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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Philly: More than just cheese steaks!

Philly is about more than world class cheese steaks. Ask a Philadelphian if he would move to New York, you will find the look is as painful as the one on someone’s face who orders a cheese steak and finds out they are fresh out of cheese whiz. I ordered a cheese steak and thought the guy was kidding when he asked if I wanted cheese whiz on my steak. Maybe he could tell I was from out of town and wanted to see if he could also get me add sprinkles on top.
My perplexed look was taking me back to the days when the magic cheese whiz out of a can always turned up a notch on the party, especially with triscuits. I shouldn’t have questioned him because I was told, “Ya, Cheese whiz, you either want it or you don’t, there’s no in between.” Well I should hope not. So I instead asked for provolone. No response and white cheese slapped on top of the steak, wrapped and slapped on the counter. Do I leave a tip? Some people may say yes, tell the guy to smile, and also offer organic dairy free Swiss cheese on the menu.
But I must say I love the Philadelphia attitude. No small talk, they are down to business. If you are ever there, smile and wave at someone, anyone. You will know if they are from Philly if they nod back aggressively, or respond with a cold “How you doin' ” or just look the other way…they must get tired of all us tourists coming in, especially if you are on the duck tour and quacking loud and proud with the duck whistle. I would request to live in a NO quack zone.
But get used to it. Philly is a city full of attitude and they mean nothing by it. And how could you not miss this city? Truth be told by loyal Philadelphians: Philly is THE CITY. Not New York, and they keep their big apple, Philly also has big time cream cheese and cheesecake. And oh ya, the real history.
I am not discrediting anything about New York, that city is slick. But let’s get this straight. The real American History covers not only Philly but Pennsylvania. New York is not “THE CITY.” It’s one of the cites. The real city is the one where the United States of America was established, the Declaration of Independence was formed and signed and the Liberty Bell once rang as loud as the duck whistles preaching freedom.
Diversity, history and a long list of sights to see never fall short in the city that founded the U.S.A.

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