Newsletters before the 2003 Reunion
Photos from the 2003 Convention -
Holding this here -
The Spirit of Philadelphia Cruise
Thursday afternoon the crew boarded the Spirit of Philadelphia at
Penn’s Landing for lunch and a beautiful fall cruise along the
Delaware River. We had a great view of the Philadelphia and Camden
skylines. The cruise passed the historic Shot Tower, Old Swedes
Church, and the SS United States (the ship is larger than the
Titanic). We also passed the old Naval Shipyard closed in 1996
(where the USS America rests), and the Campbell’s Sport Complex.
Welcome to Philadelphia
Start Here to see what went on at the
Philadelphia’s history from 1774 to 1800 is linked to the American Revolution and the birth of a young nation. Philadelphia is the cradle of the nation’s burgeoning quest for freedom. Born along the banks of the Delaware River, Philadelphia flourished as a shipping port. The historic district begins at Front Street where there is evidence of the city’s earliest settlement.
North of Market Street the nation’s first commercial district arose in Old City. Storefronts and narrow streets reflect 17th century trade where small cafes and bustling galleries now populate a thriving arts community. The colonial legacy of the neighborhood is well preserved at numerous historical landmarks, including the Betsy Ross House, Christ Church and Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously occupied street in America.
South of Market Street a greater concentration of historic sites can be found in Society Hill. (Our hotel is walking distance to this area). Rows of restored red-brick homes line streets and cobblestoned alleys. Stroll down DeLancey Street and its easy to envision our great political forefathers, including Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson, walking along and browsing into its storefronts.
No other city reflects America’s past better than Philadelphia. Independence National Historical Park is among its finest attractions. The park features the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Second Bank of the United States, Carpenters’ Hall, the Merchants Exchange and dozens of other monuments to Philadelphia’s past and America’s beginnings.
Heart of Downtown
Center City, the local name for the downtown area of Philadelphia is bordered by the Delaware River to the east, the Schuylkill River to the west, Vine Street to the north and South Street to the south. There is no better way to experience Philadelphia than to walk through the streets of this “city of neighborhoods.”
The easy grid of streets and compact blocks make Philadelphia a walker’s paradise. The city of neighborhoods is truly an intricate mosaic of cultures. South Street is the “hippest street in Philadelphia.” It is famous for its eclectic shops, diverse restaurants and electric nightlife. The largest and oldest Jeweler’s Row, with over 300 jewelry-rated businesses can be found in this neighborhood.
There are also many antique dealers, boutiques, restaurants, bars and coffee shops along the residential blocks from Washington Square west. Along Market Street East, the historic Strawbridge and Clothier and Lit Brothers buildings pay tribute to the retail giants of the past. The new retail giants established in the area are the Gallery, the largest downtown shopping complex in the nation, Lord and Taylor and many other small upscale establishments. At 10th and Arch Streets you will find the Friendship Gate welcoming you to Chinatown for fine art, culture and the best Asian cuisine for more than a century.
Around the Neighborhoods:
Ethnic threads and excursions become more plentiful and diverse in the “neighborhoods.” Longstanding areas in North and South Philadelphia provide a look at Old-World heritages. South Philadelphia’s Italian Market dates back 125 years, features aromas and ingredients from the old country to shops and restaurants run by generations of the original families.
North Philadelphia houses a vibrant Hispanic community who brings music, shopping and dining together from Latino cultures around the world. Across the Schuykill River, international influences converge in University City (West Philadelphia). The area is home to the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University a prolific community of education, culture, medicine, and technology coexists with historical neighborhoods steeped in structures of architectural significance.
Culture, Parks, and Green Spaces
Philadelphia may be known for its history, but it has much more to offer including world-class art collections and resident orchestra, ballet, opera and theater companies. Along the Avenue of the Arts, the city’s premier arts district you will find the Academy of Music, the new Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Theaters, and performance venues.
Along the Ben Franklin Parkway, a grand boulevard with European influences, there’s an impressive row of museums with works by Van Gogh, Rodin, and Wyeth. The Parkway is lined with sculptures by all three generations of Calders, the William Penn statute at City Hall, the Swann Fountain at Logan Square, and Ghost at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Also found on the Parkway is The Franklin Institute Science Museum and The Academy of Natural Sciences.
The city is full of green spaces (parks) from Roosevelt Park in South Philadelphia to Clark Park in West Philadelphia to the largest of them all Fairmount Park. With 8900 acres of winding creeks, green meadows and 100 miles of rustic trails, Fairmount Park is the largest landscaped urban park in the world.
In the park you can find early American mansions, historic landmarks, outdoor sculptures, open-air theaters, the Philadelphia Zoo, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Boathouse Row and the Victorian homes of the river scullers. The Park weaves through Philadelphia’s historic Northwest urban villages where stately homes stand on the tree-lined streets of Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy, famous for its historical participation during the American revolution and with the Underground Railroad.
Philadelphia does not have many skyscrapers. For 86 years there was a gentlemen’s agreement against any Philadelphia building rising above William Penn’s statue atop City Hall. In 1987 One Liberty Place broke through the invisible ceiling making way for a new skyline for the city. Today there are five buildings shadowing Mr. Penn. All are west of Broad Street in the business district.
More than 300,000 people work in Center City in these buildings in diverse industries including law, finance, technology, government, education, engineering, hospitality and health care. Streets busy with business dealings by day are transformed into lively after-hours hot spots as restaurants and sidewalk coffee bars at night.
A concentration of shopping and dining can be found around Rittenhouse Square, one of the city’s most popular parks and most prestigious addresses. Rittenhouse Row is Philadelphia’s center for glamour. The Walnut Street area has some of the country’s finest restaurants, premier shopping, pampering salons and top hotels. Located in the heart of center city is the new Pennsylvania Convention Center complex. Built in 1993 the Center covers six downtown blocks including the historic Reading Terminal, the century-old Reading Terminal Farmer’s Market and the last surviving single-span train shed in the country. Below the complex, Market East Station connects the Center with Amtrak’s 30th Street Station and the Philadelphia International Airport via regional rail service.
We hope that you will take advantage of all that Philadelphia has to offer by visiting the local attractions and the fine restaurants that abound all over the city. There are ethic and American-style restaurants that will be able to offer excellent cuisine for everyone’s taste. Transportation is available from the hotel to all areas of the city. We suggest using the Phlash during the day time hours and cabs in the evening.