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Philadelphia, the city of neighborhoods, has a culturally diverse heritage. But all locals pride themselves and converge on the areas of commonality that give this town its unique personality:
1) Philadelphia is the birthplace of our nation and the US Constitution, and home of the Liberty Bell. All the founding fathers called Philly their "hood" at one time or another. From a young age, school children here take class trips to Independence Hall and become imbued with both their nation’s history and their city’s heritage. With a large, well-preserved, cobble-stoned historic district, Philadelphia’s colonial roots run deep. Benjamin Franklin may still be one of the most recognizable faces in the city.
2) Philadelphia’s unique contributions to gastronomy. Philly is the proud home to the soft pretzel, Tastycake, hoagies, the best Italian rolls anywhere this side of the Atlantic Ocean, Philadelphia pepper-pot soup, Philadelphia creamcheese, and, of course, the one and only Philly cheese steak.
3) The annual Mummer’s parade, held on New Years Day. For over 100 years, the Mummers have strutted up Broad Street for two miles, in a festive display lasting more than 10 hours.
4) Philadelphians are diehard sports fans and fanatics. The athletic struggles on the playing fields epitomize the values this town holds dear: hard work, determination, dedication, teamwork, endurance.
5) Philly is THE “buzz” city of the arts and higher learning - from its museums and galleries, its performing arts centers and jazz clubs, to its independent Ritz theaters - this town is cutting edge, high-brow, and nitty-gritty. Philadelphia is the proud owner of a major Ivy League university, in addition to dozens of other top-notch colleges and universities.
6) Where would the movie “Rocky” be without Philadelphia?
Philadelphia is the center of the universe for its natives; the majority stay in the area generation after generation. Of course, people do go "down the shore" (Philly terminology for taking the 1-3 hour drive to the many Jersey beaches). In fact, Philadelphia is home to several unique alterations to the English language. Starting with the Philly accent - just ask anyone to say the following words - ’gas’ (natives will say gaz), coffee (pronounced cawfee in Philly-speak), water (we say wawter or wooder) - you get the idea. Don’t ever tell a Philadelphian he/she has a NY accent - there’s a world of difference! And then there’s the Philly lingo: "hiya doin?’’ (interpretation - how are you doing?); "youz" (plural of you), used in sentences like "what are youz doin?" and where are youz going’?", and so on.
Philadelphia has a culture all its own, and to know it is to love it. Philly will love ya back.