Lauren and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad….but AWESOME DAY!

25 Jun

WARNING: This blog post is filled with a bunch of side notes, parentheses, and a slightly confusing, and lengthy plot. I will attempt to make this make as much sense as possible. But, I apologize in advance. You have been warned.

So, it’s been a while since my last post. I was kind of saving up my weekly blog space for Friday’s scheduled event. Little did I know, just how crazy and awesome of an adventure I was going on this particular Friday night.

The initial plan: Kenyetta (an admissions fellow), Tim (fellow rising sophomore), Sarah (Kenyetta’s friend from home), and I were going to see Childish Gambino at Penn’s Landing on the Riverfront.

Side note: Each year, Swarthmore puts on a large scale event (or LSE as we like to throw around on campus). This April, Childish Gambino came to the campus and performed for some of the students in Upper Tarble. I didn’t get to see very much of the concert because I was in the student dance concert that was happening at the same time. So, I was really excited to go see his full concert.

What actually happens: Friday afternoon Kenyetta and I leave the admissions office a little late (around 4:45pm), so we know we are probably going to have to rush a bit to make it to the 5:54pm train. After meeting up with Tim and eating very quickly, we have about 5 mins to make it to the train station which is not 5 mins away. Kenyetta (varsity track star) makes the decision that we are going to have to go at a slight jog. Oh yeah, and Tim also happens to be on the track team as well. Needless to say, it was very kind of them to pretend the pace I was going at was an appropriate speed. But, we make it there right on time, for the train that ends up being 10 mins late. (Lesson #1: Always pretend the train is going to be right on time, because you never know…we learn this the hard way later. But, we’ll get to that later). We finally get on the train, and on our way to Market East station.

Septa One-Day Independence Pass

Side note: Kenyetta filled us in on a great deal they have on the Septa that not too many people know about right now. We purchased a Septa One-Day Independence Pass, instead of buying roundtrip fare. With this pass we can use any mode of Septa transportation for $11. Saves a lot of money when you’re traveling around the city.

We get off the train at Market and 10th, and the bridge to Penn’s Landing is on 2nd. On our way there, we meet up with Sarah who was already in the city. While we are walking, we notice it starts to drizzle. The last time I checked the weather report, it said there was about a 30% chance of raining and scattered thunderstorms. But, it didn’t look to threatening. Also, the last time I checked the weather was two days prior. Apparently a lot can change in those two days….(Lesson #2: Check the weather before you leave. Once again, we learned this the hard way).

The bridge to Penn’s Landing…on a slightly nicer day.

So, as we reach the bridge that will take us to Penn’s Landing, a torrential downpour beings. Then the wind starts up, and the rain is actually hurting at the point. And although we can barely see a foot in front of us, we keep marching to the venue. Sometimes we were able to take shelter next to a bus because the rain was falling sideways, but we eventually gave into the weather and let it happen.

We joined the long line of equally drenched fans waiting for the gates to open. Around 7:30, when the venue should be opened, we were told the concert had been canceled. Concertgoers were not too pleased. Many decided to hang around the bridge, which was overlooking the parking lot where Childish Gambino’s tour buses were stationed.

The police breaking up the “crazy” mob. One of the few pictures taken due to the weather.

Some fans went down to hang around the bus in hopes of catching a glimpse of the rapper even though the concert wasn’t going to happen. One particularly dedicated fan brought his car next to the bus and started blasting Gambino’s Camp album. Everyone joined in singing, and he was so enthusiastic that he decided to jump on top of his car and jump around as if it were not still pouring! And this is when a particularly enthusiastic police officer decided to show up, with his baton. No one got hit, even when he decided back up (consisting of 11 other officers with batons) was necessary. Once the officers made their way up to the bridge where we were standing, we thought it best to move out.

Cold and wet we made our way back to Market East where there is a Big K (Kmart) across the street. We arrived at 8:40, 20 minutes before it closed, but according to the security guard, they were already closed. We were not accepting this as an answer due to the fact that we were drenched and cold. Realizing this, the now helpful guard pointed us in the direction of the towels. We purchased the towels from a cashier who seemed unable to put together our wet clothing, purchasing towels, and our wet money we were paying with.

Tim and me, attempting to dry off at IHOP

It was early in the 9 o’clock hour when we decided to kill more time until the 9:50 train back to Swarthmore,  and went to an IHOP on Walnut and Juniper. We warmed up a bit sipping hot chocolate and wrapped in our towels. Halfway through my blueberry pancakes, I realize the time, and it is around 9:35. So Tim and I rush to finish our food, and leave money for Kenyetta and Sarah (they were staying in the city to meet up with some other friends). A little after 9:40,  we are power walking to Market East. (Tim is in flip flops at this point, so I was not approving of moving at a fast pace). We arrived at the station and ran down the stairs in time to see our train pull out of the station. Of course this train had to be on time.

Sarah and Kenyetta drying off in IHOP.

The next train to arrive was at 11:00. Actually, it was supposed to arrive at 11:00. This train, due to whatever forces were against us, was 28 minutes late. We accepted defeat and watched some Big Bang Theory, while we waited out the hour and a half until the next train arrived.

We arrived at the Swarthmore in the wee hours of the morning, and watch some White Collar to cap off the evening.

So, in the end, we didn’t end up seeing Childish Gambino. Luckily we were planning on buying tickets at the door, so we didn’t have to worry about getting money refunded (and the concert is being rescheduled).

This evening, could have been very upsetting (my ancient phone was lost in the battle against the elements), but, I got to have an amazing evening getting to know the three other people who braved the weather with me. We bonded with other drenched concertgoers on the way and I got to explore places in Philly that I had never seen. I only went to Philly a few times during the school year (maybe 5 at most), but now I can’t wait to get back to see what the city has in store next. (Lesson #3:  Take advantage of the city that is right next door. There’s so much to do, go exploring!).


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