Philly – one of America’s oldest cities

Did you know that Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is one of America’s oldest cities? After over a year of living in the United States, I finally took a bus and visited Philly. It’s only a 2-hour bus or train ride from NYC.

Photo 1: Love Park

I arrived in midtown Philly on a rainy night and started my trip with my first Philly Cheesesteak hoagie, a signature sandwich from Philadelphia. Then, I realized that the streets were full of cheerful people and a great atmosphere. That night, a baseball team from Pennsylvania – The Phillies, was playing at the National League Championship. And they won!



Photos 2 & 3: Beaux Arts Philadelphia City Hall

The following morning, I started exploring the city at a nearby coffee shop. There are plenty of coffee houses in Philly with the finest quality and the freshest product. I even saw a place where they roast coffee beans on site, inside a food market.

Photos 4 & 5: Inside a busy food market: Reading Terminal Market

Caffeinated, I visited Rittenhouse Square and Love Park. This part of Philly felt busy, and the high-rise buildings reminded me of midtown Manhattan. The difference is that the main streets are slightly narrower, and also there are small alleys in the middle of a block. There are many pedestrians, city bikes, trams, buses, and subways. The public transportation structure seems to be working well in Philly.

Photos 6 & 7: Narrow alleys in midtown Philly

From the Rittenhouse area, I headed East toward the old city. The oldest part of Philadelphia has a different feel. It’s somewhat European, with its brick houses, parks, and cobbled streets.

Photos 8 & 9: Old Town residential area

Walking down the streets of the old town, my friends and I went to an old Irish restaurant The Plough & the Stars, where we had Sunday brunch. The place had a big open fireplace that gave a lot of warmth and comfort. We had an Irish breakfast and other Sunday specials. After that, we headed north to see the oldest street in the United States. Shortly after, we want to see the Liberty Bell.

Photo 10: Elfreth’s Alley, known as the oldest residential street in Philly; Photo 11: The Liberty Bell

The last point of the trip was visiting the famous Rocky Steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I walked up the steps, humming Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti, and finally felt that my Philadelphia trip was complete. I’m impressed with Philadelphia, or at least the parts of it I saw. Someday, I’ll be back to explore more!



Photo 12: Philadelphia Museum of Art Rocky Steps

















Olga Kosterska


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