Archive for Smofcon 30 - Philadelphia

Philadelphia Brick Building
Philly Photos by Danny Lieberman

Philadelphia is the spot where the Declaration of Independence was written and where the very first science fiction convention happened (and we can debate this with the Brits endlessly in the bar). Philadelphia is a city with a great selection of restaurants in all price ranges as well as a wide variety of beers and pubs.  Philadelphia is a major air and rail hub, so it's easy to get to whether you're coming in from New York, Los Angeles, Toronto or London.  It's an ideal location for Smofcon.

Philadelphia Finnigan's Wake

We do not have steamboats but we do have a casino, the SugarHouse, with a bus stop in front of the Hyatt.

Philadelphia Round Building

Philadelphia was located in the middle of the 13 original colonies thus had a pivotal role in the American Revolution. The Historic District centers on the Liberty Bell pavilion and Independence Hall at Fifth and Chestnut Streets, and the new Constitution Center and President's House, among many sites.

The Philadelphia Art Museum, made famous in Rocky, is on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Barnes Collection, the Rodin Sculpture Museum, the Franklin Institute of Science and Technology, and the Natural History Museum are all nearby.

The Penn Museum (3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 ;at the intersection of Spruce Street and 33rd Street) will give you the last chance to see Maya 2012: Lords of Time. It is optimistically running until 2013.

We also have the Mutter Museum of Medical and Scientific Oddities, and the Mummers Museum which has been made famous by the costume parade on New Year's Day.

Philadelphia Brick Building with Flags

The weather in early December at Smofcon had been...on the dubious side for a few years. Daytime temperature in Philadelphia in early December was typically between 40 and 60F (4 and 15C), meaning rain was more likely than snow. In 2012, the weather was mostly very nice, in the 50s, with a few showers and morning fog (especially Sunday).

Here is a detailed walking map of the Old City area and Independence Mall.

Franklin Institute

One of the interesting sites to visit in Philly is the Franklin Institute, a fine local museum.  It has a collection of automata, clockwork robots from the past.

Barnes Collection

A great collection of impressionistic art has a new museum in Philadelphia.  It's controversial for a number of reasons, but the collection is amazing.

Philadelphia Map
Google Map of Downtown Philadelphia - it's 1.4 miles to Reading Terminal Market from the Hyatt or a 15 minute bus ride.