Philadelphia Journals

Philadelphia - the Birth of a Nation

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A July 2010 trip to Philadelphia by Liam Hetherington

Independence Hall Photo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania More Photos
Quote: The City of Brotherly Love is easy to love. The debates that took place here shaped the modern American nation but I found it a refreshing break from high-energy stress of New York.

Philadelphia

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This is Philly Photo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Quote:
They call it ‘the City of Brotherly Love’, and as a city I found it very easy to love Philadelphia. Having just arrived on the Greyhound from New York the contrast couldn’t have been more different. Despite Philadelphia’s size its centre was compact and walkable. There was a free-spirited and rather idiosyncratic approach to the use of public spaces that I found appealing. And the locals were friendliness personified. I was shocked the first time a passer-by spoke to us out of the blue; by the third time it happened I was no longer surprised. The natives here are friendly!All ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2011

Independence National Historical Park and around

Independence Hall

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Attraction | "Where the Sun Rose on American Independence"

Independence Hall Photo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Quote:
Philadelphia’s Independence Hall is one of the most important buildings in the history of the United States of America. The nation was shaped by the conversations that went on within its doors between men like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Without those conversations there may not even have been a nation to shape…The Pennsylvania State House – as it was known at the time – was the setting for the meetings of the Second Continental Congress. The Congress was a selection of representatives from the separate colonies of British North America who were opposed to the calibre of rule they were subject to from London. Various British administrations struggled t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2011

Independence Hall
500 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
215/597-8974

Congress Hall

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Attraction | "Small Government"

Congress Hall Photo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Quote:
Congress Hall is one of the detached wings of Independence Hall and is covered by the same (free) ticket that can be obtained from the Independence National Historical Park Visitor Centre on Market Street. While the tickets are valid for a tour of Independence Hall at a specific time, holding one allows the visitor to stay as long as they want in the wider complex. We noticed a sign stating that there would be a tour of Congress Hall starting in a few minutes, so we joined up.The Hall’s two wings were added after independence. The eastern wing, Old City Hall, w...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 13, 2011

Congress Hall
150 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
+1 215 597 8974

Liberty Bell

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Attraction | "Let Freedom Ring!"

Liberty Bell Photo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Quote:
The Liberty Bell is a bell with a crack in it. Taken at face value it is one of the least impressive sights around. However it is also one of the most inspiring – its image and memory has been used as a mirror to inspire people in the United States in the search for freedom. And I think visitors to Philadelphia need to keep that in mind, because otherwise the Liberty Bell is pretty unexciting.The Liberty Bell Center is free to enter. Visitors do not have to join tours or specific time slots, which makes it a good thing to do if you are waiting for your entrance time at Independence Hall. It is a modern building on the grass opposite the Hall with information panels taking you through the h...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 13, 2011

Liberty Bell
500 Market St (corner Fifth And Sixth Streets)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

National Constitution Center

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Attraction | "Who are 'We the People'?"

National Constitution Center Photo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Quote:
The US Constitution was given birth to in Philadelphia. This was perhaps unlucky, as it has always had to play second fiddle to the Declaration of Independence in this town. The building where it was signed is known as Independence Hall, not Constitution Hall, and it sits in Independence National Historical Park, not Constitution National Historical Park. This is perhaps understandable – patriots taking a principled stand against oppression makes a more understandable and heroic narrative than politicians sitting down to work out how to organise a government. But in awareness of ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 13, 2011

National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street on Independence Mall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
(215) 409-6600

FARMiCiA

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Restaurant | "Healthy Eating"

FARMiCiA Photo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Quote:
Farmicia (sorry, I mean FARMiCiA) has a wonderful central location in the middle of Philadelphia’s historic Old City district. It sits on South 3rd Street between Chestnut and Market, only two blocks east of Independence Mall, in a stately red-brick building – very convenient. I will admit, however, that what made us choose this venue for dinner over any other had to be the name. Not the self-consciously idiosyncratic mix of capitals and letters, but rather the play on farms and pharmacies: Rebecca, you see, is a pharmacist by trade. But I suppose the name is meant to conjure up the idea that the food inside is wholesome, healthy and good for you.Inside the theme was exposed brickwo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2011

FARMiCiA
15 South Third Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
(215) 627-6274

Center City and the Ben Franklin Parkway

Reading Terminal Market

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Attraction | "A Taste of Philadelphia"

Reading Terminal Market Photo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Quote:
The Reading Railroad may have ceased to exist, its terminus may no longer handle trains, but the indoor market beneath is thriving and is well worth an investigation.The Reading Terminal Market in downtown Philadelphia has been in existence since 1892. It has been spruced up a little since those days and is now home to over one hundred stall holders with a wide and impressive range of merchandise. Rebecca and I were more than impressed by all the different foods and beverages on display. Tanks of live lobsters nestled next to drawers of coffee beans or displays of hand-made chocolate truffles, artisanal bakers crowded next to Pennsylvania winemakers, tubs of multicoloured sweets, pr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2011

Reading Terminal Market
12th And Arch Streets
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
+1 215 922 2317

The Windsor Suites

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Hotel | "Sweet Suites by JFK Plaza"

The Windsor Suites Photo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Quote:
The heart of Philadelphia is not massive. Most places are within a walking distance. And so while the Windsor Suites are not slap-bang next to the historic sites of Independence National Park they are an easy ten-fifteen minute walk away. They are very convenient for those new to the city however, being located roughly midway between the Greyhound bus terminal (where we arrived from New York) and Amtrak’s 30th Street station (from where we departed for Washington). Each must be only a mile away. They are on a corner of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway between JFK Plaza and Logan Square. The P...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 13, 2011

The Windsor Suites
1700 BEN FRANKLIN PKWY
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
215-981-5678

Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps

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Attraction | "A Flying Visit for Low Culture"

Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps Photo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Quote:
The Philadelphia Museum of Art at the end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is a venerable institution of high culture – when we visited Philadelphia there was a major Renoir exhibition on. I, however, paid it a visit for very low cultural reasons…I am not ashamed to admit that I garner a certain joy from visiting cinematic icons. I have followed Indiana Jones’s last crusade from Venice’s ‘Library’ to the ‘Canyon of the Crescent Moon’ at Petra. I have seen where ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2011

Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19148