The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

MAY 21, 2011 12:33PM

Jewel In the City

Rate: 35 Flag


Amidst the high rise buildings , in one of busiest sections of a large city is a jewel, a haven, an oasis.  



The University of Pennsylvania's Archaeology and Science Museum, a Beaux-Arts style building.  



When needing a respite from the sterile environment of the hospital, I grab a lunch from one of the trucks and head for the garden. The reflecting pond filled with Koi, the sculptures and Tiffany mosaics transport me to another more gracious time.  

Enter with me, this lovely portico, take a deep breath and a seat on a marble bench in one of the alcoves. Immerse yourself in a place where there is beauty and serenity in every direction. 













Pan orchestrates the Koi. 






 Leave to the angels, the world to shoulder.












See. That's better, isn't it? 


(banner photo from University of Pennsylvania website. All other photos personal.)



 This music goes so well with the garden. Enjoy.  

  John Coltrane - After the rain .mp3    Found at bee mp3 search engine

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Much better. Thank you Rita for sharing your beautiful sanctuary. ~r
Most welcome Joanie, I will slide over. Ahhhhh.
Worth the wait, you are.
Lovely gift this, Rita. Tears seem to be walking with me today. They walk with me here and all the air calms. Thinking of you and your lunches here. Lovely respite. Cathedral-like respite. In its way. Music helps the walking seem like floating. All of this perfect for today.
ah Kim, you are well aware of the joys of trying to post here. Lost it all (the post) last night and then truly lost it (my mind) and went to bed.
Thank you Kim, I will try to live up to that.
anna1: no tears on a Saturday in May... so glad you enjoyed this little stroll to a favorite place. I longed to take my favorite friends to a beautiful special spot of mine. And now they are here. TY.
It truly is, thank you for coming with me II..
the serenity makes up for the downtime here ...
what an oasis — sanctuary
joe paterno likes
me too
you too
Wouldn't work in winter, but it surely looks as if it works well the rest of the time. Nice little collection of photos that fit perfectly with the mood of the words.
Thanks Chuck, so nice to see you old friend. Joepa is getting a bit long in tooth, huh?
SteveDos, it is actually quite lovely with the snow falling, I have been there then too, although sometimes it is closed and I have to look for another sanctuary. Luckily, I always have a back up plan.
Wonderful photos of this beautiful place. How lucky you are to have such a lovely, peaceful place to go.
rated with love
- wonderful photos, Rita! Thank you...
"Leave to the angels the world to shoulder." Now there's a thought for the day!!
Yes it is better now that I've been here. What would we do without beauty to shelter us and angels to take the load. Thank you Rita.
Ah Rita, such a beautiful respite and music to go with it. Thank you for this today.
It looks peaceful Rota.. thanks for sharing...Rated with hugs
it's beautiful Rita. Sanctuary is good
excellent photo essay. it's such a pretty place, thank you for sharing.

Note: I looked, and you uploaded the photos in large format. You can show them at full column width. Go to edit -> html -> img width="485" (erase height number, and it will self-correct).
A beautiful oasis for an escape - thank you for sharing Rita. I love the mosaics and the reflecting pond. How peaceful it must be.
These are fantastic. Thank you -R-
RM: sometimes there is prescience in what we find and what we savor, thank you for coming by.
Catherine, I have missed you. So glad to see you and that you like these photos, this place.
Spike: you would understand this, it was a start to a poem that is still in my head.. boom boom heartbeat, phrase.. soon. thank you.
I truly don't know Bleue.. what indeed? shrink and die? thank you friend.
Tril there are beautiful doors, I just thought of you about the portals, next post perhaps. Thank you for enjoying with me.
Linda I will forgive the Rota, it's OK. Rota Rooter not withstanding, I know you didn't mean it, you just hit the wrong key, your shoes were untied and the sun was in your eyes. Smile.
Jules, damn straight it is. It's nourishment.
Diananni, I feel I just got the seal of approval.. thanks for this.
Fusun queen of calm and serene, thank you much.
Beautiful campus. Lovely photos.
Much, much better, Rita. You photographs are terrific.

I listened to the tune while kicking back and viewing the fifth photo. Fine few minutes--thanks, Rita.
Thank you for sharing this grand beauty and peace.
Is it okay to eat a cheesesteak on the bench?
Oh Rita this is lovely, and the can never go wrong with Coltrane.
Just lovely - I totally see this being the most wonderful place to get a breath of fresh air! And I love the graceful curves of Pan's arms. It makes me happy to know you have a such a beautiful environment to go to when you need a break.
Ok... Rita ~ do we have time? I mean 'cause now I feel beautifully meditatively recharged... kinda... now I'm here back in Philly, well, here I mean. How 'bout we head over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art! After the Koi have finished devouring the crumbs of our cheesesteaks of course... wait, are we allowed to feed the Koi? Doesn't matter, no ones sees us (only Mr Pan). Let's go see The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even! I always wondered why did they hide way down there in that corner. Like going down in the basement to see something perhaps we shouldn't... that's part of how I get it anyway. I'll walk quickly by that wall of Mondrians. Are they still there? Don't worry, I'll wait. Do you want to look at the Mondrians? I'm headed for Duchamp. But I'll wait if... Ok. Alright so it looks like a broken window. Maybe it is a broken window? I think it's a broken window. But, isn't it great? Just the suggestion of the words, and the broken glass. Really, there is so much apparent violence, or violation in his work... but seems to me reaching for another meaning. No... no, I 'd rather not hear the art historian's take on this. Let me just construct my own meaning. How are you doing? What's your favorite, or favorites, in this house full of art? Alright, don't know if you want to 'cause it'll leave an impression that will last a long while, but I'm going to take a peek through the two little holes there in those old wooden doors called the Étant donnés. Won't be a minute. There.

Ok, now I'd like to see what you would like to show me? I want to follow your eyes for a bit even as I follow your words. Then I invite you to a wine ( or a brew?) cross town on the Moshulu! I know, or at least I believe I've read that you don't get sea sick. Do you? Anyway. Wait a sec, got to make a long distant call to Trinidad, let my dearest know why I'll be late. No, I don't have to "check" in... Just a courtesy, you know... Yes?

Now that I'm going I don't think I can stop! Hope you don't mind my reminiscing? I'm not a comment abuser I just love and miss Philly! On the way to the Moshulu we can swing through South Street. Maybe there's something happening at Dobbs, kind of early though. Sometimes they've got some blues players or acoustic earlier in the day. So easy to get distracted and detoured in this brownstone town. Used to love to go and sit where the clothespin is you know the "Kiss" and stare in at the Calder mobiles there. Stabiles to mobiles and back to stabiles with a little muscle bound Henry Moore thrown in for good measure! Hey, I need some clothes too. Outrageously expensive here in Venz. and everything counterfeit! let's go look for some vintage rags! besides if we're going to hit Revival later on, well...
Then again, maybe I'm too old for that... oh it hurts to hear me. Alright, might be better to head for Ortliebs Jazz Bar, but I will say, you'll need to be very careful where you park that car of yours... and I might need some help, because I always get lost trying to get there anyway. Once I'm there, the world could crumble for all I care! It's been lovely Rita, I thank you for the space and tjhe place even as I freely admit that I took up quite a bit of it. Here, here's a Red Stripe or a Guiness or... what are the local brews now? I forget! If the cars still there in the morning... haha... and nobody's pissed at us... we can head for the Cape and I'll mine you for all you know about the Chalfont, then fill you in on what I know about Anne Leduc, and old miss Helen who worked in the kitchen and how my chinese friend used to sing opera up on the roof and all about the carriage house and the slave quarters and the view from the cupola and where some of the treasures are buried and how East Cape May sank into the sea and whole buildings moved from one side of town to the other... maybe...

Saludos ~ Rita Poeta!
Oh, s%^t I forgot, we haven't eaten dinner. Victors in little Italy of course, where the waiters are all opera singers, and can they sing!
Thank you, Rita. I met a love there once, and I remember my heels clacking on the stone floor, and the antiquities Nice memories.
A lovely jewel in a jewel of a city. I love the city, love the commonwealth. this is wonderful Rita
II! a kindred soul! how nice... you know my city and all the best of it ..
do you believe Ortlieb's is closed? about a year ago.. my FAVORITE place in the city bar none. The jazz folks coming in with their cases, jamming into the wee hours, best bar in town, best music, good food. It isn't as dicey as it used to be when I would sneak out of the house when my husband was asleep early with some girlfriends and hit it about 15yrs ago.. wow that long? I am in the Cape today, Chalfonte holds out till Memorial day but people are painting the porch, love to hear about the cuppola. Do you like the Merion Inn? live jazz with the old art deco bar. Moshelu is now a tourist trap sorry to say but we have plenty of places to have fun Cuba Libre, Tin Angel and Plow and the Stars all on one street. I think Dobbs is closed too.. sorry friend.
South Philly Italian food is the best!
Thank you Lea, can't believe you have been here. You certainly are well travelled!
Gary I thought you might enjoy this as you mentioned you like the campus before to me.. thank you for your kind words
better, indeed, o behatted one.
This was the Post that wouldn't Go?
You made me wish to Go to Places.
I mean ... To visit Places of Beauty.

People can stroll along slowly and gaze.
I remember a commenter wrote She don't`
She refuses to visit certain blogger places.

Visit Facebook. Neither do I. Visit Gardens.
Visit Museums. Visit the VA war wounded.
Friendly. A Friend's a refined rare Jewell.

One who finds a Friend is Blessed Fortunate.
A true Friend is to be more desired than gold.
One who has a real Friend cherish the Friend.

Friends share ice cream cones, shirts, and milk.
If they drip vanilla bean ice cream they wipe off.
A Friend will Go to the Moon with a dear Friend.
One who has a Friend is more blessed than uh-oh.
Nature arranges innocent encounter with real folk.
I better Go buy a few Amish hats for politicos in DC.
Pan visits Friend and gets a few clothes for no nudity?
Pan Visits bah folk and sends Panic inwardly to awaken.
Thanks Rita Shibr. It took this (comment) long download.
The Attorney General may cloth with one white bed sheet.
I am recalling A.. Ashcroft wrapped a sheetaround a statue.

She was a one breast exposed statue symbol of Liberty ay!
Goofy days indeed, Barack Obama. Let's sit on park bench!
We can have one whole quart of chocolate goat milk to Go!

One who Nature sends a Friend is so Precious.
Friends show themselves Friendly and Go Off.
Huh? Friends Go-Off and Visit Beautiful Places.
I'm glad you have such a lovely haven when you need it, Rita.

Leave to the angels, the world to shoulder. .... lovely words.
Thank you everyone, it's taking so long to respond, sorry so late to this.
Thanks Lez, Cyril, Spud glad you liked the JC, God he is good isn't he?
Scylla happy to see you, I have to PM and see how you are..
BSB: thanks friend
Matt Glad you enjoyed!
Alysa, I am fortunate to work in a lovely place.. TY for coming by
Larry: Sure! wid or wid-out? g-eatyet?
Art: I like your poem, friend do stroll the gardens and eat ice cream on the benches, maybe this summer I will take a convertible ride to WV... I have plenty of hats even an Amish one. Thanks Art.
Hey Lil! nice to see you again, back in the OS rotation..
Rita, let's hope OS just keeps on rotating!
I see why you dine there. I wonderful place!
Struggling to remember the Merion Inn... was there a piano bar? I was partial to a place called the Ugly Mug.

Used to be a ships mast that ran up through that cupola (so the story goes) and part of the original construction. The Windsor and Christian Admiral Hotels (if they still exist) are the only two others that could compare. Loved to sit on the antique rolling wicker chairs on the porch of the Windsor (used as taxi chairs on the boardwalks all along the Jersey shore in years past) and write something, or read a book, perhaps, with a bag of roasted almonds, cashews or filberts from Morrows Nuthouse to snack on. These memories seem almost fairytale like when I think of the horrors in the world today. To sit at a simple formica table at an open window with a view to gently breaking waves and the smell of Atlantic salt spray, in a breakfast house nursing an endless cup of coffee, with a secondhand copy of Camus' "The Fall" or "Siddhartha" or "Franny and Zooey", daydreaming of writing...
Ugly Mug still there, with some unfortunate changes, the long old bar has been expanded but the old photos of glory days gone by and mugs hanging from the ceiling are still there. The scene you describe is perfection. The porches in CM are the most comfortable anywhere, and inspired me to always have a porch with a rocker wherever I have lived. All the little house inns have second hand libraries just go down and grab a book and a rocker. Hmm. Morrow's is still there also. Merion is a piano bar.. live jazz every couple nights.
I shower you with thoughts of good for this Rita. later is better than never and this oasis is perfect!!
I hope peace is between your shoulders sitting under that hat making all well inside and out dear...
Thanks Mission, hope you are enjoying your spring, real life as OS impedes the log on process, we have to smell the flowers. Thanks friend, good to see you.
what's all this about a hospital?
(sterile, ha...that's a funny one...more germs there than
in Pan's koi's pool, i reckon....mrsa!)

this wonderful oasis looks like just the place
to do serene stuff like get away from people
and get one damn minute's peace
amidst the beautiful architecture
recollect what calmness and beauty combined
can conjure in the suddenly empty mind....

Pan is one damn beautiful god, isn't he?
Alot sexier than that ectomorph nailed to the crossbeams.
Hey James... I work in a hospital. It's all white with white walls and blonde wood floor and glass walls. Blonde on Blonde if you catch me. (that one was for you)
Pan is quite the god.. I like his style.
blonde on blonde was an easy catch, galpal....
"everybody must get stoned" in yer hospital...
good damn drugs there.
i could use a morphine drip if U got the time to steal one...
also a portable ultrasound machine to look at my stomach,
which hurts alot.

Pan looks like Jesus in that picture where he stretches his arms
(to the koi?)
and i know Jesus stole his style
along with cousin John the Baptist's
& alas, Zarathustra's.
But this is not about religion.
this is about peace of mind.
the two are diametrically opposed in the Fallen World
where we toil.

I love hospitals. People are honest there.
"whatcha got, man?" i say there.
then a flood of words.
good places to straighten out one's karma,
listening and comforting.

As for Pan, i like him too. Even that tightass Milton did:
"universal pan,
knit with the graces and hours in dance,
lead on the Eternal spring"
at the crucifiction,
a call went out over the ocean,
"great Pan is dead",
and the oracles ceased speaking forever
Thanks for this island this morning. Never heard that Coltrane song; fits perfectly.
Thanks Damon glad to turn you on to some new music.
this is really lovely!
Thank you Kathy, glad to see you here!
Thanks, Rita.
I especially love the brick near the end there...
Thanks also for helping me out with the idea of serenity found in the city-- it's been awhile since I've been in a city.
(Holy cow! Youngest and I just realized it's been almost four years since we've visited a city! That's just crazy...)
Great photos. I hope this is open to the public. If so I'll go next time I'm in Philly.
Thanks JT..
LM: it is open when the Museum is open, go to the second floor and out to the left...
there are actually two such beautiful gardens. Hope you go! Ty
Thanks JT..
LM: it is open when the Museum is open, go to the second floor and out to the left...
there are actually two such beautiful gardens. Hope you go! Ty
I'm reading this from the bowels of my medical library. UVA has a few nice spots too, but nothing like your sanctuary.