When the Chinese Lantern Festival came to Norfolk, Virginia, my sister and her family reported back that the display was amazing and not to be missed when it comes to Philadelphia. On opening night, the display was spectacular, illuminating over seven acres of Franklin Square!
Artists create the lanterns using cloth and heavy wire, creating a mosaic-like effect. In addition to light shining through the cloth, thousands of LCD lights outline some of the designs. Against the night sky, the colors looked brilliant. Wheels whirled along one of the pathways, and a two-hundred foot dragon glowed with yellow and red.
The festival marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, typically held around the beginning of February but postponed in Philly to April for friendlier weather outcomes.
Not to be missed: a ride on the carousel . . . for all ages! Spinning around while riding the horses, viewing the kaleidoscope of colors, truly a magical moment.
Percussion in the Park
Enchanted by the beautiful gardens of the Morris Arboretum on a early September afternoon a year ago, I returned to visit again, this time on spring day in April. This weekend the arboretum celebrated their annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival. As part of the celebration, KyoDaiko, a community-based taiko drumming group, presented a stunning visual and sound performance. I admired their synchronized movements as they beat the drums in unison. According to Wikipedia, taiko drumming goes back to the 6th century; the Japanese used the drum for communication, theatrical performances and religious events.
That’s what they’ve called it when trees, bridges and gazebos are covered with crocheted yarn. Melissa Maddonni Haims is the local fiber artist who wrapped up the limbs and structures, mostly from recycled materials. Well, I think I’ve seen everything now after finding trees adorned in sweaters.
Fish and Fowl
Gurgling streams flowed into peaceful ponds where swans paddled gracefully and ducks splashed around in the water or in one case, take a nap on the nearby wall. In the fernery, carp swam in the shallows of a rock garden.
The arboretum has 92 acres to wander and each vista offers something interesting to study. Stepped into a grotto, passed through the rose garden and explored a woodland path–a warm spring afternoon at the Morris gardens has stayed with me for days.
To Meander: following a winding course: a meandering lane. Proceeding in a convoluted or undirected fashion.
The Philadelphia Photo League sponsored “Meandering with Mike K” street photo walk. Members met at the Good Karma Cafe at 331 S 22 Street to get coffered up before heading out on our late afternoon trek. Below is the street scene along 22nd and Good Karma’s back patio.
Filter Square is located in the area west of Center City, bordered by the Schuylkill River. Mike, who presented commentary and helpful photo suggestions, led us down Rittenhouse Street and Delancey Place, where we admired and photographed the Victorian architecture.
We then paused as we passed through Filter Square, a quaint residential neighborhood park built more than a century ago. Surrounded by mature trees stands the park’s central feature, a Victorian-era fountain surrounded by an iron railing and a ring of white flowers. Children chalked on the sidewalks and neighbors chatted on the benches as we photographed the goat and other animal sculptures.
From this neighborhood, we walked several blocks to the Schuylkill River Park, where the skyline of Philadelphia poked above the trees, and as Mike put it to give us the opportunity, “to take the golden hour skyscraper shot.”
We finished our meander on the Schuylkill Banks boardwalk, which I followed back to 30th Street Station to catch my train. What a delight to visit this section of Philly, finding so many places to photograph and to just enjoy being in this picturesque city.
November 6, 2015
On this day, Philadelphia became the first city in the United States to be designated as a World Heritage City. Philly has joined 266 cities with this honor, including Paris, Florence, Prague and St. Petersburg. The City of Brotherly Love, so named by William Penn, who used the Greek words for love (phileo) and brother (adelphos), has earned its nickname: abolitionists, animal rights and Aids activism and origins of ACLU. Philadelphians are active protestors.
Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods and each has their own charm. An exploration into any one of the city’s 18 districts, visitors can find ethnic food, bike paths, hiking trails, historical streets and buildings, entertainment facilities, parks, sport’s arenas, cultural events and eclectic shopping. The visitor will not have to travel far to find a mural to admire.
In celebration of this wonderful accomplishment of our city, I’ve posted my favorite photographs of our hometown.
Forbidden Drive Photo Credit J. R. Blackwell
From the sailing ship, Amistad, on the Delaware River
Sculling on the Schuylkill River
Benjamin Franklin Bridge
View along South Street
Dilworth Plaza in front of City Hall in the Summertime
Water Works on the Schuylkill River
Side Street off of Filter Square
Waterfall at Schuylkill River
Schuylkill River Park
One of the 3,000 Murals across the City
View from the Market-Frankfort El