Monday, October 29, 2018

City of Brotherly Love

Last weekend we visited Philadelphia for the American Society of Landscape Architects annual conference. Well, my husband attended the conference and I went along to play. Our hotel was located by the convention center, which was convenient for him and centrally located for me.

Friday night we went out to dinner with two other couples at the R2L Restaurant. Located on the 37th floor of the building, it offers incredible views of the city. Unfortunately it was pretty cloudy that evening, so we didn't see the amazing sunsets that others have talked about. It was still a wonderful experience though.

R2L Restaurant
Saturday one of the other spouses and I toured around the city. We had breakfast in the Reading Terminal Market, an outstanding downtown indoor farmers market (and then some) before heading to the Curtis Building (former home of Curtis Publishing, whose publications included The Ladies' Home Journal) to see The Dream Garden, a wall mural that consists of over 100,000 pieces of Tiffany  glass pieces. It is so beautiful!

The Dream Garden

From there we visited Elfreth's Alley, the oldest continuously occupied residential street in the United States. Many of the homes on the street still serve as residences today, and most of them date to the mid-1700s. One of them is a museum, so we paid the small admission fee to be able to see inside the home, which was built for two sisters who were seamstresses.

Elfreths Alley
After lunch we walked the city some more before visiting the John F. Kennedy Plaza for a close-up look at the LOVE statue and a nice view of City Hall. We took a well needed rest by the fountains before walking back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

John F Kennedy Plaza
Sunday was more touring, sometimes by myself, sometimes with another couple that I know. I saw the world's largest pipe organ and a huge brass eagle (that were both originally built for the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis), some street art, beautiful fountains, and the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

Philadelphia sights on Sunday
Sunday night was the formal dinner at the ASLA convention, and Jim's partner Ted was elevated to Fellow so it was a big night for SWT Design. As a fellow Fellow, Jim walked Ted down the aisle to receive his award. It was a touching ceremony.

Monday Jim still had sessions to attend in the morning, so I went to see the Liberty Bell and the Irish Memorial. Both of them touched me for different reasons. The bell is such a part of the American story, and it was a thrill to be able to get a close look at it. The Irish Memorial is probably one of the best sculptures I have seen, with each side representing a piece of Irish history explaining the reasons for the mass emigration out of Ireland.

Liberty Bell and Irish Memorial
We had lunch with Jim's partner and his wife, and then Jim was able to join me for a little touring before we had to head off to the airport. It was an exceptional trip in a very historic city, and I am grateful for the opportunity to experience it.

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