Philadelphia is just a few hours drive from Washington, DC, making it a seemingly easy place to visit, but even so I feel like I knew surprisingly little about the city. Over the years, I found myself in Philly for work conferences, a photography workshop and a few other miscellaneous reasons like swinging by on our way to NYC. In almost every case, the reason for each trip dominated my time or else we were just passing through, so I didn't really get to spend much time exploring. So when my friend Ashley mentioned wanting to take a trip to see some museums and sites, I was more than happy to join. I also have a few close friends that live in the area, so it was a perfect opportunity to see new things and familiar faces.
By far, the most fascinating and haunting experience that I just can't stop thinking about is visiting Eastern State Penitentiary. We went on a rainy, chilly day, which just added to the experience. After doing the introductory audio tour, we all ventured around to explore different wings, cells, and stories about the prison and its guards and inmates. In addition to information from the audio tour, they provide little guided tours of certain sections of the prison, like the operating room (where Al Capone had his mystery procedure done) and the dining halls. You can choose what you want to see or learn about through the audio tour. There were even art installations in some cells, each thought-provoking in their own way and often incorporating the theme of isolation and identity.
I definitely want to return and highly recommend visiting the prison to anyone who hasn't yet. Here are a few photographs I took with my phone. (Film yet to be developed!)