Monday, May 12, 2008

Philadelphia in the Rain

There are probably better ways to enjoy America's Constitution City than stuck in the hard shoulder of I-95 in the pouring rain. But that was how Philly welcomed me this morning.

Suitably disgraced, my formerly reliable chariot went off for a new starter motor and I went off to work in the downtown district of the birthplace of the American Republic.

Now people say a lot of bad things about Philadelphia. So far, I think it's a lovely place.

One of the older cities in America, it's beautifully designed and the buildings in the centre of the city are gorgeous. Elegant sky-scrapers, historic museums, ritzy art galleries and tree-lined boulevards that glisten in the rain (I'd have preferred more glistening and less rain, but I can't get everything, can I?)

What's more, the people in Philly are different.

Now I've always had a fondness for New Yorkers (I married one, didn't I?) But from the breakdown driver to my Camaro obsessed mechanic, everybody's been incredibly nice to me. There's just a different attitude here - like people are willing to say hello to you before they demand what they want.

Of course, it's not New York. The pizza's not as good, it costs $30 a day to park here (rather than $30 an hour) and the public transport's provided by authentic 1940's trams, rather than urine-scented subways.

But while New York is the gateway to America - where a million American dreams began - Philadelphia is where the American Dream got started - when 13 fledgling colonies met in congress to sign the Declaration of Independence and give birth to the American nation.

The unassuming red-brick building where the Continental Congress signed this historic document is less than two miles from my hotel. I'd visit there tonight, except my boss suggested I didn't roam the streets on my own after dark!


Meghan said...

Great picture. Sorry you got rained out. Hope you had a cheesesteak :)

The Chronicles of a Fashionista in PDX said...

Philadelphia looks awesome!! One of these days I'll make it there...