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Picking an NHL team between the Flyers and Capitals

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Old
07-05-2013, 09:32 PM
  #1
kentuckyrebel
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Picking an NHL team between the Flyers and Capitals

I began watching hockey in this years playoffs with a friend who is a blackhawks fan since then I've recently started learning to play hockey in an adult learn to play league. I've had a blast over the past month learning to play and I am looking for a team. I've narrowed my list down to the Flyers and Capitals and I'm asking both teams fans to make a case for their team. I will be traveling for 3 or 4 days to the city of whatever team I pick next season as well. I've traveled to DC 4 different times, but never to Philadelphia, so please tell me what's some of the fun stuff to do in Philly (at this point I don't know what will cause me to make my final decision I'm just hoping for some help).

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07-05-2013, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kentuckyrebel View Post
I began watching hockey in this years playoffs with a friend who is a blackhawks fan since then I've recently started learning to play hockey in an adult learn to play league. I've had a blast over the past month learning to play and I am looking for a team. I've narrowed my list down to the Flyers and Capitals and I'm asking both teams fans to make a case for their team. I will be traveling for 3 or 4 days to the city of whatever team I pick next season as well. I've traveled to DC 4 different times, but never to Philadelphia, so please tell me what's some of the fun stuff to do in Philly (at this point I don't know what will cause me to make my final decision I'm just hoping for some help).
Well if you come to Philly you'll eat plenty of awesome food and gain 10 lbs. Plus this country wouldn't exist without Philly, and our landmarks reflect that. Washington just leeched the national capital spot off us.

On top of that, the sports fans are ravenous. Prepare to be hated because of who you root for. But our sports complex is awesome, everything within walking distance of each other. Did I mention the food is great?

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07-05-2013, 09:40 PM
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Well if you come to Philly you'll eat plenty of awesome food and gain 10 lbs. Plus this country wouldn't exist without Philly, and our landmarks reflect that. Washington just leeched the national capital spot off us.

On top of that, the sports fans are ravenous. Prepare to be hated because of who you root for. But our sports complex is awesome, everything within walking distance of each other. Did I mention the food is great?
Food and historic landmarks are always a plus, as someone who has lived on true Kentucky Fried chicken, I'm always game to gain another 10 pounds. I am intrigued by visiting Philly too, what little I've read up on it it seems like a fun city that won't break the bank.

Our Flyers fans similar to Eagles fans as far as passion? I'm assuming yes, which is a good thing.

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07-05-2013, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by kentuckyrebel View Post
I began watching hockey in this years playoffs with a friend who is a blackhawks fan since then I've recently started learning to play hockey in an adult learn to play league. I've had a blast over the past month learning to play and I am looking for a team. I've narrowed my list down to the Flyers and Capitals and I'm asking both teams fans to make a case for their team. I will be traveling for 3 or 4 days to the city of whatever team I pick next season as well. I've traveled to DC 4 different times, but never to Philadelphia, so please tell me what's some of the fun stuff to do in Philly (at this point I don't know what will cause me to make my final decision I'm just hoping for some help).

the hf boards hate philly and flyers fan... you should join the masses and stay away from the dark side

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07-05-2013, 09:45 PM
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If you want to be a part of arguably the most passionate American fanbases, pick Philly. The Caps fanbase/franchise can't hold a candle to the history that the Flyers have.

The Caps, while being a marketable team since Ovechkin came, were mired in disarray before the 2005 lockout. Their fanbase was quick to give up on them, and DC just has never struck me as a "sports" town.

The Flyers, while not having won the cup since '75, have always been extremely competitive and will do as much as possible to put the best product possible on the ice. As they have shown many times in the past, they don't rebuild (like the Caps did), they re-tool. If they are down, don't count them out, because they'll be back the next year.

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07-05-2013, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kentuckyrebel View Post
Food and historic landmarks are always a plus, as someone who has lived on true Kentucky Fried chicken, I'm always game to gain another 10 pounds. I am intrigued by visiting Philly too, what little I've read up on it it seems like a fun city that won't break the bank.

Our Flyers fans similar to Eagles fans as far as passion? I'm assuming yes, which is a good thing.
Always debated. The hardcore fans like most of us on HF are knowledgeable and passionate, as are many Eagles fans. Just don't listen to sports talk radio too much and don't listen to the national media...or we'll all drunk fools living in the past.

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07-05-2013, 09:49 PM
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The Flyers, while not having won the cup since '75, have always been extremely competitive and will do as much as possible to put the best product possible on the ice. As they have shown many times in the past, they don't rebuild (like the Caps did), they re-tool. If they are down, don't count them out, because they'll be back the next year.
This is what really has me leaning towards the Flyers, I really like the idea of a team that is committed to winning and has the ability to get the job done.

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07-05-2013, 09:51 PM
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Always debated. The hardcore fans like most of us on HF are knowledgeable and passionate, as are many Eagles fans. Just don't listen to sports talk radio too much and don't listen to the national media...or we'll all drunk fools living in the past.

Sounds easy enough to do, I always looked at eagles fans as fans that demanded excellence, not so much drunk fools.

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07-05-2013, 09:56 PM
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We throw snowballs at santa, your choice is clear.

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07-05-2013, 10:01 PM
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The Flyers have an extremely rich tradition. They can be considered as part of the Original 6 "lore" with their history from the Broad Street Bullies to today even though they aren't an O6 franchise. We also have a lot of passionate, or "hate" depending on who you talk to, rivalries. Nowadays the Flyers biggest rivalries are the Pens, Devils, and Rangers. At one point in time the Blues were a big rival along with the Bruins.

Great and legendary players like Lindros, Forsberg, Recchi, LeClair, Primeau, Clarke, Parent, Howe, and many others have donned the Orange and Black throughout the years. You probably won't find another team in the NHL that has had the bad luck of the Flyers in terms of Cups. If their luck was better, I believe we would have at least 3 more Cups.

The Capitals can't really compete against the Flyers in terms of tradition and history IMO.

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07-05-2013, 10:05 PM
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The Flyers destroyed communism. Every fan of other teams blindly hate us, but we saved them from living within the clench of the iron fist. Lotta thanks we get... ****'em all.

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07-05-2013, 10:07 PM
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just pick the flyers and shut up. and whatever your do, never, ever look up something called "coatsey's corner". It could seriously hurt you and everyone you know at a level that might even affect your DNA and any future generations of your extended family.

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07-05-2013, 10:11 PM
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The Flyers destroyed communism. Every fan of other teams blindly hate us, but we saved them from living within the clench of the iron fist. Lotta thanks we get... ****'em all.
I feel there is a good story behind this that I don't know.

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07-05-2013, 10:12 PM
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We throw snowballs at santa, your choice is clear.
I feel like this is a facebook status waiting to happen if I pick the Flyers (which quiet honestly you guys are doing a much better job than the 1 capitals fan that bothered to reply).

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07-05-2013, 10:14 PM
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The Flyers have an extremely rich tradition. They can be considered as part of the Original 6 "lore" with their history from the Broad Street Bullies to today even though they aren't an O6 franchise. We also have a lot of passionate, or "hate" depending on who you talk to, rivalries. Nowadays the Flyers biggest rivalries are the Pens, Devils, and Rangers. At one point in time the Blues were a big rival along with the Bruins.

Great and legendary players like Lindros, Forsberg, Recchi, LeClair, Primeau, Clarke, Parent, Howe, and many others have donned the Orange and Black throughout the years. You probably won't find another team in the NHL that has had the bad luck of the Flyers in terms of Cups. If their luck was better, I believe we would have at least 3 more Cups.

The Capitals can't really compete against the Flyers in terms of tradition and history IMO.
I feel like the Flyers are due and that's part of the appeal of them to me, I want a team that will be competitive over the next few seasons, so I can really continue to get in to it, also, as you said Flyers have a much more stable history than the Capitals.

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07-05-2013, 10:21 PM
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Having grown up in Philadelphia but lived in or near Washington for 4 of the last 5 years, I think I can offer some insight. First, I'm hopeless biased, being from Philly but just another transient here in DC. That said:

The biggest difference between the cities is the same as between D.C. and anywhere else, which is that D.C. lacks a strong identity or sense of place. I think this is not just a reflection of the current economy, where you have the Feds and K St and lots of young rich people from out of town, but fundamental to the nature of the place. D.C. was built 200 years ago to be a showpiece, and very few people lived there year-round until the last century. People visiting and looking at monuments might be confused by this, but D.C. lacks history. Its history is the nation's history, whitewashed and reimagined in marble.

That's not to say D.C. isn't a great place. Tons of culture of the arts and museum sort, lots of young people, really good food. Great parks and public places. (Though I do hate diagonal streets because they waste space and are anti-pedestrian.) I enjoy it, just not nearly as much as Philly.

When you leave the D.C. bubble, there are lots of other sorts of places you can go. Philadelphia is, imo, totally unique. It does have a lot of the working class grit and pride that is representative of any "second city" - Boston, Chicago, etc. As in, not New York or D.C. and both proud of that but also a little touchy about it.

In the case of Philly, however, it's much more complex. It's not just a place that the New York's of the world passed by, it's one they *overtook.* Lots of cities are good cities, or great cities: Philadelphia is a GREAT CITY. At one time, it was the second-largest English speaking city in the entire world, after only London. As William Penn's Holy Experiment, Philadelphia was the first (or second) place in the country where there true religious freedom, as in freedom to practice any religion, rather than freedom to escape and practice your religion. (RI justly claims to be the first place with a principle of religious freedom, but given anti-Catholicism there some people say Philadelphia was more free, albeit 40 years later.) Penn's treaty with the Indians was described by Voltaire as the only Indian treaty "never sworn to and never broken."

Boston is proud of their tea party and New York of their money, but as a geographic, political, and economic center of the colonies Philadelphia was the glue that held the nation together. Pennsylvania was also tremendously important in generating wealth for the young nation, with rich farmland and vast deposits of iron and coal. (Later oil, but that was long after the Erie canal and in western PA.) By 1900, when New York and other cities had surpassed Philadelphia, it was still the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the largest company in the world. The post-industrial economic decline that is associated with the "rust belt" in the 1970s started in Philadelphia in the 1900's. Between 1900 and 1910 the textile industry, the city's largest employer, shed 100,000 jobs. Other industries followed in degrees, and the city's population eventually shrank from a high of 2,000,000 to between 1,400,000 and 1,500,000.

So there's a lot to have a chip on one's shoulder about. But all the same, something of the spirit of the GREAT CITY survived. As one writer put it, "you have a sense that Philadelphia could be great again, if it just set its mind to it." (The same author noted that "Philadelphians routinely patronize the worst teams in all of professional sports," FWIW.)

This brings us, finally, to your actual question about the city today. The city has really rebounded from its historic low and once again has a population over 1,500,000. This is particularly evident in the downtown districts, which are increasingly full of younger and wealthier people, very much like New York or D.C. The biggest difference in the sense of history. The only North American cities I've been to that feel more historic are Montreal and Quebec. You can be walking home from a restaurant and happen past a 300-year old brick home, or a sign noting the favorite tavern of a colonial figure you learned about in grade school.

In terms of what to do, I most recommend things that are historic but also part of the life of the city. In other words, not the **** liberty bell. It's a bell in a glass enclosure. Skip it and visit Christ Church instead, and then stop into the Friends Meetinghouse on Arch Street just two blocks away.

Then follow Arch west to the historic Reading Terminal Market (which is actually our most visited tourist site, and justly so.) If you get a chance, poke your head into the Convention Center and see if you can see the beautifully restored train shed. Head up the Ben Franklin Parkway (another diagonal, darn you Le Corbusier) and stop into one of the museums. But consider skipping the famous ones like PMA and the Barnes (unless those are what you're interested in, they are fantastic!) and consider the often overlooked Rodin Museum or Waterworks.

From the Waterworks and/or Art Museum, look north at the main section(s) of Fairmount Park, one of the largest city parks in the world and certainly one of the most interesting. If you have time to drive in it or bike in it you can look at Laurel Hill, one of the first cemeteries in the nation open to the public (Mark Twain wrote about it), the Wissahickon Valley (a mill stream and water-powered industrial center to rival any in new England), and the site of the 1876 Centennial Exposition, as well as much else.

Circle back down to the south towards Rittenhouse Square, a trendy outdoor park surrounded by expensive condos and great restaurants, which has a long history as a high-class address. Near City Hall step into Wannamaker's (now Macy's) and be awed by the grandeur of the spaces and the pipe organ - the world's largest. Stay for an organ concert if you can, or do a little shopping in the finest late Victorian style.

Everywhere you go, keep an eye out for the amazing work of the city's mural arts program, which is a world leader in beautification of public spaces.

If you're looking for more out of the way museums consider the Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians, a museum of medical curiosities sure to disgust and amaze.

I'll stop there, for now at least. Obviously what I've described is more than a one-day itinerary, and I've barely scratched the surface. Most of all, my favorite activity in the months before leaving town was just to walk the streets and look around. Tidbits of forgotten history pop up constantly, as do interesting people and beautiful sights. I always would get a little thrill, knowing I was walking the same streets as 300 years worth of the the political, economic, religious, and social leaders of the nation, and knowing that far, far too few people were sharing in it because most people don't bother to get off the train between New York and D.C. It's good to be the biggest, or the most powerful, but I've always thought that Philadelphia was the best.

Thanks for reading all that.

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07-05-2013, 10:22 PM
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I feel there is a good story behind this that I don't know.
The Flyers played the Soviet national team in the 70's and because of the physical play that the Flyers played the Soviet team left the ice before the game was over. Ed Snider charged into the dressing room, threatened not to pay them (The soviets were on a tour playing the premiere teams in North America). They eventually returned and the Flyers won the game. Really set the Russians back from a hockey standpoint

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07-05-2013, 10:29 PM
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The Flyers played the Soviet national team in the 70's and because of the physical play that the Flyers played the Soviet team left the ice before the game was over. Ed Snider charged into the dressing room, threatened not to pay them (The soviets were on a tour playing the premiere teams in North America). They eventually returned and the Flyers won the game. Really set the Russians back from a hockey standpoint
http://img.timeinc.net/time/2008/cov...975_hockey.jpg

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07-05-2013, 10:29 PM
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Having grown up in Philadelphia but lived in or near Washington for 4 of the last 5 years, I think I can offer some insight. First, I'm hopeless biased, being from Philly but just another transient here in DC. That said:

The biggest difference between the cities is the same as between D.C. and anywhere else, which is that D.C. lacks a strong identity or sense of place. I think this is not just a reflection of the current economy, where you have the Feds and K St and lots of young rich people from out of town, but fundamental to the nature of the place. D.C. was built 200 years ago to be a showpiece, and very few people lived there year-round until the last century. People visiting and looking at monuments might be confused by this, but D.C. lacks history. Its history is the nation's history, whitewashed and reimagined in marble.

That's not to say D.C. isn't a great place. Tons of culture of the arts and museum sort, lots of young people, really good food. Great parks and public places. (Though I do hate diagonal streets because they waste space and are anti-pedestrian.) I enjoy it, just not nearly as much as Philly.

When you leave the D.C. bubble, there are lots of other sorts of places you can go. Philadelphia is, imo, totally unique. It does have a lot of the working class grit and pride that is representative of any "second city" - Boston, Chicago, etc. As in, not New York or D.C. and both proud of that but also a little touchy about it.

In the case of Philly, however, it's much more complex. It's not just a place that the New York's of the world passed by, it's one they *overtook.* Lots of cities are good cities, or great cities: Philadelphia is a GREAT CITY. At one time, it was the second-largest English speaking city in the entire world, after only London. As William Penn's Holy Experiment, Philadelphia was the first (or second) place in the country where there true religious freedom, as in freedom to practice any religion, rather than freedom to escape and practice your religion. (RI justly claims to be the first place with a principle of religious freedom, but given anti-Catholicism there some people say Philadelphia was more free, albeit 40 years later.) Penn's treaty with the Indians was described by Voltaire as the only Indian treaty "never sworn to and never broken."

Boston is proud of their tea party and New York of their money, but as a geographic, political, and economic center of the colonies Philadelphia was the glue that held the nation together. Pennsylvania was also tremendously important in generating wealth for the young nation, with rich farmland and vast deposits of iron and coal. (Later oil, but that was long after the Erie canal and in western PA.) By 1900, when New York and other cities had surpassed Philadelphia, it was still the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the largest company in the world. The post-industrial economic decline that is associated with the "rust belt" in the 1970s started in Philadelphia in the 1900's. Between 1900 and 1910 the textile industry, the city's largest employer, shed 100,000 jobs. Other industries followed in degrees, and the city's population eventually shrank from a high of 2,000,000 to between 1,400,000 and 1,500,000.

So there's a lot to have a chip on one's shoulder about. But all the same, something of the spirit of the GREAT CITY survived. As one writer put it, "you have a sense that Philadelphia could be great again, if it just set its mind to it." (The same author noted that "Philadelphians routinely patronize the worst teams in all of professional sports," FWIW.)

This brings us, finally, to your actual question about the city today. The city has really rebounded from its historic low and once again has a population over 1,500,000. This is particularly evident in the downtown districts, which are increasingly full of younger and wealthier people, very much like New York or D.C. The biggest difference in the sense of history. The only North American cities I've been to that feel more historic are Montreal and Quebec. You can be walking home from a restaurant and happen past a 300-year old brick home, or a sign noting the favorite tavern of a colonial figure you learned about in grade school.

In terms of what to do, I most recommend things that are historic but also part of the life of the city. In other words, not the **** liberty bell. It's a bell in a glass enclosure. Skip it and visit Christ Church instead, and then stop into the Friends Meetinghouse on Arch Street just two blocks away.

Then follow Arch west to the historic Reading Terminal Market (which is actually our most visited tourist site, and justly so.) If you get a chance, poke your head into the Convention Center and see if you can see the beautifully restored train shed. Head up the Ben Franklin Parkway (another diagonal, darn you Le Corbusier) and stop into one of the museums. But consider skipping the famous ones like PMA and the Barnes (unless those are what you're interested in, they are fantastic!) and consider the often overlooked Rodin Museum or Waterworks.

From the Waterworks and/or Art Museum, look north at the main section(s) of Fairmount Park, one of the largest city parks in the world and certainly one of the most interesting. If you have time to drive in it or bike in it you can look at Laurel Hill, one of the first cemeteries in the nation open to the public (Mark Twain wrote about it), the Wissahickon Valley (a mill stream and water-powered industrial center to rival any in new England), and the site of the 1876 Centennial Exposition, as well as much else.

Circle back down to the south towards Rittenhouse Square, a trendy outdoor park surrounded by expensive condos and great restaurants, which has a long history as a high-class address. Near City Hall step into Wannamaker's (now Macy's) and be awed by the grandeur of the spaces and the pipe organ - the world's largest. Stay for an organ concert if you can, or do a little shopping in the finest late Victorian style.

Everywhere you go, keep an eye out for the amazing work of the city's mural arts program, which is a world leader in beautification of public spaces.

If you're looking for more out of the way museums consider the Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians, a museum of medical curiosities sure to disgust and amaze.

I'll stop there, for now at least. Obviously what I've described is more than a one-day itinerary, and I've barely scratched the surface. Most of all, my favorite activity in the months before leaving town was just to walk the streets and look around. Tidbits of forgotten history pop up constantly, as do interesting people and beautiful sights. I always would get a little thrill, knowing I was walking the same streets as 300 years worth of the the political, economic, religious, and social leaders of the nation, and knowing that far, far too few people were sharing in it because most people don't bother to get off the train between New York and D.C. It's good to be the biggest, or the most powerful, but I've always thought that Philadelphia was the best.

Thanks for reading all that.
yikes! he chose the caps thanks to you

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07-05-2013, 10:30 PM
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The Flyers played the Soviet national team in the 70's and because of the physical play that the Flyers played the Soviet team left the ice before the game was over. Ed Snider charged into the dressing room, threatened not to pay them (The soviets were on a tour playing the premiere teams in North America). They eventually returned and the Flyers won the game. Really set the Russians back from a hockey standpoint
Clarke our captain like to use his stick in non hockey ways =)

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07-05-2013, 10:31 PM
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Having grown up in Philadelphia but lived in or near Washington for 4 of the last 5 years, I think I can offer some insight. First, I'm hopeless biased, being from Philly but just another transient here in DC. That said:

The biggest difference between the cities is the same as between D.C. and anywhere else, which is that D.C. lacks a strong identity or sense of place. I think this is not just a reflection of the current economy, where you have the Feds and K St and lots of young rich people from out of town, but fundamental to the nature of the place. D.C. was built 200 years ago to be a showpiece, and very few people lived there year-round until the last century. People visiting and looking at monuments might be confused by this, but D.C. lacks history. Its history is the nation's history, whitewashed and reimagined in marble.

That's not to say D.C. isn't a great place. Tons of culture of the arts and museum sort, lots of young people, really good food. Great parks and public places. (Though I do hate diagonal streets because they waste space and are anti-pedestrian.) I enjoy it, just not nearly as much as Philly.

When you leave the D.C. bubble, there are lots of other sorts of places you can go. Philadelphia is, imo, totally unique. It does have a lot of the working class grit and pride that is representative of any "second city" - Boston, Chicago, etc. As in, not New York or D.C. and both proud of that but also a little touchy about it.

In the case of Philly, however, it's much more complex. It's not just a place that the New York's of the world passed by, it's one they *overtook.* Lots of cities are good cities, or great cities: Philadelphia is a GREAT CITY. At one time, it was the second-largest English speaking city in the entire world, after only London. As William Penn's Holy Experiment, Philadelphia was the first (or second) place in the country where there true religious freedom, as in freedom to practice any religion, rather than freedom to escape and practice your religion. (RI justly claims to be the first place with a principle of religious freedom, but given anti-Catholicism there some people say Philadelphia was more free, albeit 40 years later.) Penn's treaty with the Indians was described by Voltaire as the only Indian treaty "never sworn to and never broken."

Boston is proud of their tea party and New York of their money, but as a geographic, political, and economic center of the colonies Philadelphia was the glue that held the nation together. Pennsylvania was also tremendously important in generating wealth for the young nation, with rich farmland and vast deposits of iron and coal. (Later oil, but that was long after the Erie canal and in western PA.) By 1900, when New York and other cities had surpassed Philadelphia, it was still the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the largest company in the world. The post-industrial economic decline that is associated with the "rust belt" in the 1970s started in Philadelphia in the 1900's. Between 1900 and 1910 the textile industry, the city's largest employer, shed 100,000 jobs. Other industries followed in degrees, and the city's population eventually shrank from a high of 2,000,000 to between 1,400,000 and 1,500,000.

So there's a lot to have a chip on one's shoulder about. But all the same, something of the spirit of the GREAT CITY survived. As one writer put it, "you have a sense that Philadelphia could be great again, if it just set its mind to it." (The same author noted that "Philadelphians routinely patronize the worst teams in all of professional sports," FWIW.)

This brings us, finally, to your actual question about the city today. The city has really rebounded from its historic low and once again has a population over 1,500,000. This is particularly evident in the downtown districts, which are increasingly full of younger and wealthier people, very much like New York or D.C. The biggest difference in the sense of history. The only North American cities I've been to that feel more historic are Montreal and Quebec. You can be walking home from a restaurant and happen past a 300-year old brick home, or a sign noting the favorite tavern of a colonial figure you learned about in grade school.

In terms of what to do, I most recommend things that are historic but also part of the life of the city. In other words, not the **** liberty bell. It's a bell in a glass enclosure. Skip it and visit Christ Church instead, and then stop into the Friends Meetinghouse on Arch Street just two blocks away.

Then follow Arch west to the historic Reading Terminal Market (which is actually our most visited tourist site, and justly so.) If you get a chance, poke your head into the Convention Center and see if you can see the beautifully restored train shed. Head up the Ben Franklin Parkway (another diagonal, darn you Le Corbusier) and stop into one of the museums. But consider skipping the famous ones like PMA and the Barnes (unless those are what you're interested in, they are fantastic!) and consider the often overlooked Rodin Museum or Waterworks.

From the Waterworks and/or Art Museum, look north at the main section(s) of Fairmount Park, one of the largest city parks in the world and certainly one of the most interesting. If you have time to drive in it or bike in it you can look at Laurel Hill, one of the first cemeteries in the nation open to the public (Mark Twain wrote about it), the Wissahickon Valley (a mill stream and water-powered industrial center to rival any in new England), and the site of the 1876 Centennial Exposition, as well as much else.

Circle back down to the south towards Rittenhouse Square, a trendy outdoor park surrounded by expensive condos and great restaurants, which has a long history as a high-class address. Near City Hall step into Wannamaker's (now Macy's) and be awed by the grandeur of the spaces and the pipe organ - the world's largest. Stay for an organ concert if you can, or do a little shopping in the finest late Victorian style.

Everywhere you go, keep an eye out for the amazing work of the city's mural arts program, which is a world leader in beautification of public spaces.

If you're looking for more out of the way museums consider the Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians, a museum of medical curiosities sure to disgust and amaze.

I'll stop there, for now at least. Obviously what I've described is more than a one-day itinerary, and I've barely scratched the surface. Most of all, my favorite activity in the months before leaving town was just to walk the streets and look around. Tidbits of forgotten history pop up constantly, as do interesting people and beautiful sights. I always would get a little thrill, knowing I was walking the same streets as 300 years worth of the the political, economic, religious, and social leaders of the nation, and knowing that far, far too few people were sharing in it because most people don't bother to get off the train between New York and D.C. It's good to be the biggest, or the most powerful, but I've always thought that Philadelphia was the best.

Thanks for reading all that.

I'm from Philly and enjoyed the read....freakin awesome post...props

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07-05-2013, 10:32 PM
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Having grown up in Philadelphia but lived in or near Washington for 4 of the last 5 years, I think I can offer some insight. First, I'm hopeless biased, being from Philly but just another transient here in DC. That said:

The biggest difference between the cities is the same as between D.C. and anywhere else, which is that D.C. lacks a strong identity or sense of place. I think this is not just a reflection of the current economy, where you have the Feds and K St and lots of young rich people from out of town, but fundamental to the nature of the place. D.C. was built 200 years ago to be a showpiece, and very few people lived there year-round until the last century. People visiting and looking at monuments might be confused by this, but D.C. lacks history. Its history is the nation's history, whitewashed and reimagined in marble.

That's not to say D.C. isn't a great place. Tons of culture of the arts and museum sort, lots of young people, really good food. Great parks and public places. (Though I do hate diagonal streets because they waste space and are anti-pedestrian.) I enjoy it, just not nearly as much as Philly.

When you leave the D.C. bubble, there are lots of other sorts of places you can go. Philadelphia is, imo, totally unique. It does have a lot of the working class grit and pride that is representative of any "second city" - Boston, Chicago, etc. As in, not New York or D.C. and both proud of that but also a little touchy about it.

In the case of Philly, however, it's much more complex. It's not just a place that the New York's of the world passed by, it's one they *overtook.* Lots of cities are good cities, or great cities: Philadelphia is a GREAT CITY. At one time, it was the second-largest English speaking city in the entire world, after only London. As William Penn's Holy Experiment, Philadelphia was the first (or second) place in the country where there true religious freedom, as in freedom to practice any religion, rather than freedom to escape and practice your religion. (RI justly claims to be the first place with a principle of religious freedom, but given anti-Catholicism there some people say Philadelphia was more free, albeit 40 years later.) Penn's treaty with the Indians was described by Voltaire as the only Indian treaty "never sworn to and never broken."

Boston is proud of their tea party and New York of their money, but as a geographic, political, and economic center of the colonies Philadelphia was the glue that held the nation together. Pennsylvania was also tremendously important in generating wealth for the young nation, with rich farmland and vast deposits of iron and coal. (Later oil, but that was long after the Erie canal and in western PA.) By 1900, when New York and other cities had surpassed Philadelphia, it was still the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the largest company in the world. The post-industrial economic decline that is associated with the "rust belt" in the 1970s started in Philadelphia in the 1900's. Between 1900 and 1910 the textile industry, the city's largest employer, shed 100,000 jobs. Other industries followed in degrees, and the city's population eventually shrank from a high of 2,000,000 to between 1,400,000 and 1,500,000.

So there's a lot to have a chip on one's shoulder about. But all the same, something of the spirit of the GREAT CITY survived. As one writer put it, "you have a sense that Philadelphia could be great again, if it just set its mind to it." (The same author noted that "Philadelphians routinely patronize the worst teams in all of professional sports," FWIW.)

This brings us, finally, to your actual question about the city today. The city has really rebounded from its historic low and once again has a population over 1,500,000. This is particularly evident in the downtown districts, which are increasingly full of younger and wealthier people, very much like New York or D.C. The biggest difference in the sense of history. The only North American cities I've been to that feel more historic are Montreal and Quebec. You can be walking home from a restaurant and happen past a 300-year old brick home, or a sign noting the favorite tavern of a colonial figure you learned about in grade school.

In terms of what to do, I most recommend things that are historic but also part of the life of the city. In other words, not the **** liberty bell. It's a bell in a glass enclosure. Skip it and visit Christ Church instead, and then stop into the Friends Meetinghouse on Arch Street just two blocks away.

Then follow Arch west to the historic Reading Terminal Market (which is actually our most visited tourist site, and justly so.) If you get a chance, poke your head into the Convention Center and see if you can see the beautifully restored train shed. Head up the Ben Franklin Parkway (another diagonal, darn you Le Corbusier) and stop into one of the museums. But consider skipping the famous ones like PMA and the Barnes (unless those are what you're interested in, they are fantastic!) and consider the often overlooked Rodin Museum or Waterworks.

From the Waterworks and/or Art Museum, look north at the main section(s) of Fairmount Park, one of the largest city parks in the world and certainly one of the most interesting. If you have time to drive in it or bike in it you can look at Laurel Hill, one of the first cemeteries in the nation open to the public (Mark Twain wrote about it), the Wissahickon Valley (a mill stream and water-powered industrial center to rival any in new England), and the site of the 1876 Centennial Exposition, as well as much else.

Circle back down to the south towards Rittenhouse Square, a trendy outdoor park surrounded by expensive condos and great restaurants, which has a long history as a high-class address. Near City Hall step into Wannamaker's (now Macy's) and be awed by the grandeur of the spaces and the pipe organ - the world's largest. Stay for an organ concert if you can, or do a little shopping in the finest late Victorian style.

Everywhere you go, keep an eye out for the amazing work of the city's mural arts program, which is a world leader in beautification of public spaces.

If you're looking for more out of the way museums consider the Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians, a museum of medical curiosities sure to disgust and amaze.

I'll stop there, for now at least. Obviously what I've described is more than a one-day itinerary, and I've barely scratched the surface. Most of all, my favorite activity in the months before leaving town was just to walk the streets and look around. Tidbits of forgotten history pop up constantly, as do interesting people and beautiful sights. I always would get a little thrill, knowing I was walking the same streets as 300 years worth of the the political, economic, religious, and social leaders of the nation, and knowing that far, far too few people were sharing in it because most people don't bother to get off the train between New York and D.C. It's good to be the biggest, or the most powerful, but I've always thought that Philadelphia was the best.

Thanks for reading all that.
The city should really let you run the tourism department. I guess one other question I have is how will I be accepted by locals with a southern accent? I've had mixed results in the past heading north with how people act when I talk. Is it a city that as long as I support the local team I'm golden?

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07-05-2013, 10:35 PM
  #23
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Originally Posted by kentuckyrebel View Post
The city should really let you run the tourism department. I guess one other question I have is how will I be accepted by locals with a southern accent? I've had mixed results in the past heading north with how people act when I talk. Is it a city that as long as I support the local team I'm golden?
The girls like the accent, thats a bonus. Just go to a game in Philly against a rival, like the Pens. You will never want to leave.

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07-05-2013, 10:38 PM
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I feel like the Flyers are due and that's part of the appeal of them to me, I want a team that will be competitive over the next few seasons, so I can really continue to get in to it, also, as you said Flyers have a much more stable history than the Capitals.
Flyers are nearly always competitive. The only team that has made the playoffs more than the Flyers over the last 20 years are the Red Wings.

I feel like the Flyers will win a Cup sometime soon, but with all the letdowns over the years, I have learned not to get my hopes up too much until it actually happens.

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07-05-2013, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by kentuckyrebel View Post
The city should really let you run the tourism department. I guess one other question I have is how will I be accepted by locals with a southern accent? I've had mixed results in the past heading north with how people act when I talk. Is it a city that as long as I support the local team I'm golden?
As long as you're wearing the right colors come game time it doesn't matter what accent you have . Seriously though the people of Philadelphia get a bum wrap for being rude as a few bad apples made some head lines but honestly that happens everywhere. And I can tell you with some certainty that fans in Pittsburgh and New York are much much worse in general.

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