Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Streets of Philadelphia
Considering that the Fourth of July is right around the corner, our mini getaway this past weekend to Philadelphia was perfectly timed. Sans children, we were free to explore museums and dine at ease without the perpetual fear of someone having a meltdown, disapproving glares from fellow tourists and/or diners, and security guards asking us to leave our stroller outside. Instead, we delighted in our foray into the extraordinary Portrait Gallery housed in the former Second Bank of the United States (a highly recommended collection of prominent historical figures mostly painted by Charles Wilson Peale) as well as our fascinating and inspirational tour of Independence Hall.
Nevertheless, having said that, I must admit that the most memorable part of the weekend was our spontaneous and self-guided walking tour through Philadelphia's famed Society Hill. Dubbed this name due to the high land it rests upon between the Delaware River and Eighth Street, this residential neighborhood is comprised of handsome brick row houses in the Georgian and Federal architectural styles. Its' beginnings date back to the late 1700's when a London Development Company by the name of the Society of Free Traders sold building lots to the upper crust. The result was the construction of these attractive homes and consequently, Society Hill was the place to live in Philadelphia. It experienced a downturn following the Civil War when many members of the upper class moved out of the area and it remained run down until the 1960's when historic preservationists revitalized the neighborhood...some to their former glory and others with a modern twist.
Of course, after a couple of days of sightseeing and walking along cobble stoned streets, we were thrilled to enjoy two deliciously distinct dinners. The next time you are in Philly, be sure to stop by Cuba Libre and order the spinach and manchego bunuelos as well as the crab ceviche. Another terrific option is Farmica Restaurant. We savored a leisurely dinner al fresco. I recommend starting the evening out with a glass of Rose and the trio of cheeses. As our waiter said, "How can anyone go wrong with that?"