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nashvillwill

Philadelphia love

6 posts in this topic

Just thought I would drop this here. 

 

I just got back from a Philadelphia trip and absolutely loved that city. It was my first time visiting there as an adult and it's not at all what I expected. The best way I can describe it is as a "small, big city". It has a very Manhattan feel to it in the build fabric, but on a much more manageable scale. "Center City", as they call the downtown area there is very urban with a great grid of 3-4 story brownstones and a relatively small CBD. As expected, being that it's one of the oldest cities in the U.S., there is a wealth of classic architecture with some tasteful new construction sprinkled in. They are currently building the Comcast tower, which as I was told, will be the tallest building in the U.S. outside of NYC/Chicago. The city is very flat and walkable, while not overly crowded, with a very adequate public transit system. It has its own culture, with a lot of slang to learn, yet not too pretentious. One of the things I noticed the most, is how affordable it is. Rents were comperable to Nashville, which was shocking to me. I was with some friends, so we did a lot of casual dining and went out for drinks at night. There are so many restaurants and bars that they were never crowded. We always walked right into a place, easily found a seat at the bar, and had fairly priced drinks. It was a large contrast to Nashville where it seems the norm has become waiting 45 minutes to sit down for $12 drinks. 

The highlight of the trip was our tour of Philadelphia City Hall. A second empire masterpiece which was quite amazing. It is an optical illusion. From the ground, it appears like a three story building, with a short tower. In reality, it is a 8 floor building and the tower is the equivalent of 30 stories. In typical U.S. fashion, it was scheduled for demolition during the new-urbanism area, and only survived because it was more expensive to demolish that it was to replace. 

We went to the city market, an old rail station turned food court, which had maybe the best collection of eateries I've ever seen.

The old city, with independence hall and the liberty bell, was fun, but kind of a tourist trap.

I also took in a Phillies game, which marked my 18th MLB stadium. 

The city certainly has its share of problems. West and North philly are high poverty area's. But south philly (what you traditionally see in the movies, is a very diverse, traditionally Italian area that I found to be very enjoyable. 

All-in-all, a great place to visit. I would consider it one of the most under-rated cities in the U.S. 

Sorry for the poor quality photos. My iphone is about as old as Philadelphia  

image_4.jpegimage_5.jpegimage_6.jpeg

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I haven't been into Philly since 1985. At the time, the magnificent City Hall was still the tallest building, as per the gentlemen's agreement on height, which was soon to be broken. Probably gives you some idea if the height limit were lifted in Washington, there'd be skyscrapers popping out all over.

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Great run down.  Philly is one of my favorites in this country as well.  What a damned enjoyable place to be.  And the Roast Pork sandwich!  Incredible. 

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I was born and bred in Philly in my youth and I get back several times a year for business and family. I agree that Philly is unique and has a lot going for it...in fact it is only the corrupt city government of Philly over the last 40 years that has held it back.

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Oh man, I love Philadelphia. I spent about 7 years there doing grad school then living and working in the area. Some of the best times of my life in what is, as you said, one of the most under-rated cities in the country. Tons of amazing food options, incredible history, and an urban vibe that is all its own. It really does feel like a much smaller city than it is, and so many people that live there forget that it's the 5th largest urban area in the country. It really is one of the few cities left that has its own, real, identifiable culture, especially in the northeast, where so many cities have been watered down to a mere shadow of what they once were (culturally speaking). Since I'm still so close, I manage to make it back about once a month to visit friends and hang out in town. Honestly, DC can't even come close to it in my opinion.

Anyway, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. If you ever are going to be back in town let me know and I'll meet up with you and show you around.

 

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Posted (edited)

On May 5, 2016 at 7:56 PM, Nathan_in_DC said:

 

Anyway, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. If you ever are going to be back in town let me know and I'll meet up with you and show you around.

 

Thanks for the invite. Actually, D.C. is on my short list of cities to visit. I haven't been there since I was a child. Maybe I'll hit you up if I get up there soon. 

 

I'll tell you one little antidote about Philly. As much as I loved the city, the sidewalks are atrocious. It's not a quantity problem, but a quality issue. I get it, it's one of the oldest cities in America, and sidewalk maintenance may not be high on the priority list. But there were so many "stumbling hazards", that I saw someone trip at least 5 times a day. It kinda became the running joke of our weekend visit of who in our group was going to fall first. 

Edited by nashvillwill

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