Monday, October 7, 2013

The First Pictures . . .

     B and I went on a long weekend, and I thought I'd use our getaway as an opportunity to try out the camera on my new smartphone. I took about a hundred photos. To be honest, many were close-ups of the street or the grass. I got a few good pictures of my foot. But along the way I did see this sign in front of a bar in Pennsylvania, and so I had to stop and take a snapshot. How can you not like a saloon keeper with this dry sense of humor?

Better than the other way around?

     Anyway, we went to Philadelphia for the Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival, held every year in October. (This the first time we've gone.) Now, some of you might think that the cheesesteak capital of the world is an old rundown industrial city that has seen better days, and that it is no place to take a minivacation.

The restaurant was empty Sunday morning, but packed on Saturday night when we ate there

     In fact, Philly probably has seen better days, but it is still the fifth or sixth largest city in the country, depending on how you're counting -- bigger than Washington, D.C., Miami, Atlanta, and San Francisco. And there are still many good things about the city -- the music, the art museums, the historic sites, several top colleges and many other schools of various forms and functions. And there are some nice neighborhoods, too.

The band kept everyone hopping
     Chestnut Hill is considered by many to be the nicest neighborhood in this city of neighborhoods. But actually, Money Magazine recently selected its next-door neighbor Mount Airy as one of the top urban neighborhoods in the country -- while Rittenhouse Square is a place where you can buy a $1 million condominium, the nearby Fitler neighborhood is an up-and-coming area, and Manayunk, a little farther up the Schuylkill River, is where the 20-something hipsters live.

The garden store was decked out for fall
     But I don't pretend to be any sort of expert on Philadelphia. I was just there with B to enjoy the arts fair, which featured around 150 tents and kiosks where artists, craftsmen and others plied their wares.

Something for the kids

     We arrived in Chestnut Hill on Saturday evening, and it was plenty warm enough to dine al fresco and watch the crowds walk by. But the real crowds arrived Sunday morning, and stayed all day.

Yes, it was crowded.

     There was music, and rides for the kids and all kinds of food. The weather was perfect -- partly cloudy and warm enough to walk around without a jacket. And best of all, we stayed another night so we didn't have to fight traffic getting home on Sunday evening.

Mistake? No way ... this is art!

     We had a lot of fun . . . but to be perfectly honest, I have a lot more learning and a lot more practice to do before I can rightly say that I know how to use the camera on my new smartphone.


DJan said...

If it has an "HDR" setting (high dynamic range), try it. My iPhone has one and I use it all the time, when I am not using my Camera+ app. Yesterday I took pictures with both my camera and my phone and the phone pictures were far better.

Douglas said...

One thing has always bothered me... How does one pronounce "Schuylkill?"

Stephen Hayes said...

I have yet to visit Philadelphia. I'd like to do so someday and your pictures are providing me with incentive to visit.

Olga said...

I visited Philadelphia as a kid and don't remember it. As an adult, we once made a wrong turn and ended up in a part of the city that really looked nothing like any of your pictures. Although I would have liked to spend some time exploring, the driver had other plans--get out of there as quickly as possible. Oh, well.

Tom Sightings said...

Douglas, forget pronouncing it; I'm impressed that you know how to spell it! (It took me three tries.) And Olga, we too drove through a pretty bad neighborhood while in Philly -- they sure do exist -- but unfortunately you find those sorry places in Washington, Miami, Atlanta, San Francisco or any other urban area as well.

Douglas said...

First, let me suggest you try Google (with auto-fill on)but you have know the first 5 letters. And then let me tell you about "copy and paste." :)

Anonymous said...

Oh what fun. I spent most of today getting my iPhone registered, etc. Dianne

Dick Klade said...

Nice depth in the bar sign shot, Tom. So you appear to have already mastered that field of phone photography. Seriously, good info on Philly.

b+ (Retire in Style Blog) said...

I swear my iPhone takes better photos than my Sony. I think your photos are proof that our phones are going to take over the world someday!

Thank you.