Archive for the ‘7 Gifts’ Category

Philly’s 1st (last?) Gift to the World: Philly Attitude

I could go on at length about what is arguably Philly’s most recognized-characteristic in the big wide world out there: that take-no-prisoners mix of bravado and trash-talking (sometimes with just the tiniest hint of inferiority complex). It’s out first, last, and every gift to the world: A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E

But one legend captures pretty much everything I might say on the subject:

The day we booed Santa Claus.

Philly’s 2nd Gift to the World:Philly Sports

OK it’s not even the climax of this series but this is a sports town damn it so as the penultimate addition to this series I give you the gift we’ve all been waiting for (OK not all of us because some of us are cultured and enjoy other things but still…) Philly Sports.

To start it all off we have to go back to 1883 when the Philadelphia Phillies were formed and while it took 97 years the Phillies went to the promised land and brought us their first World Championship in 1980. We haven’t been able to attain that ultimate goal again but someday we will return. The city has been fortunate enough to have such greats as Richie Ashburn, Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt don the P and now we have a nice old fashioned, modernized baseball stadium.

Next up we have the Philadelphia 76ers which formed in 1937 as part of the old National basketball League. Once in the NBA we captured three titles in 1955-56, 1966-67 and 1982-83. The 76ers are the team with the most World Championships out of our four major sports. We have been lucky enough to have greats such as Wilt Chamberlain, Dr. J, Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson play on our hardcourt.

Philly’s 3rd Gift to the World: Cultural Institutions, City Traditions

Another night, another gift from Philadelphia to the rest of the blogosphere. Tonight is an abbreviated celebration* of some of the city’s cultural heritage and, well, culture.

You might have heard recently that Philadelphia has the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year, my org gots its own tacky production number, which was a proud proud moment for this kitsch-loving culture hound. My favorite bears—one and two—also came by for a visit. (“Thank you, Bear!”)

Between Ormandy and Muti, the Orchestra has a long and storied history. (And a somewhat embattled present, but I’ll post more about that in a couple of days.) Their new home in the Kimmel Center has had some mixed reviews along the way, but I gotta say that the Perelman Theater has become one of my favorite concert rooms in the city.

Philly’s 4th Gift to the World: Philadelphia Sounds

Tonight’s gift from the 215 to the outside world is our unique legacy of music and musical events.*

First off in our whirlwind tour is a hat tip to the famous Philly Soul or Philadelphia Sound. Some sources talk about the style as so producer-driven as to obscure the artists who helped make this distictively smooth soulful music, but I don’t think Philadelphia will ever neglect to remember the O’Jays, Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, and certainly not our (and Soul Train’s) special theme song, “TSOP.” Hey, folks, it’s not a coincidence that the Rhythm and Blues Foundation is based down on south Broad Street.

Philly’s Sixth Gift to the World: The Philadelphia Film Office

In the spirit of holiday giving, cities all across the Metroblogging network are posting the gifts that their cities have given the world. The first gift we posted was modern Democracy.

Some great movies have come out of Philadelphia. The granddaddy of Philadelphia based films is Sylvester Stalone’s Rocky. Soon the newest installment in the Rocky franchise, Rocky Balboa, will be hitting theaters.

M. Night Shyamalan, director of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and the Village (to name a few), grew up outside of Philadelphia and films the bulk of his movies in and around our city. Additional, we also played home to Trading Places, Mannequin, 12 Monkeys and Tom Hanks’ star turn in the movie, Philadelphia.

Philly’s Seventh Gift to the World: Symbols of Democracy

This week, all across the Metroblogging network, cities are offering up the gifts that their city has given the world. We in Philly have been hard at work trying to narrow down the gifts that the City of Brotherly Love has bestowed upon our fair planet.

Today we offer you democracy in the form of the US Constitution as well as the beloved symbol of freedom, The Liberty Bell.

In the late 1700’s, Philadelphia was home to the new American movers and shakers who were working to create a new country, free from the tyrannical rule of England. On September 17th, 1787 the United States Constitution was adopted in it’s original form by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. It took effect on March 4th, 1789, when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document. It replaced the weaker Articles of Confederation. When the Constitution was completed, Ben Franklin stood up and stated that while he wasn’t completely satisfied by the new document, perfection was impossible to achieve.

An interesting tidbit: While the majority of the men who signed the Constitution were remarkably long-lived for their era, two of the men had their lives cut short. Both Alexander Hamilton and Richard Dobbs Spaight were killed in duels.

The Liberty Bell was adopted by the abolitionist movement as their symbol in 1837. Before that it was known at the Statehouse Bell, and it rang to announce the opening of the first Continental Congress in 1774, the end of the Battle of Lexington and Concord and to announce the reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It is not known when the current crack first appeared, although there is record of the bell being sent for repairs in 1846. It was retired and put on display in 1852. It traveled the country from 1885 until 1915 so all could view the famed bell.

My mom remembers when it was displayed out in the open at Independence Hall. She remembers as a school kid in the 1950’s laying on her back and looking up into it, until she got yelled at by a security guard. How times have changed.

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