Monday, February 24, 2014


I just got back from a conference in Philadelphia. I don't know who scheduled a conference in Philly in February, but we lucked out and actually had great weather! There was still a lot of snow on the ground, especially by my standards, but the temperatures were above freezing so I was happy. The conference went well and my presentation went off without a hitch. I also got a chance to do some site-seeing and I'm so glad I got to-- such a historical city! My hotel/convention center was right by the Reading Terminal Market and I miss that place already-- so many fun and unique restaurants and shops!

Anyway, enough words, here are the pictures :)

More snow in front of Independence Hall :)
One of the first things I got to do was tour the Eastern State Penitentiary. This was the first penitentiary (not to be confused with prison or jail) in the world and it was built in the early 1800s to be a place where criminals would repent of their offenses. The facility was used as a prison until the 1970s and so it was cool to see the historical and structural progression over time. And yes. It looks like a castle. It has that going for it, too.
Outside, waiting to go on the tour
I'm sure the port-a-potties are original. No but interestingly enough, Eastern State had flushing toilets & heat before the White House!
Inside the cell blocks. It looked like this later on in its history. Originally there were no doors to enter the cell from the hallway and the inmates entered through their private yard in the back of the cell.
Short door is short.
One of the most important features of Eastern State is its radial design. If you stood in the middle, you could spin around and see down each cell block. Great for security! Several hundred other facilities (like prisons and nursing homes) have adopted the radial design that started here.
Have to have the artsy photo.
Tall prison walls + snow
Al Capone's cell!
He didn't have it too bad...
One of the places I frequented most often was the Reading Terminal Market. I had a great time exploring the different shops and seeing all the unique restaurants. So many places to eat, so little time.

Yes, their ice cream is amazing. 
Of course I had to go to the Liberty Bell!

 And then we had a tour of the Independence Hall

The Hall had 2 main rooms on the first floor we got to see. This was set up as it
was for the colony of Pennsylvania's Supreme Court.

And then of course as it was for the Continental Congress. That chair in the very back of the room was George Washington's. Not a replica. The chair. So cool for the history nerd in me :)

The last evening-- enjoying a gorgeous sunset from my
hotel that was the first skyscraper in the city

Inside JFK plaza
City Hall
So while I didn't get a cheesesteak this trip, I did have a great time! Have to leave something to try for the next time I go, plus I hope Matt can come with me!

1 comment:

  1. Great photos! Glad the weather fixed itself for you..... Paula