Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Philadelphia Tour

We drove from our hotel in New Jersey to Tina and Jim’s house.  Since Jim had to work Tina was taking us on a tour of Philadelphia.  We decided to take a double decker bus so she wouldn’t have to drive all over downtown and then try to find parking when we wanted to see something.

Philadelphia has as much, if not more history than Washington, D.C.  It was founded on October 27, 1682 by William Penn.  By the 1750s it was the largest city and busiest port in the original 13 colonies.  During the American Revolution it served as the  meeting place for the Founding Fathers, who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and the Constitution on September 17, 1787.   The city served as the temporary national capital from 1790 to 1800 while Washington, D.C. was under construction.

William Penn statue on top of City Hall


The statue was the central figure in a local legend known as the "Curse of Billy Penn." For years, Philadelphia, as most cities tended to do at the time, had an "unwritten rule" that no building rise taller than the brim of the hat that was atop the William Penn statue's head. However, when several skyscrapers were constructed in the late 1980s and early 1990s in order to compete with other growing metropolises, notably New York City, this "rule" was broken.

Thus, the "Curse of Billy Penn" was unleashed: since the statue was dwarfed by the skyscrapers surrounding City Hall, no Philadelphia professional sports team won a championship in any of the major sports (MLB, NFL, NBA or NHL). In the 1990s, attempts to "break" the curse were undertaken: a metallic Philadelphia Phillies cap was placed atop the statue during the 1993 MLB playoffs and a Philadelphia Flyers hockey jersey was draped over the statue during each team's respective playoff runs. Neither team won the final championships.
With the completion of the Comcast Center, workers put a small replica of the statue atop, making his hat the highest point in Philadelphia. On October 29, 2008, the Philadelphia Phillies broke the "curse" by winning the World Series in 5 games over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.”

When William Penn was placed on top of City Hall they failed to notice what he looked like from the side.  Winking smile


People all over town were dressed in “period clothing”.


Our first stop was the Liberty Bell but the line went around the building so we decided to hop on the bus and catch that later.


The famous Rocky steps at the Art Museum


Rocky statue on the right



Benjamin and Deborah Franklin’s gravesite




Eastern State Penitentiary (no longer occupied)


No pictures were allowed anywhere inside the Mint but we did see them making pennies.


Independence Hall was under renovation



The room where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed


This painting is on the wall where it shows all the signers faces except Jacob Broom who is signing with his back turned because they didn’t have a portrait of him so they didn’t know what he looked like.  LOL



The Liberty Bell is in the Liberty Bell Center but Tina, having lived in Philadelphia all her life, remembers when it was in the steeple at Independence Hall.



As we were walking back to the car Colleen called Tina and found out where we were and “buzzed us”.  She’s an EMT for an air ambulance and was on the way to a call.


From there we headed to the famous Pat’s Steaks for a Philly Cheesesteak.  You have to know exactly how to order your sandwich.



I ordered mine “wit-out & cheez whiz”.  I wouldn’t normally order anything with cheez whiz but it’s a Philly tradition.


I saw this in the back window.  EWWWWW


We got back to the car and Tina decided to drive around town once more so we could see it at night.  It was beautiful.




Rocky statue


From there we decided to go visit Colleen at work.  The helicopter had landed so we got to have a nice visit and also got a chance to use the facilities.



It was another LONG day in which we didn’t get back to the hotel until after midnight.


heyduke50 said...

we hope to tour Philly in a couple of weeks do you recommend a tour bus company?

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

Your blog has had so many wonderful pictures of DC and now Philly, it is like a history lesson. I know how much work it is to put these together and write all the info. Checking to make sure that you are telling the stories right and so forth. I just want you to know that we are enjoying the blog and effort that you have put forth. Keep going to all these historic places, and we'll keep on as faithful readers....LOL


Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Great tour of Philly. I worked there for three years, so this was a nice look back.