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Philadelphia, PA

While technically, I've been to Philadelphia many, many times, in my book airports don't count as being part of an actual location. So I finally got a chance to be a tourist with my friend Stephanie, and see some of the historical sites in downtown Philadelphia, August 13-15, 2013. As an added bonus, the weather was really nice (so we skipped the Art Museum, no pictures of me pretending to be Rocky running up and down steps, sorry).

Displaying all 55 pictures


Downtown Philadelphia

Here are some pictures of basic downtown Philadelphia. Not the historical locations from a few hundred years ago, just the other stuff.

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A view of the street from the top of the parking garage.

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A view of the street looking the other way from the parking garage.

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When I first read "With malice towards..." I thought that that was a lot of effort to make a list...(more)

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Frank acts/reacts to a sign. At the corner of like Chestnut and 7th, maybe?

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A view of an old abandoned building that I found interesting.

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A pretty rundown building next to the boarded up one.

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A stone lion outside some place that has seen better days.

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The closed entrance to the US Customs House.

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A light, with a similar design theme as the door at the US Customs house.

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A tour going on at yet another historic site (I don't recall which one).

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A statue from the 1980s called Signer, though the pose is kind of weird, as if he's looking through...(more)


Independence Hall

Kind of at the heart of the historic part of Philadephia. Independence Hall is where the Continental Congress met, and where the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and Constitution were created.

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The clocktower of Independence Hall. 009-DSC_5089:

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Stephanie goes through the rigorous security procedure, which involves turning around in a circle. ...(more)

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A two picture panorama of the front of Independence Hall. 010-DSC_5091:


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Stephanie ponders Independence and Halls.

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A sign describing Independence Square.

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The court chamber in Independence Hall.


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Panoramic shot of the court chamber in Independence Hall.



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Panoramic shot of the upper part of the Supreme Court Room in Independence Hall.


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The guide talking about the court chamber.

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Cool ornamentation above the door to the Assembly Room.

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The chair that George Washington used. It is the only object in the room that dates back to the...(more)


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Assembly Room in Independence Hall, where a lot of the constitution-oriented-action happened.


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A semi-close-up of stuff on a table. They are all replicas of things from that era.

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The stairs leading up to the second floor (which was closed to visitors). 019-DSC_5118:

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A sign describing what is on the second floor.

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A sign describing the 3 documents below them. Note that these are original documents. However,...(more)

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The Declaration of Independence.

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The Articles of Confederation.

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The Constitution.

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A statue of John Barry outside of Independence Hall, regarded as "the father of the American Navy"...(more)


Washington Park

Washington Park was part of the 5 parks William Penn had planned for the city. It had a long history, including being a mass burial grave for soldiers during the War of Independence. It has gone through rennovations and the like. It's about the size of a city block and has various plaques around describing its history.

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A picture of Frank and Stephanie by the fountain.

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A memorial with a statue of Washington, commemorating all those who had died in unmarked graves in...(more)


The Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of the United States of America and more broadly freedom. It was a big-ass bell that cracked when tested as a model, cracked when used for real, was fixed, and then cracked when used again, and eventually retired. It toured around the US in the early 1900s, and eventually was retired. It could be a symbol of the struggle of freedom, or never giving up. But it kind of feels more like a Russian sort of invention. Something that was broken from the start and never worked, yet was pressed forward ignoring the obvious. When it broke during its brief tenure, engineers tried to fix it, but to no avail. After some time, everyone gave up and moved on, but it was hailed as a great success and used as a symbol of the spirit and success of the nation, even though it kind of represents the exactly opposite. Eventually, with a sigh, the population accepts that a broken bell is the symbol of the power of the US and of freedom, and people use it in a non-ironic sense (probably even getting offended by this tongue-in-cheek description). Nevertheless, it is still kind of neat to see, given all its history and that, one way or another, it is an iconic symbol of freedom. Hell, there are pictures of the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela next to it, so it's got its credentials worldwide.

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The building housing the Liberty Bell is relatively new, and is right across the street from...(more)

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The Liberty Bell, in all it's crack'd glory. 030-DSC_5152:

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Side view of the Liberty Bell.

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Close up of the top inscription on it. Amusingly, one of the descriptions said more or less that...(more)

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There were a lot of other people around the bell, so most of my shots were close-up to limit...(more)

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The brightly colored flowers just outside.


Irish and Scottish Memorials

As we headed towards the waterfront, we saw another little park area. This one was dedicated to Irish immigrants. We wandered around, read some of the plaques, and looked at the momument. Next to it was a smaller ("wee") area dedicated towards Scottish immigrants. Guess they have to keep up with each other.

It's interesting how the two cast their history. According to the Irish monument, the Irish came because of "the hunger" not "the potato famine of 1847". It makes them seem more like blood-thirsty vampires or something. They suffered all forms of tragedy, many died at home, en route, and after arriving, living in poverty, overcoming obstacles to thrive in this new country. According to the Scottish monument, the Scottish saw an opportunity and emmigrated. Because of their general high level of education (high literacy rate), they were able to get good jobs in engineering and the like and helped the US in the growing industralization. Oh, and the guys kept wearing their skir-, er, I mean kilts. Very different perspectives.

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The front of the Irish monument, showing them boarding a boat, or possibly disembarking from one. ...(more)

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This side of the monument shows the difficulties of the trip, or possibly the problems of the...(more)

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From here we see the death and deprivation in Ireland during the famine. No, not that. It was...(more)

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The back of the Scottish monument.

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The front of the Scottish monument, showing a family of new immigrants, proudly facing the...(more)

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Looking at the Irish section from the Scottish section. The Benjamin Franklin bridge is visible in...(more)


Penn's Landing (Delware River Waterfront)

We wandered to Penn's Landing, an area right next to the Delaware River, that separates Philadephia, PA from Camden, NY. They have concerts there, and such. While we were there, there wasn't a lot going on, and mostly I wanted to get some pictures by the water.

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Looking across the Delaware to the Battleship New Jersey, a retired WWII-era battleship that is...(more)

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Part of the state where concerts are held.

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Frank looks wistfully across the water. I had to wait about 10 minutes for a couple of people who...(more)

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Another Frank picture.

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Stephanie next to the Delaware River.

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Stephanie looks out across and thinks of her empire.




This page last modified Aug 22, 2013.
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