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The Philadelphia Pope Visit Home Survival Guide

by Marcos Espinoza on Sep 4, 2015 in Culture

Listen up, Philadelphia. A cult of personality has arisen out of all this Pope panic, and unless you’re super Catholic like this one dude I knew in high school who flew to Colorado to see John Paul II and burst into tears at the sight of Mr. Infallible himself, the World Meeting of Families is more nuisance than spectacle.

Assuming you’re going to steer clear of the Francis Festival Grounds (fka the “Pope Zone”, fka the “Traffic Box”), we’ve prepared a handy list to make sure you’re armed with the right drinking tools for the impending lockdown. Because what’s worse than a forecast that calls for two feet of snow? One that calls for nun. Behold, your Home Pope Survival Guide.

1. Use Common Sense Before They Construct The Fence!

Phila.gov has provided this map of Center City that shows pope no-fly zones. They’ve also got another 8 pages of maps that break down daily and hourly street closures. If you’re a doomsday prepper, then make sure to stock up before these barricades slowly ruin your mobility. If you’re more like me and procrastinate until the last possible second, these maps will navigate you away from teary-eyed fanatics and judgmental persons of the cloth.

2. If You Are Not One Of The Chosen Few, Then It’s On Foot For You.

If you didn’t win the Papal Visit lottery, then SEPTA has condemned you to a weekend of no public transportation. Depending on where you want to go (and you shouldn’t really want to go anywhere), you’re either hoofing it or dusting off the old fixie.

3. Hashtags Are Your Friend.

As is the case with other States of Emergency, social media can be a trusted resource. If you just can’t even with being trapped in your house, use #OpenInPHL to figure out whether there’s an open bar within walking distance. Don’t count on it, though. The majority we’ve spoken to around the area have stated secret service has advised them closing would be their best course of action, due to many employees not being able to get to work from all the closures.

4. The Philadelphia Water Supply Will Not Be Turned Into Wine.

The Pope is not Jesus. And even if he could somehow channel my man JC, I doubt he would use the World Meeting of Families to debut his skills as a magical vintner. Instead of holding your breath for what would be quite possibly the coolest party trick in the history of party tricks, better to grab a box of wine. The quality these days is tremendous, and you’re getting the equivalent of 4 bottles in the same amount of space.

5. And Speaking Of Water, It Will Never Be Holier.

Stay hydrated! Standard practice is eight glasses of water a day, but if you’re drinking heavily, we’d recommend more. Bottles of Powerade or packets of electrolytes are a good idea to to keep the endurance high and the hangovers low. It’s a marathon, people, not a sprint.

6. With The Right Tools, You Can Construct Anything.

Stylish mullet notwithstanding, you’re no MacGyver. Sure, your couch cushion fort skills may come in handy while on lockdown, but you’re gonna need more than an architect’s eye to survive a cabin fever of The Shining proportions. For drinking, that means a cocktail shaker, simple syrup, citrus, and the proper spirits. Ice is also key, so if you don’t have an ice maker, find a spare bucket and put those ice trays to work. If don't have any cocktail recipes stored in your brain bank, The Home Bar Project is here to help with 25 simple, delicious recipes.

7. Safety First!

There’s little you can do if you decide to venture out into a sea of zealous Catholics and wind up getting trampled (and we don’t feel sorry for you because we warned you), but the comfort of your own home can also be a very dangerous place. Say you’re into Flaming Dr. Pepper shots (we know, it’s really your FRIEND who’s into them). Well, a lot can happen with 151-proof rum, especially after downing three or four of these. Soothe those 2nd and 3rd degree burns with some aloe, then maybe switch to beer. Flaming Dr. Pepper shots not really your thing? No matter. You’re still prone to injury when mixing boredom and booze, so consider a First Aid Kit for all the burns, bumps, and bruises you’ll endure over the long weekend.

8. You Will Not Perish If You Pick Up Non-Perishables.

You’re going to need to manage your food expectations over the weekend. By “manage,” we mean “don’t have any expectations whatsoever.” No brunch, no delivery, no tasting menus.

Instead, shop as far ahead of time as possible. Groceries and markets will be in high demand that week, so plan ahead, and don’t forget the canned goods. Chef Boyardee Ravioli, Hormel Tamales, and Bush’s Baked Beans all make for easy and delicious drunk foods. Some Gas-X would probably be helpful, too.

9. Pope Panic Is An Excellent Excuse To Park Yourself In Front Of The TV For 72 Hours Straight.

Depending on where you live, you may or may not be able to have friends over. Three days alone inside? Without the distraction of television, you’ll either finally get to inbox zero or wind up questioning your entire existence. We doubt you’re ready to face either of those realities, so opt for Netflix instead. Here’s a list of what’s streaming in September. 

In case all Hell breaks loose in the outside world and Internet service goes down, we’d also recommend a good set of DVDs on hand to get you through the weekend. There’s probably never been a better time to start watching or rewatching The Wire.

10. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em. (Sort Of)

Like Halley’s Comet, the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, or eating at Vetri, the Papal visit is a once in a lifetime event. Rather than fight the crowds, however, simply grab a six-pack and/or growler of one of the Pope-inspired beers on offer from five of Philly’s local breweries, all of whom are approaching this monumental occasion with a sense of humor. 

 Good luck, and happy Pope Weekend!

 


Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Parties, Spirits, Wine
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