What do you like most about living in Philadelphia?

TalkPhiladelphians

Join LibraryThing to post.

What do you like most about living in Philadelphia?

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

1mpramanik
Feb 26, 2008, 12:35am

I used to live in the Philadelphia area, so I think this post is prompted from nostalgia. My list starts with maple trees, fire flies, real pizza, diners, and pretzel vendors.

2Allama
Feb 26, 2008, 12:05pm

I absolutely have to second maple trees, fire flies, and diners!

Chickensteaks is on my list as well, not to mention Mom and Pop Italian; strombolis and brick-oven pizza are food I require to remain alive. Another "must" is the sensation of distinct seasons without aggravating temperature extremes. I love being able to watch the leaves change without having to worry about suffering through sub-zero temperatures a week later.

3parelle
Feb 27, 2008, 10:49pm

Reading Terminal Market, Koch's Deli, Clark Park and picnic places, new tea places, people who run over to help if you fall (as I tend to do, with my two left feet), Di Bruno's, cheap seats at the Orchestra and Opera, small streets and neighborhoods, and a lot of character :)

4vpfluke
Feb 27, 2008, 11:07pm

I haven't lived in Philadelphia for 30 years, so my memories are old. I did go to college there. Certainly Reading Terminal Market (I can't remember the name of the fabulous ice cream that is sold there), soft pretzels with mustard (I never knew out that pretzels were good until I has my first Philly one with mustard on it) are good memories. Are Philadelphia potato chips still darker than those sold in other cities?

Until the rebuilding the Market-Frankford subway-elevated started 25 years ago, this line, without a doubt, was the the most precisely operated rapid transit line in the Unitd States. I'm in the industry and I should know. We did a check on running time performance at 13th & Market for three hours in the evening rush hour in the mid 1970's. The latest any train operated was 20 seconds late. Now the Broad Steet Subway and the subway surface lines were a different story. PATCO was and is good also.

People in Philadelphia don't crowd each other out as much as New Yorkers and Bostonians. Philadelphians are less agressive.

The Philadelphia accent has a subtle variation from other U.S. dialects, but on the whole, when you listen to people outside the rest of the east coast and the south, it sound like Philadelphia's accent is closer to the accent heard from western Massachusetts to California (as compared to New York, Boston, Charleston, or Savannah).

Regarding the Phila Orchestra, does the new hall have an organ in it. I have a wonderful memory of Saint-Saens Organ Symphony being played at the Academy of Music in the 70's -- it's actually available (or was) as a CD.

5jillmwo
Feb 28, 2008, 2:47pm

What I loved about Philadelphia when I arrived here was the sense that the city moved at a more manageable pace than in New York. When I go back to NYC, I always feel like I can't keep up whereas down here, the city pace is tolerable.

6vpfluke
Edited: Mar 1, 2008, 12:46am

The great ice cream in the Reading Terminal Market is Bassetts, the ultimate creamy ice cream with really fresh ingredients (Strawberries in season that really taste like strawberries, for instance)

You can also buy the fish shad there, unavailable in most cities in America.

7HouseholdOpera
Mar 4, 2008, 9:55am

The Italian Market. And Reading Terminal, of course. And the Frank Furness buildings. And the older houses in general -- there's so much neat 19th century architecture. And being able to orient myself by William Penn's statue on top of City Hall (except when the view is blocked by a skyscraper).

8mpramanik
Mar 14, 2008, 11:53pm

My husband is right next to me on the sofa asleep right now. God he is cute! That got me thinking of one of my favorite dates with him back in Philadelphia. I really miss the art museum. Then going along the Schuylkill river (I had to look up the spelling on that one) and watching the crew teams. Also now that I am in the bay area in California, I especially miss having barbeques and eating outside on the warm summer nights. It is typically too cold to eat outside in the evening here.

9mcamiel
Mar 15, 2008, 2:06am

The topic seems to have morphed into "Things I miss about Philly since I don't live there anymore", which suits me fine. I was born & raised there but left in '76 when I graduated Drexel.

You guys are making me hungry with the Reading Terminal Market chatter. Other Philly food I miss is homemade pierogis from the old Polish ladies on Richmond, and good scrapple like Habersetts or Dietz & Watson.

By the way, vpfluke, Faidley's Seafood in Lexington Market here in Baltimore carries shad roe, too. After 30 years down here, though, I'm still irked at having to say "No thanks" to the offers of mayonaisse on my hoagie or lettuce and tomato on my cheesesteak. And besides the Philly accent, I remember the propensity to do away with superfluous syllables in speech. A conversation with a buddy exploring the possibility of dining together went something like this:
Him: d'jeet
Me: node, jew
One-third less effort expended in that exchange!

I remember one of the advantages of attending school in the University City area was the wide array of diversions available to us when we cut class. We would generally go over to Penn's campus to: sneak into Franklin Field and play touch football on the fake turf - seemed very exotic to us in the early '70s; watch the Flyers practice at the old Class of '29 rink or go to the Penn Relays at FF; commune with the mummys at the Penn museum. And cheap nighttime entertainment at the Palestra called Big Five doubleheaders. 1st game a city school vs a national team, like St Joe's vs Notre Dame or Boston College or some such, the nightcap a city series game, say Temple-LaSalle. Get in for next-to-nothing with a student ID from any college in the city.

I'm beginning to think this growing up & working for a living thing is way over-rated.

10vpfluke
Mar 15, 2008, 2:14pm

You can always tell the difference between a Philadelphian and a Baltimoran (not sure what word the latter should be), by the way Baltimore itself is pronounced, given that Philadelphia does have Baltimore Avenue (although this is nota good way to get to Baltimore).

Philadelphians say something like Balteemore.
In Baltimore, it seems to come out more like Balmer.
Now Penn is filled with non-naitve Philadelpians, so you have to get out of University City to hear the Philadelphia accent.

11mcamiel
Mar 15, 2008, 3:56pm

Your right, vpfluke, I still pronounce the name of the largest city in the state of Merlin with a long e sound in the middle syllable of three.

I'd adjust your native pronunciation ever so slightly to something closer to Bawl-mer.

The term is Baltimorean if you're trying to be correct, Balti-moron if you're trying to be uncharitable.

Conversely, we have a Philadelphia Road down here. Maybe it meets up with Baltimore Pike somewhere near New-Ark.

12Bookishhh
May 18, 2008, 8:12pm

There are a millions things. The slow, almost small-town pace and friendliness. The fact that strangers say hello to each other. Farmer's markets in every neighborhood now, including in the City Hall courtyard. The fact that I talk to Amish people almost every week. The new grassroots, multiracial and multicultural community radio station, WPEB (88.1, I think). The real live DIY culture. The new park at the Water Works and its view of the river. The cheap, beautiful ferry tour of the Schuykill (leaves from the base of the Walnut Street bridge). Crazy Germantown, where there are traces of 17th century American alongside wig shops and dunkin donuts. GreensGrow farms, a super-fun utopian garden store and yard.

Rittenhouse Square on any given day. Terrific cold cuts, olives, pickles. Fresh soft pretzels. Great bars with great food where you can hear yourself speak. A small but vital Chinatown. These are just the first few things that come to mind.

13vpfluke
May 19, 2008, 11:46am

I used to think that the Quaker founding of Philadelphia gave it a gentler atmosphere. And Benjamin Franklin was a diplomatic sort, despite originating in Boston.

14caitemaire
Jul 4, 2008, 9:49am

{{sneaking in, as a south joiseyite..}}

a lot of food talk here! and i would agree, there is some great food in Philly. Reading Terminal Market and food...i have a vivid memory of the market from one very hot summer day. i day to get some tests over at Jefferson Hospital and had a couple of hours to kill, so i walked over to the market. it was so hot and i got an ice cream cone at Bassetts...wow, it was the best ice cream i have ever had! or so it seemed that day...

The Flower Show! lovely...and right across the street from The Market!!

15StoutHearted
Jul 8, 2008, 10:18am

Number 1 reason: Beer! I think our beer scene is the best because of the large number of good beer bars in the downtown area. Philly also has a superior Beligan beer bar scene compared to any other city I've been in, including NYC. (No offense to Spuyten Duyvel.) Lots of local brewpubs and breweries abound in this area to make quality drink everywhere you go- we're spoiled!

Other reasons to love Philly: Rittenhouse Square, soft pretzels, "Wooder" ice, Chickie and Pete's crab fries, tons of museums, excellent theatre community

16HouseholdOpera
Jul 9, 2008, 11:55am

I'm moving away from Philadelphia in a few weeks, and I'm *so* going to miss the food trucks. Especially the crepe truck at 33rd and Market. Where else (on this side of the Atlantic, anyway) can you get a crepe from a street vendor?

I'm also going to miss the room full of Duchamps at the Art Museum, Rittenhouse Square, and the occasional sight of a Toynbee Tile embedded in a crosswalk.

17rae333
Sep 11, 2008, 6:38pm

I love the access to fun things..art museums, concerts, events, garlic fests and the like.
I wouldnt move away from here. I live in a suburb outside of philly but as anyone from a suburb outside of philly knows, the only way anyone knows where you are talking about is to say "i live in philly."
Its close proximity to NY and the (ick) beaches of NJ make it a pretty sweet location. ACity is a nice gambling establishment..along with philly park casino.

I do think "city of brotherly love" is a bit of an overstatement though..

18caitemaire
Sep 23, 2008, 11:08pm

not a fan of the Jersey beaches?

19BookishRuth
Sep 23, 2008, 11:24pm

The rich history: Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross, Edgar Allan Poe (although he tends to be more associated with Baltimore), Valley Forge, the proximity to both Amish Country and Gettysburg, etc.

20caitemaire
Sep 23, 2008, 11:49pm

roast pork sandwiches with sauteed greens...cheesesteaks...soft pretzels....can you tell I am hungry?