I always enjoy antique shops when I travel. However Antique Row, as they call it...was a bit of a disappointment to me. Most of the shops were lacking in lustre....not terribly interesting merchandise...with outrageous prices. The only store that I thought had really exquisite collections was the shop that specialized in antique needlework which are called "samplers". Some amazing things there...beyond my price range...but beautiful. Otherwise, I would find another place to find your antiques.
Nancy has gotten more than one ticket since she's been in Philadelphia. City parking is always a hastle, but here we found a missing meter...but a legal spot to park while we went into the big market for lunch. We held our breath when we came out to see if there was a ticket on the windshield. Nope! We were lucky.
Pat's or Geno's,
the venerable and yes, the original cheesesteak makers.
Hey, some things were meant to be improved on.
If you must, drive by and take a picture, but if you want a better cheesesteak, try Ishkabibbles, Jim's, or Reading Terminal.
Walking in the old town we were attracted by several signs indicating the way to Benjamin Franklin tomb. Curious we followed the signs, and verifying that it had a payed entrance we decided to skip (We know that Franklin means a lot to the American people, and I accept criticism, but only from those knowing Afonso Henriques).
A few steps ahead there it was, seen across the fence, with nothing to show except... the American admiration expressed in coins. Not much, for an european tourist.
SACRILEGE! Jim's on South is the tourist trap... I used to live around the corner at 4th and Cypress and never went even though it was closer. Jim's doesn't melt the Prov on the hogie roll, so there you HAVE to get the Wiz. Pat's is the best hands down. Pat's put the cheese next to the hot bun, not on top so everyone can see the cheesey goodness....so bourgeois a display no native Fluffian would ever be so didactic!
Fun Alternatives: Geno's is trash. Pat's is the only destination for a REAL cheesesteak.
This is supposed to be Philadelphia's answer to New York's Central Park, but it's nothing more than a patheticly-small-campus-quad-like hang out. You can always tell when the seasons have changed in Philly because the boys try to impress the now scantily-clad girls by playing hacki sack while topless and clogging up the paths in the Sqaure. Then everything else around the Square consists of extremely over-priced apartments which house some of the snobbiest people I've ever had the displeasure of waiting on. Once you leave the Square you can spend several hours trying to get through the crowds on Walnut Street- home of the outdoor mall.
Fun Alternatives: If you want to hang out in a real park, go to Clark Park in West Philly, it's really not a ghetto, unless you consider a neighborhood with tons of young people, co-ops, restaurants and the benefit of trees and grass a ghetto....
Egads people! Realizing it has historical significance, the Liberty Bell is a big bell with a crack housed in a plastic McDonalds-like structure! Skip it if its crowded -- there are better things to do!
Very interesting city, a great one, but why the whole city closes at 7:00 pm?
here are no malls, museums or buldings open after 7:00; national landmarks close at 4:00??
if you need to see any museum, go early!!!
The Philly Reichstag was built for the 1876 celebration of the American Centennial. Memorial Hall or ''Centennial Hall'' became the Philadelphia Art Museum until the newer, even more pompous Art museum opened in 1920. Today it is just a building housing the Fairmount Park Commission, and some fine arts exhibitions. (...more==>)
Period Testimony: Quotations & Random Thoughts
As we turn and look back towards the Main Building, we are treated to one of the most beautiful sights it has ever been our fortune to witness. We are on a slightly rising slope, and the whole extent of the Main Building and Machinery Hall -- come into view. The Main Building is one blaze of light, of flaming fire, from end to end, owing to the reflections on the glass of the rays from the departing sun. It is a grand illumination. In the foreground the fountain has ceased to play, and the now quiet lake, a bright gem in its green setting, reflects every line and flash. The dome of Memorial Hall looks up over the trees -- Restless, happy crowds are flitting from point to point, and the whole looks like a fairy-land, an incantation scene, something that we wish would never pass away.
--Architect of the Main Building from narrow-gauge railway, Joseph M.Wilson or Henry Pettit
The oddest collection of structures that had ever been assembled in America, and assembled in that rather careless way which was still a convention in landscape architecture, with winding paths and unexpected openings. Here a Swiss chalet rose above its shrubbery and turned out to be the New York State Building
--Oliver W. Larkin, Art and Life in America, 1949 (won Pulitzer Prize for History)
Critics today look back upon the Centennial Exhibition as an architectural and artistic calamity that produced not a single new idea but was, rather, the epitome of accumulated bad taste of the era that was called the Gilded Age, the Tragic Era, the Dreadful Decade, or the Pragmatic Acquiescence, depending on which epithet you thought most searing.
--Russell Lyons, The Tastemakers, 1954
The first day crowds come like sheep, run here, run there, run everywhere. One man start, one thousand follow. Nobody can see anything, nobody can do anything. All rush, push, tear, shout, make plenty noise, say damn great many times, get very tired, and go home.
--Fukui Makoto, Japanese Commissioner, in Harper's Weekly, July 15, 1876
It is hard to conceive anything lower than the architecture of the Centennial Exposition
--Lewis Mumford, The Brown Decades, 1931
I went there in July, & staid nearly a whole day; then I got discouraged & returned home. I became satisfied that it would take me two, or possibly three days to examine such an array of articles with anything like just care & deliberation.
--Mark Twain, letter to William Dean Howells
From my soul I hate and contemn these big shows -- It is bigger, noisier, more crowded, and its contents more uniformly indifferent and vulgar than any of its predecessors. I enjoyed the expedition, for our party was pleasant, but I have registered an oath never to visit another of these vile displays. The crowd there was appalling and there was a great deal of sickness and alarm -- Much typhoid is caught there and if they are not lucky, they will have yellow fever.
--Henry Adams, letter to Charles Milnes Gaskell
You will be much impressed with it; it is immense -- a sort of Vanity Fair.
--Herman Melville, quoted in The Melville Log, 1951
source: Free Library of Philadelphia
Skip the Duck Tours that annoyingly honk their way through Old City and the onto the Delaware River. They're grossly overpriced and not always accurate in their information.
DEM AMERIKANISCHER VOLKE
designed by Fairmount Park employee Hermann Schwartzmann, who never designed a building before in his life.
view from the Philly Brandenburg Gate. The Philly Reichstag (1876) influenced the Metropolitan museum of Art in NYC (completed in 1880) and the German Reichstag (completed in 1882).
The staff were friendly, knowledgeable & helpful. Room 204 was clean and comfortable. King bed was...more
My husband and I stayed at the Rittenhouse Square Bed and Breakfast in January 2002 for our wedding...more
This hotel is smack in Penn U Campus. The rooms were very nice, very clean and accomodating in size....more