Philadelphia was a blast. The grid structure of the city and the easy access to the subway made it quite an accessible city to walk about which I absolutely love. Definitely a place I would not mind living but then, I've always felt myself an east coast boy at heart.
Madonna was amazing as always. The woman works her heart out to put on a great show and I always admire that. Would be so easy for her to just doing something ordinary and mundane. I did, however, enjoy the 2004 Reinvention show a little bit better. But, I must say that this concert left me excited and wanting more. Both awesome experiences in my book. I managed to meet quite a few people on the subway to the show and after as well. I didn't sit down once after she took the stages and from what I can tell, not many others did either.
As for Morimoto... I spent about $165 on myself but it was definitely worth it. The Man in reference was not there that day but no bother. I had one of his Rogue beers, (which can be found at most Spec's stores btw) and a bottled water to carry me through what was an 8-10 course meal. I unfortunately did not keep count and it would have been nice to have a record of everything I ate but ah vell. I ordered the Omakase, which comes in a few price points. The website describes it as "CHEF'S CHOICE A MULTI-COURSE TASTING MENU DESIGNED TO ALLOW YOU TO EXPERIENCE THE ESSENCE OF MORIMOTO'S CUISINE." (I cut and paste so I hope you will excuse the caps.) It was wonderful to try ingredients and techniques Ive only read about or seen on television. Highlights for me included the benito shavings on a certain fish that escapes me currently, mint sorbet (used as a palette cleanser), and the kobe beef with fois gras. Thinking about those and the numerous other dishes I had there has me salivating in my recollections.
Another city great for walking is New Orleans. At least in the Quarter. I had a great time there and it was nice to take a mini road trip with Kyle. My only complaint is that I had a sinus infection the entire time, but I grinned and beared it for him, his friends (who were awesome) and myself. Well most of the time anyway.
The city is still in pretty poor shape overall and it looks like progress is happening very slowly. The trolleys still weren't up until our last day and even then only two on Canal st. Our first night there was a blackout in the Quarter which made things kind of interesting. It brought forth feelings of old romanticism... seeing candles in bars and restaurants amidst the facades of the Spanish/French influenced buildings. The only thing missing was torches and perhaps a few more horses.
After 4 days or so there we headed back to Houston. It was nice to be back home for a bit. We arrived on Sunday night and it was hard for me to get to sleep so I didn't get a whole lot. Nary 3hours of sleep, really, before I had to get up and get ready for Monday morning Jury duty. Being tired wasn't so bad but the fact that I was still ill made it suck even more. I did not expect to get selected on account of how awful I must have looked but I did. I'll admit I did have fun though. The case only last one day. A DWI case where we found the defendant not guilty. I don't live too far from downtown so I took the metro line toward and walked the 2 blocks to the jury selection courthouse. After all was said and done around 7pm I began my trek home. Metro offers free round-trip rides for those serving on jury duty and I considered catching a ride back but it was a nice day and, seeing as how I walked about two other US cities recently but rarely ever walk around downtown Houston, I decided what the hell.
It was a nice walk home.
All in all despite the illness, traversing 3 cities on foot, eating at fabulous restaurants and meeting lots of new people, July was an extraordinary month. Looking forward to many more.