Thursday, September 24, 2015

Papal visit

I live in New Jersey, and when you are driving up the 295 past Philadelphia, in characteristic Jersey fashion the freeway signs say "Pope in Philly. Expect delays." If you cross over to the Pennsylvania side the signs are more polite, as Pennsylvanians seem to be (I credit the Amish) (okay, in parts of Philly not so polite, but seriously, keep on driving to Amish country, they're all very nice people out there), anyway, where was I, oh yeah, the signs read something like "Road closures for papal visit".* Anyway, if you can get through the roads, it's a great time to go to Philadelphia. Yes, Pope Francis is going to be there on Saturday and Sunday, but LEGO fans should go to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick exhibition is still there until October 4, and they just installed a large LEGO Vatican display, in time for the Pontiff's visit. This highly detailed minifig version of St. Peter's Basilica and St. Peter's Square, including tourists, nuns, Swiss Guards, and Francis himself, was built over the past ten months by Father Bob Simon, a Catholic priest from Scranton, Pennsylvania. I'm not sure how long this display will be at the Franklin, but there is a display called Vatican Splendours including art from the Vatican that is running through February 15. I'm sure there will be huge crowds there this weekend due to Catholics coming to the World Meeting of Families (the occasion of Francis' visit). I wonder if Father Simon will have the opportunity to show this to Francis (from the press coverage Francis seems like such a nice guy that I'll be he'd enjoy a LEGO version of himself).

*Update: Delaware is much more subtle, maybe in a form of church/state separation. They just say "Major event in Philadelphia".

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