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12 Things You Didn't Know About Philadelphia

Student Work
by Robin Goode Aug 22, 2014
1. Rocky Balboa is immortalized in bronze at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

We love Rocky so much we’ve got a two-ton, 10ft-tall version of him outside of the city’s art museum.

2. Philadelphians eat the most pretzels.

If “you are what you eat,” then Philadelphians are the perfect pretzel; hard, salty, and a little tough on the outside but soft on the inside. Pennsylvania produces 80% of America’s pretzels, so it’s no surprise Philadelphians consume 12 times more pretzels than the rest of Americans.

Philadelphia even created National Pretzel Day, observed on April 26th, to celebrate our favorite snack.

3. Philadelphia did it first.

Philadelphia is home to a lot of American firsts, including the first post office, first fire department, first daily newspaper, first US stock exchange, first lager beer, first hospital, first zoo…the list goes on. You’re welcome, America.

4. Philadelphians love biking, and they’ll even do it naked.

Philadelphia is a bike-friendly city and has the most bicycle commuters per capita. Once a year, we host the Philly Naked Bike Ride. It’s a leisurely, 10-mile trek through the streets of the city where bicyclists can wear as little as they please.

5. Philadelphia is artsy.

Museums in the City of Brotherly Love is chock full of impressionist paintings. Philly also has over 2,000 outdoor murals thanks to city programs like the Mural Arts Program.

6. Philadelphian sports fans are incredibly hardcore.

Philadelphia sports fans often get a bad rap from national news outlets for things like throwing snowballs at Santa and the 2008 World Series riots. Veterans Stadium even installed a court, judge, and jail for rogue fans. But the unruliness of Philadelphia fans is a result of their lifetime dedication to their local sports teams. When it comes to statistics, Philadelphia fans fill the stadiums for games, are more likely to travel to away games than any other city’s fans, and are considered the best at tailgating.

Philadelphia teams hardly win championships, but loyal fans will follow their teams to almost-victory year after year.

7. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a part of everyday life in Philadelphia.

Not only is Kevin Bacon a Philly native, but Philadelphians encounter this concept on a daily basis. It’s not like New York City where you might run into someone and then never see them again. If you’re in Philadelphia long enough, you’ll begin to see the same faces. It’s the fewer degrees of separation that makes Philadelphia feel like a tight-knit community.

8. It’s one of the best beer cities in the country.

Philadelphia bars have a wide variety of brews from around the world, but locals aren’t snobbish about it. Philly bartenders take pride in playing matchmaker when it comes to pairing a customer to a certain beer, so ask questions — your bartender will find a brew that fits your taste.

9. Philadelphia has over 200 BYOB restaurants.

Thanks to Pennsylvania’s antiquated and conservative liquor laws, Philadelphia has a high density of BYOB restaurants. And most of them have no corkage fee.

10. Philadelphians have one of the most distinct accents in the US.

The Philadelphian accent is considered one of the hardest to emulate. It’s seen as so peculiar that it’s also one of the most studied accents of American English. If you don’t know what a Philadelphia accent sounds like, listen to the Dead Milkmen or the Bloodhound Gang.

11. Philly is home to the world’s largest landscaped urban park.

Fairmount Park is 9,200 acres of hiking trails, forests, lakes, creeks, valleys, and wetlands. And it’s all within the boundaries of Philadelphia.

12. It’s got a museum dedicated to pizza.

Pizza Brain celebrates the culture and history of American-style pizza and is home to the world’s largest collection of pizza artifacts. They also serve pizzas with recipes so inventive you might think the combination of ingredients is heinous.

For instance, take a look at the Granny Divjack, a white pie with mozzarella, Gorgonzola, almonds, granny smith apples, and caramelized onions. At first glance it seems like a terrible idea, but these are flavors that complement each other perfectly.

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