Love, Philly Style

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Philly’s iconic LOVE sculpture returned Tuesday after a year-long renovation.  It was welcomed back with a mini-parade through downtown.  Since Tobey and I were in town, we decided to join the welcome parade as it moved down the Ben Franklin Parkway:

 

Being in the right place at the right time… Tobey had her first television interview!

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Finished the day with chocolates from Reading Terminal:

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Philly’s Christmas Spirit… In 3 Hours And Free (except the donuts):

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Start with the 11:00 Holiday Spectacular at Comcast – 15 minutes of Philly-themed video and music on one of the world’s largest highest-resolution LED displays – ending with an audience sing-a-long and a shower of “snow” over the audience.

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The 11:00 show ends with plenty of time to walk to Macy’s for the 12:00 light show (with time to spare to look at the holiday themed window displays).  Although they’ve updated with LED lights, the show is definitely low tech fun (with the voice of Julie Andrews as the narrator). The bonus of seeing the 12:00 show is that the finale is played live on the Wanamaker organ.

You can stick around for an additional 1/2 hour of live organ music, or go right up to the 3rd floor for a walk through the Dickens Village, a scene by scene animatronic recreation of “A Christmas Carol” – from Marley’s ghost to the blessing of Tiny Tim.

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Finish up with the model trains and lunch at Reading Terminal Market. The perfect ending? A peppermint (or any) donut from Bieler’s.

For more information on the Wanamaker Organ and free concerts: The World’s Largest Organ, A Historic Landmark Building And Free Concerts (while you shop)

 

 

 

 

A Room With A View And A Famous Food Market

Tobey’s favorite place to bring friends is the viewing deck at the top of Philly’s City Hall.

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For $8/adult and $4/student, a maximum of 5 people squeeze into a tiny elevator and head up to the platform just under William Penn’s feet. Enclosed by glass, but open to the elements, you get a great view of Center City Philadelphia.

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Who Knew?

*City Hall held the title of world’s tallest occupied building from 1901-1908.

*With almost 700 rooms, it is the biggest municipal building in the United States.

*Made of over 88 million bricks, marble and granite, it is the largest masonry structure in the world.

 

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*Alexander Milne Calder created over 250 sculptures that decorate the building (including the sculpture of William Penn). His son, Alexander Stirling Calder, created the fountain up the Parkway at Logan Square.  His grandson, another Alexander Calder, has one of his famous mobiles (“ghost”) hanging at the end of the Parkway inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

*In the 1950’s the building was considered so ugly that plans were made to tear it down.

*(X-rated) Tip: viewed from the left (north) side, William Penn’s extended hand looks like an entirely different part of his anatomy – giving the statue the nickname “Willy’s Willy.”

Just 3 blocks away, Reading Terminal Market is a great place to eat when everyone is in the mood for something different. Tobey’s favorite is a grilled cheese sandwich (with brisket and mac&cheese) at Valley Shepherd:

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My favorite is the roast pork (with provolone and hot peppers) at DiNic’s:

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And (of course) it’s required to finish up with the world’s best donuts from the Amish bakers at Beiler’s:

City Hall Tower Tour Information: http://www.visitphilly.com/history/philadelphia/city-hall/