Monday, November 12, 2007

Philly Top10 list

Here are my Top10 reasons to go to Philly (in no particular order):

1. The Naked Chocolate Cafe
Try the Aztec drinking chocolate made with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Rich, thick and utterly delicious!

2. Sticky buns supposedly made by Amish people
Although it's not "traditional," the version with cream cheese frosting is pretty incredible.

3. The Liberty Bell
Surprisingly diminutive in size. And oddly enough, rather fake looking!

4. Cheesesteaks
No further description necessary

5. Monk's
See previous posting

6. Department store shopping
The draw here is not so much the stores themselves, but rather the fabulous architecture of the old, converted buildings in which the stores are housed. Many of the stores have stained glass windows and high ornate ceilings. The Macy's downtown has a large, fully functional pipe organ.

7. Chick Fil-A
Sure, you might be able to find one of these if you were willing to take a drive out from Boston a ways, but when it's right in the airport, it can't get any more convenient! The odd "Eat Mor Chikin" Holstein cow campaign is a little bizarre, but that hand breaded chicken really is freaking good.

8. The well-organized streets
Coming from Boston, the common sense ordering of blocks and numbered streets is very refreshing!

9. The museums
Although the Art Museum is renowned for its collection, we instead spent an afternoon at the Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The old-school high-ceilinged gallery houses a collection of medical oddities that is designed for meandering perusal. The library-like dark wood-trimmed display cases hold an impressive number of wax models, skulls and skeletal bits and pieces. Kind of gross, but kind of fascinating at the same time.

10. The friendly people
While hunting for the location of a classical music concert, we were stopped by a man on his cell phone who wanted to know if we needed directions. He seemed very enthusiastic as he explained that the restaurant down the street would know exactly where we wanted to go. He then proceeded to walk us in through the door of the Prime Rib Steakhouse. A gentlemanly host from Prime Rib then walked us back outside and a bit further down the block so as to better point out where the concert hall was located. I guess Philly is just North of the Mason-Dixon line so Southern hospitality isn't so outlandish down there.

If we'd had a little more time I would have explored the city more in depth. There is a fascinating dichotomy between old been-there-forever hole in the wall places and brand new yuppified shops all in the same city block!


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