After we ate at Geno’s we continued our tour through narrow streets with cute old houses and Buddy told us all the stories, with the shutters and the taxes and the marks above the doors.
It’s suck a diverse town! Old cute houses, and cheesy shops and colorful buildings and modern constructions. I never got to take a pic of the famous LOVE sculpture, so I borrowed one from google
We saw it, but we were in the car, so I didn’t get to take a pic, we passed it too far. All the other pics were taken from the car too, so some are blurry and some see the inside of the car too, but it’s all I could get.
Now, I don’t think I managed to get any pictures of anything good, but as you can see from the pics, the houses are narrow and there are many of them together. The reason for this is because the government used to tax people on the number of walls their house had. So they squeezed together so most people only had two walls to be taxed from. The richer ones, they could live at the end of the row of houses with three walls to tax. They solved this pretty good right? Later, the government also decided to tax them on their number of windows. Now, if they had just a hole in the house however, that didn’t count. That is the reason for the shutters; the taxmen were not allowed into the house and could therefore not see whether it was a window or a hole behind the shutters, and so couldn’t tax them. Genius!
So, there is also these plates above a couple of the houses, I don’t think I have a picture of that either so again, I borrowed one from google to demonstrate what I’m talking about.
Benjamin Franklin founded the Union Fire Company in Philadelphia in 1736. You could buy these plaques from the fire department, so if your house burned down the firemen would know that you bought it from you and save you. If you didn’t have this plaque, they’d just leave again. There were eventually many different plaques, and it was the same thing; if the plaque was not from your department, they’d leave. I think they changed this eventually though, that they started to help each other. So that’s the reason for that. And this is also how the insurance companies started.
Anyway, we had the opportunity to see Liberty Hall, Liberty bell and the Constitution thing, but we only went to Betsy Ross’ house. We weren’t allowed to take any pictures from inside the house, but I took pictures wherever else I could.
Ok maybe not. This is one of three pictures that I have. This is Betsy Ross. No one really knows what she looked like, because she wasn’t known during her lifetime. It was only when her grandsons started to tell her story that she became famous, and artists started to paint her and recreate her the way they imagined from the stories. For those of you who don’t know who Betsy Ross was, she was the one who made the first american flag.
Looked like this. She made a whole bunch of flags after this one for the government and the military. It was dangerous work, and she didn’t even own the house she lived in. She rented it along with many other people. She only had her bedroom as her private place, so this is where she did most of her dangerous work. Had any found out, she’d be in trouble right. But she made the first American flag and many others. Poor Betsy though, she lost a whole bunch of loved ones. First she lost her parents at young age. And then she lost two of her young children, and then her first husband. She remarried and lost her second husband as well. She remarried and lived a long life with her last husband, but eventually he died from her as well. If I remembered all this right.
This is her grave, located in the courtyard next to her house.
After our tour of Betsy Ross’ tiny house, we went to this inside market. It was pretty cool and full of weird.. stuff. And they had cheap food.
Crazy huh? And the guy you see somewhere in there is Buddy.
This is Buddy and Betsy’s old little Bailey. He was so cute, and he lay on my lap all buy himself. 11-12 years of age I think.
More on Philly soon! Can’t believe how much I have to say about these 24 hours. Stay tuned!