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June 17, 2022 / bikesbytesbites

Philadelphia Flower Show

I had an invitation to a weekend wedding in the suburbs of New York City. The plan was to take a train to get to NYC, and then get a ride to the wedding with a friend who lives in Brooklyn. Looking at my calendar, I realized that the Philadelphia Flower Show would be open a few days before the wedding. I figured, “Hmm. Why not stop in Philadelphia? See the flower show with some friends, spend the night, then continue my trip the next day.” Once I found a “reasonably priced” hotel (the Alexander Inn – of course, its prices were raised for the week of the flower show) and bought my Amtrak ticket (sigh — paying the procrastinator’s price — always book ASAP on Amtrak’s Northeast corridor), the plan became a reality.

The Flower Show

This is the second year the show has been held outdoors (in FDR Park) and the second year I’ve gone with Phil and Cliff. They are much more knowledgeable than I about flowers, gardens, and plants in general, so it is very enjoyable to experience the show with them. I have to admit that my favorite gardens or exhibits were those that combined the floral/horticultural with some human artifact or design element, such as:

  • The opening exhibit, where an existing column is decorated with orchids
  • The woven (!!) trunk of this bush (how many years did this take?)
  • An arch of flowers (one of many)
  • Color-rich combinations of flowers and human elements (the orange pill bottles exactly match the flowers)
  • More color coding – unfortunately I didn’t get a good photo of the yellow frame surrounding these yellow blossoms. There were also pink and blue sections. (Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if I remembered the names of the flowers? But all the plants were identified with their genus and species names anyway, so I needed a translation.)

And one other category that caught my eye – the carnivorous plants, especially the pitcher plants.

Exploring Philadelphia

As usual, I enjoyed seeing murals all around town. There are over 4000 of them (!) sponsored by a special program. According to Cliff, the murals use special paints which last longer and are actually painted on large boards that are glued to the sides of buildings. Unfortunately, it’s hard (impossible) to save a mural if the building is being demolished, as has happened recently.

The first of these murals was on 10th St in S Philadelphia, snapped on my bike ride from Center City to the flower show. The rest were in Fishtown, my first time in this neighborhood, and a great discovery. (To increase appreciation of Fishtown watching the TV series Dispatches from Elsewhere was highly recommended.) We went to Fishtown to have dinner at Suraya, stopping for coffee at the “flagship” La Colombe coffee shop on the way. Both worth the trip.

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