I’m not sure why the topic of statues came into my mind in connection with the very cold weather we were expecting for today. But it did, and so that’s how I chose the location for the sunshine to be placed today.
Let me back up a little. I’ve always attributed human feelings to outdoor statues, especially those of people or animals. When I’ve seen a statue or monument bravely enduring rain, snow, wind – well, I feel admiration for its fortitude as well as wanting to give it a sweater or a raincoat. Or, at the very least, an encouraging word.
I know this is silly. But it’s the way I feel and always have. So, when I heard that today was going to be quite windy and harsh and that snow will be coming tomorrow, I had the idea to leave a sunshine at some statue somewhere to lend a little encouragement.
I live in the right city to find statues. There seems to be one on every block in Philadelphia. I have one favorite in particular that seemed right for today. So my husband and I drove to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, parked the car, and started walking in very cold (20 degrees) and very blustery winds. I wore two pairs of pants, two shirts, a fleece, a thick wool sweater, my special socks. Not to mention coat, hats, scarf, gloves. Good thing, because we walked about 3 miles on our trip.
First of all we put the sunshine in place. The statue I chose is on the grounds of the museum next to Kelly Drive. When we drive into the city we pass by it and I always look for it. I set the sunshine on the base. It’s not a highly-frequented spot but someone will see the sunshine sooner or later. And of course the statue knows about it, right?
We then set off on our walk, with the theme of looking at the statues we encountered on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This boulevard is a main route with many art institutions along it. The statues tend to be traditional in style and commemorating men who had some connection with the American Revolution. Even the allegorical monuments generally follow along this theme. There is one, though, that is a little different. The “Rocky” statue stands near the charioteer statue. It’s a never-fail tourist attraction. At pretty much any hour you can see someone standing in front of it with arms raised, posing for a picture. If you are familiar with the movie, then you know the steps of the museum were on Rocky’s training regimen.
I took pictures of quite a few statues. There were also a couple of wild cards from a church, a fountain, and a park, the last not really being a statue but an installation honoring Philadelphia and its sister cities.
We also passed two fountains, both dry at this time of year, the Swann Fountain and the fountain at Eakins Oval. Both are real beauty spots in warm weather but right now they emphasize how deep into winter we are.
On the way back we walked around the side of the Art Museum. The wind was just brutal, but the view was wonderful. These sights were unexpected – we were just working our way back to the car. These shots depict rail lines, highways, and buildings to the west of the city.
I am grateful to the sunshine for “suggesting” this outing. I am sure that I would not have ventured out in this weather, nor would I have taken the time to walk along examining statues. It’s made me curious about other monuments around the area – I’m going to do some research and see what else I can take a look at.
Want to find out more about the Sunshine Project? Look here or search the category “Sunshine Project”.