Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Photo Blogging : The Schuylkill River Trail

Don't look now and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think spring is here. Okay what the heck, go on, look. Too late, it's back to freezing again. Look again tomorrow. It's expected to be nice and sunny and warm. But don't look on sunday because it's supposed to be cold and rainy. Monday is expected to be like saturday, tuesday like monday and fuck wednesday because no one cares about wednesday. So coming back to spring, I expect cycling activities to commence this weekend. Luckily, Philly, if not the biking capital of the US, is at least the biking capital of Philly with a number of decent biking trails within stone-throwing distance, although if you are going to throw a stone, make sure you aim for the speed-cyclists and not the leisure bikers. The biking trail that I patronize the most out of sheer laziness due to its close proximity to me is the Schuylkill River Trail from Valley Forge to the Philadelphia Art Museum along the banks of the Schuylkill River, a distance of about 25 miles.
The trail begins in Valley Forge Historic Park where George Washington amassed his troops during the revolutionary war while preparing to attack Philadelphia, which had been captured by the British and whose residents were now being forced to spell color with a "u".
On its way to Philly, the trail passes through Manayunk, a semi-pretentious neighbourhood which apparently is the place to be in if you're a young puppy, or, as it's known nowadays, a yuppy.
People travel to Manayunk to bike on a very small section of the trail along the Manayunk canal which makes perfect sense because that section of the trail is generously endowed with crumbling factory buildings like this one which makes for a very scenic ride.
But to be fair, the trail also has sections like this one where the buildings get momentarily obscured by foliage.
Finally, the trail breaks out onto Kelly Drive, where the beautiful people of the city hang out to showcase their beauty and also to stay beautiful by engaging in various activities of physical exertion such as roller blading, biking and canoing. The following is the spot on the trail where the highly anticipated Philadelphia skyline makes its first appearance.
Further along the way, you pass this sculpture of a man shielding his eyes from the sun while humping an eagle, a testament to willpower and physical exertion.
Finally, the trail ends at the Philadelphia Art Museum which is a great place to spend a day in. One of the best exhibits in the museum is an entire authentic South Indian temple which was moved here and reconstructed one naked sculptured breast at a time.
Of course, you don't have to stop biking once you are at the Museum of Art. You could continue on into downtown Philly along this avenue lined with the flags of all countries except India, which the New Jerseyites keep stealing come every Independence Day to hang outside their own homes.
On the way, you pass City Hall with the statue of William Penn on top, who is famous for having his statue on top of City Hall.
Just behind this marvellous No Stopping sign which I really did mean to include in the picture, you can see a flock of people who've just exited a theater on Broad Street after watching a play.
This is the Kimmel Center, cultural center of the city. I am not sure what happens in there but some day I mean to find out. Maybe this guy knows, in fact, I am pretty sure that he does, so why don't you just ask him instead.
As for me, my ultimate destination is almost always South Philly, Heavenly Abode of the Cheesesteak Deity.
I hope this travelogue will inspire some of you to travel to Philadelphia for taking its sights and sounds in and Mayor John Street out with you when you leave. If so, may the spirit of the Lizard riding a Chicken aid and abet you in your endeavours.
Related post : The Delaware Canal Biking Trail.


Anonymous said...

happy weekend, gawker. another hilarious post....i am off to grab my cycle and head home.

gawker said...

anjali : Thank you, you too and always remember, a happy bicycle is a well-inflated bicycle.