What visit to the City of Brotherly Love would be complete without a trip to the Rocky statue? The two-ton, 10-foot tall bronze statue of fictional boxer Rocky Balboa was originally installed atop the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (also known as the Rocky Steps) for the filming of Rocky III. It would later be removed when the debate arose over whether it really constituted “art” to have a giant bronze statue of a person who never really existed, created by an actor that wasn’t even really from Philadelphia associated with the city’s premier art museum. Years later, the statue would be returned, and now sits on a pedestal next to the base of the steps; a favorite picture op for fans of Stallone’s six-movie saga. In the 10 minute span we checked out the statue, almost a dozen pictures were snapped, with subjects doing everything from imitating the statue’s pose, to climbing it, to pretending to punch it in the abs before running up the famous steps.
Dating all the way back to 1920, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade is the oldest of its kind in the United States. The route stretches 2.25 kilometers – although Americans would tell you 1.4 miles – and features giant floats, giant balloons, giant marching bands and giant pretzels should you happen to get hungry. Montrealers get the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to look forward to every year, but in Philly they pull out all the stops for Thanksgiving and people jam-pack the streets to get the best possible spot. If you’re planning on checking out the 2012 edition but are worried you might not get the best view, do what this family did and create your own makeshift scaffolding from two ladders and a couple of planks of wood. The picture below was taken by us around 11:00 a.m. The father perched on top of the ladder claimed he had been sitting there since eight.