A number of Philly institutions provide fantastic night programs (they refer to them as “adult” programs, but that sounds a bit misleading). Last night, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the Mutter Museum and the Wagner Free Institue, put together their monthly Science on Tap. I learned about the early years of photography used to capture motion all while sampling some craft beers at National Mechanics. Perfect.
There’s not really a need to say more than Krimpet Shake, except that you can play on a carousel and get in a round of mini golf while drinking it.
I’m not really going to start posting about street art because it is covered thoroughly and beautifully by other sites (most notably, Conrad Benner’s streetsdept.com). However, I ran across this piece while biking down Christian St the other day (at 17th), and dragged my roommate back with me to take pics. It is amazing, and my picture does it no justice.
The artist(s), Harlequinade, create their Gargoyles “as atuas of wrathful guardian spirits to be installed throughout the city. The philosophy being that their presence will affect the metaphysical energies of the local area and deter any predatory or violent spirits on the streets.” With that in mind I liked the idea of taking my own picture in front of it, sort of an image of protection. I keep thinking how I would like a collection of more people with this image enfolding them. I’ll be back to it with friends in tow (and armed with a small step stool).
One of the highlights of a Philly summer is the Mann Center summer concert series. $12.50 gets you an amazing orchestral concert, fireworks, and a beautiful lawn on which to picnic your heart out.
It’s so goddamn beautiful.
It’s so goddamn broken.
Both of these things are true of Philadelphia at the same time.
A few months after I moved to Philadelphia, I was dating a geologist who liked to “urban explore,” which meant breaking into abandoned buildings around the city. He’d grown up in the woods across the water from Canada, and I think all this trespassing was his way of balancing out the weight of his degree from the University of Pennsylvania. It was a grey day, and we were driving south on PA 611 as it turned into Broad Street, coming back from an overnight camping trip, when he grabbed my arm and told me to pull over. I pressed my nose into the glass of my window, and stared up at the Divine Lorraine Hotel…
Reprinted with permission from Emma Eisenberg.
I love when you bike around a corner and see something like this…
My favorite Sunday morning routine is sitting at the kitchen table with the NYTimes (sorry Inquirer), tea and Federal Donuts. Unfortunately, this never happens because of the following internal debate…
“Ok, you can only get one donut, and you have to bring it home so you can eat it while reading the paper”
“Fine, two donuts, but you’d better get on your bike with them”
“Did you really need to sit and eat one of them?”
“I know it was amazing, but you can get home while the other one is still hot and sit at the table and enjoy it.”
“Really, you can’t even get to your bike without eating the other?”
“No, you cannot go back and get more for your “roommate””
If you’re looking for an unexpectedly amazing night post-work, head over to the Brandywine Valley region.
First — Terrain at Styers where I could blow a year’s salary on beautiful plants, linens, balms, etc.
Second — Chaddsford Vineyards where $10 gets you 10 wine tastings and you can stay till 8pm on Thursday.
Third — Longwood Gardens. Wander aimlessly around Bruce Monroe’s light exhibit till 11pm on weeknights. You will come out disoriented, amazed, and feeling like you just walked through Avatar.
Shorts (a digression)
I got my mom tickets for Antiques Roadshow for her birthday. Actually, I’ll be honest, I got them mostly for myself. The closest city hosting an event in the next six months was Boston, so we made the trek this weekend. They were filming three shows at once, so there were something like 6,000 people carrying around 12,000 antiques (books, couches, chairs, watches, baseballs, etc.).
I couldn’t take pics inside the show’s set, only in the airplane hanger where we first lined up. We spent our time chatting with our fellow Roadshow groupies, trying to pick out the most expensive items, and watching appraisals being taped.
No tears or screams of excitement, but I’ve watched the show enough to know that some people were carrying around items worth thousands of dollars. We learned that our book, The Anatomy of Melancholy, published in the late 1800s was worth about what my dad paid for it in 1965. My great grandfather’s pocket watch was from 1914, had a porcelain face and was gold fill (I got excited for a second), but was still only worth $200.
We left our post-show reaction in the video booth and traipsed around the North End for a couple of hours before climbing in the car for the long ride home. It was great to have a weekend away with mom, but it was nice to come home to Philly.