We did our second performance in Philly at the Rotunda on Wednesday night. The space is some kind of old Christian Science centre apparently, with a big domed area which might fall down and a safer bit in the back where we performed. I'm constantly thankful for the quick set up time on this show- we can have it ready in an hour, so we don't have to spend hours in dark room fiddling with lights. Audiences for our two Philly shows were very sort of gentle and cerebral. I led that seminar, there's a great write up of it by locals Tara and Clay on their blog. I've also written a short thing for the High Concept Laboratories blog here about the tour in general. After taking advice from several quarters, I decided I didn't need to eat a Philadelphia Cheese Steak. They sound gross and they use can-cheese. Had some great cajun food instead.
Then the next morning we said goodbye to our hosts and went on the road again, singing the bits of "on the road again" that we think we remember, as well as the goddamn fresh prince theme. That goddamn song. That's what you get for coming to West Philadelphia I guess.
Toll free option on google maps took us through Amish country, where we saw no Amish people but some Amish children we think, in a yard. We weren't sure how many points they were worth, but Theo saw them and that means he wins the game. No squirrels. Long drive, lots of fog. Obligatory cinematic reference is The Deer Hunter, which is set in Pennsylvania- it looks like that. More time spent discussing the rules of the car games than playing car games, guess we are suckers for the meta-level in all things, or just pedantic people. On arrival in Pittsburgh we went to a noodle place where the mildest option caused me considerable pain. Nothing makes me crankier than delicious food which hurts me. I'm OK now though, thanks.
Pittsburgh has welcomed us with lots of rain, and last night - right before the show- the biggest thunder and most fierce storm I think I've ever experienced. The first big thunderclap right above me actually made me kind of fall over. It cleared up in time for the show, which was well attended, and which I led again. Quite a different vibe this time and a much more assertive and energetic crowd. Someone brought cookies and then two people said they claimed responsibility, which was odd. Our contacts here, Savannah and Eleanor (from NZ) have been great at spreading the word and hosting us.
We haven't seen too much of this city, partly because of the rain and partly for lack of time. There's an Andy Warhol Museum, which we haven't been too, and there's an art gallery in an old mattress factory, which we haven't been too. It's still too early for green on the trees, so the place looks quite gray and cold. There's a big river with lots of bridges and the leftovers from lots of industrial buildings. Karah and I have enjoyed driving around over all the confusing bridges and roads, and they have a great baseball stadium by the river.
Today it's off West again, towards Chicago, with a few stops along the way.