Yesterday I went down to Philadelphia to visit with a friend from Harrisburg, who had just moved to Philly. He had lived in Harrisburg since the late 80's, and decided to take the leap and move. Quite frankly I was surprised he hadn't years ago, since he was always in Philly or NYC. He's been there three weeks already and happier than I'd seen him. While I know my return to Harrisburg won't be permeant...I too wonder if Philly will be a good move, or if I return to Bucks County? We shall see. We spent the overcast day mostly just wondering around and hopping from pub to pub, and just enjoying the sights. Rittenhouse Square and neighborhood was always a favorite spot of mine in the city. The park is one of the five open spaces planned by William Penn during the late 17th century, and the city still prides itself of these open spaces used as parks. The neighborhood is currently among the highest-income urban neighborhoods in the country. Some of the condo high-rises are insane. The park itself was named in 1825 after David Rittenhouse, a descendant of the first papermaker in Philadelphia, the German immigrant, William Rittenhouse. Many parts of the park resemble parts of Paris and French gardens, with pools, railings and fountains. The neighborhood has some of the neatest townhomes, and high-rises in the Italianate and Art Deco styles, and the neighborhood over the years was home to Alexander Cassatt, William Weightman, John Wanamaker and Philadelphia planning commission director Edmund Bacon and his sons, the Bacon Brothers. Yes, those Bacon Brothers!! It was a lovely time and were even treated to a peaking of the sun.
Sunday, April 30, 2023
Friday, April 28, 2023
One of the first things to happen when I got to Budapest, Warbucks told me were going to the Baths! Thermal Baths peeps, not the other kind I was used too!!! We pulled up to the entrance of the Szechenyi Thermal Baths, and I held my breath. For it was still a few minutes before the godforsaken hour of 6AM!!!! It was still dark and cold out, but mostly men were already standing outside waiting to get in. Hungarians apparently take their bathing seriously, so it is best to arrive early before it gets crowded. Budapest earned the nickname "City of Baths" thanks to the many Turkish thermal spas scattered around the city, filled with natural steaming thermal water which promise healing properties. The Szechenyi Spa is one of the country's most famous and dates back to over a century and a half. Some baths dated back 2 centuries. The baths' waters are said to be therapeutic and help soothe ailments like tired joints, joint diseases, and chronic arthritis. The bath has piping hot steam chambers and saunas which warm you up so quickly from the inside out that you'll be sweating in just a few minutes. The baths here are supplied by two different hot springs one that 79 C and the other at 80C.
It was definitely a good idea from Warbucks...after what, with my 13-hour flight the day before. The building itself was a beautiful marvel. We had gotten a suite, for our changing into square cuts and we were also getting facials and massages later, so we got a private room. The springs themselves were a neat experience, as I never thought I'd be laying at a thermal poolside in the early cold temps of winter, as this took place remember, beginning of March. The waters felt great, yet when laying poolside, the cold air felt nice once out. I also noticed many men playing games of chess. It seems to be a very integral daily part of people to meet and be social too. Men and women. After the pool, we went before out services, to one of the sweltering dry saunas, where my eyes couldn't seem to stay fixated as Hungarian men are not shy and aren't afraid to get naked. Try concentrating when things are swinging to and fro!!!!! And many are sitting spread eagle with nice jumblies laying on the bench. For me it was like a candy shop! After 20, minutes that is, I had to get out as it was too hot after some time, and our services were impending. We had one of the best massages I think I had. The place offers the thermal pools, indoor and outdoor, great showers to rinse off between pools and saunas, indoor plunge pools, massage rooms and tables and even an Aquafitness area, and cafes. They also supply footwear and towels.
Needless to say, when we left, I was putty... and ended up sleeping the rest of the day.
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
You know I love me a good market!