Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April in Philadelphia


Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge over the Schuylkill River (1867), 18 April 2015. This bridge may be found in the background of Thomas Eakins's famous "Max Schmitt in a Single Scull" (1871). (photo by author)






Oh, to be in Philadelphia
Now that April's there.

With apologies to Robert Browning for adapting the famous opening lines of his 1845 poem, "Home-Thoughts, from Abroad," and acknowledging my genuine and deep affection for Shakespeare's "Sceptred Isle," there is no better place to be in April than in Billy Penn's City of Brotherly Love.

Philadelphians are infamously pessimistic and wont to put down their hometown at the drop of a hat (think W. C. Fields). Nowhere does this grouchiness rear its ugly head more than in connection with its temperate climate. Summers are, by consensus, too humid; for me they are too hot, though thankfully not in the sense I experienced while living in exile in Texas for 19 years in the '80s and '90s. Winters are, depending on the perspective, either too cold or not cold enough, with the infrequent snow storms too often giving way to sloppy "winter mixes." One thing we can all agree on, however, is that there are two times of year, October through mid- November and April through mid-May, when pleasing temperatures combine with nature's autumn and spring colors to make southeastern PA a very pleasant place to live. Indeed, as I look out my window in Lancaster, some 61 miles (as the crow flies) from Center City, I see yet another picture perfect day: sunny and dry, about 70 degrees, with tulips, forsythias, dogwoods and cherry trees blossoming, and with the song of cardinals, sparrows, and robins, and the pecking of woodpeckers adding to the sensory experience. All that is missing are the familiar sights of my hometown, with its parkland and incomparable architecture providing the perfect backdrop for nature's wonders.

Thankfully I have been able to make my way back to Philly a number of times this month. I leave you here with a number of the photographs I have taken in these perambulations around Fairmount Park and West Philadelphia's University City.


Statue of Alexander von Humboldt
(1871, Frederick Johann Heinrich Drake)
on West River Drive (Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.)
 16 April 2015 (photo by author) 
Robin in a Japanese cherry tree along MLK, Jr. Drive
16 April 2015 (photo by author) 


Boelsen Cottage (1660), MLK, Jr. Drive,  probably the oldest building in Philadelphia
16 April 2015 (photo by author)


16 April 2015 (photo by author)


Belmont Mansion (1755; 3rd storey and porch before 1860)
16 April 2015 (photo by author)


16 April 2015 (photo by author)


Looking across the Schuylkill toward Sweetbriar Mansion (1797)
18 April 2015 (photo by author)


Japanese cherry trees along Kelly Drive
18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


Lincoln Statue (1871, Randolph Rogers)
18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


"Playing Angels" (1950, Carl Milles)
18 April 2015 (photo by author)


18 April 2015 (photo by author)


South side, 3900 block Pine Street
25 April 2015 (photo by author)


North side, 3900 block Pine Street25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


Woodland Terrace (1861, Samuel Sloan)25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


4200 block Pine Street25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


Woodland Presbyterian Church, 42nd and Pine25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


42nd Street south of Pine25 April 2015 (photo by author)


Clark Park25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


St. Francis de Sales Church, 47th and Springfield
25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


4700 block Baltimore Ave.
25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


25 April 2015 (photo by author)


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