Philadelphia

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Fairmount Water Works.

Philadelphia is a city in the southeast part of Pennsylvania_. The city is known for its cuisine and colonial history.

Philly has suffered from deindustrialization.

There's an accent. "Wooder".

Contents

1   Culture

I've only seen a part of it.

Philly is prideful. In most places you go, a restaurant plastered with images of local landmarks would probably be a tourist trap. In Philly, those places are catering to the locals.

Philly sees itself as the underdog to New York. It's extremely blue collar. It's poor, dirty, anti-intellectual, and proud of it. It's socially acceptable and expected even that you'll grow up to be a fireman, a school teacher, a delivery man, do construction, or work at the local deli. There's no Louis Vutton to be found downtown. Unions are still strong here. Sports are huge. Grungy hipsters are huge. People proudly drink PBR and other shit beers. They love processed foods. There's a fighting spirit in every aspect. Maybe that shouldn't be surprising given the city's rebellious history. (When I first watched Rocky as young adult, I was impressed by how well it had captured the essence of Philly in Rocky's character. )

That feeling of being an underdog; of shared struggle, gives a certain amount of brotherhood between people.

The people who live here, live here, and plan to die here. It's not a transient destination for young professionals like New York or San Francisco. That seems to contribute to the pride.

Neighborhoods in other cities aren't really neighborhoods, because people don't know their neighbors. In Philly, everyone does. On the flip side, a lot of people are racist because neighborhoods are drawn by racial lines. (Ironically, the racism seems to prevent people from noticing they're all miserably poor.)

Philly is a car city. Gas stations are part of the culture. It's a point of pride in buying a bag of chips and an Arizona ice tea at Wawa. You drive I-95 to get around the city, and pass weird billboards for personal injury lawyers, local jewelry shops, local casinos, shitty cable television shows. People gossip about new cars on the block or someone being in parked in someone else's spot.

Philly has a blue collar cuisine. Cheese steaks, hoagies, pretzels, water ice, chips, soda, factory-made baked goods, beer. A lot of ethnic food is made by white people who don't how to make it, or ethnic people who don't care to make food for people who don't know how to appreciate it anyway.

Philly loves beer. There's a huge craft beer scene. But people also love Bud Light.

People are overweight and often poorly dressed. Jeans that are too big. In the summer, it's not uncommon to see men dressed in a wife beater, long basketball shorts, white socks, and slides.

People stay here because there family is all here.

There's a lottery.

It's an urban city. We grew up playing in playgrounds. There's no nature. We pop the cap off of fire hydrants to make a sprinkler. We have block parties.

Immigrants. Italian, Irish, German, Polish. Black. Catholic. Catholic school.

It's `East coast`_ culture. People work real jobs.

It's kind of masculine. We don't mind suffering.

Vacation? People go the Jersey shore for a week and rent a beach house. Maybe once every five years you'll go to Disney World.

There's a lot of evidence of the city being highly industrial. The highway seems to have divided the industrial parts from the residential.

There's a lot of schools.

There's a lot of art and museums.

New York is only two hours away, so presumably there is a huge brain drain.

2   Things to do

Things to do:

3   Places

Port Richmond is a neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia. It is a historically immigrant neighborhood, of mostly Polish, Irish and German families.

3.1   Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Square (originally Southwest Square) is a park.

3.2   Avril 50

Avril 50 is a shop in University City that sells coffee, magazines, tobacco, chocolate, and gift cards.

The store is named after the birth date of the owner, April 1950.

John is the owner of Avril 50. He's Iranian, and a Penn alum. He studied law and international studies. After graduating he couldn't return home due to conflict in Iran.

He has a wife and son.

Avril 50 has been open longer than any other shop on Sansom.

Loosely based off the French Tabac.

4   Restaurants

4.1   City Tap House

Brunch is always a good option. I don't think I've ever gone wrong the few times I've been.

Dinner is served in a large open space behind the bar. I tried the standard Tap Burger with a side salad ($13), which was definitely tasty.

The decor is a mix between classy and trendy. Lighting is dim. There's occasionally live music, which sets the mood well.

Service is generally great. The servers frequently check up on you to help with drinks and make sure you're doing well. I have to complain that when I got dinner our server left her shift seemingly without informing anyone, so we had no water and had to flag down another server for the check.

4.2   Lovers & Madmen

Lovers & Madmen is a cafe at 40th and Locust.

  • Because it's off campus, wifi is inconsistent; unlike that at Hubbub or Commons.
  • Strict rules

S.S. United States. The last Passenger Liner to receive the Blue Riband for crossing the Atlantic in record speeds in 1952. She still holds the record to this day. Sadly she is docked and rotting away across from the IKEA parking lot in Philly.


Del Friscos in Philly. It’s in an old bank and you can have dinner inside the vault.


Philadelphia leads the nation in sweatpants purchases per capita.