Monday, June 8, 2009

Philly ain't over til it's over

Maybe it's because I don't care a thing about Rocky Balboa and I don't think I've ever been through any of his films. Not because chances have been scarce - there are five (five!) installments, I've never felt like and I still don't. But there are two things I'm familiar with: Rocky's motto it ain't over 'til it's over and the iconic image of Stallone's back and risen arm.

Well, turns out that image is from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, prestigious owner of one of the most complete art collections of this great country. Owner of more Rodin's sculptures than any other museum of this great planet, now host of the exhibit "C├ęzanne and beyond", and a thousand more things, is popular with the throngs just for being Rocky's films setting.

And the effect of Rocky's films in the everyday life of the museum is anything but light. Can you believe that no matter the time of the day you find yourself at the museum's door (but specially after sunset) there are people running upstairs and raising a fist when arriving at the top? As expected philadelphians hate that tacky attitude from the bottom of their souls, and even more the Rocky statue that used to grace the museum's main door but some Director transferred to a less respectable spot in the gardens.

We went on Sunday night and the museum was closed, so we indulged in running upstairs and rising our right fists, and then going downstairs slowly to catch our breath and took pictures of the Rocky Balboa statue. That, as I noticed, is hollow and from somebody way more handsome than Sylvester Stallone.


You can read a Spanish version of this post here:


Gary Bellman said...

Hi Julia -- I discovered your blog by clicking on your name above the kind comment you made about my post in Greatest Hockey Legends and enjoyed this entry in your blog.

You made me curious by attributing "It ain't over..." to Rocky B: I loved the movie and urge you to see it on the big screen. It's so much more than a movie about a fictional fighter from Philly. I remember so well seeing it a packed theatre in 1977. It was the only time in the many many movies I've seen in theatres that an entire audience stood as one and cheered for a movie; and not just once but several times, ending with a thunderous ovation through the credits! I don't remember Rocky saying it but it comes on in the local "classics" cinema from time to time so now I have an excuse to see it again.

Because I always thought it was Yogi Berra who said that I googled it. He did say that and several other versions of it, and I particularly thank you for making me curious about it because I went on to spend quite a while laughing at the amazing gift for making memorable quotes that YB has. Have a look sometime if you feel in need of a lift and a smile.

I have just started a blog of my own which you're welcome to visit -- if you do you'll be the first other than me as far as I can tell. It's not nearly as sophisticated as yours is as I'm not very savvy with tags and URLs and such; and it's all about hockey so far (and will continue to be mostly that, but I do believe crossings of my mind has got me thinking about adding other entries too).

Go well.

Gary Bellman

Julia said...

Hi Gary,

I am, umm... kind of proud that I've never watched a Rocky movie, but I should revise that and sit through at least one. The "ain't it over..." quote is probably a celebrated false quote, in the same style of "play it again Sam", but really, I don't know.

I checked your blog too!, but I found it hard to read because it was on black and with a small font. Since you took the time to come and read mine, I'll give yours a second chance - it only feels right and I'm sure it'll be worth the effort. Besides, I really got to like hockey too! but I don't think I'll write much about that, because I assume great ignorance on the subject.

I went to my first game ever last February, and been watching as much hockey as I can ever since: Minnesota High School Hockey tournament in early March, U-18 pre championship in Minneapolis in early April, quite a lot of NCAA games including the Frozen Four games in April, and got hooked to NHL hockey during the second round of playoffs.

I come from a place where soccer is religion, but I converted to hockey after just one game -- my friends are mystified and my husband disappointed. But what the heck!