Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Loving Philadelphia

Julie and I headed to Philadelphia in Pennsylvania after completing four hours of serious research on American history. We watched National Treasure 1 & 2 starring Nicholas Cage. Yes, Harvard intellectuals may sniff at simpletons like us but I think the movies worked. They created excitement and taught us enough American history (with a couple of conspiracy theories thrown in ) and sent us on our merry way to explore the cradle of American Revolution.

Julie & Aunty Jojo exploring Independance Hall & City Hall

The Independance Hall in Philadelphia is where the founding fathers met to conceive, debate and sign into being America's Declaration of Independence in 1776. It certainly took courage and vision for men like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams to declare independence from the British and inspire a society where "all men are created equal" and have the right to seek "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". Standing in the room where the Declaration was signed, I began to understand why Americans get so fired up about Liberty. I grew up in a society that accepts inequality amongst its citizens and I admire the way that America constantly reinvents itself and tries to do the right thing, even if it means having to pay a price.

Walking around the streets of Philadelphia, we felt very welcome. While the monied avenues of New York may whisper to new arrivals "Think you're good enough? Well, prove it!", Philadelphia seems to declare "You belong here - just as you are". That was the inspiration behind the founding of the colony of Pennsylvania by William Penn. Himself a Quaker, he welcomed other communities such as the Amish, Mennonites and Jews to build their homes there.

Founding history aside, Philadelphia is also the birthplace of the cheesesteak and Julie and I couldn't wait to sink our teeth into one! Our first stop was Pat's - King of Steaks in South Philadelphia. As you can see, we thoroughly enjoyed the cheesesteaks at Pat's although we found another one the next day that tasted better - Jim's Steaks.

I love Philadelphia and can easily see myself living there. Maybe it's time to get that application in to Wharton...hmmmm...

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