Life in Philadelphia
City of Brotherly Love
Pennsylvania dates back to 1682 when William Penn crossed the
Atlantic Ocean and started planning the City of Brotherly Love
(Philadelphia). Subsequently, Philadelphia served as the Nation’s
capital from 1790 to 1800, shortly after the 13 colonies gained their
independence from Great Britain. Philadelphia houses many historic
landmarks, including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Benjamin
Franklin National Memorial, Betsy Ross House, Declaration House,
Congress Hall, Belmont Mansion, etc. A wide variety of tours are
offered to explore the many aspects of historic Philadelphia.
Presently, the metropolitan area’s population is slightly over 5
million people, with the majority living in Philadelphia county. Other
surrounding areas include Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and
Delaware counties in Pennsylvania, as well as Burlington, Camden,
Gloucester and Salem counties in New Jersey.
Philadelphia is not only a national hub for medical and health
facilities, it is also one of the major cultural and historical centers
in the United States. On the medical side, Philadelphia is headquarters
Medicine (ACP) — the largest organization of Internists in the world.
The ACP is the publisher of the Annals of Internal Medicine and the
Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program or MKSAP and the
oft-dreaded In-Training Exam. Many of our faculty are active
members and fellows of the ACP and help direct its educational and
publishing functions. We are also home to the College of Physicians
of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest medical society. The College is
headquartered in a stately building in Center City and contains the
Mütter Museum, a renowned collection of medical artifacts and
curiosities that is open to the public. The College also has one of the
finest collections of historical medical books and manuscripts in the
In the fine arts, Philadelphia has achieved renown through its many museums and galleries. The internationally known Philadelphia Museum of Art houses the third largest collection of art in the United States and has hosted some of the most exclusive international shows that have come to these shores. The Barnes Foundation, which recently relocated from nearby Lower Merion Township to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City, has one of the finest collections of impressionist and post-impressionist art in the country. This quirky collection was assembled by an eccentric collector, Dr. Albert Barnes, and previous to its relocation resided in an Italianate villa where each piece sat in perpetuity in the exact position dictated by Dr. Barnes. Philadelphia is also home to the oldest art school and museum in America — The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. On the first Friday of every month, the galleries of Olde City are open late with lively conversation, wine and cheese receptions and some very interesting works by local, regional and national artists on display. For movie goers, in addition to the usual chain multiplexes, Philadelphia has a number of theaters under the Ritz name. These show both commercial and independent movies in clean and comfortable theaters.
In the performing arts, Philadelphia is the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra — consistently rated among the top five orchestras in the United States and acclaimed throughout the world. The orchestra plays in the brand new Kimmel Center, a spectacular state-of-the-art facility opened in December 2001. The Pennsylvania Ballet and the Opera Company of Philadelphia round out the big name music programs in the city. The Opera Company still performs in the classic Academy of Music which is one of the grandest opera houses in the country. There are innumerable other places to hear live music — from classical to jazz to the most contemporary music. Great live rock and pop acts appear in small local venues as well as the Trocadero, Tower and TLA. Theater in Philadelphia has undergone a renaissance over the past decade with one of the liveliest scenes in the country. Our public television and radio (WHYY) are fine institutions and we are proud to be the home of Terry Gross whose Fresh Air is one of the most popular and long-running shows on National Public Radio.
Philadelphia’s place in American history is unparalleled and almost all the downtown historical sites are free and within a manageable walk from Independence Hall — the most important building in United States history. The Independence National Historical Park is a destination for visitors from around the world, but those of us who live here can go when the lines are short, and we can see the rooms where the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written and debated. There is a major new effort to renovate the spaces around Independence Hall — the National Constitution Center and a new Liberty Bell Center have recently opened. Security considerations have slightly diminished the spontaneity of visiting these important historical sites, but they are still free and great to see. For a different kind of attraction, try the free tour and elevator ride to the top of City Hall Tower. The views are great. On the left is a photo of Elfreth’s Alley in Old City — the oldest continually inhabited street in the US.
Philadelphia is home to a variety of bars and restaurants. From beer gardens and cheese steak stands to cocktail bars and finer dining, Philadelphia offers everything, not to mention the somewhat unique BYOB dining environment. If you're a foodie, you'll love Philly!
No sports lover needs to be reminded of the enthusiasm Philadelphia’s fans. Our professional teams play in South Philadelphia in one of the largest combined sports complexes in the country. There is excitement (and often disappointment) in following the fortunes of our home town teams, the 2008 World Series Champion Phillies, Flyers, Eagles and 76ers, and in seeing the visitors experience the “warm” Philadelphia welcome. We recently celebrated the opening of the new Citizen’s Bank Stadium for the Phillies and the brand new Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Eagles. Of course, our own Temple Owls are in the thick of college basketball action year in and year out.
There is much more to see and do in this city than we could mention here. Please check Philly funguide.com for a more comprehensive list of things to see and do in our area. When you visit Philadelphia, window shop in our stores, dine at our renowned restaurants, stroll down our quaint and narrow city streets or explore our suburbs. You’ll be surprised how affordable housing is in Philadelphia and its environs.
*This Article was obtained from the TUH SOM Residencies and Fellowships info page