Monday, January 31, 2011

Philadelphia #1 - Reading Market

Playing with the camera
Sometimes, when you say, "I've got itchy feet," someone else says, me too! and in short order, you find yourself unexpectedly awake at 7 am on a Saturday morning zipping up the highway to collect said friend and head north.

That was me on Saturday morning. Camera at the ready, and alarming other motorists by playing with mirrors and angles at stoplights, I arrived at my friend's house to find her by the door, packed and ready to go.
Art and travel: both are creative ventures where you push yourself to see new things in new ways, to expand experience and vision.

With brief comment to her kids and husband ("I'm stealing your mother/wife.") we were on 95 North, destination: Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.
Given that so much of my travel has been solo, having real, live conversation made the brief drive go quickly (although it did cut into my off-key radio singing). 
Sparkly chandelier, Warwick Hotel

Philly welcomed us with traffic.  Because of some creative navigating on my part (gps only works if you follow its advice), we took the long way to the hotel.  But oh, what a lovely hotel.

The Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel.  Check out the chandelier:
Can you imagine how many strange ugly mobiles and suncatchers I could make if I disassembled that?  Happily, I don't think they'll let me near it. 
Best way to see a city is to start walking. If you're smarter than I am, you'll bring your hat on a winter day. 

In front of the courthouse


Our first stop was lunch at Reading Terminal Market, an indoor market at 12th and Arch St.  The farmer's market has been running since 1893 and is a Philadelphia institution. 

According to their Web site, "One hundred thousand Philadelphians and tourists pass through the Reading Terminal Market every week." Once amid the hubbub, that was easy to believe. 

We got the best sandwiches of our lives at a Pennsylvania Dutch place called The Grill @ Smuckers. Mild Italian sausage with peppers and pot roast with horseradish gave us strength enough to get to the pretzel stand for fresh-baked butter-soaked delights. Yum.

Note that if you want to get lunch at any of the Pennsylvania Dutch places, you best do it on Saturday, as their shops aren't open on Sunday. 

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