Tales From Philadelphia

We wrapped up the last city on the Windows Longhorn Server 2008 Roadshow yesterday in Philadelphia.  It was my first time in Philly.  What a great city.  I need to go back for a vacation.  There are a lot of things I just didn’t have time to do like go see the Liberty Bell or visit some of the historic landmarks.

We did get ice cream at the Franklin Fountain, an old-fashioned ice cream parlour which has a tin ceiling, original porcelain tile floor, and old belt-driven ceiling fans.  The fans don’t keep the temperature down (the staff were soaked in sweat) but the location is so very cool.  (I had mint chip ice cream and lime rickey, in case you were wondering, which you probably weren’t, but now you know and something important is going to lose its place in your brain.)

Next to the Franklin Fountain is the oldest candy store in America!

The roadshow event itself was at the Union League, which is a very interesting place.  Loads of history and the building is gorgeous.  It’s French Renaissance style and has been around longer than Canada has been a country.  It’s breathtaking.  The place does have a pretty pretentious atmosphere though, which is not my style.  The dress code prohibits blue jeans, which is tough for a tech event.  I heard that some people who showed up in jeans were escorted in through a secret back entrance (I’m not making this up!).  While it is certainly a gender inclusive organization now, I get the impression that it was one of the true “old boys’ clubs” of yesteryear, which kind of makes me feel icky.

I made a point to experience some of the city.  I walked around downtown from 17th to Front St.  We had some great food at Swanky Bubbles (the pad thai and Fiji ribs – mmmmm) and Davio’s (steak and banana chocolate chip gelato).  I checked out the Reading Terminal Market and bought the kids some toys in The Gallery mall.  And you should see City Hall in Philadelphia.  Wow.

And so the Longhorn Roadshow concludes.  Thanks to everyone who came out to the events.  Thanks to Penton Media for inviting me to speak.  Thanks to the meeting planners who got us on the right planes, in our hotel rooms, and standing in front of the right roomfuls of people.  And thanks to the other speakers and technical folks for the geek talk.  It was all fun, though I’m ready to stay home for a good long while.

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