Tara and I were in and around Philadelphia for the weekend — and we’re still celebrating both of the Phillies’ big wins and the Eagles’ win in between baseball games. While we were in Philly, we also made a quick stop at the Edgar Allan Poe house on 7th and Spring Garden Streets. Our visit was a little ill-timed, it turns out, because much of the facility is closed as the National Park Service completes preparations for the big Poe bicentennial birthday celebrations in early 2009; currently, only the historic home itself is available for tour and only during limited operating hours. Still, much fun was to be had — including a trip down into the cellar, where I got a glimpse of what it might have felt like to be “The Black Cat” or that fellow at the end of “The Cask of Amontillado.” Fortunately, Tara was too busy behind the camera to begin adding bricks to the wall.
Information on the site and on a new exhibition and events planned in conjunction with the bicentennial are available here. Additionally, the Rare Book Department of the Parkway Central Library is already hosting an exhibition of Poe’s works and heirlooms, including a first edition of Tamerlane and “Grip,” Dicken’s pet raven, who inspired Poe’s famous poem.
Celebrations are also being held at the Poe Museum in Richmond and elsewhere around Virginia; at the Poe House and Museum in Baltimore; and in myriad other ways, as documented by John Wright’s great blog.
Much to Tara’s chagrin, I’ll be marking events on our calendar soon, I’m sure.
— Art Taylor