Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The 5th of July

FireworksWe trekked into downtown Philly with Geeky Girl in tow, our neighbors in awe of our adventurous spirit. It's a 30 minute train ride, followed by a 15 minute walk, not too adventurous in my book, but okay. We somehow ended up on a main route over to Ben Franklin Parkway. We usually are snaking our way through back alleys. We hit the street vendors earlier than usual, shouting out, "Water, one dollar. Glow lights, one dollar." Everything's a dollar, except the t-shirts, five dollars. The crowd is impressive and the streets have been cleaned maybe, five minutes before. We move through the crowd toward our usual area, a little to the left of the stage, pretty far back on the lawn. And when we get there, it's standing room only. What the . . . (as Geeky Girl would say). We had hoped, I guess, that there wouldn't be Live 8 leftovers. So we had to move a little further back, which was fine.

We were wandering around during the entire Bryan Adams set (2 whole songs). Then Wayne Brady and some other guy (couldn't see him) talked a lot about AIDs. Then Rufus Wainwright came out. I was completely shocked. He wasn't listed on any program I'd seen. Two whole songs. Couldn't hear them well. Really need to get to an actual Rufus Wainwright concert. Things really didn't get going until Patti LaBelle came out and then the whole crowd was standing, including us way back in the back. And finally, it was Elton John! It was awesome. I mean, he was really good, even though we were way back in the back. We could make out the jumbotron and could hear just fine. He played four songs, including "Tiny Dancer" to which our own tiny dancer produced quite the routine, complete with glow sticks. He ended with the requisite "Philadelphia Freedom" which was also awesome.

Some observations:

1. What's up with all the boys (between the ages of 14 and 25) posturing. I mean, seriously. Does all that strutting and posing really get you anything? I note you move in crowds and there are none of the female species with you.

2. To the couple on the left who drank too much and were thus passed out for Elton John (actually passed out before Patti LaBelle). I'm sad for you, really.

3. To the couple in front of us, about the same age (maybe early 20s) as the couple to the left, you know how to celebrate! Dancing, singing, having fun.

4. To the huge Indian family next to us, your kids are beautiful and well-behaved and seemed like they were having a great time. Good sparklers too!

5. Apparently, for certain people between the ages of 14 and 25, it is not cool to have a good time. You are required to stand and not move to the music, not clap or shout or give any indication that you are nothing more than a robot. Maybe you are a robot.

6. There were lots more people this year (one million), which meant lots more obnoxious people on the train ride home. When it's standing room only on a train that you can't get off of easily, you don't want to see a fight break out because someone said they were a Giants fan just to get someone else's goat.

7. Interesting conversations overheard on the train:
"He was just out with her like, two days ago and now he's out with her again. What's up with that?"

"All I need is my laz-y-boy and some beer and I'm good."

From a less-than-20-year old next to me: "When you're young, you don't know what love is." Buddy, I got news for you . . .
It was a good 4th! Pictures when I get to work. Update: pictures. Click on the image to see the whole set.