So, you’re about to become the newest resident of the City of Brotherly Love. Yay! We’re happy to have you. Philadelphia is a big East Coast city, and it comes rife with its own history, traditions, and atmosphere. I find that it’s best to steep yourself in the vibes of a new home before you move, so you aren’t left reeling from culture shock. The following are some things you should know before you move to Philly.
On one hand, Philadelphia is a huge East Coast city, on a par with Boston, Washington D.C., and New York City. You’ll have all the amenities of big-city life: the dining, the clubs, the entertainment, the ability to get whatever you want at whatever time of night you want it… but Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods. This makes things feel more insular, and makes residents feel more connected as part of a smaller community. Neighborhood pride runs deep in Philadelphia. Within these microcosms, neighbors know each other by name and small businesses flourish.
Philadelphia is represented by a team in every major sporting league. We have the Eagles in football, the 76ers in basketball, the Phillies in baseball, and the Flyers in hockey. We even have a professional soccer team – The Philadelphia Union. And we take our team loyalty VERY FREAKING SERIOUSLY, LINDA. There’s a reason why other NFL fans still talk about that one time rowdy and drunk Eagles fans (which is redundant, really) threw car batteries on the field. Or the incident with Santa Claus and the snowballs. We take it to the limit every time, baby. So watch the smack talk. As far as you’re concerned, Nick Foles is a folk hero, this is the Sixers’ year, and we were robbed. Doesn’t matter which team or which game. Just go with it.
“One, Whiz, wit’.” That brief little sentence is your ticket to ooey, gooey, cheese-drippy deliciousness of the kind you have never known. The Philly cheesesteak is well worth the hype, whether you choose Pat’s King of Steaks, Geno’s (these two are rivals, existing literally across the street from one another), John’s, or anyone else’s. Here’s the lowdown: you order quickly, since lines are long. You first state how many sandwiches you want. Then, your choice of cheese. Cheez Whiz is traditional, but provolone and American are also acceptable, in descending order. Finally, do you want fried onions? Wit’ is yes, wit’out is… without.
In addition to being the home of the Liberty Bell and Betsy Ross’s house, Philadelphia, the birthplace of America, is filled with so many mementos of people, places, and things that were integral to creating America that you could easily spend a week visiting nothing but the landmark posts in Old City. This is, to put it simply, where the founding fathers sat around and founded stuff. And it’s not just colonial history, either. We have Edgar Allen Poe‘s former residence, which is now a museum. We’ve got jazz legend John Coltrane’s house. And don’t forget ALL the Benny Franklin monuments – the Parkway, a bridge, a mall, a park, and countless businesses and neighborhoods are all dubbed in his honor.
William Penn (you know, as in PENNsylvania?) designed the city of Philadelphia on a gridded system, and today, it’s still pretty damn useful at helping you figure out where you need to go just by checking out the address. Streets that run north to south are numbered, and streets that run east to west are named after trees… Chestnut, Spruce, Poplar, and so on. Penn also designed a handful of public squares where residents could gather and enjoy each others’ company. Today, the five original squares (Washington, Rittenhouse, Fitler, Franklin, and Logan) are still verdant and beautiful, and frequently host public events.
Not only is the city home to the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school and one of the nation’s best institutions of learning, but there are also no less than FIFTEEN four-year colleges within city limits, many of which revolve around the arts. If you are looking for a great place to attend school, we can’t say enough to convince you to come here.
Not only is Philadelphia ranked as the country’s 4th-most “walkable” city, but the traffic is truly horrifying. There’s no sugar-coating it. Basically, unless you plan on leaving the city often, you don’t want to have a car. Plus, Philly has truly wonderful public transportation – trains, electric trolleys, buses… anything you need to get where you are going is here. Look at this positively, as saving on car insurance, a payment, and gas frees up part of your budget for other things. As for groceries, we have supermarkets here, but why would you go? We have amazing outdoor markets, the most notable of which are the Italian Market and Reading Terminal Market. Both offer gorgeous fresh produce, handmade goodies, and better meat cuts than you’ll find even at the chi-chi box markets.
Parents of Philadelphia and surrounding states are blessed to have in their midst CHOP, or the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Repeatedly rated as the best children’s hospital in the country, it has a full trauma center, a Level III NICU, and unrivaled physicians. It was the first hospital in the country that is just for kids. And adults aren’t doing too badly, either. Pennsylvania Hospital was America’s first hospital and today is still a respected medical institution. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital regularly garner many laurels in the annual U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals reports, along with nationally-recognized Hahnemann University Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Wills Eye Hospital, and Lankenau Hospital.
Have we convinced you to move here yet?