Philadelphia: Central Business District

The decision to go to Philadelphia was made simply on the basis that it was the cheapest city to get to by train from New York that we could do a day trip to. Not knowing what to expect, and having done basically no research, my fiancée and I got onto the train at Penn Station in New York, and less than 2 hours later, were at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.

Walking straight ahead from the station along JFK Boulevard, we entered Philadelphia’s Central Business District. It’s a modern business district, and is full of skyscrapers and beautiful old buildings.

philadelphia central business district

philadelphia central business district

philadelphia central business district

philadelphia central business district

“That van doesn’t have any front license plates.” I hear you say. “Must just be something special about it.” I hear you say. Special it is not. Philadelphia is the only place I have been to in the world where none of the cars are required to have front license plates. It’s very odd to see them all parked and driving about like that.

philadelphia central business district

philadelphia central business district

One of Philadelphia’s most recognisable landmarks is Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture, which was installed in John F. Kennedy Plaza in 1976.

philadelphia central business district

philadelphia central business district

Philadelphia appeared to me to be a city that is very supportive of the arts.  One the surface at least, there are lots of sculptures and installations about.

philadelphia central business district

philadelphia central business district

I’m not a skater, but damn it would be hard to resist!

These plaques are dotted all over the city, and give a brief explanation of the historical significance of the site, building etc. I think it’s a great idea, and I learned a lot about the history of the city just by walking around and stumbling across them.

As is obvious by looking at it, Philadelphia’s town hall is based on the grand buildings of Paris.  It is the second tallest masonry building in the world.

Occupy Philadelphia outside the town hall, on our way to Broad Street.

South Broad Street (“Avenue of the Arts”) is home to many of Philadelphia’s cultural institutions, including the theatre district south of City Hall.

A few years back, the city council introduced a scheme whereby local artists would be invited to paint massive murals that represented what Philadelphia meant to them, on many of the blank concrete walls around the city. I think it’s a great idea, and it was always interesting when I stumbled across one, whether it be in a very obvious place, or hidden.

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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