Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm dreaming of a white... Thanksgiving?

This is how the weather turns around on the East Coast: two months ago, during the ING Direct Cycle4Savings ride, it was 80 to 90 degrees daily, perfect temperature! Last month the fall started (see below), however I was usually able to leave my jacket at home, which I hadn't used since May anyway. But last week, it started snowing! With Thanksgiving ahead, it's a cold start of the party-season.

Many cities in the US are built with a simple mind: all the streets are straight, and run from East to West or from North to South. Every 300 feet there's an intersection, and all the space in between these intersections is a block. Not difficult if you're in a new city and you're looking for something; there's only four ways to go... However, there's a huge disadvantage in the winter: the wind blows full-speed through these streets, and makes the temperature feel like it's at least 10 degrees colder than it actually is!

It gave a nice view though, from the ING Direct office in Wilmington, Delaware:


Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall pictures

Fall in North-East US is a beautiful thing, for about two weeks at least, when leafs start changing colors. All the colors of the rainbow can be seen together; especially when the sun shines, it gives outstanding views! Unfortunately, it rained a lot this fall, so the leafs fell (too) soon… :(

Here’s a selection of pictures I took around Philadelphia and Wilmington:


Thursday, November 13, 2008


Hockey, Baseball and American Football. What's missing? Basketball! This sport is relatively small in Philadelphia, because their NBA team ‘76ers’ are not performing very well. Moreover, the games are hard to see from the nosebleed section (inexpensive seats, but you are so high up that your nose will start bleeding). Therefore most fans watch the games on TV.

However, thinking about the fact that my time in the US will be over in only three months, I realized that a basketball is definitely another must-see. A co-worker hooked me up with cheap tickets, in a section where my nose didn’t start bleeding :)

The 76ers (last in the Atlantic Eastern League) played the Utah Jazz (first place in the Northwest Western Conference). It was a very good game, unfortunately the 76ers ended up losing with 93-80.

Although it was not as busy as the average Flyers or Eagles game, it was filled with entertainment: hip-hop music, short games during time-outs (like kids dunking via a trampoline) and of course the cheerleaders were there. Another important tradition in the US occurs right before every game: the national anthem. Here’s the video (of the anthem) and some pictures of the game:


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Presidential Elections

Many people asked me how I experience the Presidential Elections, being an 'outsider in the middle of it'. Well, a short summary: it was like a popularity contest, focusing on public performances more than on the way this country should be led in the future. However, it was a unique experience to see the amount of media attention, and attend activities in the city (such as Bruce Springsteens performance, or Hillary's speech earlier this year).

One of the other things I noticed, is the media's influence on the elections. Comparing the conservative with the democratic msnbc news, both suggesting they have breaking news, you'll see many differences in the news topics and the way the news is brought to viewers. Fox news (the biggest channel in the US) allways tries to warn people for terrorists, criminals, socialists, illegal immigrants, and government supported health care like in extremely liberal Europe. Moreover, Barack HUSSEIN Obama is young and unexperienced, his friends are terrorists, he used to be a muslim, doesn't show patriotism, and wants to spread the wealth by giving your hard-earned money to someone that doesn't work as hard as you do. Here is an example of the propaganda, one day after Obama's victory:

On the other side, according to MSNBS News, the republicans want to have a war in as many countries as possible, give tax cuts to all the rich people, and try to find oil (no matter what the damage to the planet is) so that the economy can keep rolling. In other words: a vote for McCain only creates more problems.

The channels themselve deny any influence in terms of propaganda or preferred political party. But a quick search on Youtube (for example, searching for keywords "Obama Fox") shows another perspective. Obama told a reporter that if he would only be watching Fox News, he would not even vote for himself!

Anyhow, for him, it's party time now:

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Last Wednesday, de Phillies won the World Championship Series of baseball for the second time in their history. After 162 games and three best-of-seven playoff series, they were finally able to finish it, which means that the city phinally got rid of the Curse of Billy Penn!

After the city of Philadelphia waited 28 years for this, there was a huge desire to celebrate! After they won the final inning, there was a picture of people partying on Broad Street on TV; this made most people in the bar decide to go there too. The result: Broad Street was packed! It was great to stand in between all the partying people - no matter who they were, they all partied together and high-fived each other. Yeah, I waited 28 years for this to happen too, buddy!

On Friday, the Phillies arranged a parade through center city. Unfortunately, I had to work, but here are some pictures of the activities!