Originally Posted by VTinPhilly
I'm not a native Philadelphian, but I remember my first trip to this city back in 1980. I entered Philly from the Walt Whitman Bridge and drove north on, I believe, 9th Street into Center City. I fell in love with Philadelphia that day and hoped that I could live here some day (I lived in Washington, D.C. at the time). Well, I've lived in Philly for 13-years now and I love this town more than ever.
I've been to every major city in this country and as far as I'm concerned, Philadelphia is the best. We have a total package that no other city can match--history, neighborhoods, architecture, visual/performing arts, monuments, museums, restaurants, libraries, great universities, parks, public transit, walkability, affordability and on and on and on....
When construction on City Hall began in 1871, Philadelphia was the wealthiest city in America because we were the largest industrial city in the Western Hemisphere. We are no longer that, but Philadelphia's population is finally growing again and we are in the midst of a tremendous construction boom with CITC as the center piece. The eyes of the world will be on this city when the Pope visits and when the Dems meet in Convention here in 2016. Philly will be ready and we're gonna look great!!
Wow, you've got me beat by one year with almost the exact same experience. I know I came to Philadelphia in the early 80s but only remember the zoo. The first trip to Center City I really remember was in 1994. We were supposed to go to the Outer Banks for my high school graduation, but the island got washed away in a hurricane so we spent a week in New York, Philly, Baltimore, and DC. I was obsessed with Philadelphia for the rest of the summer and kicking myself for not having applied to a college here. It was so gritty and raw, even compared to 1990s New York.
Anyway, I ended up moving to DC after college because - well, when you're from Virginia - that's what you do. Three years later, a rent hike, and a layoff, I decided to move to the weirdo's dream city and haven't looked back.
As much as I loved the grit it's been so wild to watch Philadelphia transform, especially its skyline. But it's also transformed on the street. It's not just the CITC that will be the city's center piece, but Comcast's "campus." Before Comcast Center was built, there was nothing in Center City like it. Every other skyscraper butts right up to the sidewalk. Comcast used the footprint for another skyscraper on very pricy land to build a large plaza to showcase their presence.
I assume you went to VA Tech? My sister went there. I went to Longwood. When I look back on DC I wonder why I didn't move to Philadelphia sooner. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Philadelphia is a sleeping giant about to wake up. Between the Convention Center, the Universities, Comcast, the hospitals, and the creative industry being priced out of New York, Philadelphia is poised to take over the northeast.