03 June 2017

Photos from the Final Tour of the Circus

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1127

Tiger and trainerThe last time I went to the circus when it rolled into Philadelphia, I was in elementary school. When we heard that Ringling Brothers was shutting down the circus for good this year, we decided that we should go see its last hurrah. We splurged a little and got seats in the second row. There were two separate touring shows this year. The one that came to Philadelphia was “Out of this World.” (The other being “Circus Xtreme.”) Wow, what a difference from the last time I saw the show. I remember seeing Gunther Gable, elephants and a unicorn. I probably don’t want to know what kind of animal rights violations were committed in the production of the unicorn, but I did miss the elephants. As for Gunther, there was a big cat trainer there who was also quite good. The other surprising part was that besides the acrobats, clowns, contortionists, dog trainers, etc., a portion of the show was also performed on ice. Add some horse stunts, motorcycles in a steel sphere and a menagerie of animals including a kangaroo and you have quite a fun spectacle. It’s really sad that this will be the last year that anyone will get to experience it.

Relive the circus experience by checking out my photos here.

02 June 2017

Philadelphia Flower Show Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1908

Tulips & BicycleDespite living in the Philadelphia area my entire life, I’ve never gone to the annual Philadelphia Flower Show. I’m not necessarily a flower enthusiast, but I’m a photographer and have spent plenty of time photographing flowers elsewhere like Longwood Gardens, the Macy’s Flower Show in Chicago and many other places. This year’s theme was Holland and tulips are my favorite flowers to photograph so how could I resist? Despite it being a damp rainy day, we hopped on the train to Center City and spent the day indoors enjoying the sights and sounds (Dutch techno light show, anyone? See the video below.). It’s truly amazing to see what the Philadelphia Horticultural Society builds inside the convention center. Besides flowers, the amount of stuff they load in there, trees, landscaping, tons of dirt and mulch, art exhibits, etc. is beyond impressive. It made for a fun (and colorful) day.

Check out the photos here.

06 September 2015

Tall Ships Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1523

Back in June there was a tall ship festival in Philadelphia and the Camden waterfront. When I was a kid my parents would sometimes take us to a park along the Delaware River to see the tall ships when they were coming to Philadelphia. We also got a see them once or twice in Baltimore. So this was a fun chance to check them out up close and bring back some good memories too.

I would have liked to go aboard a few more ships, but the crowds were insane. We chose to go aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle.

You can see the photos right here.

13 April 2014

Two Albums of Center City Christmas Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1627

RiverRink

I posted 2 new albums from the Christmas season. They’re a little late, but 2014 has been a busy year so far.

For the better part of my lifetime (20 years to be exact), every Winter the Grand Plaza at Penn’s Landing is converted to become the Blue Cross RiverRink. I’ve seen it on TV over and over, but have never visited it. I would likely pose a severe danger to myself and others if I strapped on ice skates. However, this year, they built an entire village around the rink called WinterFest. So we went and checked it out. It was a lot of fun. With the amount of trees and decorations they brought in, you’d never know you were on Penn’s Landing. Check out the photos and a video right here.

This year we visited a newer Christmastime event in Center City Philadelphia, The Christmas Spectacular on the giant video screen in the lobby of the Comcast Center. It was kind of neat. It’s good to see some of the money I give to Comcast every month given back to the community. You can view the photos and album here.

21 May 2013

SS United States

Category: Interesting Links,Randomness — Posted by Michael at 0029

This is a great article from TIME magazine about the SS United States. I’d love to see the ship turned into a museum/hotel/dining/shopping complex like the Queen Mary out in Long Beach. Marianne and I had a blast visiting the QM. (Photos of that trip are here.)

The United States could be such a cool attraction at Penns Landing instead just sitting there rusting. It’s a piece of history that needs to be preserved.

More info can be found at www.ssusc.org.

04 December 2010

Politically Correct Scrooges Lose In Philly

Category: Interesting Links,Randomness — Posted by Michael at 0141

Christmas Village Sign

If you live in the Philadelphia area, you’ve no doubt heard about the short-lived renaming of Philadelphia’s annual Christmas Village. Just in case you aren’t familiar, Philadelphia has, for the past few years, has put on a Chriskindlmarkt in Center City outside city hall. They don’t call it a Chriskindlmarkt. They instead call it a Christmas Village. Earlier this week, the city decided to remove the word Christmas from it to avoid offending people. This ridiculous move was met with a proper level of outrage from the public and Mayor Michael Nutter had the name restored.

While I think he made the right move, it’s insane that they ever changed the name to begin with. I don’t think he’s a hero for putting out a fire that the city started to begin with. I also don’t think this is the last time we’ll hear about this. So, I feel like I should get on my virtual soapbox and shout into the wind.

I’m not a member of any religion, Christian or otherwise,  and I don’t care about what religion anyone belongs to any more than I care what race someone is. Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Pastafarian has nothing to do with the situation. I think the separation of church and state is extremely important and I think religion has no place in government. However, my argument is, and always has been, that there are really two Christmases. First, there’s the “baby Jesus Christmas.” I’m referring to the religious holiday that the Christians only celebrate. Then there’s the Christmas that’s for everyone, the “Santa Claus Christmas.” Yes, Christmas started as a religious holiday, but it has evolved into the secular version that most of us celebrate today. Christmas is about decorating, giving gifts & cards, being with family and friends and spreading goodwill. Those parts of Christmas are unrelated to religion. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and it sickens me when I hear of schools, businesses or anyone else referring to Christmas as “The Holiday” or “The Winter Holiday.” It just seems ridiculous. I’ve never read the Bible but I’m pretty sure that there’s no mention of Santa Claus, eggnog, candy canes or flying reindeer in there.

So, I’m very glad that the for once, the whiney minority was shut down by the sane majority. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s a sweet victory when it does.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s article regarding the Christmas Village debacle is here.

Some photos from previous visits to the Christmas Village can be found in the Photos section of this site.

01 January 2009

Happy 2009!

Category: Life,Randomness — Posted by Michael at 0912

Happy New Year! Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous year! I’ll be spending today recovering from all the cooking and eating I did yesterday and watching the mummers parade. Hopefully, the parade will go on again next year despite the city’s budget problems.

20 December 2008

Two Chriskindlmarkts

Category: Life,Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2236

BethlehemWhen I think of Christmas it conjures images of small towns with rows of little stores selling gifts in Germany. OK, so maybe not the Germany part. However, a really cool Christmas tradition does come from Germany. It’s the Chriskindlmarkt. Bethlehem, PA (a.k.a. Christmas City) puts on a huge one every year. I finally got a chance to go to it this year. It was a fun day of shopping and some sightseeing.

Then i heard Philadelphia was putting on one of their own at City Hall. It was called the Philadelphia Christmas Village. While not as big it will hopefully be an annual event because it has real potential.

Check out my photos from Bethlehem and then take a look at my photos of Philadelphia.

31 October 2008

A little nostalgia for the big parade

Category: Randomness — Posted by Michael at 1745

Philadelphia PhilliesIn celebration of the Phillies World Series win, there’s a parade going on in Philadelphia today that is being attended by well over a million people. Every website and media outlet around is showing images from the parade. I figured I’d go the nostalgic route and post this copy of the old Phillies logo I stumbled upon.

This logo was used in the 70’s and I think the early 80’s. It was always my favorite.

29 October 2008

Phillies are World Series Champions!

Category: Randomness — Posted by Michael at 2313

Pihladelphia PhilliesAs hard as it might be to believe, the PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES WON THE WORLD SERIES!!! After waiting through 28 years and then a 46 hour rain delay, Phillies fans finally have a reason to smile!

Congrats to the Phillies!

17 January 2006

Happy 300th, Ben!

Category: Interesting Links,Photography,Randomness — Posted by Michael at 1946

Ben Franklin
Today’s the 300th birthday of Ben Franklin. Of course, here in Philadelphia, that’s a huge deal. It’s the kick-off of several months of festivities celebrating the life of our most famous resident.

One of the biggest highlights is a special exhibit at the National Constitution Center. They’ve got a ton of artifacts etc. I need to get over there and see that that before it departs for its world tour.

Find more details about parties, events, special deals, tour packages and more at GoPhila.com/Ben.

UPDATE: View my photos from when I went to the exhibit here.

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