Moderately risky and life-celebrating for over 40 years
Monday, February 04, 2013
As I mentioned, Mr. Lime, the girls, and I went to Philadelphia Sunday rather than watching the SuperDuperBowl. First stop was a brief (3 hours rather than 7) to the Art Museum. I found this Medieval German vise with a rather clenched look about it. I found that quite amusing in spite of the less than pleasant expression. Who said Germans are humorless?
We each have different taste in art but this piece by Edward Redfield was one we all agreed upon as one we enjoyed. Similarly we all agreed the weird painting of a crowd of naked toddlers romping in a river was just bizarre. I wish I had taken a picture of that to show you all.
After wandering around the art museum we worked up a good bit of hunger so we headed to south Philly to the famous Pat's for a cheesesteak. As you can see right across the road is their competitor, Geno's. I suggested we get half our order from one and half from the other then compare the two to see which was favored. Extreme hunger drove the family to open revolt over the idea of research so Pat's it was.
My review: they screwed up my order in spite of my correct ordering technique, 2 wiz wit, 1 provolone witout,
1 american witout, (it's not unlike Seinfeld's soup Nazi episode...you
order correctly, with cash in hand or get sent to the end of the line). The cheesesteak was tasty but for $9.50 it seemed pretty skimpy. The fries, however, were worth every cent. No there are no fries in this picture. I ordered them after snarfing down my "wiz wit(out)"
After filling our bellies we moved on to the Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site. Who knew Philadelphia would be home to this part of the National Park System. Poe was born in Boston, spent 5 years in England as a child, died in Baltimore, and spent a 6 years in Philadelphia...a single year of which was spent in this particular house, which he rented for the $100 (for the year) after winning a writing contest for the same amount. There was nothing in the rooms except stripped down plaster walls with a single picture in each....oh, and one room had this stuffed monkey in the closet. I have absolutely no idea why. Why not?
In a room that was formerly part of the Poe's neighbor's house things were set up to resemble a Victorian reading room. We listened to a recording of Christopher Walken reading The Raven. It was terrifying....as you can see,
We covered art, then literary works, no we moved on to history. This should need no explanation. What you may not know is that the Liberty Bell was melted down and recast more than once. Also, that large crack is not the original one. The first crack is visible to the naked eye but looks more like a hairline fracture than a gaping fault line. When I was a kid the Liberty Bell was housed under an open pavilion. I was poorly lit but you could walk up to it and touch it. I can recall doing so as a kid on a field trip. Now it is in a nice visitor center inside where it is necessary to go through a search of one's bags and one's person (repeated when entering the Independence Hall complex) I called it pirouetting through history since we were told to lift out jackets and spin around. I wanted to ask for music....at least some tinny rendition of Swan Lake like might be in a six year old's musical jewelry box. Touching the bell no? Nope, that's right out! but it is well lit with ample natural light.
Again we submitted to the search to enter the Independence Hall complex which includes Old City Hall (which is where the Supreme Court sat while Washington, DC was being built), Independence Hall, and Congress Hall. This is designated as a World Heritage Site. I am not exaggerating when I say I believe every US citizen should try to visit this place at least once if at all possible.
The Rising Sun Chair where John Hancock sat.
Inside the signing hall on the first floor.
View from the third floor Long Room through the hallway and out the back window.