Monday, February 21, 2011

Melissa Comes To Visit And We Explore Art And Food In Philly

Finally, my very first out of town visitor came to stay! My friend Melissa flew in all the way from Kentucky to check out the fair city. Its one of the places she could possibly be moving to next year for her PHD in Art History. I did a pretty horrible job of convincing her to move here, but I did show her some good art and provide her with plenty of good food.

First we checked out the Barnes Foundation. I thought it might be a special treat for an art lover to catch one last glimpse of Barnes' legacy in it original state. The top floor was closed already for conservation but the bottom floor was full of so many Cezannes and Renoirs not mention the dozens of paintings by equally as famous and important artists from Monet to Seurat and Barnes' extensive collection of keys that I left satisfied. I also left with a dislike for the majority of Renoir's paintings and a greater appreciation of Cezanne.

A note on the Barnes Controversy. The Barnes is moving just down the block from me. Barnes' collection is being relocated and reorganized in a big, modern building on the BFP where the Foundation will also offer classes. Many people are against the move because Barnes specifically stated in his instructions that his collection should never be moved and according to my cousin he hated the city. At first I was firmly behind those who stand behind Barnes' last wished, but after further researching the matter (and becoming a member) I am excited for the move. Barnes' philosophy was to bring art of the masses. He had his factory workers take art classes in the factory, and the idea of his museum was to make art accessible. Now that his foundation is running out of money, and given the fact the SEPTA is unreliable and not helping to make the Barnes Foundation accessible to people without a car, I agree that the collection should be moved to a location where it can be enjoyed by all. I only regret that his arrangements of the paintings will probably be lost.

The next day we explored a very different museum. On the first Sunday of every month the Philadelphia Art Museum is pay what you want, so we headed over on this sunny afternoon to check out the goods.

very impressive entrance


no trip would be complete without seeing at least one bust of this very important man!
I really enjoyed the museum. There are rooms upon rooms that have been brought over from homes in Europe or England and recreated in the museum with lovely wood paneling, curtains, and even fire places and painted ceilings. The modern section was surprisingly good, and we spent almost an hour looking at the tapestries on the second floor. After all of this we had worked up a serious appetite and walked down the Parkway named for the bust pictured above to Reading Terminal Market.

we took in one more bit of art on the way!
At Reading, we were of course overwhelmed by options, but eventually settled on Hershel's Deli. Our mouths watered while we waited in line and watched cute young men expertly slice through steaming hot corned beef, pastrami, turkey and more. We split the corned beef special (gotta have that Cole Slaw) and lapsed into silence as we munched our way through it.

no words needed

Hershel, who ever you are...thank you

self portrait no. 2 Corned Beef = Heaven

Needless to say this sandwich is worth the wait and every bit delicious as it appears in its picture. Two thumbs up!


  1. Damn that is one fine looking sandwich, especially with that pickle next to it. I had a reuben on a recent work trip to the US, but it wasn't exactly the real deal. Of course, since there's no corned beef here in BsAs, I was happy to have a mediocre version...

    Sounds like a fun time! We miss you guys down here!!!

  2. Lovely post, but she is not your first out of town visitor! I would a shout out in the next post as a peace offering. :) looove youu