Monday, February 04, 2013

Philly Doings

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.

15 comments:

Leave It To Davis said...

Oh, thank you so much for this post and for adding such informative commentary!!! Why, indeed, was there an orangutan in the closet? I wonder if it was left there as a prank. I had no idea the Liberty Bell had been recast several times...and it doesn't even seem like it would still be the same bell since the crack is gaping now...they didn't do such a good job of recasting! Beautiful pictures, all! And $9 for a philly steak sandwich is ridiculous! Don't they know you can go get 2 Hot Pocket philly cheesesteaks that are scrumtous for less than $3? lol Competition is making them sweat, I'll bet...next time they will have lowered the prices!

Dave said...

Good for you Michelle for getting a touch of culture. I'm sure that you all felt better for it! Sorry, I'm just trying to be funny.
Seriously though, it is good for us to learn about our history. So many people don't seem to care - Dave

Bijoux said...

Fabulous! The monkey was totally bizarre though! I saw that Pat and Geno bit on Food Network and I have to say, the stress of ordering would cause me to pass right on by.

haphazardlife said...

Cool. But that monkey is REALLY biszarre. WTF?!

Craig said...

Love the vise. It looks like something is being tightly squeezed inside it. . .

Hilary said...

Very cool tour.. I love the photo of your faces listening to The Raven. If you had been listening instead to The Murders in the Rue Morgue, you'd know what the orangutan is about. ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Murders_in_the_Rue_Morgue#Plot_summary

Daryl said...

i remember going to philly on class trip and walking through the human heart, touching the liberty bell and being in awe of how small betsy ross's house was ... not necessarily in that order

coopernicus said...

Both Pat's and Geno's are over-rated - unless it's two in the morning and one is thoroughly wasted.

Next time go to the Good Dog Bar (a mere stone's throw) and have some cheese steak empanadas or duck confit pot pie..yummy

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Rob said...

Do they still roll up the sidewalks at 9:00 PM in Philadelphia? That's my lasting memory of my few visits there when I was on the east coast!

Craver Vii said...

The clenched expression on the vise reminds me of the funny conversation I recently had with a young man who couldn't understand why someone would need ExLax.

No touchy the bell! ...Why not?! It's already cracked. I'd prefer it witout superfluous regulations!

Wow, that last photo through the arches looks really cool because of the different types of light.

(M)ary said...

Omg....u have the coolest family!

Jocelyn said...

A SINGLE DAY? I'm blown away.

Way to pack it in--fries and all. I desperately wanted to fit Philadelphia into our last summer's road trip, seeing as I had fond memories from childhood of visiting several of the sites you cover. I still want to share them with my kiddles. Thanks for reminding me why.

Kat said...

Ugh. Now I REALLY want a Philly cheesesteak. My mouth is watering. ACK!!!

Great pictures! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. :)

Logophile said...

I need a Philly date with Lime!

Looks like fun! Glad you had a good day out with your family.