Tag Archives: Philadelphia

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Visiting Philadelphia during a government shutdown was a strange thing. The National Parks at the heart of the city – Independence Hall and the Benjamin Franklin Museum – were closed, and the surroundings areas looked all but abandoned. Fences were placed around many of the buildings, so you couldn’t even press your nose against the window to see what you were missing. Guards monitored the entrances to make sure no one made a mad dash for the front doors of the Liberty Bell.

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If you have had a rough night (or perhaps several of them in a row) and you find yourself in Northern Liberties, in Philadelphia, I suggest you go to Honey’s Sit-N-Eat for breakfast.

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If you happen to have the chance to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art (which is wonderful), here is a bit of advice: run up the steps to the museum.

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Just like Rocky Balboa did.

I know, I know – it’s silly and cliche. Doing so may earn you a few eye rolls from locals and museum members. Someone might quietly shake their head. You may spot someone else running up the stairs, then proceed to shadowbox when they reach the top, and you will think, Goodness, they look ridiculous.

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If there was anything I could tell my younger self (besides to maybe consider getting an MRI on your head sometime before the age of 30), it would be this: don’t fall for artistic types.

I would finally learned my lesson when I was 20 or so. No more musicians, no more painters. Even graphic designers and guys who played guitar on weekends were on notice. (more…)

The other day I was jogging.

Through a cemetery.

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It was awful. The jogging, I mean. The cemetery was lovely.

I find them kind of peaceful. I suppose my mom instilled that in me, which is weird, because she’s reared me to be terrified of so many other things (like thong underwear and undercooked chicken).

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The thing that I love about humanity, besides Thai food and the tendency to dress our young up as animals, is our commitment to the arts. That as a species, as soon as our basic needs are met (and even if they aren’t) we all hellbent on writing and composing and painting and sculpting and carving and decoupaging and etching and crocheting and just making things.

We are the species responsible for the Bedazzler and the Eiffel Tower, which is just kind of wonderful to think about.

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Rand is currently out of town (he left on Sunday morning, and he’ll be back tonight). His absence makes me nervous, because when he is not around, it means that I am alone.

Now, that wouldn’t be a problem except for this: I should not be left alone, ever. Being alone means that I am in charge of my own well-being – a task for which I am woefully unqualified. If I am the only person in the house, I can do whatever I like and there will be no one around to stop me from doing dangerous and calorically irresponsible things, usually while still in my pjs.

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We had a rental car in Philadelphia, but still I walked. I walked through downtown, down to the Italian market and back up again. When I got tired, I took the subway or hopped on a bus. But mostly, I saw the city on foot.

I walked in muggy heat and pouring rain, both of which were in the forecast that week in early October. By the end of it, I was exhausted, but I felt like I’d seen Philadelphia, really seen it, while getting lost down its winding streets.

Oh, and I had my camera with me, too. Here are ten photos from my meanderings.

  1. No Trespassing sign, South Street.

  2. Tidy row of buildings, Juniper Street.

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