City of Brotherly Love
Founded in 1682 by a Quaker, William Penn, he had high hopes for the city he called Philadelphia. A name with greek foundations: phil = loving, beloved; and adelphós = brother, brotherly. Ultimately, Penn’s objective was to create utopia. A place where there was freedom of religion, trial by jury and free elections. Some of the key ingredients to our nations call for independence.
Now might be a good time to mention that as much as it appears Pennsylvania was named by its founder, you would actually be mistaken. You see, William Penn had little regard for self flattery and called his new land, Sylvania or, the Woods. The King rebuked this notion and would refer to the new colony as Pennsylvania.
I guess we can say it was from the start, Philadelphia had a penchant for all things Greek. Dotted throughout the city is evidence of Greek influences…
When Benjamin Franklin came on the scene, he established the American Philosophical Society. Above, we can see him memorialized, draped in a toga.
Rich in History
Three days in the city afforded us the chance to take a walking tour, see some the most historic sights and appreciate the hospitality during off season.
Our Nation’s Oldest Residential Street
I think it might be more accurate to say, “One of our nation’s oldest residential streets…” since I seem to recall hearing the same brag touted while in St. Augustine, Florida. Regardless, it is an interesting block in Philly, and known as Elfreth’s Alley. According to a friendly local – gracious enough to share a little history as we walked, said it started as a bustling alley allowing merchants to move goods back & forth to the river. Soon it became a mixed use neighborhood where grocers, shoemakers, cabinet makers, tailors would conduct business from the first floor of their home. I’m sure there were several evolutions, but when factory production took hold, blue collar workers moved in. Many first generation immigrants could afford to live, and work on the nearby dockyards or factories. By the 1930’s there was a move to re-gentrify the neighborhood and bring it back to its pre-colonial beauty.
Take note of the last image with my red arrows. Do you know what those things are? They are called busybody mirrors: you could look at the street scene from the 2nd or 3rd floors and decide
whether or not it was worth your effort to answer the door – or to dash out the back! Some attribute this nifty device to Ben Franklin.
Our Last Hurrah with Maribel
We did everything in our power to let Maribel “just be.” I probably should say, I did everything in my power to let Maribel “just be.” Woody is so much better at this, than I am. I have too many stupid standards.
Anyway, when she went on some bottled-water-kick and bought a bottle from every vendor, side shop or tourist trap until her purse weighed 9 pounds – we let it be. When she could hardly wait for her glass of chardonnay… until our beers showed up, and then told the waiter she really wanted a beer – we let it be. Even if she didn’t touch the beer. And when we “forgot” that she just smoked her evening cigarette and dove in for another, well, we just let that be too. After all, and unknown Maribel, it was gonna be her last cigarette.