Philadelphia Fashions a District

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I had some time after a visit to the hand doctor today, so I decided to check out the Philadelphia Fashion District.

 

The Gallery Shopping Mall in downtown Philadelphia has been completely renovated and reopened to the public in September as  Philadelphia Fashion District.  No one shops at malls anymore, so the developers couldn’t just follow the old model of retailing in a renovated space.  So in addition to the standard  mall retail therapy establishments, the Fashion District is offering some intriguing opportunities for artists, makers, and entrepreneurs.

The Fashion District has invested one million dollars for art installations geared to “making museum-caliber art more accessible to the city, while also elevating the beauty of The District.”  The Bridgette Mayer Gallery has a display there with art for sale.

Conrad Benner, whose blog StreetsDept.com, chronicles street art in Philadelphia,  has been charged with curating an exhibit of the work of Philadelphia street artists. These works are currently on display on the lower (concourse) level of the Fashion District through the end of this year.

The Fashion District has provided space for RecPhilly, an organization who provides co-working space, recording studios, visual labs & conference rooms for creatives.  RecPhilly membership is financially accessible and has proven to so popular that there is now a waitlist.  But new memberships are sure to open up in the future.  Read more about RecPhilly on their website here.

The Fashion District is sponsoring more art-related events than I’ve written about here as well as planning to open up movie theaters, restaurants and performance spaces.  They are trying to do a lot and we’ll see how it goes.  Here are some pictures.

 

Dubliners for a Few Days

Here are some of the sights we took in on our wanderings around Dublin recently.

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The Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square near the Dublin Writers Museum

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O’Connell Monument

2.GPODublinGeneral Post Office known as the headquarters for the Easter uprising in 1916

5.InsideRestoredGPODublinThe Interior of the GPO as it appears today.  It was virtually destroyed during the Easter uprising and restored in the 1920s.  The GPO now houses the GPO Witness History Museum, a chronicle of the 1916 uprising.   You should not visit Dublin without seeing this remarkable exhibit.

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Christ Church Cathedral

6.Leprechaun MuseumSignDublinLooks like the Leprechauns have gone and started their own museum.   (We skipped this one.)

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The Old Library at Trinity College

A Visit to the Masonic Temple

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I’ve wanted to tour the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia for quite some time.  Even though there have been Masons in my and my husband’s family and  I used to work in City Hall which is right across the street, I never made the trip.

Then I joined the Cityscape Tours Philadelphia Meetup group that Steve Rosenbach organized a year ago.  When an email popped up in my account announcing an “Almost Free” tour of the Temple I signed up and I’m glad I did.

I arrived at the Temple a few minutes early and Steve was there with a list of names and a hearty welcome.  He was very well organized.  As more people arrived, it became evident that some had attended prior tours Steve had organized and that others were newbies like me.  But everyone was very friendly and the fact that we all had cameras seemed to unite us somehow.  I always feel self conscious when I take pictures in public (you’d never know this I suppose because I take pictures constantly wherever I go if it is legal and does not violate privacy,  propriety or rules of etiquette.)

By way of background, the Masonic Temple was constructed between 1868 and 1873 in the Romanesque style of architecture developed by the Normans in the Middle Ages. The interior took another 15 years to complete and included  It is on the list of National Landmarks.

There are seven lodge halls in the Temple and our group got to see four of them: Ionic Hall, Norman Hall, Egyptian Hall and Gothic Hall.  We also saw the Grand Staircase,  some fascinating artifacts in the attached museum, and some very old portraits of prominent Masons including George Washington. I took a lot of pictures but most of them did not turn out so well.  No matter; it was a fun and interesting time and good company.  To learn more about Freemasonry, press here.

Here are some pictures

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Grand Staircase

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Entrance leading to Grand Staircase
 

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Outside Entrance
 

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Ionic Hall
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Ionic Hall
 

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Gothic Hall
 

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Dedication Cornerstone
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Grand Staircase

I just found this interesting image cica 1840 of the site where the Masonic Temple now stands. Part of the Arch Street Church, which was later enlarged and is still standing, is visible.

 

 

 

Where I Work

I am getting ready to retire. Yes, retire from what I call my 38 year detour. (Includes professional school) I don’t regret the time I’ve spent because I made changes long ago that enabled me to take care of myself and make a living and I was fortunate to have wonderful co-workers who were sane for the most part and who cut me slack when I was not. For the past few years, one of the perks of my job has been working in one of the most interesting buildings in the United States. I never tire of walking its halls and taking pictures. Here are some of them

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