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150 Years Since The 13th Amendment Passed: Historic Philadelphia's African-American Experience Is More Moving Than Ever
Philadelphia reveals undertold chapters in the nation’s history, including the challenges, injustices, accomplishments and contributions of Africans and African-Americans during the United States’ early years. This year, the National Constitution Center commemorates the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery (the original document is on display) and the beginning of the Reconstruction Era.
Visitors to America’s “Most Historic Square Mile” can discover the more complete story of African-Americans at these moving sites:
Museums & Attractions:
- The African American Museum in Philadelphia, founded in 1976, is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve,
Philadelphia And The Countryside® Calendar Of Events
Through October 4, 2015
ALL MY SONS. This Tony Award®-winning drama by Arthur Miller comes to the People’s Light & Theatre, telling the story of the Keller family’s loss, betrayal and secret romance. (610) 644-3500, peopleslight.org
Through October 4, 2015
THE ART OF THE BRICK. Art and science come together at The Franklin Institute during this special exhibition that features 70 toy sculptures
Philadelphia's Art Scene Showcases Creativity & Innovation
Art connoisseurs will find lots to love in Philadelphia’s art scene, with dozens of exhibitions packing the calendar from now through 2016. These shows offer museumgoers many opportunities to reflect on the works of great masters or discover exciting new talent on the brink of a breakthrough.
Here’s a look at some must-see exhibitions coming up through 2016:
Philadelphia Museum of Art:
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org:
- Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life features oil paintings and watercolors from the early 19th to the mid-20th centuries. The unusual match-up of masterpieces
Bucks County: Bristol
Founded in 1681, the town of Bristol, Pennsylvania boasts a long and proud history. Located on the banks of the Delaware River, Bristol served an important role in both the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and at one time it was a major textile-milling center. The old-world influence still exists today, as evidenced by the town’s many antique shops, historic mansions and significant landmarks.
Along the riverfront, several statues pay tribute to such icons as Christopher Columbus and Harriet Tubman. Two other important figures for the town: textile-milling tycoon Joseph R. Grundy and his sister and library advocate Margaret
Montgomery County: Jenkintown
One of the oldest boroughs in Montgomery County, Jenkintown brims with historical interest and secret finds. In this residential community, visitors find National Landmarks, an active art scene and shops and restaurants.
Settled by William Jenkins in 1697, Jenkintown was incorporated in 1874. Among the quirkier holdovers from older days are the two fire companies founded in the 19th century. Both continue to serve the half-mile area today. Like many of the suburbs that surround Philadelphia, Jenkintown had its first heyday in the 19th and 20th centuries. A downtown revival in the 2000s, with the renovation of the
Montgomery County: Skippack
Quaint to its floorboards, Skippack embraces its historic appeal. Amid the covered bridge and old-fashioned lampposts, however, visitors find stylish gift stores and galleries and buzzing restaurants and bars that speak to a modern-day audience. With a mixture of European charm and hippie ease, this shopping-centric town has evolved through the years to become a popular tourist destination.
Skippack’s origins date back to 1683, when German settlers overran Germantown and moved by boat up the Perkiomen Creek to a place where the shallow water prohibited farther travel. There they stayed and named the land “Schippach.” In 1795, Jacob
T.G.I.O. (Thank Goodness It's October) In Philadelphia
October in Philadelphia delivers a feast of festivals that focus on art, design, autumn and family fun.
The aesthetically inclined can indulge in The Philadelphia Collection, DesignPhiladelphia and two weekends of Philadelphia Open Studio Tours. Wizards and muggles will rub elbows at the magical Harry Potter Festival, while scream queens and kings can get their scare on at Eastern State Penitentiary’s lauded Terror Behind the Walls and Laurel Hill Cemetery’s True Tales from the Tomb. Even the city’s beloved culinary invention gets its very own salute in the first-ever Philadelphia Cheesesteak Festival.
Here are the highlights of five October weekends...
15 Reasons To Come Back To Philadelphia After The Pope
After Pope Francis thrilled visitors in Philadelphia, the city is still brimming with energy and excitement. Now it’s the jam-packed, something-for-everybody event calendar that has people buzzing.
The unfortunate few who have never tried a cheesesteak can join locals as they nibble and nosh their way through the first-ever Cheesesteak Festival. The opening of the new One Liberty Observation Deck will inspire the photographer in everyone who views the city from 57 floors high. The returns of the exciting Army-Navy Game and the spectacular Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts bring in the sports and art crowds. Another reason to...
Festivals, Events & Exhibitions For LGBT Travelers To Philadelphia This Fall & Winter
A welcoming and diverse destination that celebrates its LGBT pride every day, Philadelphia offers a range of cultural and social events perfect for gay and lesbian travelers this fall. Highlights: OutFest, the world’s largest National Coming Out Day festival; The RRazz Room at the Prince Theater, a series featuring renowned cabaret talent; and Opera on the Mall’s presentation of La Traviata. As the temperatures cool down, the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus and the storied Mummers Parade usher in the holiday season and the New Year.
LGBT Festivals & Celebrations:
- Philadelphia’s official LGBT community center, the William Way LGBT
Philadelphia's Best Vantage Points
- South Street Bridge: Skyline view from west, over the Schuylkill River and Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk. South Street near 26th Street
- Belmont Plateau: Skyline view from 10 minutes west of Center City. Take Schuylkill Expressway west to Montgomery Avenue and turn right onto Belmont Avenue. This shot only works during clear weather.
- Top of the Tower: Dramatic skyline view from inside 51-story building and balcony access for 360-degree view. Potential fee depending on how much staff time is involved to fulfill request. 1717 Arch Street, (215) 567-8787, topofthetower.com
- City Hall Observation Deck: At the top of City
Montgomery County: Ardmore
As the largest and most diverse town on the ritzy Main Line stretch of suburbs, Ardmore has a distinctly double character: It’s residential yet urban, independent yet central, historic yet forward-facing. Even the community itself straddles two counties (Ardmore is seated in Montgomery County, while South Ardmore is in Delaware County). Add to that some of the area’s best shopping, dining and nightlife, and visiting Ardmore is a multidimensional experience.
Once known as Athensville, the town was rechristened “Ardmore” by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1873. The railroad also lent the town its transportation hub, and gave the “Main
Hispanic Heritage Month In Philadelphia Brings A Feast Of Fiestas
Visitors don’t have to dig deep to find lots to do during Hispanic Heritage Month festivities (September 15-October 15). Festivities are on tap for the groundbreaking of El Corazon Cultural Center, Taller Puertorriqueño’s long-awaited community arts center. Plus, revelers can catch the party spirit at Penn’s Landing’s Mexican Independence Day Festival and the Puerto Rican Day Parade on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For event updates, follow @PhillyTeAma on Twitter for all of Philly’s Hispanic Heritage Month happenings.
Parties, Parades & Festivals:
- It’s all Mexico, all day—food, music, dancing and crafts—during the annual Mexican Independence Day Festival at Penn’s Landing.
Philadelphia's Literary Legacy Makes For A Novel Visit
Literary roots run deep in Philadelphia, a city that has inspired countless authors and continues to nurture their legacies. Throughout the region, lovers of literature can connect with such classic authors as Poe, Whitman and Michener in the places where they lived, worked and created some of their most celebrated works. And with so many libraries, book collections and indie bookstores, literature lovers can delve deeper into the collected works of these and other favorite authors.
Of special note, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. To mark the sesquicentennial, The Rosenbach of the Free...
Montgomery County: Ambler
The definition of a small town, Ambler covers less than one square mile. Despite its diminutive size, it’s amazingly complete, with a host of shops, restaurants, bars and special events that keep the streets bustling. Unassuming and unpretentious, Ambler has retained an historic gentility and independent spirit that are the pride of this tightly knit community.
Originally known as the Village of Wissahickon, Ambler was renamed in 1869 in honor of Mary Johnson Ambler, a Quaker resident who helped lead rescue efforts during the Great Train Wreck of 1856. The town served as a manufacturing hub in the
Pope And Pilgrims Find A Bit Of Home In Philadelphia
Being far from home can make even a pope yearn for a little bit of the old country. When Pope Francis visits Philadelphia this September, the pontiff can assuage homesick pangs with food, drinks and activities popular in his birth country (Argentina) and current home (Vatican City surrounded by Rome, Italy). The city’s tight-knit Italian-American community and growing Hispanic population has spurred an abundance of delectable treats, traditional family activities and familiar places of worship. And just for the month of September, Pizzeria Vetri will serve a special “Il Papa” pie just for the pope after hearing how much he...
Rocky's Philadelphia: How The City Has Changed From 1976 To 2015 When Newest Rocky Film Debuts In Theaters
Beloved boxer Rocky Balboa might be surprised if he ran up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps today and turned around, arms raised in triumph, to see the city’s gleaming skyline. It’s remarkably different from the modest skyline he looked out on in the original 1976 film, which welcomes its seventh installment, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema drama Creed, to theaters just before Thanksgiving. The fictional fighter could be forgiven for not recognizing the tall buildings on both sides of the river, beautiful parks along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the addition of the Barnes...
Philadelphia County: Mt. Airy
Sometimes a name so perfectly defines a neighborhood that it creates a pretty accurate mental image. That’s Mt. Airy. Gently rising from the banks of the Wissahickon Creek, Mt. Airy, which is only 20 minutes from Center City, combines dense leafy park land, miles of multi-use trails, tree-lined streets and a historic cobblestoned business corridor that attracts aspiring entrepreneurs.
Mt. Airy’s varied architecture recounts its historic roots. Structures dating back to the 18th century sit alongside Victorian and 20th-century homes. The community’s Quaker roots might be one reason that Mt. Airy became a model of successful integration early...
Chester County: West Chester
Home to West Chester University, this quaint town in the Brandywine Valley exudes an energetic, young vibe. In the bustling downtown area, casual eateries and food-centric events satiate hungry palates, and throngs of charming shops line the streets.
As Chester County’s county seat, West Chester has a strong political history. The first biography of Abraham Lincoln, which was instrumental in his eventual election to the presidency, was published in The Lincoln Building on West Market Street in 1860. Downtown West Chester has since been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and recognized as a Distinctive Destination
Philly's El Centro De Oro Neighborhood Radiates Latino Flavor & Culture
The hub of Latino culture and life in Philadelphia, El Centro de Oro ("The Golden Block") is home to international non-profit organizations, many third- and fourth-generation family-owned businesses and residents descending from almost every Latino country. Visitors to this lively enclave—just a short cab ride from Center City Philadelphia—can feast on authentic Latin/Caribbean dishes at Isla Verde, find inspiration in the work of Puerto Rican artists at Taller Puertorriqueño or feel their way through a flamenco dance lesson at Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas.
Here are some ways to experience Latino culture and flavors in El Centro de Oro and beyond:
What's on South Street?
Long known as the edgiest street in Philadelphia, South Street welcomes more than just hippies these days. Shoppers searching for a statement-making look, visitors hungry for a real Philly cheesesteak and music lovers who want to catch an up-and-coming band head to the storied boulevard. Also lining South are ethnically diverse restaurants, bars that keep the party going long after dessert, galleries and performance spaces.
Over the past decade, the development of South Street’s east side has spread west of Broad Street, but the traditional definition of the district (depending on who you ask) spans up to 14 blocks: Front...