Thursday 27 March 2014

Book tour day five - Philadelphia (part two)

Already on part two and I've not even left New York. Let's see if I can get all the way to the end of Tuesday this time.

"Have your tickets and id ready for inspection." They say. I obediently take out my verblijfsvergunning and hold it in the same hand as my ticket. It's a dead handy document, a verblijfsvergunning. I'm pretty sure they think it's a driving licence in the US. Whatever, they accept it as id. It saves having to take my passport everyehere with me. 

The ticket inspector is only interested in inspecting my ticket. Waste of time getting out my id.

There are no free pairs of seats so I sit next to a middle-aged woman. I put my magazine ticket and verblijfsvergunningon my seat while I hunk my monster bag onto the overhead luggage rack. When I look back at my seat, the magazine and ticket are there, but the verblijfsvergunningis nowhere to be seen.

I check my wallet. No, I hadn't put it back. I check the floor under my seat. No. Under the seat in front. Not there, either. Under the seats across the gangway. No. I start panicking. And sweating. Just as well there are no security guards about.

I sit down nervously and do through my wallet again. No, definitely not in there. Where the hell could the thing have disappeared to. I check a wide area of floor, crawling around on my knees. This is bollocks. It's not as bad a s losing my passport, but it will still be a pain in the arse getting a new one.

Twenty minutes into the journey, I'm still full of anxiety, anger and apathy. Where could it have gone. In a final depairing attempt, I stick my hand down the back of my seat. And out pops my verblijfsvergunning. What a fun start to the journey.

I get a taxi to my hotel when I get to Philadelphia. It's not far and only costs me ten bucks.

The strange covered-in bit of road outside my hotel looks familiar. When have I seen it before? I know - when we took the crazy Chinese bus from Washington to New York. This is where it stopped in Philadelphia. I'm in China Town.

Despite this being my free day, I have a couple of appointments. Most important is meeting George Hummel, who has arranged my event at Yards tomorrow. He's going to show me around later. First I'm havong a few beers with one of my blog readers, Ed Draper, and his faincée Michelle.

We meet at Home Sweet Hombrew, George's homebrew shop. I'm a bit late, having got disorientated on leaving my hotel. We head off for the City Tap house. The weather is being weird. Having spent the last couple of days freezing my bollocks off, it's now warm enough to sit outside in the sun. Where we have a few beers.

I've mentioned on the blog that I'll be in the Nodding Head brewpub around 18:00, which I am. Another blog reader, Bill King, is waiting there with some books for me to sign. More beers are drunk.

Last time I was in town, I didn't have chance to visit Monks Cafe. For reasons entirely outside my control: a bus smashed into the front of it the day I arrived. Now I can see if it lives up to its awesome reputation. I break one of my most important rules: I drink a European beer. I've a good excuse. It's Tilquin Geuze, a beer I can't nornally buy. And a cracking beer.

I follow it up with a Pliny the Elder. Which goes very nicely with my mussels. George is very entertaining as he shows me his hometown. He's quite a character and seems to know every publican and barperson in town. Which is quite handy. We arrange to meet around midday the following day. For a few more beers while I'm waiting for the evening's event.

Which is what we'll hear about next time.

The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer

Home Sweet Homebrew
2008 Sansom St.
Philadelphia PA 19103
Tel: +1 215-569-9469

City Tap House
3925 Walnut St,
Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Tel: +1 215-662-0105

Nodding Head
1516 Sansom St,
Philadelphia, PA 19102.
Tel: +1 215-569-9525‎

Monk's Cafe
264 S 16th St,
Philadelphia, PA 19102.
Tel: +1 215-545-7005

Jose Pistola's
263 S 15th St,
Philadelphia, PA 19102.
Phone:+1 215-545-4101


Anonymous said...

Surprised that you have a verblijfsvergunning because I thought that British nationals have the right to reside anyway in the EU.
Pliny the Elder with mussels? Didn't they have any Guinness then? :)

JD Lady Luck Brewing said...

I'm so happy you made it to Monks and Nodding Head. Both are owned my Tom but both places are completely different. Monks for the great beer diversity and great beer and at Nodding Head the brewer will come out and talk shop about some of his great beer. Come in summer and get the Berliner Weisse - one of the best.
Hopefully next time I'll be able to make it.

Piet_V said...

perhaps we should consider a referendum ?

Bill said...

Great to finally put a face to the man whose blog I've followed for years. Hope you enjoyed the RIS.

Ron Pattinson said...


great meeting you, too. Not tried the RIS yet, but I'm really looking forward to it.