Day 2: July 2, 2008
A Day In Philly
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This Old Lincoln Highway near Oakford was one of the few quiet stretches I saw before another major city had me in its grasp. This time it was Philadelphia; the "City of Brotherly Love" and the birthplace of the nation.

The Independence Visitors Center is the place to start checking out the historical section. Across the street, some sort of Band Stand/Dance Party thing was going on in front of Independence Hall. Of course, this is Philadelphia.

On my first pass, the garage under the Visitors Center had the "FULL" sign out but it was gone by the time I had worked my way through Philadelphia's alleys and traffic for a second look. Parking rates are a bit less here than in New York City but they are still in the range that allows you to turn off your car and quit burning gas with no appreciable change in cash flow.

My first stop after the Visitors Center was the Liberty Bell where I got a helping hand in locating the crack. The last picture is one of those "dark side of the moon" sort of things. I knew the bell had another side but don't recall ever seeing a picture.

Free timed tickets are required to tour Independence Hall but the entire day's supply had been given out before noon. This is as close as I got.

I got much closer to the military muster and recruitment going on in Signer's Garden.

A nice surprise was this portrait gallery in the Second Bank building. Most of the paintings here are by Charles Willson Peale who, besides painting some 250 portraits, operated the first public museum in America. The museum contained stuffed animals and birds, Indian artifacts, inventions, and those paintings. The portraits are a "Who's Who" of the early the US painted by someone who was there.

Franklin's Court is on the site of the house that Benjamin Franklin had built in the 1760s. A Franklin museum operates below the court.

From Ben's place, I strolled down to what John Adams called "the most genteel" tavern in America. The current building is actually a reconstruction of the 1773 City Tavern. A meal here would certainly be worthwhile but I just stopped in for a brew. Yards, a local brewery, produces "Specialty Draught Ales" for the Tavern. I tried -- and liked -- Thomas Jefferson's 1774 Tavern Ale. Apparently Jefferson made beer twice a year and this ale is made from one of his recipes.

Properly refreshed, I walked back to Washington Square in the area near Independence Hall. When William Penn laid out the city in 1692, this was one of five open space squares he included. Its name was changed from Southeast Square to Washington Square in 1825. It features a statue of Washington and the tomb of an Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier. There is a plaque in front of the eternal flame for those whose ability to read English has out paced their understanding of fire.

Near the Liberty Bell, the outline of the house where Washington and Adams lived while president is marked on the ground. Something more substantial is planned.

I still had plenty of city to deal with. Lancaster Avenue, the one time Lincoln Highway, is also a streetcar line. Since almost all of the avenue has but one lane in each direction, everybody travels on the streetcars's schedule.

After a day in NYC and a day in Philly, it was really nice to find a motel where this is literally the view from my door.

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