To start, here are a few things I’ve noticed about the city of Philadelphia:

  • There are a lot of runners.
  • There are a lot of gingers–like a lot of gingers.
  • There are a lot of ginger runners.
  • These people love statues. They’re everywhere.
  • They don’t get cold. I was in a hoodie and a hooded coat, wearing mittens and lugging a weighted-down backpack the whole time. I was still frozen. A shirtless guy ran past me. The CENSOREDer.
  • They love their city.

When I say they love their city, I mean it. Every corner I turned, there was someone painting or sweeping or scrubbing. If they were just walking, they were wearing something high end, something you wouldn’t find in my closet, ever.

They also seem to appreciate history. Everything in Philadelphia celebrates the past. The statues and the architecture, for sure. Anything interesting or out of the way is accompanied by information, and there are placards everywhere you look. The Schuylkill River Trail follows–you guessed it–the Schuylkill River, and there was a ton of history to take in while you walked. There was a board filled with a history of each bridge I passed underneath, and they were all interesting. Bridges are interesting. Who knew?

To add to what I said yesterday, the path is unencumbered by motorists. It’s purely for cyclists and pedestrian walkers or runners, and almost never cuts across a road. You can just walk and walk–and that’s nice. There’s a limit to where you can get along the path, of course, since the city center and busiest streets run perpendicular to the river trail. Even so, this is a well-traveled path. Even on this relatively cool day (45-50, but chill winds), people were out and about. There was a 5K going along a road above the path, and a regatta along the river. People were everywhere. I never felt claustrophobic or like it was too crowded.  That’s the way it should be, and more cities are building bike paths along rivers because they can pass under or over roads easily.

The Tech, And Whatnot

This was one of the gazillion cities on the list of candidates for Amazon’s second headquarters, and it doesn’t look like Philly will make it. I think that’s probably for the best, because being headquartered in Philly wouldn’t necessarily mean Philly would get to take advantage of Amazon’s new projects before anyone else (drone deliveries for example). Philadelphia seems to work just fine on its own, and that’s probably the way it should stay. Gods, it’s so clean here.

One thing I noticed here more than in NYC was vehicles habitually stopping in the middle of an intersection during a red light. Meaning it’s green at the cross-section, but nearly impossible to safely cross because a bus or truck decided to pull into the intersection. I wasn’t walking in downtown long enough that it should’ve happened repeatedly, but it did. Traffic in Philly is apparently on the rise just like everywhere else, so the powers-that-be have decided to reduce delivery traffic by increasing loading zone space, and promoting pick-up over delivery. It won’t work. These silly humans all have the same bad ideas.

Oh well, I don’t have much to say. Let me know if there’s anything exclusive to Philly. Also, I did not have a Philly Cheesesteak.


About Author

Jeff is a self-proclaimed pragmatic futurist; that is, he has high hopes for absurd life-altering technologies which sound too good to be true, and probably are. Although he writes on a variety of subjects, his real passion is for technological innovation and the people who make it happen. By day, he enjoys fuzzy bunnies, kittens, puppies, roller coasters and a sardonic written word or two. By night, he's busy running MMR, replaying a random Final Fantasy game, or pretending to be Batman. He currently resides in Upstate NY.