Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Things Learned On the Road

I'm back from four great days in Philadelphia. It was a great trip and my friend was VERY kind to come with me. Otherwise, I would have spent most of the weekend on one SEPTA or PATCO train and would have never gotten around to the fun things between research stops.

Ten amusing things about traveling in Philadelphia that can't be found on Google or Wikipedia:

1. The corner of Walnut and 3rd is evil
2. There can be two contradictory one-way signs on a single corner and they still expect you to abide by the rules
3. You have to pay careful attention to what is a street and what is an access road. Sometimes, it's not marked.
4. Philadelphia Phillies fans are adamantly proud of the fact that even if the Boston Red Sox went 86 years without a World Series win, they have over 10,000 losses. This makes them more diehard and more faithful than any Red Sox fans.
5. No matter where you go in Philly, you're bound to be a racial minority of some kind.
6. You can find the racial demographics of an area on the internet, but it still won't prepare you to find an Ethiopian restaurant next to a Chinese takeout, a Mexican market next to a Jamaican bakery or the million fried chicken restaurants.
7. It's a thriving metropolis, but you can't find anything downtown to eat after 9 p.m. Not even at a Starbucks. It's all closed.
8. These are some of the crazy-narrowest streets that I've ever seen, even in Italy.
9. In Germantown, even the McDonald's is fancy.
10. CHS is an awesome school with a great, diverse population made up of students who were above the 88th percentile in standardized testing.

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