Top 5 Things I’ve Done This Summer: #3 Cheesy Tourist Stuff In Places That Aren’t Oregon

6 10 2012

I think it’s pretty clear that I enjoy Oregon, however sometimes you do have to get out and explore non-Oregon.  I’ve done that many times over the past few months, and that brings me to the 3rd in my series of ‘Top 5 Things I’ve Done This Summer’.   But not only did I get out, to make it more fun I did cheesy tourist stuff while out,  x 3!

Number 1 – Philadelphia, PA
My 1st touristy cheesiness was in downtown Philly going to the two famous cheese steak joints, Geno’s and Pat’s.  That correct, this cheesy activity actually involves cheese.  Well no it doesn’t, because I don’t consider Cheese Whiz to be actual cheese.

Geno’s is pretty in-your-face, where Pat’s is low-key.

I’ve been to the Philadelphia area a lot but never made it downtown to try them, and I’ve always wanted to answer the question I get when I’m there, “Are you Geno’s or Pat’s?”  I don’t eat a lot of meat, and when I do I like it to be really good stuff, like the Snake River Kobe Beef I’ve recently fallen in love with.  Well this meat is about the opposite of that, but I get it, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  So what I did is go to Pat’s and order a steak whit’ whiz, threw some hot sauce on it, ate half of it, trashed it, then went over to Geno’s and did the same.  The answer to “Are you Geno’s or Pat’s?” is…

<< Geno’s       Pat’s >>

I’m Pat’s.  Geno’s had less-grosser meat, but Pat’s overall flavor was better and a softer bun completed the package.   If you’re going to Philly, you should see for yourself and experience these two institutions.  Plus, I got to see some friends when I was there!

Yay friends!

Well, one friend wasn’t there so I Photoshopped her in.  I’m pretty good at Photoshop.

More sopapillas please!

Number 2 – Denver, CO
The 2nd cheesiness was in Denver, Colorado.  Before heading to the mountains for a week of relaxation with friends, I thought I’d hit Casa Bonita 1st to get the opposite of relaxation.  I last went here over 20 years ago, and well, time stops in Casa Bonita-land because not a thing has changed.  Except most of the other businesses in the strip mall have gone out of business.  If you don’t know about Casa Bonita, the South Park episode is pretty dead on.

You walk in and meander a long line with tons of people (think amusement park ride), order, and then your bland food comes out of a slit in the wall, really.  You grab your food get in a new line which takes you to a person who seats you in the enormous dining area that resembles an old South American town with a waterfall in the middle.  To which, actors will come out while you eat, roll through some lines and one invariably ends up diving off the waterfall into the pool below.

Food comes from where?

There are also mariachi’s roaming, fire-jugglers, caves to explore, arcades, a photo area where you can dress up in western garb, and a man dressed in a gorilla suit.  It’s awesome.

Gorilla!

Number 3 – New York, NY
I’ve been to NY a bunch but always avoid the touristy stuff.  I do my best to look like a New Yorker and blend in, dressing in grays and blacks, not making eye-contact with anyone, walking briskly, and only giving a small nod when communication between humans is needed.  Not this time, I hit the Brooklyn Bridge and wore bright colors!

Substantial and pretty cool.

Although touristy, it’s more cool than cheese.  It does get crowded (and the poor bikes trying to cross it have to deal with tons of idiots in their lane) but I found that it’s worthwhile.  It’s a cool old bridge, good exercise, and you get a great view of the skyline.

This is from about a 1/4 in.

So there you go!  On to #2…

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