>Nerd Tourism: Streets of Philadelphia

>The movers came and they took quite a while getting my things into the truck, but that’s also because they were doing it right, wrapping everything in blankets and such to ensure its safe delivery, 3000 miles away. Afterwards I had to find something to do with myself for the rest of the day. Luckily that wasn’t hard to do.

Bunnicula doesn't know what to do in the empty apartment
Bunnicula does not know what to make of the empty apartment.

I stopped for lunch then headed for the Mason Museum, a place I’ve always wanted to check out, taking photos along the way…

In an aeroplane over City Hall
Wee airplane over City Hall
Old Frank could use a shoe shine
Former Mayor Frank Rizzo could use a shoe shine.
More signs of spring
Sakura it to me
John McCain as a mummer?
John McCain as a mummer?
Stars and bricks forever

To my chagrin but not my surprise, the Mason Museum is closed on Mondays. So I hightailed it over to the Franklin Institute in hopes of catching the Galileo exhibit there.

Galileo and Franklin, two of my favorite dudes

Seeing the instruments in the exhibit were cool, but unfortunately nearly all of the medieval books in the exhibit were facsimiles, and not terribly convincing ones at that. I could tell the 4 or 5 real ones out of the dozens of fakes from across the room. Also, although most of the exhibit was very low lit, at the exit two of the REAL medieval books, one on loan from UPenn’s rare book room and another, funnily enough, from my now-former company (because the book was published in Amsterdam by Louis Elzevir in the 1600s) were under the harshest possible fluorescent lights. I shook my head. Tsk tsk. Wanted to call the book police, as if there were such a thing.

But the Franklin holds a lot of Philly nostalgia for me. As a very young child I thought I’d be a scientist (a paleontologist, I declared, in kindergarten). Going through the heart for the first time is a very vivid, exciting childhood memory of mine. A first love, even. I went through it again today. Though I’ve been at the Franklin for a number of things over my years in Philadelphia (shooting a music video, seeing IMAX films, even DJing there) but going through the heart today as an adult was movingly nostalgic for me.

The man
Wee bit claustrophobic

Also I forgot how much I adored Foucault’s Pendulum, even if it does remind me of Vertigo.

I love it
About half of the pegs knocked down means it's near closing time
Can you feel the earth move under your feet? Since half of the pegs are knocked down, you can see it’s near closing time.

Speaking of first loves, I ducked into the Free Library of Philadelphia, but only briefly. Missed the rare book room hours. Might try to find the time to go by again this week. That was the first rare book room I’d been in, and now I feel I’d appreciate it much more. Also, as a teenager, I started taking the train into the city to work on this research project, and it was an important summer for me, learning to love not only the library but negotiating the city for the first time on my own.

A first love
Even the smell is familiar
Beware the library cop

I also ducked into the Book Corner, a beloved former haunt, to see what they had in their rare books, even though I can’t buy a thing because all of my stuff is packed and gone. Still spent a decent amount of time in there. They’ve got great pretty used copies of everything. A real browsing bookstore.

Old haunt

Continued on over to Mugshots for a coffee, passing another fave, Eastern State Penitentiary. One peanut butter and chocolate soy smoothie (plus espresso shot) and a few chapters of Origin of the Species via Kindle later, and it wasn’t a bad first day of (thankfully temporary) unemployment.

Not a bad first day of (temporary) unemployment

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