National Geographic named Philadelphia a top-25 place to visit in the World. THE FUCKING WORLD! There are only 2 U.S. destinations on the list, the other being the Grand Canyon. If you want to go see a bunch of Red Rocks you be my guest, but if you want to see vibrant murals and glinting metalworks, multihued mosaics and kaleidoscopic light installations, art collectives in garages, and a traditionally Italian neighborhood famous for cheesesteaks now sprouting vegan-punk-metal coffeehouses you better book your flight to Philadelphia ASAP before its overrun with Instagram influencers and Asian tourists thinking the Italian guy at the Art Museum steps charging them $10 bucks for a picture is the real-life Rocky Balboa.
Philadelphia is finally getting the respect it deserves after playing little brother to so many other cities in the Northeast. New York and Boston are now second rate cities. Sorry I don’t want to fight a rat the size of a Doberman for a slice of pizza on my vacation. Or be hassled by the guy outside the Dunkin Donuts wearing a skally cap and reeking of Peppermint Schnappes when I just want to get my morning coffee.
In the article it gives certain spots to check out. And like most articles from journalists who spend 48 hours in the city, the spots they mentioned are wrong. Staying in the Rittenhouse or Notary Hotel? What do you have a trust fund? The allure of Philadelphia is that it’s actually an affordable city. Split an AirBnB with five of your friends for $50 a night. That’s beer money you’re wasting if you spend it on a hotel. With all the cash you’ve saved you’re going to need to do something with it. Don’t get sucked into the tourist traps. The Art Museum stinks, the Liberty Bell you can see from outside the glass instead of waiting an hour in line, and Independence Hall is just about a bunch of old farts who complained about not having heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer when they were birthing this nation.
Instead bar hop. The caveman in me can only think of that as the thing to do. Philadelphia is a great bar-hopping city. You can do Passyunk Ave, but make sure you stop at the POPE or Birra. You can mosey down to Old City and check out National Mechanics, Rotten Ralph’s, Buffalo Billiards and Gaslight. At night go into the Gayborhood where all the action is. You want to get hammered? Grab $9 pitchers at McGillins, grab a table, and fill up your TouchTune credits. Dancing? Franky Bradley’s second floor. Or hit South St. and choose from one of the 100 different bars that line the street. It’s cliche, but get a cheesesteak. We make fun of Sunday Night Football doing a cheesesteak montage every time the Eagles play in primetime, but they’re a necessary part of the trip.
And for all of the haters? National Geographic has clout and clout is king in this world.
P.S. Not the least bit happy they compared us to Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. Was Des Moines, Indianapolis, and Kansas City already taken?