Rocky Balboa (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Sly Stallone’s story about getting Rocky produced is pretty remarkable – if you haven’t heard it he was down to his last several dollars AND had just sold his dog to try to make ends meet. As soon as the contract to produce the move was signed (after being told ‘no’ 20 plus times) he went back to the pound and picked his dog up (overpaying of course).

While it obviously does not always end this way the story of true entrepreneurs (Damon John, Sly Stallone, etc…) seems to always stem from a wall hit weeks/months before.

Rocky Balboa (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Rocky Balboa (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Rocky’s statue sits in Philly but it should probably sit in every city in the US to remind us all of the benefit to hard work, a spirit that does not quit and tenacity. The American spirit was built on the backs of that same attitude but given the political landscape I think most in this nation have forgotten that and want to instead suckle on the teat of governmental programs built to keep them from starving. If only people would pride themselves on wanting more and not sustaining on scraps.

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Infirmary (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Long weekend with a lot of laughs and really enjoyed having my family over. It’s the first time that we’ve been able to really host because we never had enough room before. At points this weekend we may have had 17+ people in the place at one time but it never felt ‘small’ to us. Hoping we can do it again soon but maybe after I recover a bit….

Infirmary (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Infirmary (Philadelphia)

The Infirmary in the Eastern State Penitentiary outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Streaking in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

My hotel (Hyatt at the Bellvue) was on the main street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that led into City Hall. The Philadelphia City Hall stands 550 feet tall and was the tallest building in the world until 1908 (over 100 years later it is dwarfed by skyscrapers all around it).

I woke up early and headed out before sunrise to catch the early morning traffic leading towards city hall. Unlike in other cities where I think it is pretty common for people to be out on the streets taking photos I got a lot of strange look from those in the ‘city of brotherly love’. Undeterred I took plenty of photos but just haven’t gotten around to fully processing them all.

Streaking in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Streaking in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Philadelphia at Dusk

Standing on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum as the day turned to night I took a few pictures of the skyline as the sunset over the city. From here I took a subway over to Pat’s and Geno’s for a Cheesesteak showdown (yes I ate two full cheesesteaks in the interest of comparing and contrasting them. Here are my tasting notes in case you ever go there…By the way these places are cash only and if you

Geno’s
Plain white building with a sign in the window reading “This Is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING Please ‘SPEAK ENGLISH’”. Other than that not a lot of razzle dazzle unlike the building at Pat’s which was lit up like Times Square…The meat at Geno’s is sliced thinly and then covered with provolone and onions. I thought it had a decent taste but could have used more pepper maybe. There wasn’t a whole lot of meat on it but I guess that’s how they keep the prices so reasonable. The onions were definitely the best part of the sandwich which is fine for me because I’m a big fan of grilled onions.

Pat’s
The meat was tastier, and unlike Geno’s it was chopped thin, but the provolone cheese wasn’t melted so that left a little to be desired. This one was also ‘wetter’ and the bread was dripping with gravy or juice from the steak which probably contributed to the taste.

All things considered I liked Pat’s better but I may have to go back and do another test run just to see again.

Philadelphia at Dusk

Philadelphia Downtown

Freedom is a Light

Freedom is a light for which many have died in darkness

– Inscription on the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary Soldier

This tomb marks the grave where many revolutionary soldiers were mass buried in what is now downtown Philadelphia. A flame that is kept constantly burning to honor the memory of the battles that occurred there.

I waited for about a half hour for the sun to dip beneath the tree line as I wanted to capture the burst contrasting with the flame in the front of the tomb.

Photo of the Day – Tomb of the Unknown

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The Rocky Steps

Perhaps the most famous set of steps in the United States are in Philadelphia, PA and are leading up to the Philadelphia Art Museum. The steps aren’t famous because of the museum – which I’ve heard is quite nice though – but rather because a fictional boxer ran up them through various montages in each of the Rocky movies. The first movie had him running through the streets of Philadelphia and by all of the famous landmarks (he ran 31 miles covering all that ground so he was in really good shape!) – ultimately winding up on the steps while jumping up and down with Getting Stronger playing in the background as the sun rises behind the museum. His foot prints are memorialized in the top of the steps where he jumped up and down and was mobbed by the kids for the scene.

Photo of the Day – Getting Strong Now

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As you can see there are still alot of people that run the steps as part of their workout everyday. At varying times there was probably 100+ people going up and down the 72 steps – some like myself – just for the novelty of it but others were taking several trips up/down and clearly were trying to get a workout in.

Prison isn’t Half Bad (if your Al Capone)

If you are Al Capone that is. The rest of the cells at Eastern State Penitentiary were just a bed, toilet and a bible – unless you were Al Capone. In that case you actually wound up with a luxury hotel room – a nice armoire full of reading material, record player/radio, comfortable chair for reading in the corner and plush carpet on the floor.

Capone, Chicago’s most famous mafia boss, only spent eight months at ESP on concealed weapon charges but needless to say the time spent there wasn’t exactly ‘hard time’. It was relative luxury.

I liked the way the cell bars of this picture contradicted the plush interior of the prison cell. Others were shooting through the hole in the cell bars where his meals would be slid in – and I took that picture too – but I liked the contrast of the prison bars.

Photo of the Day – The Cell of Al Capone

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After a day of meetings and some sunset hiking in Garden of the Gods in Colorado I started re-watching Boardwalk Empire tonight from the first episode – I’m WAY behind and it jogged the Capone memory.