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Summer in philadelphia

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey, I am spending most of my summer (Month of July and first few weeks of August) taking courses at the University of Pennsylvania. Anyone have any suggestions for must see stores, restaurants, or any other sights in Philadelphia? Does anyone think that a weekend trip up to New York or Washington, DC is worth it? How easy is transportation within / to these cities? Any particular districts that are a must see? Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 10
There are few things in this world that live up to the hype, but the Philly Cheesesteak is definitely one of them. They say there are two kinds of people in Philly - Pat's people and Geno's people. Luckily, they are right next door to each other, so you can decide for yourself without too much travel. Personally, I'm a Pat's guy. Whiz wit', drunk, at 3am? Doesn't get any better.
post #3 of 10
I'd like to throw in my two cents for a pizzasteak at Paul's Pizza (19th and Lombard). I could go for one right about now...
post #4 of 10
There are few things in this world that live up to the hype, but the Philly Cheesesteak is definitely one of them.  They say there are two kinds of people in Philly - Pat's people and Geno's people.  Luckily, they are right next door to each other, so you can decide for yourself without too much travel.   Personally, I'm a Pat's guy.  Whiz wit', drunk, at 3am?  Doesn't get any better.
I saw an episoide of "Insomniac" on Comedy Central where Dave Attel (the host/comedian) visited Philly. I can't remember if he ate at Pat's or Geno's, but it was about 2am and there was a big verbal argument going on with patrons of each restaurant yelling across the street at one another. Quite funny.
post #5 of 10
I actually kind of dig Philly... Stores: the only one that I've found that I really like is called Adresse on Locust. It's got men's, women's and home. The men's wear has Paul Smith, Etro, Malo, Gentry Portofino, and a few other lines. More importantly, the people who run it are super sweet and have good taste. Good stock of men's Lambertson Truex leather wear, probably second only to Bergdorfs. Not the cheapest place, but it's heart is in the right place. Food: cheesesteaks outside of Philly just don't do it. Like bagels outside NYC. Spend a rainy Saturday morning at the Reading Terminal as well -- big covered marketplace of good eats. Sights: take in the Eastern Penitentiary, it's creepy cool. In the summer, get out in the parks some. Of course a weekend trip is a must. NYC is a livelier city than DC by far (hell, Philly can make that claim as well). If you're young and never been to NYC before, enjoy. Of course it'll stink in the summer, but so will DC and Philly.
post #6 of 10
After you see the Eastern State Penitentiary (a must see for the Quaker way of punishment) have a pint at London. Boyds used to be pretty good for menswear, but I haven't visited in a while. Make sure to have a drink(s) at Dirty Frank's on Lombard (but please don't wear clothes you care about). See the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts (designed by the genius Frank Furness) on Broad Street. Have breakfast at Fork on Market.
post #7 of 10
For the "John Kerry" experience, order your Philly cheesesteak with Swiss cheese.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Wow. Okay, Philly cheesesteaks are a must. Few more questions: 1. For getting around, I'm asumming that there is like a subway or metro line? 2. How would you get from Philly to NY? By train? 3. Anything in particular that I must see / try / visit / buy in NY? Thanks.
post #9 of 10
Public transportation in Phila is decent. I am assuming that you will be on Penn's campus. Taxi's are expensive. Buy a cheap bycycle. My favorite Store is I Goldberg Army & Navy store. Go to the basement for really great Military surplus. There is also Jim's steaks on  Fourth and South. There is also more to do in that neighborhood then eat Cheese steaks. Do you really want to go to South Phila and hang with a bunch of guys in wife beaters named vinnie and tony? Go To Famous Delicatessen on 4th and Bainbridge. They have great pastrami and corned Beef. It is my favorite. Take the Casino bus to Atlantic City The casinos are all very tacky but the beach is huge and the ocean should be nice by the middle of July. When you head to NYC to save money take SEPTA to Trenton then take NJ Transit to Penn STation in NYC. It will take an hour more but save you at least $60. There is a $10 bus from Chinatown but I won't vouch for it. I understand that the people who run it only know the word $10.
post #10 of 10
If you're staying on the Penn campus eat at the White Dog Cafe.For cheese steaks I'm partial to Jim's on South Street-never cared much for Geno's or Pat's despite their hype.Definitely go to Ralph's on 9th street for Italian food.Long time South Philly favorite.Reading terminal market at 11th and Arch is a great lunch time destination.Tons of fast restaurants with every kind of food imaginable.Not open for dinner. Transportation around Philly is pretty good-subway up and down Broad Street.Buses go pretty much everywhere else.Bicycle best around the Penn campus.If you take the train to NYC go from 30th Street Station.It's cheaper to take SEPTA to Trenton and then hop on New Jersey Transit.Amtrak is no bargain. In the summer you definitely want to jog or ride a bike or roller blade along the East River Drive.Just beautiful.The girls and the river views. At night catch a Phillies game in the new ball park.The Phillies might not win but the ball park is a winner.You can bring in your own cheese steaks or hoagies if they are wrapped in a clear wrapper. Take a day trip to Atlantic City.The White House in A.C. is famous for their subs with the unique Atlantic City rolls.Casinos aren't up to Vegas though.If you want to check out the girls head for Washington Avenue in Margate, especially on the weekends. Open air concerts at the Mann Music Center in Fairmount Park.Sit on the lawn and bring your own picnic basket. O.k. shopping in Philly but it's not NYC.However there is no sales tax on clothing in Pennsylvania like there is in New York.Check out I. Goldberg Army Navy store in downtown Philly.An institution.Tell them you know Carl.Maybe you'll get a discount.
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