Twice last season we visited the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. And twice I made the walk from our hotel at Penn’s Landing down a few blocks to the Liberty Bell with the intention of seeing the iconic piece of American history. And twice I was deterred by an incredibly long line.
But with a bit more time at our disposal on Saturday morning, Digital Content Assistant Jeff Wroblewski (JWro to listeners of the Far Post Podcast) and I made a promise to ourselves that we’d finally see the Liberty Bell this time around. After all, this was our only scheduled visit to Philly this year.
So we strolled over toward Independence Mall around 11 a.m., fully prepared to stand in line for however long it took to see the Liberty Bell. But we caught a bit of a break because of the weather (it was bitingly cold and it snowed/rained/sleeted off and on through most of the day) so we only ended up waiting in line for 10 minutes or so.
It was a bit of an odd experience actually approaching the bell itself. There’s a long corridor filled with historical artifacts and informational posters, and at the end sits the Liberty Bell. You simply walk right up and wait for an opening so you can take your picture next to it unobstructed. Of course, both JWro and I made sure our Revs jackets were proudly displayed in our pictures.
Upon exiting the glass pavilion where the bell is housed, we wandered around Independence Mall for a brief time, stopping to take some pictures of Independence Hall (where both the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were drafted and signed). On another trip I’d love to take a tour. I’ve never been a huge history buff, but I find visiting historical landmarks fascinating.
Down half a block from Independence Hall was this statue of “The Signer.” But he kind of looks like he’s holding a microphone and singing, right? Just rocking out. So my initial thought was, “Oh no, they spelled ‘The Singer’ wrong!” Sometimes it takes me a while.
As lunchtime approached, I suggested we indulge in Philadelphia’s most coveted food spot. You’re probably thinking cheesesteak, but you’re wrong. I’m talking about Wawa.
Many a Pennsylvanian has raved about Wawa, which is essentially a convenience store chain. But the subs (which you order fully customized through a touch screen) are delicious and the coffee is award-winning (although I wouldn’t know since I don’t drink coffee). For those of you who’ve been, I was the idiot who didn’t realize you had to pay for the sub in advance and get your receipt stamped before they’ll actually give you the sub. Nothing like making it obvious you’re a tourist.
So that was our Saturday morning. The Liberty Bell and Wawa. Doesn’t get much more Philadelphia than that.
We will be hosting our first ever Google+ Hangout this Tuesday, March 19 at 2 p.m. ET. Jeff Lemieux will be your host, with Kevin Alston and Darrius Barnes joining in and taking your questions.
You can submit your questions two ways:
2) Leave a comment on the hangout video our Google+ page once the hangout goes live.
So, get your questions ready and hang out with us!
Andrew Farrell's first trek around Boston was a great one. Thanks to everyone who greeted Andrew and Slyde along the way! Check out some photos from their travels below.
Want to support the Revs on the road and aren’t quite sure where to start? Do you drive? Do you try to organize with other like-minded Revs fans? Do you think about it and then just don’t spring to action and end up watching from your couch or an official Revs Pub Partner?
Well, this year, don’t be that supporter … change that and GET ON THE BUS!
Sign up for the bus that’s headed to Harrison for the match against the Red Bulls and join the screaming, chanting, singing Revs contingent supporting the boys in blue.
Pick-up locations will be staged at The Banshee (Dorchester, Mass.), Gillette Stadium and the Wallingford, Conn., Park and Ride.
Two packages are available: bus and game tickets ($20 for supporters group members or $35 for non-members) or just game tickets ($20).
No disrespect to Chris Rolfe or Austin Berry - but Jerry Bengtson's goal against the Fire on Saturday was no fluke.
In these videos, Jeff Lemieux sits down with Kelyn Rowe in "Boot Room Breakdown" to get the player perspective on the goal, and MLSSoccer.com Editor-in-Chief Greg Lalas breaks down the play from start to finish in this week's "Anatomy of a goal."
The 2013 season could not have gotten off to a better start for the New England Revolution as the club spent this past weekend in Chicago.
Most important was the result, of course, as Kelyn Rowe came off the bench early in the second half to inspire the Revolution’s 1-0 win over the Fire. It was the first time the Revs won a season opener since 2009 – when they did it in San Jose – and it was their first regular-season victory in Chicago since July 2006. Any time you take three points home, it’s a good trip.
But I, along with a few other Revolution staffers, had the added bonus of experiencing a bit of the Windy City on a chilly Saturday morning as the players rested ahead of the evening kickoff.
From our hotel on Michigan Ave (in the Loop) we journeyed toward Millenium Park, passing the Art Institute of Chicago along the way. Perhaps on another trip I’ll have time to wander inside and explore the exhibits, but on this occasion we had other destinations in mind.
Our first stop was at the Crown Fountain, which features a pair of five-story glass brick towers using LEDs to display digital videos, primarily of Chicagoans faces. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, considering the chilly temperatures) the actual fountains are only operational from May to October, so there was no water spouting out the front of each tower. Still, it’s a fascinating interactive piece of artwork and attracted onlookers even in the snow.
Next we made our way down another block or two to one of Chicago’s most recognizable landmarks, Cloud Gate, more affectionately known as “The Bean.” It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what’s so special about The Bean, but the sheer size (33 x 66 x 42 feet and more than 100 tons) certainly has something to do with its magnetic appeal. The effect created by walking underneath the archway and looking up at the warped reflection is remarkable.
Because the most common activity at The Bean is to have your picture taken in the reflection, I naturally did just that with the Flag of New England displayed on my jacket; my own little way of representing the Revolution in Chicago.
As we continued our stroll, we passed by Buckingham Fountain (also noticeably lacking water), the centerpiece of Grant Park. Music fans will note that Grant Park has been the home of Lollapalooza since 2005 and having walked through the massive lawns, it’s easy to imagine why it’s such a popular festival.
Having worked up a bit of a hunger – and a bit of a chill after standing on the banks of Lake Michigan – we decided it was time for lunch. And we were in Chicago. So there was really only one option.
We headed toward Lou Malnati’s, which many a Chicagoan has recommended for Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Admittedly, it was my first time having authentic Chicago-style deep dish and it didn’t disappoint. I went with “The Lou,” which included spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and three types of cheese. Sounds healthy, right? As healthy as deep dish gets, I suppose.
After lunch we headed back to the hotel satisfied with our first Road Trippin’ adventure. Was it touristy? Yes. But I am a tourist. I’m just looking for the experience. And I’m already looking forward to Philly …
During the Revolution’s preseason trip to Tucson, Ariz., staff and players had the luxury of an off day approximately halfway through our two-week stay. Many in our travel party (smartly) used the day to sleep in, relax by the pool and generally recharge for the week ahead.
But I, along with four other Revolution staffers, decided to experience a bit of the local landscape by hiking through Sabino Canyon. We’d talked about a hike the year before, but never had the time. Now was our chance. We took a short guided tour through the canyon to the base of the mountains before hiking our way back, keeping our eyes peeled for rattlesnakes and mountain lions along the way.
Luckily we avoided interaction with any such wildlife, but what we did encounter were some of the most stunning views I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand. With the backdrop of a clear blue Arizona sky, we hiked through a canyon punctuated by rolling mountains, cacti and … well, lots of cacti.
As our hike finished, I was overjoyed that I’d taken the opportunity to experience something I could’ve only experienced in Arizona. I definitely had one of those “what a beautiful country we live in” moments and decided immediately that I wanted to experience as much of it as possible.
As it happens, my job provides plenty of opportunity for travel. We’re on the road approximately 20-25 times a season, visiting spots all across North America from Texas to California, from the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest, from Colorado to Canada.
Convenient, I thought. I’m typically afforded a bit of free time in the mornings and early afternoons on game days, so I set a rule for myself that I would experience something unique to each city we traveled to this season. Then, as I do with most thoughts which pop into my head, I posted it to Facebook. Because that’s what people do.
In the comments section, a Revolution supporter (thanks, Eric!) made a fascinating suggestion. Why don’t I document all of my experiences and post them to the blog? It would interest him, he said, and perhaps a few others, as well.
After a quick discussion with my boss (Far Post Podcast social media master, Jason Dalrymple), the “Road Trippin’” blog series was born. On each road trip this season I’ll use my free time to experience something unique to that destination, and follow up with a quick blog post (with pictures and perhaps video) to keep fans up to date. Perhaps my experiences will even prompt you to travel to an MLS city to catch a game and experience the sites.
I’m assuming many of you have already traveled to some of the cities we’ll be visiting this year, so I could actually use your help. Any suggestions as to what I should do in any specific cities? Anything I can’t miss or you’d like to see? Let me know …
The New England Revolution held its annual Media Day on March 5, 2013. Here are some of the sights courtesy of team photographer David Silverman.