Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fun In Philly

My breakfast... at least what's left of it before taking out the camera.

Breakfast at the hotel was an all you can eat buffet that was built into the price of the room. Scrambled egg, sausage patties, fried potato chunks (home fries?), even waffles with whipped cream and strawberry topping. Bagels, muffins, toast, the standard sort of fare, until I noticed the cheese machine.

What do you put liquid cheese on and it might not have been real cheese as the machine was labelled cheese sauce (the sauce of cheese?). Maybe a quick grilled cheese sandwich? Crud, I only thought of that now. I didn't actually try the "cheese". Kind of makes me hungry just thinking about that missed opportunity.

Jenna at the scrambled egg station.

The "Cheese" sauce.

Notice the black horde of derby girls taking over the breakfast room.

Back at the room Leah checks out stuff on the web.

Tracey greets the morning's new derby girl arrivals.

A strawberry shortcake ice cream bar on a stick.

After breakfast a bunch of us climbed into the van to travel to Philadelphia, a trip less than an hour away from Mount Laurel. Since the derby match wasn't until the evening we had almost a whole day for sight seeing.

Lisa Orphan Annie.

Marybeth drives us to Philadelphia.

An appropriate sign for a bus load of derby girls.

A note about this sign. A bunch of people in the van were trying to shoot it through the van's drizzle filled windows. We were stuck in traffic so I jumped out to take the picture and ran back to the van. Sometimes that's just what you have to do to get the shot.

How does this meter work?

A meter for smurfs.

While driving around the site that caught our eye was the Philadelphia museum of art better known as the stairs Rocky runs up in the first movie (of the same name) while he's training. We parked the van on a nearby street and proceeded toward the museum.

The horde walks toward the art museum.

A statue along the way.

In front of the museum, across the street is a pretty sizable statue/monument. It reminded me of a smaller version of the memorial made for Albert by Queen Victoria located in England across from Albert Hall. Have a statue, add some roller girls and a camera to take photos and you get crazy assed funny.

Ah! Leah being attacked by a crocodile.

Whew, it's only a statue.

Jumping up and down on top of the "Rocky" stairs.

One of the highlights for me was watching everyone run up the famous stairs and onece at the top jump up and down doing the Rocky thing. Not just the roller girls but every tourist. Everyone except me that is. Someone had to shoot them all bouncing up and down doing the victory thing with their arms. You could almost hear the Rocky theme music

Next to the bottom of the stairs to the right through some trees was the Rocky statue. The same one seen in the movie (Rocky V I think). It was kind of cool seeing and standing next it it. It impressed me that a movie statue would stand up for all these years next to statues of real people (ie. George Washington). Then again I've been to Antwerp where they have a statue of Ronald McDonald next to some statue decades if not hundreds of years old.

What's going on here?

Melanie... you can't take her anywhere (and not have fun).

Rocky and the roller girls.

Fun with signage.

Leah stares at the bulldog statue

The bulldog up close.

The poo fine sign.

The Bishop's Collar

Walking toward the Eastern State Pen.

After the running up and down the stairs a few of us ended up at the Bishop's Collar, a nice little pub with a patio, while others went to the Eastern State Penitentiary, a jail turned tourist attraction.

The historical sign for the Pen.

Marybeth at the entrance to get tickets.

Sign a waiver? What?

What was a little odd was the line up to sign a waiver in order to take the tour. At first I thought it was just there to add to the scariness of the place. There was some halloween thing happening there along with an art exhibit called Ghost Cats (an installation by .Once inside the main cell block I realized that a piece of wall or ceiling could fall at any time. There were some parts of the jail that looked in pretty rough shape.

After paying the fee we were each given a headset attached to a remote control looking device. You could punch in a number, hit enter, and whatever blurb was attached to that number you would hear. This allowed you to wander the jail in any order reading the little plaques and punching in the number to get interviews from actual inmates, cell keepers, guards, and the appointed narrator who was none other than Steve Buscemi.

The audio program was quite good. So much so that I wished we had more time to see the whole jail and learn about the history of the different cell blocks. By this point we were aware of the clock counting down to the derby bout so we selected parts of the penitentiary that we thought would be of most interest skipping the rest.

Looking at a cell block.

The building was falling apart with the exception of the cell blocks that were being upkept to show tourists what it might have been like back in the day. A lot of rooms were closed off and could only be seen by peeping through the cracks in the door. It added to the whole creepiness to the place. Moisture was dripping from the walls from the last few days of rain and mould was forming on some.

Today, according to a photographer I had met, was the first day in about a month that they had clear skies. The photo guy had been shooting the jail for the entire month and was happy to have sunlight lighting up some of the darker parts of the penitentiary.

An old cell lit with my sb-800.

A newly renovated cell block to show what it would have been like.

Marybeth looks at the toilet.

Leah tries out the bed.

A view from the cell looking toward the hallway.

The center room.

From the center room a guard could look down all the cell blocks at once to see what was going on. You can get a better idea of looking at the next photo which is a scale model of the place. The model kind of reminds me of the Deep Space Nine space station. Well a little anyway.

A model of the penitentiary

Looking down one of the cell blocks.

Looking down from the second floor.

Al Capone's room.

Gate to cell block three the infirmary.

Ghost cats, an art exhibit by Linda Brenner

Marybeth Jenna and Leah in the baseball field.

Jenna looks down death row.

After a tour of a prison I could sure use a funnel cake.

After the tour of the penitentiary we rejoined the others for food at the Bishop's Collar. Then from there it was back to the hotel with a small detour at a large halloween warehouse sale.

Trevor and Melanie sit on the patio of the Bishop's Collar.

Jenna looks at a menu disguised as a children's book.

While Trevor uses the bathroom Marybeth spikes his beer.

A local cab company.

A pumpkin sits outside. It's Halloween.

Looking at the patio from down the street.

The new colorful ten dollar bill and the old drab ten dollar bill.

Halloween dress up.

An American flag.

An odd symbol on the ground that Melanie notices.

Melanie, fun with hair nets.

Melanie engaged in a shoot off.

Marybeth through the van mirror.

A battleship docked next to some building.

Another car wreak. This is the third one so far.

The Halloween store.

Marybeth waits in the van.


Melanie shows her newly purchased leather strap.

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