Franklin Institute .....Wandering through the BrainWe haven't spent near enough time in the city of Brotherly Love, but we seldom miss a chance to visit Anthony's favorite Place --The Franklin Institute.
Since Anthony was five, he has been seamlessly guiding grandparents to the really cool stuff. "Up here. You can crawl through the heart.."
This time the "BRAIN" exhibit was open and promised more aerobic excercise for Meme and other "Cool Stuff".
The exhibits were first rate and tested us in so many ways. We learned that "multitasking" is a myth. Doing two things at once practically guarantees doing two things poorly. At lunch we tried out new knowledge about navigating. We learned that women normally navigate by landmarks while men tend to use cardinal directions.
BIG HE: How do we get back to the institute?
SHE: Walk back that way,
turn at the bicycle with green tires,
then past the book shop,
past the stand where they are frying onions...
LITTLE HE: ...and then...and then, you walk over to the fountain and you can see it from there!
A (Hopefully) Unreported Incident
When a guy is seven and not too far from training wheels it's hard to get in solid mileage on your bike and prepare for a REAL bike ride, like on a Rail/Trail. Meme and Papa go on Rail/Trails and send back bloggy pictures. So, we all went down to the trail behind the Fire Station. Papa rode over on his bike (four miles). Me and Meme brought ours in the Yukon.
I rode faster, so I got way ahead. Then came the "soft spot". It stopped me the first time and the second time I was going "speed demon fast" and WIPED OUT!
I DIDN'T Cry (even a little) and Papa had a huge bandage for my knee. He said that if I rode a lot I probably wouldn't fall. He can't remember the last time he fell.
Then I rode more. Papa said to ride around the soft spot on the grass, and I did. It worked. Papa was so proud that he forgot to miss the soft spot and when he saw it, HE CRASHED. He said he was OK and we should keep going, so we did. He sat on the bench. I think he cried. Then we had ice cream. I got Mango Ice, which everybody said was the best.
I wanted to ride some more, so we did. I rode four miles, which Meme says is a great start. Papa missed a couple laps, but he rode home really fast. About the crashes, Meme says "We will never speak of this again." She says that a lot.
The Grounds for SculptureI'm not experienced enough to know how the The Grounds for Sculpture ranks among the world's great exhibits, but I do know that it never fails to delight. Our little people are always ready to wander the park like grounds and wonder again. When fifteen year old Cassie flew it, we knew that we would probably cover all the "secret places", reprise all the old gags, and probably be awestruck at least once or twice. If you are serious about ART, you may want to pass on this entry, but you would miss a lot.
It's a very welcoming place. You learn right away that this is the home studio (Atelier) for Steward Johnson whose realistic "people" have made you do double takes all over the world.
All through the grounds, in the open and tucked away, you discover little vignettes.
Your interaction with the art work is optional, but not discouraged.
We decided these New Jersey folks know NOTHING about Barbeque!
Down a gated path, along stepping stones and across a little rivulet, three young boys are discovered... with a centerfold.
There is (always) at least one great story. Mr Johnson has a bronze of a well dressed man sitting and checking the contents of his briefcase. It is called "Double Check'' and was placed near the front of the Merrill Lynch offices at the twin towers. When the towers tragically came down, "Double Check" was unmoved, but nearly innundated with the paper blizzard that issued from the towers. In the early rescue efforts, more than one first responder thought the statue was a dust covered victim in shock. Johnson was told it was the only laugh in a long, long day.
This is a representation of that initial chaos.
Over the weeks of debris removal, the statue was never moved, but remained blockaded behind fences. It became a sort of shrine for the workers. When Johnson visited the site, "Double Check" was festooned with dead flowers, wore an FBI hardhat, with badges, crosses and other memorabilia crowding around. The new Bronze he created faithfully represents the original as he found it. It is the only exhibit in the new Hall which honors Mr Johnson and his wife.