As big cities go, Philadelphia is quite nice, even nicer now that I go in on the train via the adorable Colmar station. This is where I’ve been, this year.
Reading Terminal Market – http://www.readingterminalmarket.org
This is a farmer’s market in a permanent indoor space, in a lovely historic building next to the convention center. The food is good. The shops are good. There is a local winery store, Blue Mountain Vineyards and Cellars, a local winery with excellent wines, http://bluemountainwine.com/. I almost wept when I stopped there. Given Pennsylvania’s ridiculous liquor control laws (don’t get me started) and the local culture, I’ve mostly given up on the wine thing here. Blue Mountain makes great wines, though it’s not easy to buy their wines, given that it’s a local winery and Pennsylvania’s liquor laws and the local liquor stores are so terrible. I had the Chambourcin which was excellent, also interesting because I was not familiar with the grape.
Philadelphia International Flower Show -http://theflowershow.com/home/index.html
“Springtime in Paris” was the theme for 2011. The flower show is huge; it takes over the Philadelphia Convention Center. The show consisted of a number of gardens with a Paris theme and a market where you could buy things. I had a good time, though I learned why it is never a good idea to go on the weekend. It was very crowded
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts Street Fair – http://pifa.org/streetfair
Another Paris and French themed event. It was not crowded in the morning, but more crowded as the day went on. The food was good, the performers were good, the sights were good, some interesting arty things.
La Ville Radieuse (The Radiant City), a Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts 2011 Collaboration
On the day I went to the street fair, I went inside the Kimmel Center, a performing arts space, a spectacular building with a hundred fifty foot barrel-vaulted glass roof (http://kimmelcenter.org/facilities/tour/). There was a site installation, La Ville Radieuse, by Mimi Lien, an artist and set designer. http://pifa.org/journey/lavilleradieuse/2
The interior of the Kimmel Center was magical. There was a replica of the Eiffel tower, all in lights. Above me, moving on wires was a plane, trains, and a dirigible. My photographs do not do it justice.
This mini sculpture park is at the Marriott hotel, next to the Reading Terminal Market. I had to do some research to figure out who made it. I like the work, and it was a great place to eat lunch when the Reading Terminal Market was very crowded, on the day I went to the flower show.
World Park, Cast concrete, fiberglass, stone and glass mosaic, landscape,15′ x 88′ x 96′, Philadelphia, PA. Commissioned by Marriott Hotel, 1995, Ned Smyth.
The Fabric Workshop and Museum – http://www.fabricworkshopandmuseum.org/
Contrary to the name, this is not a fabric workshop and museum; it is a contemporary arts gallery and museum, focusing on different types of materials. I love it. You can’t take photos inside, so I have no photos of their exhibits. You can’t even walk around the exhibits yourself. After you pay your admission fee, a nice person escorts you around the current exhibit, and you can stay as long as you like. I think this is because the work is not protected and, while not fragile as in “you touch it, it breaks”, it would be easy to disturb the work. I love the exhibits and hope to get there more often.