So Ron and I decided to take a trip to Reading to see a Pagoda and enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival we saw advertised in one of our local publications.
Ron enjoys stopping at the Visitor's Center in each new city we visit to find out what the local sites and attractions are. He had a map and directions and they led us straight through the ghettos of Pennsylvania that were somewhat reminiscent of the nicer part of Compton or Watts in LA. I tried not to make eye contact with any of the many people scanning the area for cops or smoking weed on their front porch.
After about 2 hours of trying to follw maps and directions to the Visitor's Center, we ended up at a very large warehouse/convention center that was relatively abandoned. The signs told us the Visitor's Center was there but we were afraid to get out of the car so we moved on.
After driving around for a while longer we managed to find the road that leads to the Pagoda. It wound us back and forth up a small hill and we were rewarded with this view of the city.
While it's nothing to get excited about it sure beat being trapped in the main city. What you don't see in this photo is the junkyard right behind those bushes.
The Pagoda claimed that it would open in Spring of 2009. If you clicked on the link above you know that it is still not open and it doesn't appear to be opening anytime soon. So we took our pictures and took off.
We decided to hunt for the Cherry Blossom Festival. We had seen signs in the city and went back to try and follow them. There turned out to be only one sign and no festival that we could find without being shot for cruising in someone else's territory. So we settled for a picture by this tree.
The moral of the story is this: When you go to Reading, drive quickly and take Kevlar.
Oh, and a shout-out to Ben & Kristen who let us go blindly into the Ghetto's of PA with no warning and a totally straight face when we told them where we were going. Y'all just wait till you visit L.A. We see your Reading and we raise you a South Central!