Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Rocko in Philly!

When you think of Philadelphia, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? That Bruce Springsteen song? The heart-wrenching Tom Hanks movie that went with it? The Liberty Bell? Philly cheese-steak sandwiches? A well-known light cheese spread?
For me, dear reader, I’m afraid it’s none of these things. For me, it’s the Rocky movies. My pilgrimage in Philadelphia was to the Museum of Art, site of the famous steps Sly ran up when training to become the ultimate fighting underdog Champion.
I do not know where the meat factory he used to work (and work out) in is, or I would have gone there too, but I distinctly remember him running down this very lane!
Eric even filmed me recreating the scene, humming the theme tune as I ran up the numerous sets of staircases, throwing punches all the way, and struck my triumphant pose on the plateau. I know you’ll be saddened to learn that I cannot work out how to load video footage onto my blog, so I’ll give you just the first and last shots.
I felt totally pumped up like a champion afterwards. I made Eric call me 'Becko' for the rest of the day.
Eric did the same run, although he’d held my coffee and bag for me while I ran up, and the shot doesn’t look quite so cool when you see a Grande cappuccino and purse by his feet!
Later on we were to discover how many had gone this way before us when I found this book.
The top of the steps is a great place to see downtown Philly from.
There’s a great statue at the bottom of these steps. Here’s Eric, between two animals native to his homeland. And below a near-naked lady. Nice.
Here I am, kissing a buffalo. Yeah I know, I just ran up the Rocky steps, must’ve been low on blood-sugar to my brain or something!

We walked down past the Rodin museum, here’s Eric posed by the statue of the man himself. Contemplation or constipation, you decide!
I particularly like how on pedestrian maps in Philadephia, they’ve circled a “5 minute” yellow circle in a circumference from where you’re standing. Pretty cool.

Our next stop was the Liberty Bell, but we passed this great fountain in front of the City Hall (or would I call this photo Two Dubiously Shaped Towers?)

I’ll be honest, Philadelphia is much nicer than I’d expected.
There are many murals, all depicting scenes of independence and American history.
Indeed, on our way to the Liberty Bell, we passed the Center of Independence (with the mall of independence therein) where you could buy a set of three historical papers: The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution all printed on antique-look-n-feel parchment paper.
Hey look, you can have breakfast with Ben! I wonder if he has his eggs over-easy or sunny-side up, it’d be a chance to find out…..
The Liberty Bell is free to view. It’s been out of action for some time because alas, a sign of freedom it may be, but a good and functional bell it is not. I guess the Brits are to blame as it was cast in England. It’s so heavy that when it was mounted, it nearly toppled the steeple it was perched on when it was rung, and soon after it was placed there it cracked. It was repaired once, but cracked again fairly badly as you can see in my pictures.
I think it’s amazing that when commissioned, the cost of such a bell was estimated as “around One-hundred pounds (sterling)”. Oh, how times have changed!

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