Our 2018 Road Trip, Part 36: Big Game Hunting

red Sorry piece!

In the shadow of Philadelphia’s Masonic Temple is a big red Sorry piece. (Some sites think it’s a Parcheesi piece. Not from any Parcheesi set I ever played.)

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have board game pieces that you could never, ever possibly lose? Philly has just the place for you.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. Normally we’ll choose one major locale as our primary objective, drive that-a-way, and concentrate on exploring the vicinity for a few days before retreating.

We crafted this year’s itinerary with a different approach. Instead of choosing one city as a hub, we focused on one of the motifs that’s recurred through several of our trips: grave sites of Presidents of the United States of America. Our 2018 road trip would effectively have the format and feel of a video game side quest — collecting nine American Presidents across ten presidencies, four states, seven days, and 2000 miles…

By the time we were released from dinner, some of the attractions on our Philadelphia to-do list were already closed. We weren’t happy, but we still had options. Exhibit A: a 1996 multi-item art installation called Your Move. The work of artists Daniel Martinez, Renee Petropoulis, and Roger White, it’s more commonly known among roadside attraction fans as the “Board Game Art Park”. On one block of downtown Philly are several super-sized pieces from a variety of well-known board games — some trademarked, some classic — most likely intended as social commentary (e.g., government/politics/life can be just one big confusing game with too many rules to follow and too many boards to juggle at once), but it’s entertaining to see up close for simple nostalgia.

Monopoly iron!

A Monopoly iron, one of those classic pieces that was never anyone’s first choice.

Monopoly wheelbarrow!

A Monopoly wheelbarrow. I chose it on occasion if my friends got to the dog and the car first.

Bingo chip!

A basic bingo chip, for the church fundraiser crowds out there.

chess pawn!

Their paint has to be restored from time to time. This chess pawn is a bit overdue.

rook and hat!

This rook has also seen some light warfare.

yellow Sorry piece!

Maybe you could combine the two games by ditching the Sorry card deck and drawing bingo chips to move instead.

knight and urchins!

This pawn and that knight look like the remains of a close match nearly ended. Meanwhile around the edges, the locals hung out but left us alone as we wandered their turf during sundown. Either they’re peaceful folks or I look scarier than I think.

Philadelphia Horticultural Society!

Nature-time intermission: in the middle of the park that day, reps from the Philadelphia Horticultural Society had set up displays of greenery as part of a mission to teach and preach the value of community gardening.


Somehow this bishop got itself cornered amid the plant life.

Monopoly hat!

Don’t let the ritzy Monopoly top hat fool you: you don’t have to be rich to do gardening.

Bingo and greens!



I checked the rules and all those stickers and graffiti on these dominoes do not count as extra pips. The original point values stand.

To be continued!

* * * * *

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for other chapters and for our complete road trip history to date. Follow us on Facebook or via email sign-up for new-entry alerts, or over on Twitter if you want to track my TV live-tweeting and other signs of life between entries. Thanks for reading!]

2 responses

  1. When visiting Philadelphia, this is one place among others, that I never saw. Should go into center City more. I tend to avoid the City because traffic is so bad.


    • Driving and parking in the area were tricky matters. Thankfully that’s where our hotel was. Once we worked our way in there, walking to the rest of the area wasn’t too hard…as long we we didn’t stay out too late.


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