Wonders and Illusions

Several Wednesdays back, I took a train into Philadelphia with my youngest son’s significant life-affirming other. She had picked three destinations for us: Wonderspaces, the Museum of Illusions, and a fabulous little eatery called 3Js Café at 317 Market Street, for lunch.

To say we had a great time (except for the unseasonable 87-degree weather) would be an understatement. Our first stop after the train ride from Lansdale to Jefferson Street was Wonderspaces (https://philadelphia.wonderspaces.com), a series of art installations. A waiver had to be signed before our arrival, due to certain uses of light, etc., which could affect those with neurological disorders. I avoided several displays for this reason. Some of the installations might have been equally at home in the Museum we visited after lunch, like Radiance. My two favorites, and I say two because I cannot make up my mind which should come out on top, were Fuji by Joanie Lemercier, which is a part of the artist’s series on volcanoes, and On a Human Scale by Matthew Matthew, an interactive instrument involving images of people and a souped-up harpsichord. A close second is Radiance (Infinity Box No. 6) by Matt Elson. Rather than describe them, I have included some photographs below. However, finding myself so “interactive” with On a Human Scale, I unfortunately took neither photograph or video. I will amend this post in the future to include the videos I took of Fuji and Radiance. You can view photos, descriptions and further information on Wonderspaces website (above).

Amended: Here is a YouTube video Lauren found for On a Human Scale:

We hurried on through the godawful heat (for April, yes, it was AWFUL) to eat lunch at 3Js (https://www.3jscafephilly.com). The café is small in size, but not in flavor. Lauren chose it because she knows how much I love omelets, and they do have their breakfast selections all day, along with great sandwiches, salads, and more. All the walking had made me ravenous, and the plate set before me satisfied my appetite. Delicious.

An omelet with fresh spinach, sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, a touch of cheese and the most scrumptious potatoes on the side.

Afterward, we walked a short distance to the Museum of Illusions (https://moiphilly.com). This contained similar warnings for those with seizure disorders, etc., but no waiver required. When we first entered, I was overwhelmed by the noisy children, but really, I couldn’t blame them for their boisterous exuberance. This old lady got a bit exuberant herself. There were numerous and frankly unbelievable illusions to be created by the placement of one’s body, the mirrors on hand, or the distances between one element and another and a person’s line of sight. Such fun to be had for young and, yeah, old.  

My favorite!

Oh, and on our way from one destination to another, we stopped to check out a carefully protected archeological dig right on the city street. This prompted our decision to return to Philadelphia in the not-too-distance future, this time to the Penn Museum of Archeology. I can’t wait! 😊