Thursday, October 11, 2018

Touring Philadelphia on Foot and Wheel


   Philadelphia is a vibrant city, rich in history and culture, with enough variety to keep everyone entertained for days. The streets are laid out in a grid and the level terrain is perfect for strolling. We set out to see some of the famous landmarks starting from our parking spot on Dock Street – the red X in the bottom right. The stars, in order, mark I-95 Park, Elfreth’s Alley, Reading Terminal Market, City Hall, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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  The small I-95 Park is a memorial to the Irish immigrants who came to American between 1845-1855 to escape starvation when the potato crop failed. The sculpture depicts the journey from despair as family members were buried in Ireland to joy when the ship came to port in the US. Informative signs have detailed information about the famine and its causes.

IMG_4835   There’s also a monument to Scottish immigrants who started coming to the US in the 1700s.


  Elfreth's Alley is considered the oldest residential street in the US. The houses were built between 1728 and 1836 and inhabited by tradesmen and their families.  Most are still private residences but one is a museum which is opened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


     Reading Terminal Market was built in 1893. This is the place to visit if you’re hungry! Besides prepared food there are shops selling produce, seafood, cheeses, and locally sourced meats and poultry.


   City Hall is an amazing building. It has almost 700 rooms which makes it the world's largest municipal building.  Tours of the interior and the observation deck are available. We did not take a tour.


    The steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art were made famous by Sylvester Stallone in the movie Rocky. Tony reenacted the scene. :-D

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  We  thoroughly enjoyed our two week visit to Philadelphia. We’ll be back because there is still so much more to see.  Below are more sights that we spotted as we wandered around.

  Merchant’s Exchange Building


  Christ Church was built between 1727 and 1744. George Washington, Robert Morris, Benjamin Franklin, William Penn, and Betsy Ross all attended services.


  Some of the many murals and statues located around the city.

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   Although the sidewalks and curb cuts in the historic district are in good condition they are pretty bad in the rest of the city.  Sidewalks may be concrete, brick, pavers stone, slate squares, and even huge slabs of marble, slate and granite. Many of the curb cuts have been replaced and are excellent but there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to the replacement. A good curb cut on one side of the street may face one on the other side that is totally deteriorated. Market Street is a disaster. We do not shop or eat in restaurants very often but I noticed that most of the stores have steps at the entrances. Many restaurants have tables outside. Touring in a wheelchair without assistance would be frustrating.


     We parked along Dock Street which is about 1/2 - 3/4 of a mile from the historic district where all of the museums and landmarks are located. Dock Street is much wider than most of the other streets and we could always find an open parking space. The spaces are not marked so a ticket from the kiosk – payable by cash, credit card or phone app - is good for any size vehicle. Parking is limited to 3 hours however we were informed by a friendly local man that a disabled placard would get us an extra hour for free. This was confirmed later by a parking officer. 


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