I love to walk anywhere, but my hands down all time favorite walking grounds are Center City Philadelphia. There is so much flavor there, history mixed with future, business coexisting with pleasure, the uptight and the laid back, it is all happening in Center city.
Philadelphia is broken up into neighborhoods like Frankford, Mayfair, and Fishtown to name a few. Center City while a neighborhood is so big that it broken into smaller neighborhoods like Old City, Society Hill, and Rittenhouse Square, and then there is City Hall, dead center in the city, and thats where our walk leads us to.
Yesterday was a balmy 65 degrees and only lightly breezy, not your typical January day for sure. It was a perfect day for a walk; not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth ( where did that saying ever come from anyway?) Bill and I took advantage and headed for the city.
We parked near 8th and Arch and started down Arch street towards 11th where the Reading terminal and our lunch is located. If you ever visit Philadelphia you really owe it to yourself to check out the Reading terminal, only do yourself a favor and have an early lunch or a late lunch because no matter what the day is the Terminal fills up quickly for lunch.
We love the sights and sounds in the Terminal making it one of our favorite lunch destinations. There is every imaginable food type under one roof in the Terminal as well as small intricate shops for exotic spices, or Amish specialty meats, not to mention seafood as well as local favorites. Yesterday Bill had the Oyster Po Boy and I opted for a favorite that I rarely have a Falafel wrap. Both of us where happy little clams when we finished our lunch. No matter what we have chosen whether it be a classic Philly Cheese Steak or the more unusual Alligator platter we have always walked away satisfied and completely entertained. Yesterday was no different . Yes I really do enjoy the Reading Terminal. I don't mean to sound like an ad for the place but it is so much fun I can't help myself.
After lunch we walked on heading for City Hall and what turned out to be not much of nothing. Longwood Gardens ( google it ) has an exhibit there and while I was picturing grandiose garden mazes in my head, I was forgetting this was City Hall and space would be limited. It wasn't a waste of time what was there was cute and the walk to get there had been as alway totally enjoyable.
I had my camera with me ( surprise ) and there where so many interesting things to capture. I concentrated mostly on City Hall itself; that has to be one of thee most beautiful buildings in the USA and when you realize how long ago the building was built it becomes even more amazing. No matter how many times I visit City Hall I am always awed by the painstaking detail and the ornate beauty in the architect of the building.
Over the years repairs and restorations have needed to be done; great care has always been taken to not deter from the original design. So for many years William Penn was surrounded by scaffolding and he almost lost his perch a top of City Hall over looking the city, but finally he was saved repaired and restored and today he looks as handsome as ever.
Funny when I came to Philly there was no building taller the William Penn, it really was cool that no matter where you went in the city you could see him, but you can't hold progress back especially in a big city, and soon the ordnance that kept Willy taller then everyone else was voted out and a skyline began to grow in Philadelphia. Now you can still see William Penn through out the city but only a quick glimpse here and there. While the Philadelphia skyline has changed I am happy to say City Hall has not.
My camera filled with history, and our hands full with bags of treats and spices from the Terminal, Bill and I head for home; smiles on our faces and good memories in our heads of a day well spent.