Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

Philadelphia - Washington Square - cleaning American history and the right shoulder of George Washington - Krista photo

“While the city hasn’t been able to showcase its cracked bell (the Liberty Bell) for a long time now, and it’s also been a while since Sylvester Stallone ran up the museum stairs like Rocky, Philadelphia has become somehow a cool place in recent years, with a vibrant cultural scene and nightlife. The Museum of Art is famous, as is the Italian market in the south of the city, many visits just for the Philly Cheese Steak, many are there, though in truth it’s not much more than a greasy sandwich. Mount Airy, the area where I’m staying, is famous for being a place where diversity really works, and people really do mix happily here regardless of skin color and sexual orientation.”

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“When I hear the name Philadelphia, two movies come to mind: One is the Tom Hanks film of the same name, with Bruce Springsteen’s indestructible classic “Streets of Philadelphia” as its title song, and the other is The Sixth Sense. That’s about all I knew about the city before I got here, and overall the city was more or less as I expected. Later we also went into the town hall, but as soon as we got in, we were immediately chased out because there was a fire alarm. No problem! We went on and stopped at an unusually looking shopping mall, which is located in the 19th century, a train station-like building. We took a look here too, and then we were taken to a very atmospheric little street where all the buildings are still from the 1700s! Here, too, we took a walk, looked at the house of Betsy Ross, this lady who sewed the first American flag, and then headed for the stairway intended to be the highlight of the Philadelphia tour, which everyone now calls just the “Rocky Stairs”. This is where the memorable coaching scene of Sylvester Stallone's 1976 classic boxing film was shot. It's a shame we only had 20 minutes here because it's a wonderful place. In the park, of course, is the Rocky statue. I couldn't miss the climb up the stairs, which at least rewards you with a magnificent panorama. "


Practicals

Transport

By car

The cheapest way of parking could be in the car parks of subway stations.

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Philadelphia is not a major airline hub.

This is a bike-friendly city.


Accomodation

We recommend you choose a downtown hotel if you can afford it. It is great to walk out of the hotel and get so quickly to the museums and historical sights — no worries about commuting, paying for a taxi or having headaches because of the expensive and challenging parking.

Food

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Philadelphia - Philly cheesesteak - toasted sandwiches (hoagies) filled with hand-cut strip loin and melted cheese - j.c. photo

USA - Philadelphia - Geno's Steaks - z.m. photo

Shopping

A really characterful shopping area is in the old town with trendy boutiques and galleries of the 3rd Street Corridor. 

Public safety

Late-night make sure that you’re in an area where there’s pedestrian traffic and you don't walk alone.

City Center, Fishtown, Passyunk. East Kensington is safe even deep in the night. If you feel unsafe, call an Uber.  Kensington is not safe, even in the daytime.

To keep you safe, have some situational awareness. When you’re walking around, don’t be on your phone or have earbuds in. Interact with your surroundings, hear what’s going on, know if someone is behind you, etc.

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,, The city center of Philadelphia is downright safe, mainly because the two national monuments - Independence Hall and Liberty Bell - is guarded for 24 hours by significant security forces. There we felt completely safe even at night." (aji, 2018)




Philadelphia - friendly police officer - b.r. photo

USA - Philadelphia - Independence Hall - The T-shirt says: I am an American - I have the right to bear arms - your approval is not required - Aji photo

Health

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USA - Philadelphia - Fat Zone - z.m. photo

Philadelphia - Students run up the stairs in Rocky's footsteps - Krista photo

Others

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Philadelphia - Rocky statue with the usual tourist pose - Krista photo

Philadelhia - Queen Village - Aji photo

Philadelphia - run - Aji photo

Background

Philadelphia - Benjamin Franklin Parkway - z.m. photo

Destination in brief

Population (in 2020): 1.6 million - 44,8% White, 42% Black (Afro American), 7% Asian

Philadelphia is the 6th largest city in the US.

Average net monthly salary (in 2020): 3100 USD - (USA average: 3600 USD)

Center City Philadelphia is the second-largest downtown area in the U. S. (Manhattan is the first). 

Spring and fall is the best time to visit the city.

Geography

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Philadelphia - sculpture in Lenfest Plaza by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts - a Cold War surplus fighter plane converting its interior into greenhouse - Aji photo

Climate

Philadelphia mostly gets some scorching and humid weather in the summer and can sometimes have blizzards in the winter. Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, landslides are infrequent. Hurricanes are slightly less rare but tend to be at the storm's end area, so the destructive power is feeble.

History

Philadelphia was often mentioned as Killadelphia back in the 80s and 90s. At the height of the drug trade war, only Chicago had a worse murder rate. In some areas of Philadelphia, drug dealer gang-related killings happened every night, and during those decades, gangs killed yearly an average of 400-500 people in the city.  

Philadelphia - America's earliest surviving photograph was made here in 1839 - Aji's less famous photo made here in 2017

Philadelphia - Betsy Ross House - often considered to be the home of the American flag - K Elter photo

Nowadays


In Philly, homeownership is around 55%, but it is to 75% in some stable neighborhoods. In this city, it is not rare that an extended family lives in half of a block. Some families have been in their area for 100 years or more. For instance, in the Pennsport neighborhood, some families have even 200 years of history living in the same house. But: Philadelphia homeowners face property taxes among the highest in the country.

Philadelphia - modern - Aji photo

Philadelphia - parachute on National Airborne Day - K Elter photo

People

Most of the Philadelphians don’t give so much to verbal politeness. They are outspoken, even going to rudeness.

Most of the inhabitants eat far too much junk food from chain restaurants: hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, and from the supermarket, Oreo cookies, pizza, sugar-rich soft drinks, chicken nuggets/tenders, ice cream. 

Tourist etiquette

1. If you insist on touching political issues here, keep in mind that in the 2020 presidential election, 82% of Philadelphians voted for Biden. However, we have to mention that Trump actually did better in Philadelphia in 2020 than in 2016, by winning 127,000 votes.

Attractions

Independence Hall

Philadelphia - Independence Hall - K Elter photo

Liberty Bell

Philadelphia - Liberty Bell - K Elter photo

Italian market area

Philadelphia - Italian market area - mural of a successful local Italian businessman - Aji photo

One Liberty Observation Desk

Philadeplhia - One Liberty Observation Desk - Benjamin Franklin statue - Krista photo

Museums

Philadelphia - Philadelphia Museum of Art - K Elter photo

Miscellaneous

Philadelphia - Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site - K Elter photo

Philadelphia - Market Street National Bank - Art Deco - Aji photo

Philadelphia - City Hall - Elter photo

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