Blog Post 4, Macy’s Visit

Since I was unable to make the field trip to the dye factory, I visited the Macy’s on Market Street.  The Macy’s is located right near City Hall and is by far, the largest Macy’s I have ever been to.  As soon as I walked through the doors, I was amazed by the size of the store.  As far as department stores go, this Macy’s is one of the most beautiful stores.

The space indoors is similar to what was discussed in class.  Everything inside is on display like a museum.  Each manikin was like a separate display in the store.  One part of the store that stood out to me a great deal was the jewelry section.  I saw the most similarities between the jewelry section and a museum exhibit.  The jewelry was on display in a glass case in order to give the idea of look, do not touch.  Similarly in the Peale exhibit at the American Philosophical Society there were books and writings inside glass cases that were meant to be seen not touched.  As discussed in class, the department store is modeled after museums (starting with the original Wanamaker department store).

Consumerism in America is huge today, however it began in a time period near the roaring twenties.  Over the last century consumerism has evolved and faced many ups and downs in America.  The Macy’s on Market Street is a symbol of how big American consumerism is today by being filled with all sorts of brands.  All these brands will be bought and worn by American, furthermore showing how grand our consumerism has become in our country.  America has changed greatly over the last century, but perhaps one of the largest changes America has undergone is it’s shift in consumerism.

Blog Post 3: My Revolution

When it came time to choose a “first” for the My Revolution project, I of course wanted to pick something that interested me.  I ended up picking Astronomy as my “first” because I absolutely love space.  From the stars to planets, everything about space simply fascinates me.  I ended up visiting two sites in Philadelphia as preparation for this blog post.  The first place I visited was Rittenhouse Square, located right on Walnut and 18th street.

When I first started to prepare for this blog post, I looked up renowned astronomers in early Philadelphia.  The first name that came up time and time again was David Rittenhouse.  I did not do much research on him because I wanted to see first hand what he was like.  As far as historical sights dedicated to him, I could only find a handful of places in Philadelphia.  Through a few quick internet searches, I was able to figure out that Rittenhouse square was named after David Rittenhouse in 1825.  This would be the first destination of my Thursday afternoon Philadelphia journey.

I arrived at the Walnut street station, and from there I only had a short walk to my destination.  Rittenhouse square is beautiful, a wonderful breath of fresh air in the busy city of Philadelphia.  Besides the name however, Rittenhouse square had no relevance to David Rittenhouse nor astronomy.  There were many small statues and other monuments inside the park, however none were dedicated to David Rittenhouse.  My next stop would be somewhere I knew there was going to be useful information: the Franklin Institute.

The Franklin Institute is an amazing place to learn and be entertained, much like Peale’s museum.  Everything, not just the astronomy bits, is amazing.  Unfortunately I arrived relatively late in the afternoon and the Franklin Institute was near closing time (I had around 35 minutes).  With my little time, I moved quickly through the institute to get to the astronomy section.  I read a few things while there, however most of the information was more about modern day astronomy.  My favorite part of the Franklin Institute by far was the Planetarium.  The Planetarium was amazingly beautiful.  I loved my time at the astronomy section at the Franklin Institute.

Rittenhouse square and the Franklin Institute were both great fun to explore.  The Franklin Institute was definitely more informative, however both were good experiences that I thoroughly enjoyed.

(I have pictures, but am having difficulties uploading them)

Peale Exhibit Review

The Peale Exhibit at Philosophical Hall is truly an experience one should have when learning about Charles Peale.  During my time at the exhibit I learned a great deal about Charles Peale himself.  I walked along the exhibit in a timely manner, and I did not quite soak up enough information for me to be satisfied.  I knew the exhibit was full of important information that I had missed.  Since I knew there was more to be gained, I walked through the exhibit again.  During my second walk through of the exhibit I looked at the pieces more carefully.  My entire experience at the American Philosophical Society’s exhibit on Charles Peale took about 40 minutes in total.  Throughout my time in the exhibit I learned information on Peale that is related to what was discussed in class.

One piece of the exhibit that directly relates to what was discussed in class is the painting of George Washington.  The portrait, painted by James Peale, is of George Washington, and features two Peale brothers behind him.  Next to the portrait was a small piece on Charles and James’ participation in the revolutionary war.  Throughout the time learning about Charles Peale in class, it was discussed that he was enticed to the idea of fighting in the revolutionary war.  The exhibit relates directly to what we learned in class because in both, the exhibit and in class, Peale’s fighting in the Revolutionary War was discussed.

The exhibit as a whole did an exceptional job of educating and explaining lots about Peale’s life.  Thorough yet entertaining, the exhibit manages to educate Peale’s impact on everybody from his museum to the other important aspects of his life (being an artist, fighting in the Revolutionary War, etc.).  The guides were very helpful in explaining certain pieces and had lots of useful information on Peale himself.  One bit of information I was unaware of was that Peale’s first museum was not only meant to entertain, it was also designed to educate.  At the time of the exhibit it was not common for people to go to school, Peale’s museum allowed people to be entertained and learn a few things.  This information was given to me by the guides, and I would not have acquired it without them.

Overall the experience was pleasureful and informative.  I greatly enjoyed my time at the exhibit and I am glad to have seen it!

Statement of Purpose

My name is James Nierenberg, and I am a freshman studying at Temple University.  As a student, I am interested in learning about a variety of subjects in order to find my true passion.  Currently I am taking many general education courses in the hopes that one of them will reveal to me what I would like to study.  As far as personal interests go, I enjoy playing soccer, basketball, and other sports.  I could potentially see myself studying in the field of sports management or business, however for now I remain undecided.

I graduated from Montgomery high school this past spring as a solid A/B student with a few C’s here and there.  Although I was a decent student in high school, I learned more over my last two summers, than I learned in four years of schooling.  These last two summers I have worked at YMCA Camp Mason as an overnight camp counselor.  I learned more than I ever could have imagined from playing the role of an overnight camp counselor, because of all the experiences I had.

Moving forward in life I am unsure of what my exact career goals are.  I have thought about a few things from being a teacher or professor, to being a business man who works on wall street.  I do know one thing for sure however, I do not seek wealth and fortune.  I wish to work in a field that I truly enjoy.  One where my job does not seem like a job, rather a passion.  For now, I will continue to study and seek my passion through learning and having new experiences here at Temple.