The Oval in Philadelphia

Now that we’ve finally got a bit of reprieve from the 1000% humidity here in Philadelphia (it’s only supposed to be 74° today!), I think it’s about time to let you know about what’s happening right down my street. Sitting right in front of the famous Art Museum, there’s a parking lot/fountain/traffic circle area that comes together to form Eakins Oval. And until August 18th, it’s been transformed into a “park on the parkway,” thanks to Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.

The Oval Philadelphia

Perfect little place to chill out after a long day of BLAH.

Complete with sandboxes, giant game sets, music, and food trucks…this place is an excellent summer spot to relax. And the awesome part is that it’s right near a bunch of places in Philadelphia you’re likely to be if visiting. Art Museum? Well, you couldn’t get much closer. Franklin Institute? Yeah, you’re pretty much right there. If you’re in Old City checking out the historic part, just enjoy the weather and take a quick walk up the parkway. Bam, you’re there.

The Oval Twister

Twister boards included! My coworker actually helped paint all of this!

I’ve only been down there once, but each day there are different themes. And a lot of them try to get the whole family involved! (These are as per the website, so don’t get mad at me if they’re incorrect!)

Tuesdays: Wellness

Wednesdays: Arts & Culture

Thursdays: Environment

Fridays: Food & Flicks (yes! they have outdoor movies!)

Saturdays: Live Music

Sundays: Family Fun Day

The Oval Lights

It closes around 9, but still time to enjoy the pretty lighting!

I had such a great time with some friends enjoying this pop-up beach. We grabbed a bite to eat and just enjoyed the atmosphere. Granted, when we did it, it felt like 106 degrees. So we can pretty much promise it will be great. The food trucks rotate and you’ll likely never go wrong. But just in case, I’ll give you some insight as to the ones I visited. You can always find them in their natural habitats too. My stomach HIGHLY recommends them.

Vernalicious Philadelphia

So nice to their customers and the food didn’t disappoint in the least. Lamb Greek sandwich, yes please! Twitter and Facebook.

Lil Pop Shop

Popsicles are a PERFECT summer treat. I had the Coconut and Hibiscus and swooned. Twitter and Facebook.

So grab some friends, yourself, your coworkers, your family…anybody! And head up to this nifty little space for a great showing of Philadelphia. And let me know, because I’ll just come down with you. 😉

The Oval Beach

I can be your lifeguard on duty! Experience: sitting in this chair.

Have you been to a pop-up park anywhere? I’ll admit, this is my first one! But I like what I see.


Bastille Day in Philadelphia

You know you did the right thing when all weekend you think to yourself, “Why did I ever stop posting on the weekends?” While I did still enjoy my weekend away, that doesn’t mean I didn’t tote my camera around with me! And this Saturday happened to be Bastille Day!

What in the world is Bastille Day?

Technically, it was on Sunday. But on Saturday, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia housed a celebration. Bastille Day is celebrated in France and is apparently known as La FĂȘte Nationale (The National Celebration), or the 14th of July! It’s all about celebrating the uprising against a not-so-much liked monarchy and happens to coincide with the dates of the Storming of the Bastille. Which, my friends, is not a pastry, but a fortress. Doesn’t mean that pastries weren’t involved.

Why is it in Philadelphia?

That’s a good question, but it’s probably because Philadelphians love an excuse to celebrate. According to Wikipedia (shh, don’t tell my professors), many places around the U.S.A. also celebrate! Plus, we’ve got a pretty cool place to do it.

Philadelphia Bastille Day

Eastern State Penitentiary!

Rain did not hold these celebrators away. The Bearded Ladies, a troop based out of a local theater, entertained the crowd with renditions of Bring Him Home from Les MisĂ©rables and Lady Marmelade. They also included a revolutionary song which sounded eerily similar to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. It got the crowd riled up for sure.

French Flag

French flag hung outside being very still in the lack of breeze.

I didn’t have an excellent vantage point, but things really got interesting when Marie Antoinette popped up and (after a few exchanges with the revolutionaries) hollered, “Let them eat Tastykake!” Hundreds of them went flying over the wall and I instantly wanted to catch one. I wasn’t successful, but the want was there.

Bastille Day

Tastykake specks flying through the air. You can see a Marie look-a-like’s pink hair!

Educational sidenote for those who don’t know what a Tastykake is: I’ll copy the description of a Krimpet from their website, because we all know (assume?) that’s what they mean anyway. “Signature moist and fluffy sponge cake is accented with legendary Tastykake butterscotch icing, or infused with a variety of delicious jellies. With a distinctive and unique shape that fits right into your fingertips, each Krimpet is a perfect handheld treat. Tasytykake Krimpets have been considered icons of the brand since their introduction in 1927.”

Yeah, hello signature Philadelphia.

A ton of local restaurants and bars had French specials for the event. I also heard talk of an Antoinette Brunch and a French Trivia Night. Unfortunately, I had work and didn’t have an abundance of time to celebrate. But it was a cool deal nonetheless!

Photography Lessons of the Day

  1. Get a good vantage point or you will get mad at all of the tall people in front of you. DON’T THEY KNOW you need to blog this?
  2. Don’t be camera shy! I went with Paul and a bunch of his business-y friends. I was very shy about pulling out my camera, which is why I don’t have more pictures. That should NOT have happened!

Have you ever celebrated (or heard of!) Bastille Day, in France or otherwise?