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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Frank Furness & friends

While the first day of my Philadelphia trip didn't go exactly as planned, my second day in town was pretty close to perfect.  I had touched base with some old friends and former colleagues over the weekend to see if they might be interested in getting together and catching up, so we made plans to meet for lunch on Tuesday.  Sammy and I had some time to kill before our lunch date, so I took him to one my favorite places in the entire city: The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  Not only is the fine art collection outstanding, but the building that houses it is truly phenomenal.  Designed by Frank Furness (1839-1912), the renowned Philadelphia architect who worked in what is today identified as the Modern or Reform Gothic style, the Academy is the type of building that takes your breath away--a polychrome jewel box that is rightfully considered by many architectural historians to be Furness' masterpiece.  (I'm a bit of a Furness fanatic and was this close to writing my thesis on his contributions to the decorative arts; seriously, my photos do not even begin to do this place justice.)

We spent about an hour and a half at the Academy, just walking around and drinking in all of the beauty.  Then Sammy and I headed over to the Masonic Temple to meet up with my friend and former co-worker, Glenys.  It's almost hard to believe that it's been ten years since I was hired as the curator of the museum collection at the Temple.  Boy, do I have some tales about working there--but that'll have to wait until next week's vlog.

We hung out in the museum for a little bit and then the three of us were off to meet up with Ken, my former boss from the Temple, at a restaurant nearby.  It's been seven years since I last worked with Ken and Glenys, but it was though not a single day had passed as we sat and talked for several hours; Sammy was on his best behavior throughout the afternoon and charmed the pants off of everyone.

I also managed to touch base with my old friend, Mandy, while I was in town; we met working at an artsy-fartsy movie theater ten years ago and have remained in touch over the years.  We did the math as we caught up and were both surprised to learn that it's been four years since we last saw each other face to face.  The three of us had dinner at Honeys Sit 'n Eat in the Northern Liberties; Sammy was especially fond of the homemade peach sauce and kept trying to steal fries off of my plate.  I only hope that it's not another four years before I get to hang out with Mandy again.


Maeve's Momma said...

Beautiful pictures! I don't know much about architecture, but those were stunning!

annoyed army wife said...

Those photos are awesome, and I'm so happy you had a good time despite being so disappointed.

Sara said...

I love Philadelphia! Your pictures are wonderful! I especially love the first, - classic shot!

Weezah said...

Awesome pix!! It's been a few years since I'e been to Philly...I wanna go back!

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