“Art! Your Wife Is Home…


…and your house is on fire!”

That was a line from The ‘Burbs. But this post isn’t about my favorite movie or Rick Ducommun. No, it’s about my quick visit to Philadelphia and above all else the Philadelphia Art Museum.

dscn0041I don’t know whether it’s because I live on a snow covered mountain secluded from anything that walks upright or the fact that I find my most important social interaction is in a bowling league, but I really enjoyed my day alone in the city of Philadelphia. So much to do and so little time. I will take you with me. So pretend we did this together.

img_0435Well, we have to take the trolly to the subway. Personally I love public transportation. Nobody talks to each other but if you are really lucky like we were, you’ll have a lady sitting behind you coughing her head off on your neck. I can hold my breath for a while but after that trip I was halucinating Carebears and Luck Dragons in business suits reading the newspaper.

dscn0039After the tuberculosis scare we will walk quickly up the subway exit stairs to find ourselves in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city center. It may just be me but I always hum the Willy Wonka song that Gene Wilder sings when he opens up the doors to his candy room. You know, the one with the chocolate river? The city is a place of pure inebriation. So many smells like car exhaust, steam pipes, pretzel carts and many mystery smells leading to a game I like to call “soup or poop”.

dscn00421The one thing about Philadelphia is the amount of bronze statues. I would venture to say that this city has more than Vienna, Austria. But I guess it should since right where we were standing was where our country was formed. It almost makes your head spin when you think about it. But enough about that, I am on a mission. And that mission is to find where the Rocky statue is. We will do what ever you want after that is checked off the list. To the art museum!

dscn0046I know this was a long hike but I know we are on the right track to the museum because this is the famous running scene from the movies Rocky and Rocky II. Aren’t you glad that I didn’t make us run it?

That is so awesome. I get goose-bumps every time I watch it.

dscn0050But you know we have to run these. Actually everyone was doing it so it’s not as silly as one would think. Except when I run them and trip.

“Hey, look at me! I am just like Rocky and I am so awes-oh fuck!”

It’s a good thing you have bandages. Actually, it’s a rule that who ever is with me, needs to have a first aid kit.

dscn0052dscn0053The thing about the Art Museum of Philadelphia is that it is a full day activity. We have so much to see and only a day so we have to move with a purpose. But when you are looking at art from ?B.C. to present it is at least a three hour journey.

dscn0056I was shocked that it only cost $10 to go through this. That’s cheaper than movie! And if you see a movie with Ben Affleck for more than $10 you really feel like a schmuck when for less, you have this. Did that even make sense?

img_0437I know you are not suppose to take pictures of paintings but you covered me. I mean look at this. The original “Moulin Rouge” from the French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec! Can you believe we were within inches of it?

img_0438Not all Picasso paintings look like a butt with eyeballs. This is “Portrait of a Woman”. It is creepy but it’s a Picasso. So….you have to respect that.

img_0440This is my favorite one of them all. Actually it has been my favorite art piece for years and when we found it I made a sound like a girl who made the cheer-leading squad. But you don’t judge me, do you? I wish I was able to take a better picture of it. This is “Carnival Evening” by Henri Rousseau.Β  It’s so dark and mysterious. I stared at it for at least 15 minutes.

Thanks for looking out for me while I snuck a few camera phone pictures. But really we were in no danger. The guard was sleeping.

img_0441Well, I dragged you from the year 300 to present and up and down three stories of art so I suppose you are a little hungry. And this is the town to eat! Let’s go!

Ok I lied. We have to stop at the Rodin museum. Just a quick run though. He did sculpt “The Thinker” so the least we could do is stop by to say hi.

dscn0060This is such a pretty front to the museum. That’s not the original “Thinker” but it’s probably more famous and viewed by more tourists than the original. I made that up.

dscn0061Do you know what I didn’t know? This was just apart of a larger art piece called “The Gates Of Hell” inspired by Dantes Inferno. Huh… But you already knew that.

dscn0064Ok, ok! I know you are starving by now. I really want to go to Pat’s or Gino’s Cheese Steak stand but time is a factor. So, I asked for a recommendation and it’s a quirky place to eat called the Devil’s Alley. You need food and I need a beer. Hey, it’s vacation.

dscn0066dscn0067dscn0065The food at the Devil’s Den is nothing to write home about but the decor is a home-run. I know we just were in the presence of art that inspired religon and started wars but this also cranks my tractor. Speak up if I embarrass you.

dscn0069You know we would end up here. The infamous Eastern State Penitentiary. This is one of the most spooky and intimidating prisons in the U.S. by far. I didn’t know about it until the show Ghost Hunters did an investigation here a few years ago. But besides that, it has some serious history.

dscn0072Back in the day, the prison system was a little medieval in their quest to rehabilitate inmates. The thought process was to isolate and repent. I can spend about two days alone before I start making up imaginary friends so the thought of spending years in isolation without a view is…actually I can’t even imagine. Charles Dickens took a tour through here and went back to the UK stating that he has seen the worst of humanity here. Now that’s history! Oh, and Al Capone was here too. But he was a dick.

dscn0073It’s spooky to hear these doors slam in the background when no one is in the prison. The tour guides joke about the ghosts and seem to not even notice it. You can hold my hand. For dudes you can too because it’s not sissy if we thumb wrestle at the same time.

I didn’t capture any anomalies and that sucks. But after the tour I did see other peoples digital pictures with some weird shit on it. You know like lights and blurry things? I don’t know, I’m a sucker. You roll your eyes.

dscn0070dscn0077Well, if that wasn’t disturbing enough we are now going to the Mutter Museum. This is the museum of pathophysiology and abnormal human defects. This place makes you want to shower but it is so awesome.

dscn0080Here we are! The place where they keep human skulls with a description of how they died, a cast of Siamese twins, a preserved gangrened hand in a jar, jars of deformed babies and a book made of human skin. Yeah, we are disturbed for sure. It’s a good thing we already ate.

i188808786_96611_7Me: Oh my God! What the fuck is that!!!

You: Shhhh. Inside voice!

mutter_museumMe: That dude is eating for two!

You: Would you please? We are in a museum.

featureMe: Oh my….

You: Take your head out of my coat!

Courtesy ofMe: Can we go now?

You: You are such a sorry Nancy.

Well, it is getting dark out now. You know what that means? It means that we have to get a beer and become friends with at least one of the locals. That’s a rule of mine. You haven’t been to a place unless you know a person from there.

So I picked a little pub that didn’t look too pretentious and safe and moseyed up to the bar. Wouldn’t you know it, only ten minutes went by before people approached me? I give off that “I’m lost and not from here” vibe.

dscn0084Talk about the city of brotherly love! This is Dawn and Ashely, two local Penn State students who were nice enough to join us for brews, high-fives and picture sharing. We traded email addresses and were even given an invite for New Years Eve. Too bad that’s a travel day, huh? But what can you do? We made friends and that is what we set out to do.

Look at this. We are cultured, fed, tipsy and disturbed all in one day! I say that’s a great day! Thank you so much for putting up with me and enjoying the day. Let’s go recap back at home with some more brews and watch Rock II. What do you say?

dscn0059

18 Comments

  1. I was totally with you up until we made friends with 2 college girls. You spent the entire day with me, held my hand, stuck your head inside my coat, bought me both lunch and dinner and then you not only flirted with 2 girls right in front of me but you also got their email addresses? And I wouldn’t have called you a Nancy without adding BOY to the end of it. I definitely would’ve called you a Pansy. πŸ˜‰

    Flirt? Me? Pshhhh!

  2. I think this is my new favorite post of yours…and I look forward to the day I get to see it all myself. Especially if it means a trip to a museum where I can stare at skulls of dudes that died trying to castrate themselves. *sigh* Life’s greatest wonders…

    I know!!! Can you believe that. Not the way to go.

  3. It’s pretty inexcusable that I live about 30 minutes from Philly and I have yet to run up the stairs of the art museum and visit the Mutter museum. I’ll put that on my to-do list before I move in August.

    You should have visited the Edgar Allan Poe house while you were here. Most people associate him with Baltimore, since he died there, but he actually spent a number of years in Philadelphia. In fact, some of his most famous works, including possibly the Raven, were written while he lived on 7th Street.

    I almost did! I love how they have arrowed signs pointing to all the museums. So thought full.
    I expect a blog post when you go. πŸ˜‰

  4. I made the girl noise when you got to the Mutter Museum. I’ve always wanted to go. Oh wait, we just went there didn’t we…

    We did? Should we go again?

  5. Oh, that was fun! I am glad you took me a long πŸ™‚ Delphia is my full name. I tried to marry someone named Phil because then we could be Philandelphia, but no Phil would have me. I settled for Will. Close enough, eh? Thanks for the history lesson!!

    You had to settle for Will? 😐

  6. I’ll take the girl on the right! That would be so awkward lol!

    You and I have so many similar interests. I would love the Mutter Museum. I would have to put up with you staring at those paintings but you would have to put up with me staring at the artwork at the Devil’s Den and reading all the little labels of all those skulls.

    One last thing, I do the thinker pose on the toilet all the time unintentionally.

    The girl on the right kind of killed the moment, to be honest. She made some snide comment about how all the homeless are black. And with that, I had to leave. Just wanted to give you a heads up.

  7. Thanks for the trip billy πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for coming!

  8. Awesome. My first thought was honestly “I wonder if he went to see the Rocky Statue.” Then, this:

    “But enough about that, I am on a mission. And that mission is to find where the Rocky statue is.”

    So glad that you found it. I really want to head to Philly and pretty much do the same thing.

    The Rocky statue was the reason I went to the art museum. Keep that on the down low.

  9. When I lived in London I went to the National Gallery a lot. I usually tried to go to a different room every time but sometimes I went back to see a particular painting. Sometimes it was obscure and not very good but compelling to me for some reason. Other times it was famous. This one by Rousseau is of the latter category and one I found myself in front of a lot. I have a thing for tigers but mostly it’s the colours, the way it evokes the weather – the storm. So, you showed us your Rousseau (which is BEAUTIFUL and somehow I’d never seen it so thank you… ) and now I will show you mine:

    http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/cgi-bin/WebObjects.dll/CollectionPublisher.woa/wa/largeImage?workNumber=NG6421&collectionPublisherSection=work

    I think the thing I envy the most about your day is that you could just pick somewhere to have a drink and purposely meet people. I am not well-wired for that sort of thing just in general though I have often wanted to do it and I also feel ripped off for being a woman sometimes cuz going to a pub/bar alone isn’t quite as “easy” I don’t think. But, perhaps I am just a bit of fraidy-cat… Whatever the case. I envy you the goal and your success. YEY!!!

    Thanks for the day, Billy. Fun post.

    Rousseau is by far one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing yours! πŸ˜‰
    I think that sucks that women feel bad about going to pubs alone. Sure there are creeps at times. I just wish going to a pub didn’t make women who want to get out feel desperate or lonely.
    Thank you for the day too!

  10. Wow “obscure and not very good” makes me sound like I think “famous” = “good” and that is SOOO not the case…I mean, my fave thing hanging on my walls right now is a small green puppet alien blue-tacked up in my bathroom….

  11. I’ve always thought being the museum guard would be BO-RING! And now this proves my theory. πŸ™‚

  12. Thanks for the tour! I’ve never been to Philly, but I sure would like to run (and most likely trip) up those stairs and spend some time in that abnormal museum. Oh, and that thumb wrestling bit was very funny!

  13. Great stuff. I HAVE to go to that museum, as much as I don’t want to…

  14. Hey, I forgot, that is kind of your name, too. William. I guess I didn’t HAVE to settle for Will, but I did. πŸ˜‰

  15. Hahaha, a classic Will-post, I’ve missed you! πŸ™‚ And what a great tour of Philly in a day…that weirdo museum seriously gave me the creeps (like that first pic the most…and oh, the floating head), but seriously, did you actually stick your head in my coat ’cause you were scared??? How inappropriate of you, *tsk, *tsk… πŸ˜‰

    PS: a book made of human skin!?!??!??!??!??!?!?!?!?!??!?!!?!?!?!?!?!???!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!??!!?!?!??!?!?!?!…..I don’t like that image before bed 😦

  16. Awwww major bummer. It’s the way it goes sometimes.

  17. Oo- Toulouse-Lautrec!
    I looooooooove French Impressionists!

    *swoon*

    I wold have been much liek Jodi, and read every label on EVERYTHING in the Mutter Museum…

    Okay, not true. I would have read the tabbies on as mch as I coudl handle ( bout 1/2 an hour) and then proceed to bury my face in the nearest shoulder, squealing uncomfortably.

  18. It’s great that you are getting thoughts from this post
    as well as from our argument made at this place.


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