Sunday, November 30, 2014

Downtown Philly

READING TERMINAL MARKETThe Reading Terminal Market is filled with homemade food, shops and PEOPLE!
It's always crowded.  It's always good.

Does every major city have a Chinatown?

The name says it all.  This store is unique and filled with a lot of *ahem* 'toys'.

South Street is known for the party crowd on Friday and Saturday nights.

You can see New Jersey from the port.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Society Hill, Philadelphia

Society Hill is a neighborhood in the Center City section of PhiladelphiaPennsylvania. The neighborhood, loosely defined as bounded by Walnut, Lombard, Front and 8th Streets, contains the largest concentration of original 18th- and early 19th-century residential architecture of any place in the United States. Society Hill is noted as a charming district with cobblestone streets bordered by brick rowhouses in Federal and Georgian style.
In the 19th century, the city expanded westward and the area lost its appeal. Houses deteriorated, and by the 1940s, Society Hill had become a slum neighborhood, one of the worst in the city. In the 1950s, the city, state and federal governments began one of the first urban renewal programs aimed at the preservation of historic buildings. While most commercial 19th-century buildings were demolished, historically-significant houses were restored by occupants or taken over by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and sold to individuals who agreed to restore the exteriors.

In 1807 Dr. Philip Syng Physick, "Father of American Surgery," introduced artificial carbonated water for the relief of gastric disorders to America. Following Dr. Physick's instructions, pharmacist Townsend Speakman supplied his patients with a glass of soda each day at a cost of $1.50 per month. Following the doctor's instructions, fruit syrup was added to improve taste and thus the American soda was born in Philadelphia.
Virginia Congressman James Madison. Dolley and James remained in Philadelphia at his house at 429 Spruce Street until he retired from Congress in 1797. 
In Washington Square Park you will find The Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Independence Hall

Where the Declaration of Independence was adopted, the Constitution of the United States was debated, drafted and signed.
The Liberty Bell was originally call the State House Bell.  Abolitionist changed the name to The Liberty Bell during the unit-slavery movement.
 "By Order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania for the State House in Philada."
Pennsylvania was misspelled on the bell, in fact it was also misspelled on the original version of the Constitution.

We took our British guests on a tour through Independence Hall neighborhoods.
The architecture was amazing.  
Especially knowing the buildings were built in the 1700's and are still standing today.
Court House
Court Yard


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Love Park

LOVE Park, located in Philadelphia, was built in the 1960s.
Around the 1980s the park became famous for skateboarders because the way the park was designed.  With curving stairs and ledges, is perfect for the sport.  
In the early 2000s, the city banned skateboarding in LOVE park.
Even with the ban, I saw plenty of kids skateboarding the day we visited the park.
(I'm in the middle of the group, with my sunglasses on).

Normally LOVE park has gorgeous fountain behind the 'LOVE' sign, but it gets turned off when the city puts up the Christmas tree.  They were putting it up the day we were there.
Close to LOVE Park is a courtyard filled with HUGE game pieces. 
I don't know if this is unique to Philadelphia, but it's pretty cool!

In front of LOVE park is Philadelphia's City Hall.  On top of the building is a statue of Pennsylvania's founder, William Penn. Until 1908, this building was the tallest in Pennsylvania.
The William Penn Statue is gorgeous, but the day we were there was a cloudy, overcast day and I couldn't get a good photo of it.

Tid Bit of history:  Contrary to belief Pennsylvania was named after William Penn by King Charles II and not Penn himself.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Philadelphia Art Museum

The Art Museum in Philadelphia is impressive. It looks like a Greek Parthenon was placed at the end of the Benjamin Franklin Highway. The detail on the building is amazing!

The school that Todd teaches at hosted an exchange program with 10 girls from England.  We took the British girls and their American hosts to a day trip in Philadelphia.
The view looking from the museum into Philadelphia is breath-taking.  Especially during the fall months when the leaves are changing colors.
I had Todd take a picture of me with the Moose statue.  For many years we called our youngest son "Moose" until he rebelled at 13 years old and told us he didn't like his nickname anymore.  I still feel sentimental when I see a Moose.
For those who know the movie "Rocky", starring Sylvester Stalone.  The movie is based upon the real life of boxer, Robert "Rocky" Balboa,  A famous scene in the movie shows "Rocky" running up the Philadelphia Art Museum steps.  The statue used to be at the top of the steps. It was moved a few years ago to the bottom when some stuffy, well-to-do folks said the statue was not "art".  


We didn't have time to explore the museum (only to use the bathroom). 
It was cold, but beautiful day to spend in Philadelphia.