Thursday, December 22, 2011

Traveling Thursdays: Philadelphia Half Marathon

I traveled home to Philadelphia over Thanksgiving and ran the Philly Half Marathon (what better way to earn a calorie-laden Thanksgiving meal?). The race was a blast and I loved the course; unfortunately, I came down with a cold a few days beforehand, which put a crimp in my time (not to mention made the rest of the week somewhat miserable!).

Still, I was happy that I wasn't one of the two participants that died! 21 year old died just after crossing the finish line, and one 40 year old died just BEFORE hitting the finish line. Glad I didn't know any of this when I was running; I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the hot chicken broth they were giving away at the finish line!

Since I was already downtown, before heading home to the burbs I decided to ignore the pain in my feet and legs and take the camera around for a few shots. Here is City Hall in all its glory, with the famous William Penn statue standing proudly on top:

City Hall was the tallest building in Philadelphia until the construction of One Liberty Place ended the "informal" gentlemen's agreement that limited the height of tall buildings in the city.

Designed by Scottish-born architect John McArthur, Jr., in the Second Empire style, it was completed in 1901 at a cost of $24 million. Designed originally to be the world's tallest building, by the time it was finished it had already been surpassed by the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower, though it did have the designation of being the world's tallest habitable building.

Here's a detail shot of a googly-eyed Ben Franklin carving on the building:

And a statue commemorating John Wanamaker, the man behind the beloved department store:

Love the art deco touches still visible in Philly:

One Liberty Place, the building that robbed William Penn of being the highest point in Philly, is definitely reminiscent of the Chrysler Building; an intentional tribute, perhaps?

See more Philadelphia photos on my Philadelphia web page.


Major Pepperidge said...

Running with a cold must be fun.

I miss Pennsylvania!

Anonymous said...

What a nice city. I love Phildelphia.

Glad you had a good time, Dave. Hope you are better now.

I like that vista from the museum where you can see the sculptures from Wm Penn down the blvd, all by the same sculptor family, grandfather, father, son. Very cool.

Also, we were treated to an organ concert in Wanamakers.

I want to go back.

Every city has a "vibe", Philadelphia's is very positive, the sum of centuries of devotion to good values, peace, brotherhood, democracy, racial equality and the power of good art.

Very unlike San Francisco which was founded on the principles of greed and self-gratification in the Gold Rush and has never looked back. If we had to rely on SF for an American Revolution, it would have been very different than the one Philadelphia sponsored.


Connie Moreno said...

Holy cow, Batman! You blow me away! Nice shots, love that bank building - GORGEOUS! The only time you'll catch me running is TO the buffet table, LOL.

Kyle said...

Hey Dave! Great post & pics from your trip. Congratulations on completing the half-marathon! Sorry that you got a cold right beforehand but it didn't stop you. Man, 21 & 40 are awfully young ages to die at, especially after running a marathon. How sad; I wonder what happened in each case?

John Wanamaker! I remember that store; my parents had a charge account there back in the 1970's. I remember the Wanamaker's at Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, since we used to shop there when I was little. It was a nice store, great merchandise & a cool history to it. I'm glad that Macy's has kept the organ in place in the Center City store, since it's such a distinctive symbol of both Wanamaker's and Philly. Thanks again, Dave, for all the great stuff you share; it's truly appreciated!

Daveland said...

Kyle - It was heart related for both; I am guessing that there must have been some kind of pre-existing condition and/or they pushed too hard during the race. Either way, very sad. Thanks for checking out the blog!

Connie - If there'd been a buffet at the end of the race, my time might have been better!

JG - As a kid, I always thought Philly was kind of a dump. It seems to have really cleaned up in the last decade or so and I very much enjoy visiting it now.

Unknown said...

Great pictures of Philly. I have never seen a few of these before. Thanks Dave!