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The plan was a bit intense and involved a taxi, a train, a plane, a car, and just over 25 hours. We did this to see the New Pornographers.

According to twitter, the day went something like this:

So all in all a long but great day ending at the Philadelphia Monaco in room 616. A room that we like so much we’ll severely overpay just to stay in it!

616 looks different by night and day.

616 by day

616 by night

A bed felt great after 5,000 miles

High style in the bathroom

But we’re here for the shower!

One of the top NPS approved showers on the entire planet

Plus look at this outstanding welcome. Personal note from Abby and a tiki-style beverage.

616 view by night

616 view by day

Anyway, the Monaco room 616 is fantastic. Great style, the best shower within hundreds of miles, a comfortable bed, and management that runs a pretty tight ship. Just avoid the NFL draft weekend crowds if you can! LOL.

Dinner before the show at Sazon was interesting and delicious. Make sure to BYOB or cider or case of cider (as the case may be).

Of course, NPS can’t go to Philly anymore without visiting Paul MacDonald and company at Friday Saturday Sunday. We enjoyed a Cloudbreak or two and a newly minted by as yet unnamed cocktail that we’re calling the Ombre Snowcap for the time being. Back bar Fernet was had by some and ignored by the uninitiated.

Friday Saturday Sunday may be the best bar in Philadelphia

The Cloudbreak

The Cloudbreak is such a good cocktail that it was instantly copied in Virginia at the NPS home bar. Paul makes the best version of course. We’re mere dabblers at NPS.

Paul intends to switch out the Cloudbreak for a summer drink that we call the Ombre Snowcap.

Ombre Snowcap (well we call it that for now anyway)

Ombre Snowcap
1.5 oz Fines Herbs infused Vodka (parsely, chive, tarragon 24-hours)
.75 oz lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz meletti amaro
1/16 oz olive oil
.75 egg white
Dry shake, shake, strain into rocks glass (no ice). Season foam with pechauds and soda and drop on top

This cocktail does a magical separation thing that is hard to describe. Paul’s work is truly amazing. Try this at home if you dare!

Home to the Monaco 25 hours in! Honestly the Friday Saturday Sunday visit was more fun that the masterly but non-charismatic show put on by the New Pornographers. Get some charisma you guys!

Back to our story. If you’re out until 2am after 25 hours, you sleep through breakfast. Which is why they make room service to bring you espressoand a muffin for $45. LOL.

Around noon it is off to Nom Nom Ramen for a leisurely lunch.

Nom Nom

Followed by a coffee at Elixer, and a cocktail at Milkboy.

A steamy day on the sunny side of the sidewalk in Philadelphia

It was a quick hit to Philly, but a great time. Five showerheads for the Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia.

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Wow. Our first visit to the Monaco was so fantastic that it even eclipsed it’s big sister the Palomar. Well done Monaco! Thanks to GM James Adamson for queueing things up perfectly (and Steph Vogel for the intro).

We were in town to see our old friend (and famous philosopher) Dave Chalmers chat on stage with our very favorite playwright of all time Tom Stoppard. The chat was fantastic. Tom wrote a play based on Dave’s catchy “Hard Problem” phrase. Two astounding minds interacting live.

Tom Stoppard and Dave Chalmers Talk Consciousness

Tom Stoppard and Dave Chalmers Talk Consciousness

But it got better. After the chat, a bunch of us in Dave’s cadre retired to Charlie Was a Sinner for some delicious cocktails, vegan (?!) eats, and some conversation. About which more in a minute.

Charlie Was a Sinner is a great bar.  NO TV!  Real cocktails. Great eats.

Charlie Was a Sinner is a great bar. NO TV! Real cocktails. Great eats.

Philly was dressed for the holidays.

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Perhaps our Republican politicians should read this.  Can they read?

Perhaps our Republican politicians should read this. Can they read?

When we arrived in the convertible (with the top down in December) we were greeted in classic Kimpton way with great style and extra brushes (?!).

Monaco Philly has a Flying Glowing Boat

Monaco Philly has a Flying Glowing Boat

Would You Like a Brush with That?

Would You Like a Brush with That?

We checked into gorgeous suite 316 after passing a flying pig.

When Pigs Fly (you go Pink)

When Pigs Fly (you go Pink)

316 Sitting Room looks out over Independence Hall

316 Sitting Room looks out over Independence Hall

316 Couch

316 Couch

The Bedroom in 316

The Bedroom in 316

Of course regular NPS readers know we immediately went to see the shower storage area, er bathroom, which we are happy to report has a shower so big that it has a soaking tub IN it.

Great Shower.  NPS Approved.

Great Shower. NPS Approved.

Now back to Charlie Was a Sinner. Boy were they accommodating to the group of philosophers, psychologists, computer scientists, cognitive scientists and theater people we gathered. The highlight of the evening? Tom Stoppard stopped in too.

Talking about why Searle's Chinese Room thought experiment is wrong with Tom Stoppard

Talking about why Searle’s Chinese Room thought experiment is wrong with Tom Stoppard

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My companion’s favorite drink was an invention by master barman (and baseball legend) Mathias Bable. The Say What:
5-6 basil leaves (spanked then muddled)
2 oz gin (beefeaters)
.75 simple syrup
.75 cranberry shrub (equal parts demerara, apple cider vinegar, fresh cranberry)
.25 lime
Stir down. Serve in a collins over rocks.

Say What? by Mathias Bable

Say What? by Mathias Bable

Sparkling water, a midnight snack and some notes.

Sparkling water, a midnight snack and some personal notes.

Breakfast came a bit early, we must admit. But it was off to Green Eggs Cafe for a massive breakfast. Lunch was elided for obvious reasons.

Still wagging our tails over this incredible visit to Philadelphia. Five showerheads and some absolution for Charlie for the Philly Monaco. How will we ever top this visit??

“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.”
― Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead