Day 15: October 13, 2015--New York City to Philadelphia, PA

Don't miss today's Gallery!

We took a short train ride from NYC to Philadelphia today, where we saw two sights: Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell. We also caught just a whiff of Mr. Franklin; if I'm every in the City of Brotherly Love again, I'll go to his old homesite for sure.

This time when leaving Manhattan, we took the subway--the same one we mastered last night, the #6--from 51st Street near the Pod 51 Hotel to 33rd Street and walked across to Penn Station (we traveled light), avoiding the dreaded cab ride. We caught a 10:35 train and arrived in Philadelphia a little before noon.

The Bella Vista B & B is low profile, with an interesting check-in system.

We went to our "BNB," the Bella Vista on South 10th Street--alas, by cab, as it was over two miles from the station, and we were planning to sightsee that day (with the same train out at noon the next day, not enough time to see anything and be comfortable getting back to the station in time).
Another thing on our list if we're ever there again: the 1901 "Second Empire" style City Hall. Lila was floored by what we saw from the cab.

So we got to the Bella Vista and followed the arcane check-in procedure. Except for a chance meeting and quick chat in the parlor, and again as we passed the kitchen, we never dealt with staff. We had paid by credit card, and they sent us a door code with directions to our room. I liked that a lot. Also, our room's name was "The Secret Room." Cool.

We dropped our stuff and walked the mile to Independence Hall, enjoying the sights in the neighborhood along the way. (See the Gallery for a couple.) We discovered that we would have to press on two blocks north to the Visitor Center to get out reservation (=free ticket) for the next available tour of Independence Hall. While we waited, we ate Subway sandwiches and walked across to Christ Church Burial Ground to peek through the fence at Franklin's grave.

At last, we headed down for the tour. Let me just say: It beat the hell out of the one at Knott's Berry Farm (though that one crows that it's "without the ticket fee and long lines.") A few pictures in the Gallery will be worth thousands of my meager words.

Then north again, just one block, to where the Liberty Bell was on display, in the block between Independence Hall and the Visitor Center. (The whole complex is called "Independence National Historical Park.")

Lila later did some background reading on the Bell. The first time it was rung, its rim cracked. It was broken up, melted down, and recast. The first time Liberty Bell 2.0 was rung, one observer said it sounded like two coal scuttles being banged together. Recast again, the sound was acceptable, it was hung in the Pennsylvania State House (now called Independence Hall) and sometime before it reached 100 years old (that is, before 1846) it was discovered that it was cracked. The crack has grown worse since.

Summing up, one could say that it was an inauspicious symbol for the new country.

We walked a block west and ate in a Dairy Queen. Then we tottered on northward to see this and that; Lila stopped in a Ross Dress for Less in the old Lit Brothers department store building that opened at North 8th and Market Streets in 1891. We pushed on past the Police Headquarters with a cool-looking statue out front, and ended at our sorta goal--Franklin Square--after it was too dark to take any pictures.

Ross Dress for Less is in the 1891 Lit Brothers department store building

We took a bus back to our room, and I walked out later to a Rite-Aid to provision. I also noticed the fine structure of St. Paul's Catholic Church amusingly located on Christian Street. (Race Street ran next to the Police Headquarters. I wondered if that meant anything?)

In the morning we cabbed back to the gorgeous 30th Street Train Station (a couple of photos tomorrow) and reboarded the 95, bound for Washington, DC.

Don't miss today's Gallery!

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