Friday, August 14, 2015

Seeing Beautiful: In the City of Brotherly Love

Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love. I had just a day and a half this week to sightsee in this historic city. I was surprised and pleased to learn that I could walk from our hotel to some of the most historic parts of the city. There was a lot of beautiful to see, and lots of history that keeps fresh the story of our democracy.

Certainly like any city Philadelphia has its problems (as a tourist it's impossible to miss the [very polite!] homeless and people begging for money). However my sense was that the city has a lot of pride and is very livable, not to mention fun. Have you visited Philly?


Reading Market has every kind of raw, cured, cooked, or home grown food you could imagine and maybe some you wouldn't! This enormous market also has fabrics, beeswax candles, toys, a booth dedicated only to cookbooks…it's amazing! (Ted got his Philly cheese steak sandwich here.)

A tempting display of organic heirloom tomatoes at Reading Market.

Friendship Gate: the entrance to Chinatown.

Though I didn't have time to take the Mural Mile walking tour, this is one of about two dozen murals in the city. They began as an anti-graffiti initiative and add to the atmosphere of civic pride.

Benjamin Franklin is buried at Christ Church Burial Ground with his wife, Deborah. Does anyone know why people throw coins on his grave? ("A penny saved…"?)

Schoolchildren contributed keys for the casting of this bust of Franklin.

The Arch Street Meeting House dates to 1801. The horsehair cushions are original and the pews are either original to this meeting house or were taken from older meeting houses when it was constructed. Notice the soundboard at the front - to ensure the elders could hear and be heard!

The House of Industry Signature Quilt (c.1845). Every square of this quilt is signed by the Quaker woman who sewed it. It was a retirement gift for Ann Burns, who served as Matron at the House of Industry.

Here's a dollhouse to dream of! It supposedly shows the home of Elizabeth Drinker. The guide said it was actually owned by a little girl named Billie at one time.

Dollhouse detail.

Elfreth's Alley is the oldest continuously occupied neighborhood in America. Note the For Sale signs on two townhouses. 


What would the Fireman's Museum be without a Dalmation? Did you know Ben Franklin played an integral role in establishing firefighting in Philadelphia and was a volunteer fireman himself?

Surprise! It's not Cinderella's chariot - it's a 19th century fire truck!

The Liberty Bell.

In the Supreme Court at Independence Hall, our NPS tour guide showed us the seal that hung above the justices' seats - until we declared Independence from the King, that is. He's standing in the prisoner's dock and is about to explain that the accused literally "stands trial" in that era.

The Virginia Table at Independence Hall.

The actual Syne Inkstand used to sign the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. Though the original interior of Independence Hall was virtually destroyed by the British during the War of Independence, the inkstand survived, probably in a private home.

Here is the original U.S. Senate chamber. Two chairs and two desks are original. I enjoyed imagining John Adams, who wanted to be addressed as "His Excellence", sitting on his "throne" at the head of the Senate. He was well mocked, you can be sure!

Washington stands before Independence Hall.

The tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington Square.


 Have you been to Philadelphia? What did you enjoy seeing there?

Today is See Beautiful Friday, a monthly blog hop celebrating all the beauty around and inside each of us. Join in with some of your beauty!

16 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes, we want to return when we have more time to explore.

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  2. you know, I can't believe I have never been there! Now, after seeing your photos, I REALLY want to go!

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    1. I didn't expect there to be such interesting things to do! I hope you get a chance to visit.

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  3. Oh my cats you did see beautiful every single moment of that trip‼️
    Hugs
    Madi and mom

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    1. Yes we sure did, and though I didn't post about it we ate a lot of beautiful food too…Madi you would have loved the lobster pie at City Tavern!

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  4. What a cool place to visit! I've always wanted to go.

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  5. I have only ever flown through the Philly airport. Your pictures make me want to go for a visit!

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    1. Same here, I'd only ever driven past it before and didn't expect it to be so much fun.

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  6. Luved seein your photos! We's never been to Philly.

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    1. I hope you get to go there someday. There's a lot more that we hope to return and see.

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  7. many thanks for inviting me to such a great tour! it's great to discover so much beautiful things! are that really tomatoes? we only know the red balls, it's amazing that so much different kinds exist. ooooh and the dollhouse, my mommas greatest wish of her childhood... she never got one... and now she saw this fabulous house and can add it to her dreamlist :o)

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    1. I'm so glad you liked the dollhouse! It was so detailed, and so big. A little girl could play with it for hours!

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  8. Thank you so much for this post and sharing your adventure with us. It was beautiful, I have never been there so this was great.

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    1. I'm glad you liked your "tour" - maybe someday you'll get a chance to go there. We want to go back because there's a lot more to see. We wished we had more time.

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