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A One-Day Visit to Philadelphia

What would you do—or where would you go—if you had only one day to explore Philadelphia?

This is the question I pondered one day in early November. One thing I had to do, of course, was indulge in Philly cheesesteaks. But the other obvious thing was to meander over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and run up its steps made famous by the Rocky series of films.

Since SEPTA—Philadelphia’s mass transit system—was on strike, I took an Uber to my AirBnB that was conveniently located a mile from the city center and only a hundred footsteps away from South Street which had several restaurants and storefronts. It also happened to be just a few blocks from Independence Hall—where days later Hillary Clinton would have her largest and final rally in her failed bid for the White House—and the Liberty Bell, which sadly I did not visit because I did not realize it was so close. Oops.

Anyway, after checking out of my AirBnB I took a leisurely stroll over to the Art Museum, passing by many parks and statues including those of Benjamin Franklin and some by Rodin. Then I found the statue of Rocky Balboa and ran up the steps. Here is a point-of-view video of the latter (forgive the bad piano playing; I spent only five minutes learning how to play the Rocky theme song).


Then I went inside the museum. I was amazed and surprised by the number of works by famous artists in here! There was a Mexican Modernism exhibit including Rivera. Other galleries featured Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Manet, Picasso, and Braque.

I spent a couple hours admiring the paintings and decided that cubism is one of my favorite art movements. Then I walked back downtown to take a two-and-a-half hour, $20 Greyhound bus ride to downtown Manhattan.

One day (actually less) was not nearly enough time to fully explore the great European-like city of Philadelphia but I enjoyed the day trip nevertheless.

Philly Chicken Cheesesteak at Shkabibble's II.
Walking past the Hard Rock Café in downtown Philadelphia.
City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Benjamin Franklin statue in Philadelphia
The fountains at Logan Square were turned off.
"The Thinker" outside the Rodin Museum.
The Oval with the Philadelphia Museum of Art behind.
The Rocky statue with Felix Wong.
The courtyard at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The Fairmount Water Works on the Schuylkill River, as sen from Fairmount Park. It used to be the source of Philadelphia's water supply.
Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaurs outside the Academy of Natural Sciences.
The Love Exhibit at Dilworth Park.
A tribute to colored soldiers with the Academy of Natural Sciences behind.