A Cathay Present: Philadelphia

I was actually pretty excited about Philadelphia after hearing so much about it, furthermore, I was staying with a host as well, which I am sure that I will also be able to visit some areas where the locals hang and goes to. Furthermore, after being close to bed ridden in D.C I am clearly in the mood back for some sightseeing. I decided to stay 2 nights in Philadelphia. Philly or the land of the famed cheesesteaks seems rather different than the various cities around US that I have been to. It had its own vibes, culture and way of living. It is not an expensive city as well when you compare it to the likes of NYC, LA, SF. It had a little rugged vibes and feels as well as a tons of American History. After all this is the birthplace of America! I think it is a great place with great food!

First up, Fishtown, this is the place where I was staying for in Philly, from my host, it seems that Fishtown is an upcoming neighbourhood in Philly, one of the more expensive one as well. I was staying in a nice quirky house that is really beautiful. Thanks Robin so much for hosting me anyway. I love the vibes and feels of the place. While I am new to this place, my host actually told me that it is one of the safest places in the city.

It seems like a classic American neighbourhood though, with townhouses lined up along both sides of the street. I love that Fishtown, it a little out of the city center and yet, it is close enough as well. It is a 5 to 10 mins drive or even a couple of Metro stops away. Fishtown also have alot of restaurants and bars along its main streets. I also had a chance to when on a Bar hop when I was here, perks when your host are working in bar as well. Some of the must visit include Lloyd, Garage! Nice people are everywhere. Prices are also cheaper than the city centre.

Of course, being in Philly, you can go without taking home some American History with you. It is basically where America started with the Liberty Bell as well as the Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed! I started by heading to check out the Liberty Bell. Do note that for all these attractions you will be required to go thru airport style security! Given how important they are. First up, I check up the Liberty Bell, an icon of independence. It sure sounds way more impressive than the actual bell is. Which both me and my host have a good laugh about! Iconically, the famous crack was formed when the bell was first rung when it arrive in Philadelphia.

I also took a walk around the Independence Hall area and even got a chance to see the building where the second congress was help. It sure look impressive and nice to be in a place with such history. We also sat in some replica seats, although that was good enough for me.

After that there is a chance to have a look at some of the rooms in this Congress, where back then it is still in such a small scale. Then as we head to the upper level, we could get a look at the original senate furnitures. Sadly, of course, we could not seat on these. It is pretty nice to spend some time here, there was a guide also. And you can hear some of the history as well.

Reading Terminal Market is the other destination that I would really recommend all the visitors to visit when in this city. This place is probably my favourite as well. I love markets, as well as food. The Reading Terminal Market fits both of my criteria. It is located right in the city centre and it is both a destination for fine food as well as grocery. The market is pretty huge with lots of stalls. You can find many stalls serving up good food, from asians to seafood as well as classic philly cheesesteaks. Here are some of the pictures.

Of course, you have to come to the market hungry, one of the best stalls to get from would be Dinic’s. They are definitely one of the most crowded stalls as well. Be prepared to queue for a little bit, but the line moves pretty fast. Grab one of the Roast Pork Sandwiches, which they are famous for, and it surely didn’t disappoint. I love that the market have a tons of seating which is so conducive for eating.

Another recommend stall would be Bassetts Ice Cream, which was highly raved after and recommended by my host. We each had a cup and it was awesome. I love that there are lots of ingredients in them!

The rest of the time were spent browsing thru all the various stalls around the market. I love walking around the market and seeing all the different fresh produce. Especially those that are so different and can’t be seen in my country. Look at how fresh these seafood are!

 

The last place that I would like to recommend is the area around South Street and Magic Gardens. South Street is another upcoming area in Philly, it is lined up with multiple streets and chic bars as well as restaurants. It have a soho vibes and definitely worth a walk down there.

Magic Gardens is one of the upcoming newest attractions in town. It is made by recycling rubbish into various sculptures as well as decoration. It is a funky art venue. I love that the place have a lot of different photo spots which are nice. I had so much fun taking photos here as well.

All in all, I had a pretty amazing time in Philly, stuffed with beers and amazing food. It was lovely that I was doing couchsurfing and get to live like a local as well. It does seem to be a very modest city and a pretty nice place to live in. While not a major attraction itself and a very popular tourist destination, it is still worth a visit, especially when you are nearby. The food is good and the vibes are great. Of course, a little American History thrown in as well!

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