I have to meet the Queen Bee.”

I’ m finally ready to write about this rare bird.  I had the honor of meeting Cheyanne thorough a twisted contact of mine. I was introduced to Cheyanne through Carol. (See: Carol – 2015 to 2016 – No Fun in Dysfunction) Carol is one of the may parasites that desperately tried to attach themselves to this glowing force. Cheyanne has the power to empower women in business and help them focus on what will make that business grow and be prosperous,

But not everyone that comes to Cheyanne is a suitable subject. But like myself our hearts are always open to help those around us. It’s in our nature, It’s what we do. I’m sure Cheyanne met poor Carol at some women’s networking event and opened her heart. I get this. I’ve done the same a hundred times in this business.

I work in advertising and have many connections and I am always willing to really help those around me. I believe a community is built with relationships not transactions, and Cheyanne shares my philosophy in regard to this.

If you go and read my blog about Carol it is an attempt for us to help her but she’llhave to find her own way. We were all there for her every step of the way. We give everybody a lot of chances. Why not? The world has given us chances and we all appreciate the do-overs.

Cheyanne is a career and business coach that works with women in Philadelphia and the tri state area to help women build their businesses.

She is  a woman on a mission. A mission to help people realize their fullest potential, and provide them with the tools and support to reach that potential. Her passion is empowering others to realize their passions and goals, and facilitate the aligning of their passions with their work or their businesses, leading to a more fulfilling, purposeful life and career. Cheyanne believes that you can be wildly successful and feel fulfilled and satisfied in your life and your career.

I went to a party at Tir na Nog and was invited by Carol. I was happy to see her despite the usual tensions and went there. I got there early. I get to the table and I see that it’s not just a couple of people but an absolute gaggle of beautiful women.

I take a seat and get my usual chardonnay with ice and am happy I am surrounded with all that I love. I get to have great conversations with some fascinating women. Business owners, entrepreneurs, and the up and coming.

I was most impressed by a little lady that had started her own cosmetic company. She was so beautiful and shy but I loved her confidence when it came to ger product, The thing she made was her voice. I loved that and made her a favorite.

I have been in sales my whole life so I can easily spot the leader. I saw her immediately. She was in the middle of the table. but I knew.

It was Cheyanne

Cheyanne is a petite, fit, young lady that doesn’t catch you with her emerald eyes or her lovely vermillion tresses, but her voice. You see the crowd and you know instantly she’s the boss.

There were all of these lovely minds at the table. I actually couldn’t believe I was privy to this but I was happy to be here. As usual, Carol was painfully late and blowing it. I was supposed to come on as her intro but without her I don’t know anyone. But being who I am I just dive into this table of delicious female pulchritude.

I have to meet the queen bee.

I introduce myself and meld into the group. I feel like that I’m an alien visitor to this convent of women that I shouldn’t belong,  but I’m here now and I’m feeling the energy from all of these amazing women.

I love this. I don’t care if crazy complicated Carol ever shows up. I’m honored to be at this table with all of these wonderful, empowered women. I’m the only man here, so as I sip my chardonnay with ice I’m comforted with the thought that these lovely gazelles feel safe with this lion in their presence.

A lion that grew up with three sisters and understood women at an early age. I knew I could never get in the bathroom! I love them all for different reasons.

I have secret intel few men have to grow up with women. I’m happy to know all of my sisters and it’s helped me to know women in my life. But it’s never stopped me from making tragic mistakes in the ways of love. But that’s a completely different thing,

Carol is late as usual. I am having a lovely time with the ladies as always. I feel safe and I’m fascinated about everything they do. Hearing about their businesses and their aspirations is intoxicating to me because the world would be a better place if we would just let women run it.

Mutual communication and peace on Earth, I think as I down my 3rd glass of chardonnay.

I say I’m going out for a smoke.

A few gather with me and I can trust a lady that enjoys a bit of vice. We head out through the big gold doors of the Phoenix and end up on the steps on 16th street.

I am surprised when Cheyanne appears. She asks if I have a cig and of course I yield to her.

I never expected this. An hour ago I didn’t know any of these women.  I’m supposed to meet Carol who hasn’t even shown up. I’m having a better time without her!

Cheyanne is holding court on the front steps of the Phoenix and I’m surrounded by her squad. I love where I am right now,  She’s smoking and we’re drinking wine and I feel real power here with her team.

We go back inside and all is good and fun. Conversation and fellowship flow like liquid even though I’m the ony man there.

Keila shows up (see: Keila – The Gaza Stripper – 2012 to present) with BiBi (See: Bibi Matinee Madness) and that is nothing but a distraction to all of the great energy happening at this table.

I’m always warm to Keila but she’s always swarming with fleas and ticks. (shity people) I give Bibi a chilly reception.

Carol shows up late as usual for no real reason, and I’m ready to bail and so is Cheyanne and her squad so I said my goodbyes and went on home.

I met some fantastic women that night and I am very happy to have been invited to this event by Carol.

I look forward to meeting up with Cheyanne again soon!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

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Marisa – Aww…Come On!

I know what I said about Marisa the last time I wrote about her, but I thought I’d give her just one last chance to redeem herself. (see: Marisa – 2017 to present – The Friendly Hostess. It’s a three part story, so you should probably read them before you read this one because you’ll better understand who Marisa is) Maybe she learned her lesson and wants to be better. I left all of the grammatical errors in to keep it real. Also, pay close attention to the timeline.

Here’s the recent dialogue:

Thu. Jan 19, 9:33pm

Marisa: Hey

Sat. Jan 21, 7:58pm

Marisa: Hi

Marisa: How are you

Marisa: Good morning

Thu, Jan 26, 1:39pm

Marisa: Hi

Me: Hey (This is the first time I have responded since I last saw her)

Marisa: How’s going on

Marisa: I might go tomorrow in tanning salon

Me: I’m doing well.

Me: I’ll be at the salon from 3 to 8

Fri, Jan 27, 8:35am

Marisa: Hey morning

Me: What’s up Marisa

Marisa: What you up to lol

Me: I’m getting some breakfast and then I have a meeting at the pyramid club at 10. Meeting with my broker at 1pm then working at the salon at 3pm. What are you up to?

Me: ?

Sat, Jan 28, 8:28am

Marisa: Hi How are you?

Sat, Jan 28, 11:47am

Me: I’m good. Just woke up. Are you working today?

Sat, Jan 28, 11:37pm

Marisa: Hi

Sun, Jan 29, 9:52am

Marisa: Hey

Me: Hey

Marisa: What are you up too

Me: Going to work at the tanning salon

Marisa: Ohh

Me: What are you up to?

Marisa: Just wake up

Me: What are you doing after 4 today?

Marisa: Not much why you wanna grab a drink

Me: Yes

Marisa: Cool you must like to drink

Me: Of course

Sun, Jan 29, 12:37

Marisa: OK I’ll see you 4?

Me: Ok. Meet me at Square 1682

Sun, Jan 29, 4:14pm

Me: Where are you?

Sun, Jan 29, 4:58pm

Marisa: Where are the square

Marisa: Where im gonna meet you

Sun, Jan 29, 5:02pm

Me: You were supposed to meet me at Square 1682 an hour ago. It’s right across the street from Sofitel. I waited there for you for a half hour. and when I didn’t hear from you I went home. I couldn’t let you do what you did to me last time again.

(A bold-faced lie. I went straight home after work knowing this idiot wouldn’t be able to be at the bar right across the street from Sofitel were she works as a hostess)

Sun, Jan 29, 5:39pm

Marisa: You wanna meet

Me: I’m home now. Maybe some other time when I know you can really meet me on time. I like you but you need to be better with being reliable.

Sun, Jan 29, 6:55pm

Marisa: If you still wanna go out for drinks I’m cool

Me: Some other time, dear.

Sun, Feb 5, 2:50pm

Marisa: Hey. You wanna meet today for just dessert

Sun, Feb 5, 5:34pm

Marisa: Hey. You wanna grab some drinks

Mon, Feb 6, 5:20pm

Me: Sorry. I was out-of-town. How are you?

 

And it just ends there. Hopefully she’s finally given up. But can you believe this crazy shit? It’s like she has some sort of mental disability. She seems to have a complete inability to communicate, or accomplish even the simplest of tasks. How does this woman in her early thirties even function in this city, let alone in life? I don’t think I’ve ever had a dumber exchange with anyone ever. Look at the timeline. It goes on for weeks with no real connection. She never came to the tanning salon, and we never met up once. Can you imagine having this conversation with anyone? She almost seems insane in her behavior.

 

Update: Just got a text from her that said: ” Happy Valentine’s”

Oh maybe the love is still alive… lol

You never know…

Art imitates life imitates art.

 

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Annabelle – Chapter 4 – My “A” Game Lunch

I wasn’t sure, but I sure felt the euphoria of Annabelle. It had nothing to do with her, but at that point, neither of us knew that.

I had sent an email to Annabelle sometime after our “First Date”  thanking her for a wonderful time. I also asked her if she’d like to meet me for lunch at Jones (Stephen Starr restaurant at 8th and Chestnut) I knew the General Manager and knew I would get the exclusive hook up.

She got back to me and said yes!

I made a reservation, and got there early. My table was clear and I took a seat. the staff knew what to do. I waited. Annabelle arrived and I waved her over. She she had a t-shirt on and was wearing a pair of denim cutoffs that showed off her long slender legs. I hadn’t seen them before, but at nearly six feet tall, she had incredible pins.

She said she had just come from the pool where she had been swimming. I didn’t care. I was just happy that she had shown up. She had this scrubbed, day at the beach air about her. I liked it.

Within minutes a bowl of their signature mac and cheese, (which is glorious at Jones) arrived with a side of siracha. Annabelle was impressed. She wasn’t accustomed to going to restaurants with older men that made things happen. I could tell this. She was a simple girl who was surrounded by artsy people who had nothing.

We dug into the mac and cheese with great fury. Baby was hungry and liked to eat. We chatted, and I was happy to see this beauty again. I did my nervous talking thing I do with all new women in my life. But she was laughing a lot and I knew it was working. I was still friends with Michelle, but she was moving on with Delaware Dave, and I was feeling the power with this one. (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day)

I gave her a dvd of “The Art of the Steal” the documentary about the Barnes museum that we went to on our first date. I also brought her two miniatures of Chivas Regal’s Maple Whiskey, or as I call it, Hangover Nightmare Juice. At some point on our first date she mentioned that she liked maple syrup. Annabelle was delighted. How crazy will it be when I go to her apartment and find that she has no DVD player or a TV???

Sadly, I was still in love with the idea of love and didn’t know what I was getting myself into. If someone had pulled me aside and told me that this whole thing was a mistake that would have been great. But I know I would have done it anyway. I missed the drug of love I once had with Michelle and wanted it again. Annabelle was twenty-six and I wanted her. I didn’t even care so much about her age, I just needed to feed the addict.

That was me back then. I suppose that was me always. The failure that could always close beautiful young women. I wanted Annabelle to feed my addiction to love. I was the guy who couldn’t have a healthy mutual relationship with a woman. I had already gone down in a ball of flames years ago. A failed marriage, and a string of bad relationships. Nearly more than I could count. The last few had failed because they were younger than me and wanted marriage and kids. I had already destroyed that and had a kid to prove it. A hundred thousand dollars blown on child support and a broken family. Nothing worked. I wasn’t cut out to be in a relationship, let alone a marriage.

I think maybe I should just be alone. I love women. Desperately. But what if for some reason I am only in love with the idea of love and I am unable to actually be in love. I want Annabelle. She’s receptive, and artist, blonde, long legs…

I’m a fool. I am only chasing and courting her because she is young and beautiful. Just like Michelle. That unattainable gazelle that is just out of reach. I must have her. But do I really know her? Is it a match? She works in the arts. They’re a bunch of weirdo losers in the “arts”. We have nothing in common. Just this common connection. A girl I met in a bar that is kind of finding her way in life.

But I’m happy in this moment. I love the sound of her warm voice.

The lunch goes well. It’s the 17th of July. My father’s birthday. He’s 83 today. I picked this day because 17 is a common number in my family. It keeps turning up. That’s why this second date is happening. Annabelle is along for the ride. I’ll call my father tonight and tell him all about it. He’ll listen intently and live through me for once. But not really. He’s had his life. It has been so much more colorful than mine. Just like when I’m talking to him and telling a story. He’s not listening. I know he’s just waiting for me to shut up so he can talk.

He’ll ask her name, and I’ll tell him. He’ll access her heritage and maybe approve. If she sounds western European she’s good.

I remember when I was out in L.A. and working as a musician. My girlfriend at the end was a nineteen year old black girl. I remembered when we finally packed it in and came home. I loved and trusted my dad, because he was awesome. I told him about the black girl and what had happened. I’ll never forget what he said, ” Are you into blacks now?”

I should date and fall in love with a beautiful black girl just to smite that motherfucker. Yea, I can call my dad a motherfucker, because he fucked my mom and made me.

But I digress…

The lunch goes really well. She was excited about the pair of miniatures of Chivas Regal Maple.(The shit tastes terrible)  I also told her I would have asked her out to a second date sooner, but I was waiting for the Art of the Steal DVD to be delivered in the mail!

I have to go meet with the nice people at Chris’ Jazz Bar and she has to go to a photo shoot.

We go outside, and her bike is locked to a pole out front. A bicycle. A simple girl. She’s young and beautiful. Oh, those legs.

I’m in love with the idea of love.

What’s wrong with me?

I tell her I have to go and we hug. I remember very specifically, I went in for the hug…and went for the kiss on the cheek back by the ear. I think we all want to kiss on the lips. But you must sometimes settle for the cheek. It’s just the stupid rules of dating. Especially in the beginning.

She tells me her birthday is coming up soon.

The baby seal is hot. She’s been sitting on the rocks with her mom. She decides to jump into the sea to cool off. The water is crisp, and frothy.

Twenty five yards away, a dark grey dorsal fin cuts through the  water, sensing the life. Feeling the drug of the next love affair. Ready to feed.

I tell her I have some good ideas for her birthday, and she agrees. (I’m so going to make this happen)

I kiss her cheek and say that she’s great.

I walk west on Sansom. I text her that it was amazing seeing her and want to see her again.

When I get to Chris’ Jazz Cafe, I’m waiting for the general manager, and I get a text.

It’s Annabelle. She agrees, and gives me the XO

When I saw the XO I knew it was on. I kissed her on the cheek. That’s still the friend zone. But you can cross over. If a girl throws you an XO in an early text, you’re in boys.

I wasn’t sure, but I sure felt the euphoria of Annabelle. It had nothing to do with her, but at that point, neither of us knew that.

She wanted her dad, and I just wanted to be loved by pretty girls when I was thirteen. So here we are, and we’ll have to see what happens.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Eliana – Part 2 -The Art of Philly Cheesesteaks

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

Eliana and I decided to meet again. She said she wanted to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I love the PMA, so I was down for that. Back then I was off on Mondays, so she said she’d come down again.

She drove down into center city, and because she don’t know the city, and is not the best parallel parker, she picked me up. I was at Rachael’s stuffing a bagel down my throat. I don’t think she’d get down here as fast as she did.

I hop in her Chevy Volt and off we go. I direct her out to the PMA, because she’s clueless. We pull into the underground parking garage and lock the car. We take the elevator to the surface, and head towards the back entrance of the museum. The back of the building is not nearly as exciting as the front, with the Rocky steps and all.

We get to the door, and the nice man guarding the door says the museum is closed. What a disappointment. I was really looking forward to walking the halls of my favorite museum with this lady. But I’ve got an idea. I work my charm on the guard and he provides us with a coupon for cheap parking.

Eliana, is giving me some ribbing about bringing her down here on a monday, and the museum being closed. I get it and I’ll fix this. It was a little annoying though.

It’s a beautiful warm day, and I tell her leave the car there in the lot. We get our coats out of the vehicle and walk down Ben Franklin Parkway. I take her to the Rodin Museum. I love Rodin. It’s a small museum, but his sculptures rock. (get it?)

We tour the museum for a bit, and then take a seat in one of the rooms to chill. I steal a kiss or two from her. I think she knows by now I like her. I’m not blown away by this girl, but she’s nice and I’m feeling decent energy. I’m not that attracted to her. She’s got a sexy body, but there’s something missing. Maybe it’s a cultural gap. Did you ever notice how sometimes people from other countries just aren’t as hip as Americans? I mean no offense by this statement. But we have so many diverse culture references, that, and our fast way of life, it just makes us different.

The sun is shining and it’s an amazingly warm beautiful day. We stroll the parkway, and I have us walk south around 20th street. That’s a great area out there. The Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Sciences. I could have taken her to the Barnes Museum instead of the Rodin, but there’s a difference. The Rodin Museum was free. I made a small donation. The Barnes if $25 per person. I’m not dropping $50 on a second date. I don’t care if it’s a billion dollar art collection or not.

I’ve done the Barnes as a first date, but I got in for FREE. Totally different situation. I don’t know if this chick is going to make it.

We walk all the way back down to Rittenhouse. It was a hike, but a lovely stroll. I take her to a good spot I know for Monday lunch. We go in and get a table in the back. My favorite Monday bartender is on duty. Anna Marie is a love. She’s a beautiful Vietnamese girl. Petite and fit. I do the necessary pleasantries. Eliana had told me she had never had a Philly cheesesteak.

Today is the day, because they are half price on Mondays at this place. If I’m going to date all of these women, I have to be creative as well as thrifty. She’s pleased with the outcome, and happy that I remembered.

We get our food and chat. Our day is going well. She likes her cheesesteak well enough. I of course pay the bill. But so far this has been a pretty light date financially.

We walk west on Walnut street. We had some leftover food and I am carrying it so that I can give it to the next homeless person I see. It’s a real problem in Philly. But it seems like every time I have food, I never see any of them. This has happened on several occasions. But I do finally run into a guy and give him the food.

We walk all the way out to the Schuylkill River. There is a long walking and riding path there. It’s a lovely scenic area. You just have to watch out for the cyclists speeding by.

Check it out here: https://schuylkillrivertrail.com/

It goes on for miles and miles. They’ve really done a great job developing and maintaining it. We walk along the manicured trail. The view of the river is great. You can see Thirtieth Street Station, and the Cira Centre, which is my favorite building in the city. Because it looks like a big shard of glass jammed into the ground.

More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cira_Centre

There was some kisses as we strolled along the path. It was a long day, and we basically spent almost six hours together. The beauty of this little journey, is that the path leads right back to the Art Museum. It really has been a lovely day. But when you spend a great deal of time with someone, you get to know them pretty fast.

We get to the parking garage and hop in her car. It’s been an amazing day weather wise. I like Eliana. She asks me if I want to drive her car, and I leap at the chance. Just so much technology in these modern machines. I’m going to drive this car right down to Square 1682 at 17th and Sansom. I’ll be sipping a drink with Carly and Church in twenty minutes.

I just don’t know how thrilled I am with Eliana. I think she’s nice and I like her, but somehow, something’s missing. I’m just not feeling the energy. I don’t need to feel the euphoric power I have felt in the past about anyone. I hope that aspect of my love life never happens again.

I need to think about this. I’ll know what I’m going to do by the next date.

Probably before that.

She does have a slammin’ little body on her…

I promise to let you know.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday at 9am EST.

 

Annabelle – Chapter 2 – Guy Walks Into A Bar…

“I wish I could go to cool events.”

I had met Annabelle a year earlier while she was tending bar at that crappy tavern at the Warwick hotel. That was the Saturday I was waiting for Michelle to meet me for brunch after her hair appointment. (See Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day)

I was with Lorelei and I took her to get her nails done. I had been at a First Friday event the night before and was a little banged up. First Friday is just what it sounds like. It’s mostly celebrated down in Old City. The businesses down there showcase work by local artists and serve free wine, beer and cider. The company I worked for normally had these huge parties at our office the first friday of the month, once a quarter. So it was a shit show and oceans of booze.

The place she goes to get her nails done is right across from the tavern at the Warwick. I haven’t set foot in the place in over a year. I walk in to get a beer to take the edge off my hangover. Who’s standing behind the bar but Annabelle. I remembered her name and say hello to her. She greets me using my name as well. I was surprised and impressed. I must have made a favorable impression on her a year ago.

I am once again the only person in the place. I order a Corona, put some cash on the bar and start chatting with her. I tell her I am no longer with the publication where I formerly worked for five years. I am working for a start-up that shows people where to go drink around the city. I do advertising sales for them. Because of my job I get to go to a lot of cool events for free around the city. I also tell her Michelle was leaving town to go live in San Francisco, with her former ex-boyfriend. They had rekindled their relationship and were giving it a serious go.

“I wish I could go to cool events.” she says.

“I’d be happy to bring you along to one! Let me see what I have coming up.”

Annabelle was under the impression that I was married to Michelle, and that Lorelei was our daughter. She said she remembered me friending her on Facebook a year ago after we met and me reaching out to her. She never responded because she thought I was in a relationship with Michelle. But I told her that Michelle and I were just friends when we walked into the bar last year and had been done since 2010. It was now 2013, and so much had changed. It was June and Michelle would be leaving around November.

We had a really great conversation and I felt energized. She was still doing her photography business, but still did the bartending gig to support it. She had worked at this spot for years. Annabelle didn’t like working in the restaurant business. She said she hated it. I would later find out why.

Annabelle cracked open another beer. She tells me she lives up in Northern Liberties. She had a mock studio in her loft apartment there. I don’t really ever go to Northern Liberties. Just not a fan of the area. I like being in the center of things. That’s why I’m in Rittenhouse. She says she rides her bicycle down here a few days a week to work here.

I ask her if she’s been to the Barnes Museum yet. She says no. I knew the answer would be no, that’s why I asked her. It was still relatively new to center city, and tickets were expensive. I knew she didn’t have that kind of paper. I mentioned that there was a rum tasting event that’s coming up in a couple of weeks. I knew the marketing director over there and knew I could get us in to see the collection and get some free drinks.

“That would be cool!”

I looked at my phone. Lorelei was done, and needed Daddy to come across the street and pay for her new manicure. “I gotta go. Daughter needs me for my wallet.”

As I’m walking out, I tell her I’ll send her a calendar invite for July 5th and if her night’s clear, I’ll take her.

“Sounds good!” she smiles.

I step out into the warm Spring afternoon and bolt across the street. There may be something here. Met her a year ago. Made the connection. Reconnected just now. Locked down a potential night out with her. We’ll see what happens. If nothing comes up, I’ll be checking out a billion dollar art collection, sipping rum with a tall pretty girl.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 9am EST.