I recently applied for an internship with FIRE, which is housed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Following a phone interview, they opted to fly me up to Philly for a full-fledged interview—and this just for a summer internship!
With the interview on Friday, and my return flight on Sunday, I had all day Saturday to sample the City of Brotherly Love.
I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, which is located next to the Philadelphia Convention Center and the Chinatown district. Fortunately, Philly is foot-friendly, and I was able to visit numerous sites without having to resort to a taxi or public transit.
Although the City is known as a working-class metropolis, the heart of Philadelphia is a historical treasure trove, and the newer structures largely complement its historicity rather than detract from its heritage.
Philadelphia’s historical preservation board has done a great job of keeping its historical structures in pristine condition. Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, for example, are complemented by park enhancements such as the National Constitution Museum and attractive landscapes.
One of my favorite aspects of the City is its small cobblestone streets. They aren’t friendly to modern vehicles, but they compensate with their charm. Everyone knows about the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, but small things such as the streets or coming across a random plaque for Cyrus Curtis…
…or randomly coming across the site of the birth of the Republican Party…
…or a landmark relating to the Barrymores, the famous acting family…
Philadelphia has more than its share of restaurants and it offers some great food. I couldn’t sample it all, but I did manage to get by the Green Eggs Café, where I had the best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever tried. I also sampled the customary cheese steak—in fact, it was next to the Liberty Bell on my to-do list.
Various guides suggested Jim’s Steaks, and this recommendation was seconded by many in-store autographs and pictures of famous people thanking Jim “for the great meal.” No one asked for my autograph or a picture with a testimonial, but my cheese steak was delicious. I didn’t order the “Cheez Whiz” cheese steak, but the regulars there chided me for not going all the way, and if I return, I’ll give that a shot.
Overall, the City was wonderful: the people were hospitable, the history was amazing, and its food was wonderful. I may or may not receive the internship for which I applied, but one way or another, I’ll make sure I get back to see more of Philadelphia.