Playing Tourist

Say it Rah-shay By Jul 31, 2011 1 Comment

On Thursday, The Bee and I participated in a photo shoot at Independence Hall for Visit Philadelphia. Our shoot will be used in advertising by anyone wishing to show off the rich history of Philadelphia. The photo shoot was quite easy; we were given a special tour by two rangers who made history so exciting that even The Bee was ready to head over to a library and get more information about the founding fathers of our country. Since we were done after an hour (just what do those girls on Top Model have to whine about) we decided that we would take an opportunity to play tourist and visit the city.

Ranger Scott

The ‘tourists’

An old style courthouse

Since we took Septa to the shoot we walked to The Reading Terminal Market to get breakfast. We visited to Dutch Eating Place where The Bee had the biggest fluffiest pancakes and I had a Scrapple and egg sandwich. (Mmmm! Scrapple!). Visiting the market during am off peak time was great. There weren’t crowds and it wasn’t that rushed feeling that seems to go along with weekend visits. We visited the stands and saw the bright beautiful colors of the fresh fruit and eyeballed the live lobsters. The Bee loved the honey stand and we both drooled over the plethora of pastries.

What to get…?

At The Bee’s request we decided that we would visit The Philadelphia Museum of Art and since it was early and the heat hadn’t started just yet we decided to walk down to the museum. In theory it’s a straight line from City Hall to the Art Museum but we didn’t walk straight there. The Bee and I decided to do it up and visited a couple of landmarks.

We stopped at Municipal Services building and posed with the giant game pieces. As you can see, The Bee was ready for her closeup!

It’s hard to take a self portrait
Your move!

I’m queen of the world!

My favorite Monopoly piece!

Yes, this IS the city of brotherly (and sisterly) love

Of course along the way we stopped at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s main branch. The Bee was quite enchanted with the touch screen computer games that is being tested there. I was too. I would love to have something like that in my library but alas! It was fun to enjoy while visiting.

From the library we headed to the Rodin Museum. For all of the years that I have lived in Philadelphia, visited the parkway for various events and even going to the museum I have never visited the Rodin Museum. The Thinker is a impressive up close and Rodin’s other pieces were also breathtaking. The Bee was not quite as impressed; she thought Rodin’s museum was a bit on the spooky, dark side and declared that she was not ready to continue the visit. After The Bee declared that she was, “Done” we finally headed to the Art Museum.

Happier kid once away from Rodin

Most people talk about the Rocky statue and running the Art Museum steps. The Bee and I ran the stairs together. Well, she ran, I sort of huffed and puffed and and wheezed as I made my way to the top. Although it was a hot day we sat on the steps a bit and enjoyed the fountain, the view and people watching.

The stairs that nearly did me in

The museum itself was a treat. I have not been to the Art Museum in years and enjoyed the visit. I am the first to admit that I am not an artsy type. The European Art was very intense. It was very heavy and dark. After about an hour of European Art we headed down to the American Art, modern and pop art. I’m thinking another visit is in order and probably with a friend who knows more about art. The Bee enjoyed herself but I found myself wishing to know a bit more about the background and history of the pieces. I was so proud of The Bee,. She was able to identify several pieces and knew a lot about the types of art due to her art classes from school (I’m going to miss them).

It was quite a day! Luckily my brother in law and nephew happened by and we were able to bum a ride  to the new Krispie Kreme en route to home. The Bee and I enjoyed our day as tourists and I enjoyed being able to spend a free day with her. In addition to visiting the city we talked and chatted about the summer, some things she wanted to share and I got to see her apart from our normal day.

The museum is opening a Rembrandt visit. I think I may return to see this exhibit. The first Sunday of each month is a pay as you wish deal. I think I will certainly take advantage and make some time to explore a bit more. Or if I want to be all swanky and grown up like and I’ll check out the Art after Five events on Friday.

My last few trips to the city have been short and sweet. I hate the parking issue (why doesn’t the parking authority just wear a mask and carry a gun?) and I usually get in, take care of what I need to do and get gone. But taking Septa wasn’t bad. The ride to town was smooth enough and the trolley and El were actually pleasant smelling and cleanish.

There has been a change in the city. With the bad economy I noticed there were several more people down on their luck and lot more sleeping outside and begging. I didn’t feel unsafe or insecure, but I was saddened that there were so many that were down on their luck. We also didn’t encounter any flash mobs. I really hope visitors don’t see only the negative about the city and miss out on all of the great opportunities to be had.

This visit whet my whistle for my 101 in 1001. I’m excited about new explorations and the possibility that I may actually get art.

Wielding my paint brush,


I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.

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