Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Philadelphia: Week Two 2013 (SD@PHI)

Travel/Photo Blog: Philadelphia (Week Two: SD@PHI)
By Andy Lopusnak,
September 14-15, 2013

For the second straight year, I found myself in Philly doing an NFL game. I’ve already done two blogs on the City of Brotherly Love the previous two seasons. You can read my 2011 write up by clicking here and last year’s blog by clicking here. Philadelphia is a fantastic city to shoot and once again, the weather was great. 


When landing at the airport, the view from the right side of the plane into Philadelphia is awesome. I’ve shot it numerous times and this time was again tremendous. You can view all of my Philly aerial shots by clicking here.

BACK TO 1776
Like Boston, Philadelphia has many buildings and historical sites within walking distance dating back to the Revolutionary War. In a short vicinity from Independence Hall, you can walk to Benjamin Franklin’s grave, the Betsy Ross House, Elfreth’s Alley and Christ Church. This was the first time I hit all of these historic sites via foot power. 

I also took the Philly subway to get from my hotel to Independence Hall. It’s very confusing with multiple different rail companies and smelled like urine at the three different stations I went through. It makes the NYC subway system look like a palace.

I’ve photographed the exterior of Independence Hall numerous times, but went online and got a ticket to go inside this time. It’s free, but there’s a $1.50 per ticket charge for the online convenience. Independence Hall is where the Constitution was built in 1753 and is where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed.

The best preserved copies of the original Declaration and Constitution are currently housed in the National Archives in Washington D.C. Today, you cannot photograph the documents, but back in 2007 it was okay to shoot them without flash. You can click here to view the two bedrock documents for the United States of America.

The Liberty Bell was created to go in Independence Hall’s steeple. It of course cracked the first time it was rung, but still was placed in the steeple. The bell is now across the street from Independence Hall at the Liberty Bell Center. 

I’ve photographed the Liberty Bell from the outside previously, but had never been inside the Liberty Bell Center until this trip. It’s also free to go inside. The line is long, but goes very quickly.

In the first two weeks of the NFL season, I’ve shot perhaps the best two looking city halls in the country (Buffalo last week and Philly this week). Philadelphia’s City Hall was built from 1871-1901 and for eight years it was the tallest habitable building in the world (1901-08).  Even today, it is the largest municipal building in the US.

It is topped by a 37-foot, 27-ton bronze statue of city founder William Penn and is one of 250 sculptures adorned inside and outside of the building created by Alexander Milne Calder. Penn’s statue is tallest atop any building in the world. Baltimore, where I’ll be this upcoming weekend, has a great City Hall as well (click here to view). Since I’ve had numerous weeks of great city hall buildings, I decided to create a City Hall photo gallery (click here to view).

Around the corner from Independence Hall is the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin at Christ Church’s Burial Ground.

Apparently there’s some doubt that this is actually the house that Ross lived in and designed the original American flag. The house is original from around 1740 and the remains of Ross and her third husband, John Claypoole, were moved to the courtyard in the 1970s.

Both quarterbacks tossed for over 400 yards with San Diego’s Philip Rivers completing 36-of-47 (77%) for 419 yards with three touchdowns (all to Eddie Royal) and Philadelphia’s Michael Vick tossing for a career-high 428 yards with three total touchdowns (two pass/one rush).

The Chargers’ kicker Nick Novak hit a 46-yard field goal with seven seconds left to win it. Three players caught over 100 yards (SD’s Antony Gates had 124 while DeSean Jackson posted 193 yards with a touchdown and LeSean McCoy had a career-high 114 receiving yards. San Diego’s 539 total yards is the most for the Chargers since 1985 and Royal became the first to have two receiving TDs in back-to-back games for the Bolts since Wes Chandler in 1982.

If history is any indication, then the Chargers should go on to win Super Bowl XLVIII. Philadelphia’s first home game for the previous four seasons all went on to win the Super Bowl. It started in 2009, when the Eagles hosted the New Orleans Saints, then the Green Bay Packers, then the New York Giants and last year the Baltimore Ravens. All went on to win the Super Bowl each year. Will this weird streak continue? Vegas doesn’t seem to think so with the Chargers a 40-to-1 odds of winning the Big Game (SF has the league’s best odds at 6-to-1). You can view my complete gallery of pregame shots from this game by clicking here

I set up both GoPro cameras and of course the fancy, new Hero 3 sucked because the battery is a joke not evening lasting until kickoff (just one hour and 42 minutes). The Hero 2 was once again a rock star lasting five hours and 32 minutes. I found that the Battery BacPac for the Hero 3 was blinking red, which might be the reason why it sucked so much.

This is my fourth different time lapse of Lincoln Financial Field. Click the links below my other views of HIGH END ZONE, BEAUTY SHOT and HIGH SIDELINE. For this time lapse, I set up my GoPro Hero 2 back where I did my first time lapse here in the corner by the CBS "beauty shot." Click here to see my Lincoln Financial Field photo galleries.

This is last surviving major building from the 1876 Centennial Exposition, which was officially the first World’s Fair, and celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Luckily, I got here at the perfect moment with perfect lighting to get photos. In 2008, Memorial Hall was transformed inside to become the Please Touch Museum, which is targeted for kids seven years and younger.

In Fairmont Park less than two hundred yards from Memorial Hall are two huge arch/pillar structures on each side of the road. Built on the grounds of the 1876 Centennial Exposition. The Smith Memorial Arch is adorned with 13 individual portrait sculptures, two eagles standing on globes and reliefs of eight allegorical figures. It was started in 1897 and finally finished in 1912.

I had no clue this was here in Philly and will come back to shoot it when it isn’t that dark. Sadly, this monument isn’t lit up at night. It would be an awesome shot if this was in a busy intersection to get the car trails and the double arches/pillars.

Marking the entrance of Philadelphia’s Chinatown district, the Friendship Gate was the first built in the United States by Chinese artisans. The gate weighs 88 tons and stands 40-feet high. The four Chinese characters translate to “Philadelphia Chinatown.”

Built in 1829 and closed as a jail in 1971, the Eastern State Penitentiary is considered the world’s first true penitentiary. Al Capone was once jailed here. It was also used as a setting in the 1995 film Twelve Monkeys. It wasn’t open when I drove by and will try to take a tour next time I’m in Philly.

UP NEXT: Houston at Baltimore
Once again, I’m doing the Texans-Ravens game. It marks the fifth time overall and the fourth in the last three seasons. To say I’m excited to do this game or go to Baltimore once game is just a lie. In my CBS travels the teams with the most games covered are these two, so I’m pretty sick of Baltimore-Houston as a game and the respective cities. This time, I’m going to focus on some Inner Harbor for day and night shots.

On the way home, I got some good aerial photos of downtown San Jose. Here's one of them. The window was very dirty, so hopefully I can get some better ones in the coming weeks. 

Here’s my favorite photos from this weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment