Sunday, December 31, 2006

Holiday Fun in Philadelphia: The Masons and The Mutter Museum

Before getting back to Atlanta for the New Year, we spent a few days in Phily for a work-related event. While my sweetie was working on bringing home the bacon, I had a fun play day out in the city of brotherly lurve.

First on my list of things to do was get a much needed haircut. A search on Google found me Harry's Barber Shop. It was nearby, sounded like a solid place to get my hair's trimmed, and unlike "Cut" which had me thinking a salon with fewer words = higher price. So, off I walked in search of my barber. 1324 Locust St. should have been easy to find, but all I saw was The Arts Condominium, a swank new condo complex being made in a sweet art deco building. There were tenants, but the foyer was still getting carpeted. I almost left when I looked down at a sidewalk level window.

I got buzzed in and walked down into the basement level warren of hallways and doors below the foyer. Harry's was a complete time warp, and one that hadn't aged well. In a perfect world Harry's would have had all the vintage accouterments in perfect order. Here though, the couch was ripped up, the tile walls were cracking and the Formica counters were showing their age. But the barber chair's were vintage and so were the barbers. The younger may have been in his 50's and Harry looked like he was in his 70's. He was nice, social, and a little hard of hearing. His dad started cutting hair across the street in 1922 and Harry had been in his location since 1974, when the building was the Hotel Sylvania. I got just the cut I thought I would get, a straight razor cleanup and even my eybrows trimmed.

Next on my list, the Mason's! How could I not, with our hotel right next to The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania. I was hoping they allowed photography and they did. The tour was great, the building beautiful, and the pictures turned out nicely.

* Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania - a photoset on Flickr

After that it was a trip the Mutter Museum. The items on display include:

* The plaster cast of the torso of world-famous Siamese Twins, Chang & Eng, and their conjoined livers
* Joseph Hyrtl's collection of skulls
* Preserved body of the "Soap Lady"
* Collection of 2,000 objects extracted from people's throats
* Cancerous growth removed from President Grover Cleveland
* Tallest skeleton on display in North America

Unfortunately, no pictures allowed. The place is both intriguing and nauseating, and makes one just happy to live in time of advanced medicine.

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Other pictures taken while on the road.

1 comment:

Amber said...

OMG. I am so freaking jealous that you went to the Mutter Museum.