Moving to Philadelphia
My journey led me to Philly after finishing up grad school in South Carolina. I'm originally from Maryland, so it's been great to be closer to family and friends in my hometown. Also, it's a big city that's easy to make feel smaller than it is. The sheer breadth of things to do here is mind-blowing. Art? We have some of the best museums in the country. History? The country was founded here! Outdoor recreation? Fairmount Park rivals Central Park as an urban greenspace mecca. Professional sports? Go ahead and snag an Eagles shirt now and get acquainted with our beloved Gritty. Food? Just about every kind of food is available here, and it's all delicious. There's something for everyone.
I'll admit, at first, moving here from the southeast gave me a little bit of apprehension. And since I grew up a Baltimore sports fan, I heard some not so positive stories about Philly fans and their… "passion." But when I arrived and got settled in summer 2018, I found normal, generous, friendly people who didn't care who I was or where I came from. They were just glad I was here and were excited to share all their favorite Philly establishments and pastimes with me.
When I arrived and got settled in summer 2018, I found normal, generous, friendly people who didn't care who I was or where I came from. They were just glad I was here and were excited to share all their favorite Philly establishments and pastimes with me.
One standout memory I have from my first few months here is when my partner and I got lost using the subway coming home from a Phillies game. It must have been obvious that we had no idea what we were doing, because we heard a fellow rider holler at us in a thick Delco (Delaware County) accent from the escalator in Suburban Station: "Where you tryin' to go?" We told him, and as he continued to ascend, he pointed to the direction we needed and bluntly shouted out which sign to look for. We thanked him quickly before he disappeared up the stairs. The man responded with a shrug and said, "Welcome to Philly." Although it was just directions, that was one of the first moments where I thought to myself, "I really like it here."
So, as someone who has been there before, here are some pro-tips for folks moving here and trying to figure Philly out.
- Get outside! There's so much beauty here and outdoor space to explore. Try Kelly Drive.
- Use your Drexel student discounts for local events, museums, and attractions.
- Don't be afraid to talk to people. They'll help you find the hidden hotspots in the city for locals only.
- Explore the different neighborhoods on the weekends. They each have their own distinct personality. Rittenhouse, Fairmount, West Philly and Fishtown are my favorites!
- Yes, it sounds silly to say, "whiz wit," but it's sillier to speak a whole sentence when ordering a cheesesteak.
Before you know it, you'll feel right at home here in Philadelphia. It doesn't take long to figure out why they named it "the City of Brotherly Love."