Saturday, March 27, 2010

A little break from the controversy.

I bought a new Tokina 12-24mm zoom lens with money that Uncle Sam repaid me from my income taxes, and decided to take it to my favorite city for a spin. For those of you who still like the ranting, go back a day. Others of you can take solace in some photos I took today, and visit my Flickr stream (whatever that is) for the whole set.
As usual, if you click on the photo it may enlarge, but I have no idea how this stuff works.
I always start at Independence Hall. It's what Nevada Weir would call "creative inertia." Take a photo and the rest will follow, like inertia. A body that is in motion remains in motion. It's a nice way to think about working. Start using the camera, even if the photo you are taking isn't particularly interesting, it helps to start.
A dogwood tree (I think, I'm not up on trees) near 3rd and Chestnut Street stood out among the cityscape. The pinkness caught my eye.
Elfreth's Alley is a residential alley. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited residential streets in the country, dating back to the early 1700s. It is a National Historic Landmark. The alley is located off Second Street between Arch and Race Streets in Philadelphia's Old City Neighborhood. People actually live there, and I'm sure the constant flow of tourists is a great thrill to them.
I'm pretty sure that the plastic trash bins and cigarette containers are post-20th century.
The Constitution Center rests in the mall between the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Independence Hall. I'm ashamed to say that today was my first visit. I'm not ashamed to say that I was told that full access costs $12. When you're used to free museum access (as I am) in Washington, having to pay $12 seems a bit much, but the city is in financial peril, so we pay - or, you do. I didn't pay. Maybe next time.

Inside the lobby at the Constitution Center. It is one of the rare places that one can visit that doesn't cost money. Unfortunately for visitors, all you can do is look around. If you go upstairs or try to get into one of the exhibits you will be asked for your ticket, as I was.

A falafel is a fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans. A shawarma is a sandwich-like wrap of shaved lamb, goat, chicken, turkey, beef or a halal mixture of meats. The meat is placed on a spit, and may be grilled for as long as a day. Chunks of fat within the meat ensure that the shawarma stays juicy. Shawarma is a fast-food staple across the Middle East and North Africa. They are for sale at the Reading Terminal Market.
Maybe next time. I know what "fresh juices" are, however.

More from inside the Reading Terminal Market. I was tempted to get a gyro, but my heart talked me out of it. Thank you, heart.

This is the (fisheye) view from inside the second level of the Kimmel Center. In the Verizon Center (left) the Philly Pops were charming the elderly with songs from their youth, like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and other such war-era standards. When I heard the National Anthem I braced myself for the onslaught of old people leaving the show. It was the slowest rush to the door ever.

A nice security guard told me that if I wanted a good view, I should take the elevator up to the Roof Garden. From there, the glass panels were more pronounced, and I could get a nice case of vertigo looking down on the lobby below.

Potted trees line the rim of the roof garden. I left my hat up there someplace. If anyone finds a cap with "Mt. McKinley - Alaska" on the rim, please leave a comment. I might go back to lost and found to get it, but since I haven't actually been there (it was a gift from my traveling neighbors) I will probably give it up for lost.
So, that's my city - or some of it. Along the way, I encountered a film crew at City Hall filming a pilot TV show for NBC. I didn't recognize anyone, and it likely won't find the light of TV, but it provided work for people, which is nice.
I'm sure they all have health care, which is another great benefit of living here - but I digress.


oldfartDMBfan said...

Amazing shots...but did I expect anything LESS!! Totally kewl!!!

Kcoz said...

Cool pic's...thanks for showing me a place I have never seen.