Philadelphia Trip – Sunday

Since I stayed overnight in Philadelphia, I decided to do some sightseeing on Sunday. It is too much of a hassle to drive to Philadelphia for me to waste the opportunity to see the historical sites. I got up very early at around 6:00 PM and headed out with my camcorder and guide book, “The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Walking Tours of Historic Philadelphia“. This book was not very helpful for finding things because the maps aren’t very detailed but since I read the entire book before making the trip, I was able to spot many historical sites that I may have walked by without stopping. It also provided all the necessary historical context required to appreciate the sites.  By the way, this book was on display at the Liberty Bell Center gift shop.

I will be posting a lot of video on YouTube and may embed some video here later. For now I will just mention some of the historical sites I managed to find.

First I came across the Betsy Ross House on Arch Street because it was very close to my hotel. Then I found  Elfreth’s Alley which is a quaint street of colonial hours. I shot a lot of video along this alley, holding my camera up as I walked even though it killed my arm. Then I proceeded to Race Street and filmed the Race Street Cafe which I remembered on a previous visit. Unfortunately, they tore down a building across the street from this where I bought my tickets for the Philly Fringe Festival. I also found the art deco building on North Second Street. This building seems to be something of a mystery because I cannot find any information on it online. It has big display windows and a large sign on the front “National”.

I managed to locate and video the following historical sites;  Thomas Jefferson Statue in front of Independence Hall, statue of Commodore John Barry in the State House Yard behind Independence Hall, Second Bank of the United States, Library Hall, Philosophical Hall, Congress Hall, First Bank of the United States, Carpenter’s Hall, Old Pine Street Church and its cemetery, Physick House, and various colonial houses and buildings. I also found the Signer Statue in Signer’s Garden which does not appear to be mentioned in my guide book.

I had to keep putting my guide book down on the sidewalk to operate my camcorder. I filled one 60 minute MiniDV tape and around 20 minutes of a second tape. I must have been walking around and filming for 2 hours so eventually I got very tired and very hot. Walking on all those brick sidewalks and even cobblestones will kill your feet. Fortunately there weren’t many people around that early in the morning on a Sunday so I did not have many pedestrians to obstruct my view. There was some sort of bike race going on so I saw a lot of people on ten speed bikes which you’ll see in my videos.

I was planning on leaving in the afternoon but since I got up so early and had my fill of historical sites I decided to leave early. I lucked out when I left the parking garage because there was a ticket stuck in the electronic booth and the gate raised when I pushed it in. Unfortunately I had several problems getting out of the city. I wound up crossing a bridge into New Jersey and had to pay $3.00 to cross the Ben Franklin Bridge to get back to Philadelphia. At least I got to drive across the Ben Franklin Bridge! After some careful driving I managed to get on Interstate 76 West but then accidentally got on the wrong exit. That caused me to go far out of my way until I got impatient and managed to make an illegal u-turn. I almost caused an accident merging back towards Interstate 76. After that I drove even more carefully and followed my Google Maps driving directions to the letter. It is always a nightmare to get out of Philadelphia on Interstate 76 without getting on a wrong exit. I remember this happening to me before. I don’t know if I’ll be visiting Philadelphia again any time soon. This trip just reminded me of how awful it is to drive around that city.

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