Trip to Philadelphia July 10-12
Tim was invited to give two presentations at the annual AP teachers convention in Philadelphia. We had some frequent flyer miles so I decided to come too this time. We left Salt Lake City on Thursday and flew straight there. Our hotel was the downtown Marriott right there on Market Street.
Arriving in Philly!
We saved Friday to do some touring and so we got up early and headed over to the liberty bell and Independence Square where the Congress met and the Declaration of Independence was drafted.
You have to pick up a ticket at the Visitor's Center early in the morning to tour Independence Square. We got our ticket for 1:00 pm. Next, we had tickets for a Duck Bus Tour.
We boarded the Duck Bus for an hour and a half tour of the city.
The bus takes you around to over 100 sites (mostly historical). We saw where George Washington lived when he was in Philadelphia. There was a display there about the African American Slaves who lived during the colonial period. George Washington had a chef who eventually ran away - on his birthday. He left behind a six year old daughter. When she was asked about her father leaving she said she was happy for him because now he was free. It really made you think!
The Free Library of Philadelphia
We saw the site where the Philadelphia Temple is being built. This is what it will look like when it is finished. It is in an awesome location, right next to the Free Library and in the central area of where many famous places are located (such as the Museum of Art where the Rocky movie was filmed and where he ran up the steps). We had hoped to go there, but didn't realize it was not complete yet. Perhaps next time!
We learned about many historical tid bits. We saw where Betsy Ross lived and learned that she may have put the flag together since she had an upholstery shop, but one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Francis Hopkinson, actually designed the American Flag. We also saw where Benjamin Franklin's house was located, but learned that his wife Debra left the house to their daughter and she had the house torn down in the early 1800's without telling anyone so they only have the outline of the house left.
The bus we were on was made during WWII by women who became known as "Rosie the Riveter." These buses are able to drive right into the water and they become a boat. Our bus drove right into the Delaware River and we went for a fun ride and saw some interesting sites.
This is a location where several famous people own condominiums. Our driver said Will Smith's father lives here. We didn't recognize names of the famous people who live here because we don't watch TV :)-ha! Our bus driver was named Captain Norm and he told us many fun things about Philadelphia. One thing was how the famous Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches came to be.
In 1930, the brothers opened a hot dog stall at the corners of 9th Street, Wharton Street and Passyunk Avenue.
In 1933, as the family relates the story, the brothers were working their stand when they decided to try something different for lunch. Pat Olivieri sent Harry Olivieri to the market for some inexpensive steak. The brothers thinly sliced the steak, then grilled it along with some chopped onions. The aroma attracted a cabdriver who was a regular customer; he asked to try the dish which the brothers called a steak sandwich. Pat sold him the sandwich for ten cents]
Soon afterwards, at the advice of the aforementioned cabdriver, the brothers started selling steak sandwiches instead of hot dogs. By 1940, they had saved enough to rent space to open a restaurant at the same spot where they had their stand. The two brothers worked at the restaurant for 15 to 18 hours a day for the next few decades while the restaurant was open 24 hours a day.
After pulling back from expansion and franchising efforts in the 1980s, the business was divided up by the Olivieri family. Harry and his son kept the original location, today run by Harry's grandson, Frank Jr. Pat's son Herbert opened "Olivieri's Prince of Steaks", later to be the source of a family dispute. Pat's menu is very similar to that of Geno's; both use thinly-sliced rib eye steak. Pat's chops up its meat, however, while Geno's does not.
A sign explains how to order; the customer asks for what variety of sandwich he/she wants and then says "wit" or "wit-out" (i.e. whether the customer wants the sandwich with or without onions), a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Philadelphia accent.
The varieties of cheese which are available are: Cheez Whiz, Provolone, American cheese or Mozzarella cheese steak variants are also available as well as plain (no cheese).
When we got off the bus, we immediately set out for cheese steak sandwiches. It turned out to be quite far away so we got about 10 miles of walking in for the day!
W got our cheese steak sandwiches from Pat's, but Genos is across the street and I guess they are intense rivals. But, both places had long lines, so its all good ;)
Then we headed back to Independence Square for our 1:00 pm tour.
It was amazing to be in the very place where the Declaration of Independence was drafted and signed. We then set out to see some of the places we had briefly encountered on the tour. We ran to the top of the Rocky steps (Museum of Art) and went around back and found a place that sold fresh beet, carrot, mango juice. We walked past the old Philadelphia State Penitentiary where Al Capone served some time behind bars. We found a darling quaint little restaurant called Fare that had outdoor cafe seating with an herb garden growing literally in small containers going up the wall. Very chic! I had the salmon and Tim had a seafood pasta dish. They were both absolutely scrumptious!
The Barnes Foundation is an American educational art and horticultural institution. It was founded in 1922 by Albert C. Barnes, a chemist who collected art after making a fortune by co-developing an early anti-gonorrhea drug marketed asArgyrol and selling his company at the right time, before antibiotics came into use.
Today, the foundation owns more than 2,500 objects, including 800 paintings, estimated to be worth about $25 billion. These are primarily works by Impressionist and Modernist masters, but the collection includes many other paintings by leading European and American artists, as well as ancient works from other cultures.
I've included a few of my favorites from the collection. Dr. Barnes owned over 180 Renoirs. This one is probably Renior's family. Renoir painted many portraits.
The painting above is a Monet, probably one of my favorite painters. Dr. Barnes owned four Monets, but this is the only one I could find. I love how he portrays the reflection on the water!
I loved this painting of a mother holding her child.
He collected a few Vincent Van Goghs. This one looks amazing in real life. The colors are vibrant, and I love the way the brush stokes swirl in the painting.