|Beckoning us to come to the Museum|
|Depicting Irish immigrants coming to the United States|
At the hotel's advice, we took the Phlash bus, which is basically like a "hop on, hop off" bus, but without the commentary for $5 each. So that's what we did.
It goes in a long circular route, many of the stops that are parallel to each other, so if you missed a stop, you don't have to loop around the entire circuit.
|This City Hall is the grandest one we've seen to date|
We also saw City Hall, the world's tallest masonry structure and the country's largest municipal building in Second Empire style. It was designed by Scottish-born architect John McArthur Jr and built from 1871-1901 for $24 million. The original aim was to be the world's tallest building, but by the time it was completed, City Hall was surpassed by the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower.
Nevertheless, it's still an impressive and grand building... makes you wonder how many municipal staff are needed to run the place...
|On the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art|
And then all you do is wander inside and become immersed in all the items it has on display. There's lots of American antiques from furniture to silverware, paintings and photographs, then wander off and step into a dimly lit room where there's a fantastic collection of Chinese artifacts, large wardrobes covered with fiery dragons, and even an imperial dog cage decorated with jade bracelets.
|Inside one of the rooms that looks like a temple|
We only managed to finish part of this museum and missed out on checking out the nearby Ruth and Raymond Perelman Building with more exhibitions as well as the Rodin Museum. Next time I guess.
While waiting for the others, I browsed through a big thick blue soft-cover book called Let's Make Some Great Art by Marion Deuchars. The author encourages children of all ages to create art and she breaks it down so it's not so hard or intimidating, from how to draw a person's face to how to create a Cubist work (draw a portrait, cut it up into pieces and then rearrange them -- why didn't I think of that!).
|An octopus dish with a fresh playful presentation|
Finally we had a memorable meal at Pumpkin Restaurant and Market. My brother and sister-in-law found it online after reading through reviews. We went there on a Sunday evening and it turns out it was a prix fix menu for $40. While this threw us off, we looked at the five-course menu and were thoroughly impressed by the presentation of the dishes, freshness of the ingredients and how they all combined to create a cornucopia of flavours.
|Goat cheese cheesecake with blueberries and lemon curd|