A bike ride to an exhibit at The Oval

My trip to The Oval was spectacular. Not willing to drive or spend the money on buses and in the spirit of keeping up with my plan to be healthier, I biked the 6 miles, which earned me a Frecon Farms cider in the beer garden. During the ride an older man passed me at a pace that was much slower than the other people who pass me, and after he stopped to use the bathroom on the route, I was able to use him as a motivator. I rode directly behind him for several miles, not allowing him to get too far ahead. The moment he realized, which happened to be the moment I was retrieving my phone from my bag to take a picture, he stopped, and despite my plea to keep going, he waited for me to pass. I obviously ultimately made it, but I noticed it was much more difficult once he was gone.

From the beer garden, I went to the shortest line, which was to a slow kaleidoscope/merry go round-like exhibit.


I could see why it was the shortest line, and despite my efforts to understand what I was supposed to get from the installation, it was interesting but not life shattering or awe-inspiring. The second installation I made it to was the acoustic cube. It’s looks were deciving, as the outside was all about flashing colors. It was hard to believe what was heard inside the cube was not on the outside, however. The “aural journey” was, in fact, a journey. My instinct was to close my eyes, which enhanced the experience. I was transported into a world where there were birds,  an airplane, a large truck, and then I was in a large auditorium listening to an organ being played….all within a cube in the middle of Philadelphia.




I wrote the first portion of this post on the line for the next one, which from the outside was an epileptic’s nightmare. These lights flickered and flashed in succession.


I was on that line for about an hour, during which time the other lines closed. Once inside, I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. It was like being in a multi-dimensional planetarium laser show. Experience it for yourself; here’s a video I took and uploaded to YouTube:

Saint-Gobain 350 exhibit

The entire event reminded me of the rain room the MoMA had going a few years prior, and I wondered if the two pieces I did not get to view were anything like it.

I had arrived around 7pm and I was only able to have a drink and explore three of the pavilions. I had to hold my ears and hum when others talked about what these designs were supposed to be, because I didn’t want any preconceived notions of what to expect. I managed successfully for today and I mentally planned to return tomorrow for shorter lines and to experience the remainder of the exhibit. I hope I will get the chance to do so.

I also struggled, yet remembered, to do what is kind instead of what is right. It’s oddly freeing, albeit difficult to remember to do.

And now…to bike ride 6 miles home in the dark for the first time ever.

Addendum 10:09 pm: made it as far as Johnny Mañanas and stopped for water, a margarita, and some nachos. My mother called and I spent the entirety of my dining experience and the last few miles of my journey on the phone with her. Buenas noches, todos!


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