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20 Reasons Philadelphia Is The Coolest Place To Stay

20 Reasons Philadelphia Is The Coolest Place To Stay

Looking for a cool place to stay in East Coast? Philadelphia is the city you would like to visit and keep coming back for more. If you haven’t been to Philly yet, you will be surprised what you can discover and experience in this cool city.

1. Do you remember Sylvester Stallone’s triumphant run in the film Rocky?

“The Rocky Statue” and the “Rocky Steps” are two of the most popular attractions in Philadelphia. Visiting the statue, running up the steps and taking a picture at the top is a must. Originally created for the Rocky films, the sculpture is now a real life monument immortalized in bronze in 1980. After filming was completed, the actor donated the statue to the City of Philadelphia. So, go get a photo shoot with Rocky Balboa for a victorious celebration on visit to Philadelphia!

rocky statue

    2. Come to the place where America is born.

    The birthplace of America is Philadelphia, you knew that. Historic Philadelphia covers parts of the Old City and Center City neighborhoods including the Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, National Constitution Center, the Betsy Ross House, Christ Church and nearby Valley Forge battlefield. It’s just one square mile, but it’s jam packed with restaurants, galleries, shops and attractions. Each puts its own distinctive spin on history. And together, they make up Historic Philadelphia. It’s like walking in a giant American history classroom. How cool is that?

    independence hall

      3.  Wouldn’t you love to live on Elfreth’s street?

      No visit to Philadelphia would be complete without a stop at Elfreth’s Alley. Representing 300 years of history, the 32 buildings along Elfreth’s Alley were built from the 1720s to 1830s, and they reveal the fascinating stories of everyday life of America’s founders back then. It is the oldest residential street in America that offers a museum and several historic houses, many of which still serve as private residences with no garages or cable TV. In June, usually on the first weekend, Elfreth’s Alley residents open their homes and gardens to the public. And no driving through the Alley, please.

      elfreth alley

        4. Philadelphia is a city of vibrant neighborhoods with its own distinctive personality.

        It is a city of neighborhoods that reflect cultural identity from groups that have settled over time in Philadelphia from Europe, Asia, Africa, South and Central America. They often hold block parties where a block can be closed off for traffic while the neighbors share foods and fun games. While the neighborhood streets are inherently a living museum, the clubs and night entertainment activities have developed as well in historic Old City along the Delaware River waterfront and on South Street, called the hippest street in town.The residents of Society Hill often stroll around their cobblestone streets and take in the architecture of the centuries-old homes, churches and landmarks that make this neighborhood so unique and picturesque.

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        block party

          5. Philadelphia Museum of Art

          The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest art museums in the United States. The museum provides the backdrop for many public events, including concerts and parades because of its location at the end of the Franklin Parkway. The vast collections of Renaissance, American and impressionist masterpieces make the Philadelphia Museum of Art one of the most important art museums in the country. Its impressive holdings, acclaimed exhibitions, special programs and beautiful outdoor Sculpture Garden make it a cultural must-see.

          Philly Museum of Art

            6. The Liberty Bell chimes in Philly and to the world.

            The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American Independence. Formerly placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House, the Bell today is located in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. The Bell first cracked when rung after its arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen John Pass and John Stow, whose last names appear on the bell. The Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly had a Bible verse placed on the bell: “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof”(Leviticus 25:10). Today, it silently reminds us of the power of liberty.

            liberty bell

              7. Philadelphia is much more than a college town.

              University City is so named due to two of the largest and most influential institutions in town: the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. With an incredibly diverse student population, you will be fascinated by the people and the places offering everything from a vibrant street-food scene to high-end art galleries and intimate late night hangouts. University City grows at fast pace each year, and it is becoming one of the most livable, well-kept and friendly neighborhood in Philadelphia. And while you are cruising along the campuses, take a tour to the Academy of Natural History of Drexel University to meet dinosaurs and wander through a tropical garden and wildlife habitat.

              college

                8. Are you a foodie in the mood?

                Then, head down to the Reading Terminal Market on an empty stomach. You will want to save room for the array of cuisines that are available around every corner from Delicious sandwiches to artisanal cheeses and desserts. This famous foodie paradise has been serving since 1892 and there are plenty of vendors to choose from. While walking around, watch cooking demonstrations right in front of your eyes or take home some of farm-grown fresh products from Amish merchants.  Also, stay for annual Pennsylvania Dutch Festival to celebrate the traditional foods and handmade crafts.

                market

                  9. Put on your sneakers and walk around in town.

                  Thanks to the city’s original planner, William Penn, Philadelphia is the fifth most walkable city and has the most bicycle commuters per capita in the country with an easy-to-follow street grid. Do you also know who made bicycling in the city look really cool? Philadelphia native Kevin Bacon in the movie, Quicksilver. So you can skip the car altogether, get by on foot power and hit the sidewalks!

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                  walk in city

                    10. Are you hungry for some fried chicken and donuts?

                    The line out the door explains it all. People across the city crave Korean-style fried chicken and fresh hot donuts at Federal Donuts. They have sold out everyday since opening in the fall of 2011.  You can choose from fancy donuts with flavors like blueberry fritter, lemon bar, maple bacon and PB&J, strawberry lavender, and vanilla spice. Their fried chicken is an amazing combination of juicy and crispy with authentic rubs and glazes including honey garlic, golden soy, sweet chili, buttermilk ranch, coconut curry and cowboy coffee.

                    donut

                      11. You weren’t in Philly if you hadn’t had Philly cheesesteaks.

                      A hot dog vendor in south Philadelphia, Pat Olivieri invented the cheesesteak in the 1930s. He eventually opened up Pat’s King of Steaks- and Geno’s Steaks was started in 1966. Pat’s versus Geno’s is the Yankees versus Mets of the Philadelphia food scene, and you are most likely going to end up picking sides and defending your choice. Which one is authentic, really?

                      cheesestakes

                        12. Drink it up, don’t waste a drop.

                        From the early days of the Founding Fathers to today, Philly has always been a beer town. In 1829 David G. Yuengling brought Yuengling beer to Philadelphia, and since then Philadelphians helped make it one of the largest American-owned breweries. His success was followed by a craft brewing industry explosion in the Greater Philadelphia area. Philly organized ‘Bloktoberfest’, a beer celebration that follows on Beer Week where people come from afar to taste the finest craft beers. For a true taste of Philly’s spirit, take a tour at the craft breweries such as (just to name a few), Philadelphia brewing co., Flying fish brewing co., Yards brewing company and Dock street brewing co., and you will be coming back for more.

                        beer

                          13. Kudos for the vision of the city of tomorrow.

                          Community Life Improvement Programs (CLIP) consists of several programs and agencies dedicated to improving the appearance of neighborhoods throughout the City of Philadelphia. These programs are designed to maximize effectiveness and efficiency by creating partnerships with residents and businesses to foster sustainable communities.The Getting Results Framework, initially developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, has been also adapted for use in the School District of Philadelphia. It is one of the support tools to help school leadership team in the planning process to improve its public school system.

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                          school

                            14. Philadelphia fans are also known for their reputation for being the most intense fans.

                            Sports are a huge part of the culture of the city and Philadelphia fans are known for their extreme passion for all of their teams. Philadelphia is one of the few cities with a professional franchise in all four major league sports. Their major sports teams are the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Eagles, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Philadelphia Flyers. Whether you’re more interested in watching the big game, we’ve got you covered. Sure, Philly’s a big city, but within town, or just minutes away, there are plenty of great sports facilities.

                            sport

                              15. Philly’s got a vibe to it.

                              And of course Philadelphia is a city of great arts and performing arts. It is home to a vibrant and well-documented musical heritage, stretching back to colonial times. The Philadelphia Orchestra performs in one or two neighborhoods each summer, and its lighter version, Philly Pops, performs during the summer at an outdoor venue, the Mann, where you can come early and enjoy picnics and then music under the stars, with several times fireworks at the end. In addition the city has played an equally prominent role in developing popular music. Come on down to discover the extraordinary high quality music experience!

                              bar

                                16. When you feel like getting out and doing anything at all, go here.

                                If you are passionate about the great outdoors, visit Fairmount Park, the world’s largest municipal park. It offers opportunities for everything from fishing, go horseback riding, rollerblading, and hiking in the woods with scenic paths, playgrounds, an outdoor concert space, and picnic grounds along the Schuylkill River. And it’s all within easy reach of Center City. The mile-long stretch of scenic land known as Benjamin Franklin Parkway is the home to many museums and interactive experiences. This cultural hub features impressive architecture, historic monuments, and grand museums galore. Get a taste of Philly that’ll satisfy any cultural cravings at Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

                                park

                                  17. This is not a Chinatown you can see in other big cities.

                                  Philadelphia Chinatown is a predominantly Asian American neighborhood in Center City Philadelphia. Beyond the colorful China Gate at 10th and Arch Streets lives Philly’s vibrant Asian enclave, settled in the mid-19th century by Cantonese immigrants. Though small compared to its hectic and sprawling counterpart in NYC, Philly’s Chinatown is homey and not as daunting. It is nonetheless very much a true ethnic neighborhood, full of energy and a large selection of restaurants and markets to get a real taste of Chinese culture and food. The neighborhood is packed with restaurants and stores that represent true ethnic colors and flavors. See what’s in your fortune cookie.

                                  chinatown

                                    18. Philly Art On and Off the canvas.

                                    Philadelphia is home to more public art than any other city in the country, and boasts world-class museums like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Rodin Museum. Philly also takes its art to the street, encouraging large, public murals through its Mural Arts Program. In Philadelphia, every wall is a potential blank canvas, and stunning murals adorn building exteriors all over the city. A public art project which encourages local artists to create works utilizing the city’s architecture has beautified the City of Brotherly Love and created an enduring cultural legacy. Begun in 1984 to help eradicate graffiti, the Mural Arts Program enables professional artists and young Philadelphians to showcase their artistic talent in a constructive way.

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                                    graffiti

                                      19.  A famous scene with Eddie Murphy was filmed here in the movie Trading Places

                                      Rittenhouse Square, one of William Penn’s original five, was known as the southwest square until 1825 when it was named for the astronomer-clockmaker, David Rittenhouse. Today, private homes are gone, but it still counts for something to live on the Square. The park is perfectly situated between wonderful restaurants and shopping and is always filled with musicians, artists, families, and picnickers. On Saturdays, the farmer’s market takes over one block of the square and you can pick up everything from fresh flowers, to homemade donuts, breads, chocolates, vegetables, and hot soup. So, get back on your foot on a nice day and remember to check out the beautiful charm and old architecture of the buildings in the neighborhood streets.

                                      street

                                        20. Learn all about science

                                        Founded in 1824, the Franklin Institute is a science museum and one of the oldest centers of science education. The Science Center also includes many pertinent attractions that are not museum exhibits. The museum continues to take on research programs in the areas of educational technology, school partnerships, and youth leadership. So give the gift of science to yourself and your family!

                                        franklin inst

                                          So, are you here in Philadelphia yet? My favorite reason to love it, though, has to be the people. There’s an amazing, eclectic mix of souls in Philly who make it an incredibly fun, inspiring and energizing place to live. There’s a great mix of artists, students, writers, musicians, small business owners and families, some of whom have lived here for generations. The people make this neighborhood. And they’ve made it an amazing place to live, work and write about.

                                          Featured photo credit: Philadelphia skyline via flickr.com

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                                          Kris Lee

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                                          Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                          How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                          How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                          Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                                          Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                                          I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                                          You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                          Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                                          When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                          I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                          Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                          Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                          Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                                          1. The Inner Critic

                                          This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                                          • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                                          • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                                          • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                                          • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                          The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                                          Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                          2. The Worrier

                                          This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                                          The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                                          3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                                          This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                                          This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                          The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                                          4. The Sleep Depriver

                                          This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                          The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                                          • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                          • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                          • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                                          • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                          How can you control these squatters?

                                          How to Master Your Mind

                                          You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                          Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                          There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                          • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                          • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                          This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                                          The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                                          Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                          For the Inner Critic

                                          When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                          You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                          For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                                          You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                                          “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                          If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                          • They rile up the Worrier.
                                          • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                          • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                          • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                          • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                                          Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                          Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                          For the Worrier

                                          Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                          Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                                          You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                          • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                          • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                          • Muscles tense

                                          Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                          If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                          Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                          “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                          Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                          If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                                          Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                                          Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                                          For example:

                                          If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                          “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                          Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                          “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                          Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                          For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                          Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                          The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                                          • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                                          • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                          • Muscles tension

                                          I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                          Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                          Breathe in through your nose:

                                          • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                          • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                          • Focus on your belly rising.

                                          Breathe out through your nose:

                                          • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                          • Focus on your belly falling.
                                          • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                          Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                                          Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                                          One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                                          Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                          For the Sleep Depriver

                                          (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                          I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                          Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                          1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                          2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                          When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                                          From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                          For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                          If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                          You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                          • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                                          • Shut down your thinking.
                                          • Calm your feelings.
                                          • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                                          You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                          Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                                          Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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