Thus Spake Zuska

Our Philadelphia Staycation

Mr. Z and I are celebrating America’s Fourth of July holiday with that great new American tradition, the STAYCATION!

Later I’ll blog about how I began my staycation on July 3rd. Yesterday, Mr. Z and I staycated in style, cleaning out a large and extraordinarily untidy closet. Triumphant but exhausted, we elected to go out to dinner rather than grill something. We are hoping that Homeland Security does not get wind of us having Chinese food on the 4th as opposed to A-merrycan grilled slabs of meat. We did hie ourselves unto the local fireworks display after dinner and despite the rain it was quite lovely.

This morning I went to the local farmer’s market and, alas, only purchased black raspberries and white cherries, despite the profuse offerings on hand. Reason being, I am departing on Tuesday to spend a week with mom, and Mr. Z traditionally eats take-out crap while I am away, so no use buying a lot of nice fresh stuff just to let it rot. The black raspberries on breakfast cereal were divine. You are so sorry you didn’t have any.

Then we went to the Simeone auto racing museum. The dude who collected all the cars and founded this museum must have an endless supply of cash. Many of the gazillion racing cars are the only one of their type still in existence. The museum purports to show the “evolution” of the racing car; the message is that competition (racing) spurs evolution (of design) and survival of the fittest gives us the fab designs of today. Interesting. This museum is unlikely to be suitable for right-wing conservative religious wingnut wackaloons, because of said evolutionary themes.

We ate dinner at Jack’s Firehouse. Some architect lavished attention on this firehouse in the past; it’s lovely. And it’s right across the street from Eastern State Penitentiary. The castle-like Eastern State is beautiful in a gray, foreboding, austere manner. It’s well worth a visit if you are ever in Philly.

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At Jack’s, our conclusion, from observation of the tables near us and comparison to the service we received, is that if you order alcohol with your meal, you are treated much better than if you order water and iced tea. You don’t have to ask for bread with your meal, it is just given to you; you don’t have to ask for another drink, you are asked if you want another drink; you don’t have to wonder whether your waitress has vanished into the bowels of the earth; she hovers ever solicitously near you. On the other hand, should you want to dine and dash, it couldn’t be easier when you are sitting at streetside with your car a few steps away and no waitress in sight. We did not D&D, though sorely tempted.

The gazpacho, however, was delicious.

Tomorrow’s festivities will possibly include taking measurements of attic windows for new window blinds. Then this whirlwind weekend will draw to a close, and it’s back to ordinary life.


  1. #1 EM
    July 6, 2008

    I would like to state my immense dislike of the word “staycation”.

  2. #2 Barn Owl
    July 6, 2008

    Hooray for the staycation…it’s green, and inexpensive!

    I visited my horses and my friends at the ranch on Friday, picked tomatoes, peppers, and squash, and did some much-needed cleaning. Yesterday was yoga class, cooking, and yardwork (finished just before a summer shower that blew in from the Gulf), and today more gardening, cleaning, and novel-reading are in the works. Such an exciting life I lead, I can hardly stand it! Woohoo! 😉

    The Simeone museum looks cool, but I’m more a fan of the kooky car competitions and motoring challenges a la Top Gear. It’s the Anglophilia, combined with the classic Texan obsession with vehicles, I’m afraid.

  3. #3 Philly Chit Chat
    July 6, 2008

    I love Philly and I love Staycations. I went to a lot of family reunions, local parades this weekend, and I live in the art museum area and saw fireworks on both ends of Philadelphia.

  4. #4 PhysioProf
    July 6, 2008


    Ya gotta love Field Negro! All my Obama posts now use his “‘O’ man” coinage.

  5. #5 strader
    July 8, 2008

    Hi, I’m a journalist with the DC bureau of a Japanese TV network and we’re looking to profile a “staycationer” for a segment we’re putting together. I was wondering if I could speak with you about your plan to staycation this summer.

    Please give me a call at 202.638.0441 or e-mail me at strader(at)

    Thank you,


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