Monthly Archives: March 2014

Peace Through Power: USS Somerset on the Delaware

Focus on the ship, not all the riverfront surface parking
Focus on the ship, not all the impervious riverfront concrete and macadam

As a matter of posting more content and connecting with the other stuff I do, I really oughta link over to the essays I publish on the Hidden City Daily. Is there a way to put an RSS feed for a specific author on a site like Hidden City? [Let me google that for you.] [Thinks out loud.]

After a week calling Philadelphia home, the USS Somerset will officially become the US Navy’s newest warship this morning at a commissioning ceremony. Docked at Penn’s Landing since arriving last week, the Somerset (LPD-25*) is a San Antonio class amphibious transport dock, named for the victims of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

*The LPD series stands for Landing Platform Dock.

(Side note: my late grandfather DJ Maule is from the village of Bakersville in Somerset County, about 15 miles from Shanksville, and we went to family reunions at a picnic ground there when I was little. Additional side note: the Oakhurst Tea Room has called Somerset home for over 80 years, and to this day it is still the most incredible, gluttonous German smorgasbord I’ve ever seen. Highly, highly recommended for your next drive across the Pennsylvania Turnpike.)

Peace is life, buoy
Peace is life, buoy

USS Somerset was built at Avondale Shipyard on the Mississippi River near New Orleans in Louisiana, the last Naval ship to leave that facility whose fate is uncertain. The Somerset was the last Navy contract Avondale had, and a shipyard workforce that once totaled over 5,000 is now down to 700 with no major contracts secured. (New Orleans Times-Picayune.)

As a warship, the Somerset will transport Sailors, Marines, and supplies. Its flight deck is large enough for two V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to land/depart simultaneously, a feat the Navy demonstrated with the landing of an Osprey and a SuperCobra attack helicopter during the media tour on Thursday.

A 9/11 theme pervades the deepest interiors of the ship, from the massive “Let’s Roll” facing the flight deck to Heroes Hall (the mess hall); from a quilt memorializing all the passengers of Flight 93 to items collected across Somerset County, including road signs, maps, and photos. It’s also got a commemorative bell emblazoned with “PEACE THROUGH POWER”.

Following today’s commissioning, the Somerset will set sail for the homeport of San Diego. For a full photo essay of the ship in its Delaware River surroundings, check it out on Hidden City HERE.

One Man’s Trash: Week 9 Report

WEEK 9: Saylor Grove to Ridge Avenue

Comments and photos to come.


1 bottle Movendo Riesling
1 12oz bottle Icehouse
2 7oz bottles Coronita
1 12oz bottle Yuengling Lager
1 12oz bottle Moosehead
1 12oz bottle Corona
1 7oz bottle Coors Light
2 7oz bottles Heineken

1 25oz can Natty Daddy(!!!)
1 16oz can Steel Reserve
1 16oz can Olde English
1 12oz can Natural Ice
2 12oz cans Bud Light

1 16oz bottle Pepsi
1 16oz bottle Gatorade G Series (G2)
2 16oz bottles water (Dasani)
1 16oz bottle water (Nestlē Pure Life)
1 Little Hug
1 16oz bottle water (Deer Park)
1 wrapper Pop Tarts (strawberry)
1 wrapper Frito Lay sunflower seeds
1 black bag
1 wrapper Grabber Hand Warmers
1 coffee lid
1 wrapper Safeguard (not the deodorant — not sure what it is)
1 Icee lid
1 red Solo cup
1 packet Planters peanuts
1 pouch Capri Sun Super V
1 pouch Kool-Aid Jammers
3 straws
1 condom wrapper (Trojan)
1 tube Soft Lips SPF 20
1 wrapper Dinosaur fruit snacks
1 wrapper Tootsie Pop

5 pieces random styrofoam

1 500ml carton Vendange cabernet sauvignon
1 Chanel ad
1 wrapper Halls
1 Icee cup

1 lighter
1 Camelbak mouthpiece
1 piece twine
1 floppy disk (unreadable, alas)
1 pet collar
1 clamp tie
1 piece ribbon

1 gray hoodie
2 gloves (unrelated)

1 dog shit pile
0 dog shit bags
0 dogs on leash
0 dogs off leash

Evidently very few people use this section of trail. In fact I didn’t even know it existed until I saw it on the Friends of the Wissahickon map. Shhh, don’t tell nobody.

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⇦ WEEK 8WEEK 10 ⇨