Jessica Bianchi

Located in the Fairmount/Art Museum area of Philadelphia, the Rocky statue stands offset from the grandeur of the steps that helped to make him famous, in a grassy area where he commands attention.  The statue is 12 ft 8 in of bronze glory, depicting a character that has achieved larger than life status as a product of the successes of the “Rocky” motion picture series.  His stance communicates triumph and projects a confident, almost indomitable, attitude that is treasured by people across the nation and beyond.

It was surprising to me to hear how popular the statue truly is.  My father works in the Pharmaceutical field and does business with European colleagues who make visits to the United States.  He told me that he was once showing two men from Holland around the city of Philadelphia and asked what they were most interested in seeing.  Their response: the Rocky statue.

In an effort to clarify or certify the popularity being touted at me, I visited the man himself on Art Museum Drive in the City of Brotherly Love.  I was delighted by the validity of the statue’s fame when I was among a fairly large crowd of people on a Saturday afternoon trying to take photos with Him and humming the famous tune.  The emotion that Rocky evokes in his visitors is one of nostalgia, and very equally, one of hope.  His existence, which began as a fictional character, and essentially, a movie prop, has been transcended by the tale it tells and the histories that different individuals ascribe to it.

About urba0090

is an ACLS New Faculty Fellow in the American Studies and History departments at Rutgers University.
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