0009 America’s Friendliest City (USA 009—new)

Wilmington Travel Blog

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Day 004: 5 hours; 10.0 kms

Exploring Delaware

A mere 3 days later, and I’m back in my Alternate Life again with yet another seamless transition.

This time I’m driving east, full speed down the freeway, and as soon as I realize that I’m back in Adventure Mode, I know exactly where I want to go.

Delaware.  It’s one of the states that I just barely visited in Normal Life—and I’m itching to explore some new territory.  Who knows,  I might even be able to explore the whole state in one day!  So instead of following the freeway to Philadelphia, I veer to the south and within minutes I’ve reached the sign that says “Welcome to Delaware”

Wilmington is my first REAL big city in this Adventure Life, and it definitely feels like it.  A crisp skyline cuts across the horizon, surrounded by typical rundown urban neighborhoods.  An ugly freeway slices right through the heart of the city.   

Welcome to Urban America. 

I override the voice of caution and opt to park my car in a rather dodgy looking neighbourhood and hike on to downtown… down the hill, under the freeway and into the heart of the city—which seems to be undergoing a serious facelift.  The street and the shops look brand new—there’s even a beautiful concert hall, which I try to use as a backdrop for a clip, but a car parks right in front of me…

I continue on, enjoying the variety of architecture, the sort of old churches and the gleaming skyscrapers… on to a large park with an open air space with some sort of religious convention going on… Hobos and homeless folk shuffle around the perimeter.

I continue on to a large, shady park that leads down to a small river.  There I play my set and take a video clip.
Still wanting to discover a bit more of the city, I cross the river to what turns out to be an even dodgier looking neighbourhood.  Decaying buildings.  Shabby liquor stores.  Cops driving about glancing warily from side to side…

I reach a good stopping place and opt to head back by another street.  There I find, just one block back, a very cheery neighbourhood, with folks holding a street yard sale… I get to talking with a fellow who says that he’s an aspiring gospel singer who just recorded his first CD.  I ask him if he wants to do a video clip with me… but he doesn’t seem too keen on the idea.

As I continue back I make a couple more encounters with the friendly folk ofWilmington… A girl sitting on her porch asks me to play a song for her… another fellow tending to his yard invites me to come play at his coffeehouse next Friday… Another fellow hollers out, “This is a pretty dangerous neighbourhood!  Are you sure you don’t need some protection?”

“I’m doing alright—but thanks anyways!” I holler back…

I must say, Wilmington just might qualify as the Friendliest City in America. I finally reach my car, quite happy with my first “Big City” experience in Dream Mode. Hopefully there will be many more Big Cities to explore in the future.  But for now I’m going to continue on down the road to explore some more ofDelaware

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photo by: nathanphil