Thursday, August 6, 2009

Actually, I'm Impressed

I am from New York. A Queens girl all the way. So I am rarely impressed by other cities. However, Philly was impressive. The history, the architecture, the stench. Sorry, but I don't think they've updated their sanitation practices since the 1600s.

There are always wonderful things to learn when you visit a new place, and Philly is no exception. At the Fireman's Museum, I learned a valuabe lesson (pssst - the answer is "no"!):

Sadly, I was not impressed by the LOVE statue. It is much, much smaller that I thought...

Philadelphia City Hall. It's huge, overwhelming, incredible. It took 30 years to build and cost $24 million - in 1870 dollars. It is testimony to what? Self-importance? Racism? Inequality? Look at some of the details:

Are these babies holding up the building? African American babies?

And of course, built on the backs of Native people.

Philadelphia really drives home the depth and insideous nature of racism. How could so many people who thought so profoundly about isues of liberty, freedom, and self-determination oppress others without a care? There were others of course, like the Quakers, but still...

I went to the Athenaeum of Philadelphia for a great little exhibit of children's book art. Here is an illustration from The Princess and the Pea.

I went to The National Liberty Museum. It explored ideas of liberty and freedom using a really diverse spectrum of individual experiences.

Visitors were encouraged to leave a message (that wasn't me...)

And finally, a Philly fave, the walk-through heart at the Franklin Institute. In case you ahven't been there, it is waaaay larger than life-sized. You walk through it to learn how the heart works. Awesome.

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