Again, apologies for the long hiatus I’ve been so busy with work and then when I get home I just want to crash. But it’s a 3 day weekend this weekend so I’ve got some extra time to update ze blog!
A couple of weeks ago, the last time we had a long weekend in fact, we caught the bus to Philadelphia. It’s the closest city and cheapest place to travel to from New York so was perfect for a weekend trip. We got return bus tickets for $30 which was a bloody bargain! Our bus left early on a Saturday morning, we managed to get there just in time but the bus was packed so Will and I didn’t get to sit together or get a window seat. You live and ya learn, we’ll know for next time. We went with MegaBus which I highly recommend. They have double decker buses and a hilarious driver who provides commentary throughout. Well ours did anyway.
We used Air Bnb again for our accommodation which was fine, it was cheap enough. We stayed with a strange older lady though soo we didn’t get to meet any cool young locals. Boo. But we were close to the city centre and the art museum so it wasn’t all that bad. It’s hard traveling to different cities and states now because we started in New York so everywhere we go we compare to New York which isn’t really a fair comparison as NYC will come out on top every time. Philly is filled with history so a lot of the things to see and do there are history based. We went to the art museum which is where the scene from Rocky was filmed where he ran up the steps. My personal favourite scene that was filmed there was Will Smith rein acting Rocky in Fresh Prince. HILARIOUS. See below. I had the Fresh Prince theme song stuck in my head the whole weekend, so when we stumbled across a playground right beside a basketball court..it was a no brainer to take photos.
We got a glimpse of Philadelphia culture and lifestyle at the art museum when we were approached by someone asking if we wanted them to get a picture of us. Again I was fooled. I thought they were doing this out of kindness but at the end he asked for any spare change we had. In this circumstance I didn’t mind him asking for money because at least he was out there doing something trying to earn money rather than just begging on the street. So we gave him what we had which sadly wasn’t much. He was a great director, telling us how to stand, what expressions to pull, where we should put our hands and he got some pretty good pictures actually.
This was the first difference between New York and Philadelphia – the homeless people. New York is depicted as this scary place, filled with crime and scattered with homeless people. To an extent this is true. But I felt more scared in Philadelphia than I ever have in New York. The difference between the homeless in New York compared to Philly is that, in New York the homeless sit on the street, minding their own business usually with a sign or a cup asking for money. In Philadelphia I found that they would approach you and constantly pester for money. As soon as we got off the bus, we were walking down a main street and this older homeless woman asked us for any change, which we didn’t have. We then watched her stop every single person on the street asking for money. This included her stopping two people who were running, in running gear, with nowhere to hold change, but she stopped them anyways. She passed us again later on the street, completely unaware she had already asked us so asked again. The only place where a homeless person would approach you in New York is on the subway and even then they are polite about it and don’t get up in your face. On numerous occasions in Philly we saw homeless people going up to strangers on the street and sometimes even starting fights. It’s not somewhere I would want to walk around by myself.
Apart from that though, I did enjoy Philly. We went to other tourist things like Eastern State Penitentiary which is an old prison that closed in 1971. It was amazing to walk around and see all the old cells. Eastern State was unique because it believed in reforming inmates rather than punishing them. For many years while the inmates were there, they would have their own cell and own activity area which meant that they would not see or socialise with any other inmates. Reading material was provided if they wanted it, but they only got The Bible. That was definitely one of my highlights because prisons fascinate me so it was amazing to walk around one as famous as Eastern State.
We also went to some cool bars, music stores, vintage shops and restaurants. 2 days was definitely enough though, especially because it was colder than New York! I was happy to get back to The Big Apple.