By Teddy McCrann, ’23
This past September, I took a trip down to Pennsylvania with the main purpose of touring different colleges in and around the Philadelphia area. Initially, I was not very excited as it was a very, very long drive from Hanover and I’ve never been too fond of the hustle and bustle of life in the city. I now stand corrected. After spending a couple of days exploring Philly, I discovered that I’m actually quite fond of the city and its diversity as well as the hundreds of restaurants, shops, and historical sights it holds. It only took a small trip for my opinions to completely change, and if you’re not fond of urban life like I was, I definitely recommend giving this city, at least, a chance.
Walking through one of the main drags of Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, was definitely a highlight of the trip. Although it’s a little hectic crossing the double lanes of traffic and rotary exits, the views and atmosphere are unmatched. Lined up and down the street are graceful and vibrantly-colored flags that pay respects to the hundreds of nations of our world, which I found to complement the already welcoming atmosphere. I think this stretch of the city epitomizes one of the more famous nicknames of Philadelphia: the City of Brotherly Love. These feelings only grew stronger as I approached the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the end of the parkway and, of course, the all-mighty state of Rocky Balboa from the Rocky movies, which took place in Philadelphia. The fact that the people of Philadelphia loved the Rocky movies so much that they erected a statue in their honor makes me laugh, but I also appreciate this sense of “brotherly love” that comes through in the people’s love for their city. I’ve come to realize that this love for one’s home is present in not only Philadelphia, but in many cities of our nation — especially Boston. Urban life is hectic but it definitely promotes a sense of family and community amidst such a diverse group of Americans.
A huge benefit of living on the East Coast is that its ties to American history run deep in the foundations of cities and towns which have been around since before the Revolutionary War. Examples of these cities are Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. After going on this trip, I think Philadelphia is possibly the most historically rich area of the entire country, aside from Washington D.C. I traversed many blocks in order to see the Liberty Bell as well as Independence Hall, which is considered the birthplace of America after the Declaration of Independence was signed there in 1776, almost 250 years ago. The fact that such large metropolises, now modernized and changing every day, are hundreds of years old and hold such historical significance to our nation really illustrates how much America has developed and achieved over the years. Cities like Philadelphia and Boston are representations of America’s accomplishments and the community-fueled foundations in which it was built upon, which I have grown to love.
As much as I did enjoy Philadelphia, don’t worry, I’ll always be a Bostonian at heart. My exposure to the chaotic yet welcoming atmosphere of this city has changed my views on urban life in general; there is so much to offer, from local restaurants to historical landmarks. While our cities are certainly not paradises, and have socio-economic problems different from suburbs like Hanover, they are important to American identity and history. After this trip, I definitely see myself going into the city more often and, if you’ve been nervous of the hustle and bustle, maybe you can give it a chance too.
Featured image: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/pennsylvania/philadelphia
2 thoughts on “Visit to Philly Reveals Charms of City Life”
My daughter loves Philadelphia and is a freshman at Temple University. Yes, there is much diversity and crime like any other city, but she absolutely loves it!
Awesome article! I’ve only been to Philadelphia once when I was little so I don’t really remember it, but I would like to go again to experience all that it has to offer. It seems like you had a great trip, and it seems like a really cool place to visit!