Friday, September 22, 2006

Penn's Landing

My hotel in Philadelphia was just a couple of blocks from Penn's Landing, a stretch of riverfront just south of the Ben Franklin Bridge that has been made into a waterside promenade and entertainment venue, as well as a permanent dock for a couple of historic ships, the cruiser U.S.S. Olympia, flagship of Admiral Dewey's "Great White Fleet" in the Spanish-American War, and the square rigger Mosholu, now made into a restaurant at the cost of having picture windows cut into her hull (see below):


Across the Delaware, at Camden, the World War II veteran battleship U.S.S. New Jersey entertains visitors to her namesake state.


When I visited the Landing, the outdoor theater was presenting a festival of Russian culture.


Looking downriver, I could see the distinctive funnels and upper superstructure of the S.S. United States, last holder of the Blue Riband of the North Atlantic, docked at an otherwise disused pier. As explained in this fan website, her present owners, NCL America, hope to restore her to service as a cruise ship.


Near the upriver end of the Landing, the pretty barquentine Gazela was docked.


A rushing sound made me look up and see this commuter train going eastward across the Ben Franklin Bridge.


On the Landing's North bulwark, the old tug Jupiter, nicely preserved, sat tied to a barge.


Crossing the bridge that connects the Landing to Market Street, I got this shot of the Center City skyline.



Update: Topazz demands that I provide my account of the Philly Fraymeet itself, so here goes: The food and drinks were sublime, the ambience divine, the conversation scintillating, Chango looks just like his photographs on FrayMates, and Topazz's hair shimmers like a Magellanic cloud.

But seriously, folks -- I can't thank Rundeep and Topazz enough for putting together a superb event.