No sleep tonight

It’s the screams outside my hotel room that tell me this will not be a restful night.

I’m in Philadelphia, staying at the lovely Rittenhouse Hotel. Which happens to be booked to the rafters, as is every other hotel in Philly, because of a certain baseball game. If you’d asked me yesterday who was playing tonight, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you.

But after all the honking horns and screaming people streaming through Rittenhouse Square, I certainly know now. Philly won. And the city has gone insane.

I followed the crowds down to Broad Street, where a roaring throng of thousands pack the road. The screams and blaring horns are deafening. Young men are swinging on traffic lights. An empty champagne bottle sits on an ATM. I was hugged by and slapped hands with countless strangers. I confess I’m not a follower of sports, and it’s a strange experience, standing in the midst of a crowd that’s hysterically happy simply because their team won. I confess, I’m watching it the way an anthropologist might watch some puzzling native ritual, without really understanding it, but enjoying the experience anyway. It’s a great night to be in Philly.

Thank you, book tour!

14 replies
  1. Barbie Roberts
    Barbie Roberts says:

    And just think, if it hadn’t been for a rain delay (twice!), you would’ve missed the whole thing. I’m afraid Jacksonville will seem quite dull in comparison tonight. For you. For me, one of my favorite authors is coming to town. Yippee!!

  2. Abe
    Abe says:

    Hi Tess,

    As soon as The Phillies won the World Series, I thought of you. OMG! I know how it gets. I’m a big Yankees fan, and NY went wild when they won, too. Philly has a parade for the champs today, too, so I hope that doesn’t interfere with your teavel plans.
    Just chalk it up to a manic experience and try to get some rest. The rowdiness should subside in a day or two. Maybe a week. A month, tops.
    It was so great seeing you on Tuesday. My wife totally adores you and has started reading The Keepsake.
    Continued success on your tour and get home safely.
    Only the best for the best……..

  3. putney1968
    putney1968 says:

    Have fun on your tour. I enjoyed meeting you and learning from you and Michael Palmer at the SEAK conference. I’ve been querying agents and have started chapter one of the next novel. You are an inspiration!

  4. Anne Germain
    Anne Germain says:

    Well that made me think of when France won the World Cup ten years ago (soccer), such a big event for French people (even those usually not interested in sports) that the entire population was in the street. No matter the colour of your skin, your social class, little villages or big cities. A unique experience, very impressive. I’m so glad I’ve been able to live that once.

  5. joe bernstein
    joe bernstein says:

    Philly is a lovely town-my son was living there seven or eight years ago and one night he called me to mention that seven people had been murdered in a house”down the street”(he lived in a crappy neighborhood)-he said it was probably a drug hit,but it was a lot different than Providence.No kidding.
    Let’s see what picks up after the upcoming election either way it shakes out.Ain’t gonna be pretty.

  6. Kyle K.
    Kyle K. says:

    Great seeing you last night, Tess! And thankfully we made it out of there well before the traffic and insanity started, which was good considering we already has an hour and a half drive back home!

    You know, I had the same experience when the Red Sox beat the Yankees to qualify for the series in 2004. I lived about 10 minutes from Fenway and I followed the crowd ther after the city practically EXPLODED… that time around, there were ALSO masses in the streets, young guys swinging from traffic lights AS WELL, yelling, whooping, crying. Very out-of-body, very strange, but definitely a cool experience!

    Great talk last night!

  7. bethFL
    bethFL says:

    I hope your night in Florida was more restful. In Florida, after your Philly night, you looked well rested! Your answer to the question I asked may have been the answer for that. I asked how easy it was for you to transport the reader to the scene. No other author is able to get me INTO the scene. Usually it is more like I am reading ABOUT it. With yours, I EXPERIENCE it. Like in _The Bone Garden_, this Floridian felt the damp Boston cold and smelled the horses’ excretement and the wet wool coats. There was a scene I swear the bed bugs were biting me! Your answer made it sound so incredibley easy “You just act.” Tess, I guess it is easy – for someone with TALENT!
    Anyway, I came from your signing feeling like I just met a rock star! You rock, Tess!

  8. BernaH
    BernaH says:

    I decided to log-on to your website this morning because I wanted to get your latest book to take with me to the Delaware Book Festival tomorrow. Out of curiousity, I checked out your blog and found that you were lucky enough to be where I wanted to be on October 29th. I watched my beloved Phillies finish a game that was delayed for 46 hours because of a Nor’easter. For only the second time in franchise history, they are the World Series Champions. The last time they won in 1980, my youngest daughter was just 4 months old and her older sister was almost 4 years old. And now, I am a grandmom 3 times over! (I’ve been a Phillies fan since 1954- back when it was really hard to be a fan since they had so many losing seasons.) Thank you so much for putting into words the craziness of the most unique fans in the world!
    I’m looking forward to your talk on Saturday morning and to meeting you at the book-signing.

  9. ec
    ec says:

    You know, I had the same experience when the Red Sox beat the Yankees to qualify for the series in 2004. I lived about 10 minutes from Fenway and I followed the crowd there after the city practically EXPLODED…

    Yeah. I’m not about to forget THAT night any time soon. My son was a freshman at BU at the time and his dorm was very close to Fenway. I’ve been a baseball fan my whole life, but that night, I was glad that my son never caught that particular bug. We urged him to stay off the streets and I will be eternally grateful that he had no interest in joining the party.

    Not far from his dorm, the police used pepper spray on a crowd that was out of control–vandalism, throwing bottles, lighting fires. One young woman was accidentally shot in the eye and died a few hours later.

    Not to put a damper on the celebration, but I hate to see a World Series victory celebrated, as it too often is, by breaking windows, throwing rocks and bottles at police, and overturning cars.

  10. drosdelnoch
    drosdelnoch says:

    Tess, tess, tess….

    You made the classic mistake of letting an opportunity drop. You should have gone round saying “You know a really good way to celebrate, as well as to make sure that you stay in the wifes, good books would be to buy her a really good book. You know, I hear that the new Tess Gerritsen one is the best releases of the year. Oooohhhh, whats that, a bookshop over there.”


  11. CD1
    CD1 says:

    I lived through a similar experience with celebratory excess during the Chicago Bulls dynasty in the 1980s. Your mentioning the guy swinging from the street lights brought it all back to me. A visual montage simliar to the scene in The Fugitive when Harrison Ford gets away from his pursuers by grabbing a green hat and jumping into the St Patty’s Day parade. People everywhere!

    You might store this city celebration of sports in your “to use in future” files as the scene of a crime. A murder within thousands of people–but no witnesses.

    Fun! Be safe. CD1

  12. emineminy
    emineminy says:

    Last year I was caught in Boston during the last three games of the World Series. I’m not a baseball fan and was not thrilled to be forced to sit through hours and hours of the sport on my one and only visit to Boston, but it was fun to watch the city go wild as their team won. I obviously had no personal stake in the game, but I couldn’t help but get swept up in the excitement and energy. Just as you say, I was hugged and high-fived by people I’ll never see again. And yet, for that brief moment, the whole city felt like family.

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