Feeds:
Posts

Archive for the ‘Pennsylvania’ Category

Philadelphia Common Sense
The marker is located at SE corner of S 3rd Street & Chancellor Street (Thomas Paine Place)

During my recent visit to Philadelphia, I came across the area where, on this day in 1776, Thomas Paine published his 47-page pamphlet “Common Sense“. He sold 500,000 copies which influenced both the political leaders and average colonists in uniting toward a common goal of independence.

The building is no longer there but I was thrilled to see the site where one of the most important documents of the Revolution was produced. “Common Sense” was definitely a game-changer. He wrote:

Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America.  This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe.  Hither they have fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still.”

It’s fascinating to me how quickly Paine became a supporter of American Independence. While he was still living in England, he met Ben Franklin who happened to be at a debate in which Paine was impressing everyone in the audience. It was Franklin who encouraged him to immigrate to Philadelphia in 1774 and within two years he wrote “Common Sense”. After writing his pamphlet, he served in the US Army and with the Committee of Foreign Affairs. He returned to England in 1787, where he bravely continued to write in favor of Independence. He wrote “The Rights of Man” in which he supported the French Revolution. Because he was targeted as an anti-monarchist, he fled to France but was arrested in 1793 for not supporting the beheading of Louis XVI. Thomas Paine was scheduled to be executed himself, but thanks to the efforts of James Madison (who was serving as US minister to France), he was released in 1794. He remained in France until 1802. By invitation of Thomas Jefferson, he returned to the United States and died in 1809 in New York.

Although Thomas Paine was British, to me he was the epitome of an American. To be an American, I think less of where a person was born and more about their state of mind. He was courageous, opinionated, and envisioned what could be, not what was. He also had a positive long-term outlook which I admire. And what an exciting life he led.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The drive from Washington DC to Philadelphia is under three hours which makes it perfect for a weekend or even a quick overnight getaway.

What I like best about Philadelphia is all the history you’ll find around every corner. It reminds me of Boston but with a little more grit.  Visiting with Ben Franklin at UPenn


A whole lot of LOVE on the Penn campus  I especially like the way the cobblestone was preserved – still there but not cumbersome.  


There are historic information signs everywhere explaining the importance of a building or area. A nice refresher of my Revolutionary knowledge.   Betsy Ross House

 Ben Franklin’s gravesite – I thought the pennies were a nice touch.  Didn’t see any $100 bills…

  A building reflected within a building.
 Christmas tree at City Hall.

 XOXO photo opportunity.


There’s a lot about Ben Franklin in Philadelphia and I was happy to finally see George Washington as well.

Since I have more time than money these days, I scowered the Internet (specifically Tripadvisor) for hotel deals in central Philly. The best deal was a Sunday night stay at the Hotel Monaco (Kimpton).

For a history buff, it’s perfectly located next to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The hotel is trendy without trying too hard and I appreciated the cheery welcome upon arrival. We walked to most historic sites, restaurants and shops but did catch a cab when we came back from the Theater. We weren’t planning to see “The Book of Mormon” but discounted tickets were available and the seventh row seats were hard to pass up.

After reading the reviews, I splurged and paid a little extra for a room with a view. It was definitely worth it:  

  Looking out to Independence Hall A very comfortable room with fun amenities like a kite – a nod to Ben Franklin!

Read Full Post »

The University of Pennsylvania, created in the mid-1700s by Benjamin Franklin, is a gorgeous tree-lined campus. We took the 1.5 hour prospective student tour, ascertained all the pertinent information needed for undergraduate studies and enjoyed seeing all the lovely buildings/artwork. It’s definitely worth a walk around the campus even if you’re not college shopping. There’s a self-guided walking tour.

Philadelphia Ben Franklin Statue at Penn
College Hall, built in 1872 and Ben Franklin Statue. The building was the inspiration of Penn alumnus Charles Addams for the Addams Family mansion.

Philadelphia Button Statue
Big White Button. The crack in the button represents the Schuylkill River which runs through Philadelphia. When you’re at the button, you’re in the middle of College Green and according to our tour guide, classmates use the Button as a meet-up point ~  “meet me at the button” is said a lot.

Philadelphia Hands Gate
Hands Gate ~ notice the additional one?

Philadelphia Penn Building
Another beautiful campus building

IMG_6917
Colorful LOVE

Philadelphia Penn Door Arch
Archway at UPenn

While in Philadelphia, I highly recommend two restaurants. But, be forewarned, they are absolutely delicious, but Vegan:

Verge is an innovative, delicious tapas-style restaurant located at 1221 Locust Street in City Center. It’s only open for dinner and is very popular so reservations are highly recommended. We went early and snagged a table next to the kitchen. Not ideal but it was actually fun to watch all the staff. I was very tempted to have dessert but my two tapas selections were too filling. For two of us, we had two selections each and a glass of wine. In addition to the yummy menu selections, service was outstanding! Our bill (without tip) came to $81.00.

Vedge Restaurant, Philadelphia
Spicy Tofu

Vedge Restaurant in Philadelphia
Golden Beets ~ my favorite plate of the evening!

Vedge Restaurant, Philadelphia
Our view from our table. Be sure to make reservations for a better location!

Vegetate is located near UPenn and Drexel at 3210 Chestnut and is a great place to have a quick and inexpensive lunch. I recommend the Vegatacos, a smoothie and a sweet potato cupcake ~ Delish!

Philadelphia Vegetate

We stayed at the Inn at Penn (Hilton) which is adjacent to the University of Penn. It was an ideal location for college tours. Since it was only $2.50, we hopped on Bus 21 when we went into City Center. We rode the bus four times and each time I was very impressed with the friendly and extremely helpful bus drivers. On every trip, I witnessed the drivers going out of their way to help elderly passengers with walkers or wheelchairs. The drivers made sure those passengers were comfortable and safe. It was heartwarming to see the true meaning of Brotherly Love.

Read Full Post »

As we drove through the hot summer haze heading into Philadelphia, with smoke stacks spewing and litter on the roads, we realized we’ve been spoiled with the clean streets of Washington DC. We were in town to tour three colleges so our time for visiting Philly’s famous landmarks was limited. First stop: Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

The iconic Liberty Bell, the symbol of Freedom, first rang in the tower of the Pennsylvania State House now called Independence Hall. In the 19th century, the inscription on the bell became a rallying cry for abolitionists in the hopes of ending slavery.

Philadelphia Liberty II
Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof,” the inscription on the Liberty Bell

Philadelphia Liberty Bell III

Philadelphia Liberty Bell Dalai Lama
Global Symbol of Liberty

Liberty Bell and Logan

The Liberty Bell is located at Liberty Bell Center (6th & Market Streets). The queue starts at the doors on the north end of the building. Entrance is free and we waited in line for about 10 minutes. Security will check your bags before you enter. Food & drinks (except water) are prohibited. Be sure to give yourself enough time to read the displays and watch the short video ~ about 20 minutes. For more information, go to their website here.

After viewing the Liberty Bell, we strolled through Signer’s Park. A nice place to take a break for a moment.

Philadelphia The Signer
The Signer

Philadelphia Signers Garden
Signer’s Park Bench

Read Full Post »