Fun in Philly

Recently we spent a long weekend in Philadelphia.  Jeff and I always keep a huge, never ending list of things we want to do.  The number of things we wanted to do in Philly had grown, so we decided to make a trip of it.  

The first day we went to the Eastern State Penitentiary. 

We liked it, but didn't love it.

I loved that they left it in ruins. 

And seeing Al Capone's cell was a hit as well.

From there we went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, because I had never been!

I really enjoyed this museum. It reminded me of the Met, only much smaller and more doable.  I have been to the Met so many times and have yet to see it all.  Luckily, I live in New York, I'm a member, and can go again and again. 

Normally when I go to a museum my favorite section is the modern art section. With this museum I actually enjoyed the Asian art section the most.

The museum had Japanese architecture, beautiful Tibetan furniture, and lots of Chinese tri-colored, glazed, figurines.  

In the modern and American sections, I did see some beautiful stuff as well.

Some Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, and a very famous painting by Thomas Eakins.

The next day we got up and went to Philly's National Museum of American Jewish History.  The amount of information there was overwhelming. I wanted to read and study it all, but couldn't.

After that, Jeff had a surprise destination in mind.  We went to a place called Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. It was an outdoor lot that artist Isaiah Zagar filled with walls of mosaic sculpture.  The mosaics are created with found objects such as, broken tiles, dishes, bottles, bicycle wheels, figurines, etc.  Basically he turns trash into treasure! I could not stop taking pictures.

The next day we went to the Barnes Foundation.  The Barnes Foundation is the private collection of Albert C. Barnes. Unfortunately, no photography was allowed, so you must go and see it yourself.   Mr. Barnes was a little obsessed with Renoir.  I have never seen so much of Renoir in one place.  He also had a number of Matiisse and Cezanne paintings as well.  

After that we went across the street to the Rodin sculpture museum. 

After both of these activities, I was dying to go to an art store and sketch, but our next stop was Atlantic City!

It was my first time there, but Jeff had been there before.  He took me to a delicious Cuban restaurant, at the Tropicana Casino, called Cuba Libre.  I had some delicious veggie paella and black bean soup.

We also did some shopping at one of the casino stores. It had lots of international treats like Turkish Delight.  We stocked up on that!  

I looked for those assorted butter cookies that come in the blue tin at Christmas time.  I told Jeff that these are my favorite cookies, and now Jeff loves me even more for it.  Apparently it shows how much of an old soul I really am.  We didn't find them there, but I found them back in NYC when we got home. Score!

The last day of our trip, before going home, we went to the aquarium in Camden, New Jersey.  I saw some adorable hippos, but overall I wasn't impressed.  The aquarium in Chicago just blew it away.

We are home now, but not for long...  

Tomorrow we leave for Montreal.