Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Philadelphia Visit

Here are photos from a recent trip home to Philadelphia. These are a few of the highlights; if you'd like to peruse the rest of them, click on any image and you'll be taken over to my Flickr photostream (thanks to the blog Confessions of a Travel Junkie for the idea on formatting things this way).

Ok, first stop:

Geno's Steaks

There’s an eternal debate as to whether Pat’s or Geno’s cheesesteaks are better. I have no preference between the two. The first place I ate a cheesesteak at is on Henry Avenue, and is named Fiesta. It has to this day remained my favorite.

Watching the game
Wes and Kim watching the Phillies game

I’m not by nature a sports fan, but Citizens Bank Park was really fun. Most of the stadiums that I'd been to in the past (albeit few) had the aesthetics of a parking garage. Citizens Bank Park, however, has a very open and spacious feel to it. We watched the game from the standing room area up by the scoreboard. You could see what was happening on the field perfectly well, and there was also room to spread out and relax, rather than being stuck in seats for the night. Were I to be living in Philadelphia right now, I’d be down for going to a Phillies game even just to hang out.

Little Blue Car

My parents and I went to a diner called ‘Jem Restaurant’ one afternoon. It's in a shopping center whose storefronts, among others, include a Panera Bread and an LA Fitness. I found myself trying to tell my mother that restaurant’s deliberately put-on 1950s - 1970s decor was some sort of post-modern/Baudrillardian simulation. I was put in my place when, upon exiting, I saw photos on the wall evidencing that this diner had actually been around for a really long time. This is like the Times Square Howard Johnson's. While perhaps there may have been some attempt at a design evoking nostalgia for classic Americana, it may be just as well be the case that a lot of this stuff was hung on the walls a long time ago, and have since become pieces of classic Americana nostalgia.

Ceiling Furnishings

That aside, there was little explanation for this waittress uniform hanging from the drop ceiling.

Jamie and Airport sculpture

With family members coming and going, our family made two trips to Philadelphia International Airport while I was home. This is my sister, Jamie. She, as well as my brother Mike and I, found this structure pretty strange. There's a bench on the inside of the loop, and vines growing on the outside.

American flags in Chinatown

I’m working on a documentary short film about Chinese human smuggling and child trafficking. We had dim sum in Chinatown one afternoon, and then I walked around for a while with a video camera to grab some additional footage. The film discusses to some degree the promise of America as perceived by immigrants, so the American flags strung up all over were perfect.

Looking Up in 30th Street Station

This is inside 30th Street Station. I use Septa and New Jersey Transit to get back and forth, so I pass through here whenever I go home.