61 Days Later: Student reflects on trip to Philadelphia

Published: March 31, 2016

Philadelphia the largest city in Pennsylvania, filled with history and museums. Exchange student Jimena Pacheli visisted Philadelphia for the first time over spring break and reflected on her experience exploring the area.

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / PHILADELPHIA the largest city in Pennsylvania, filled with history and museums. Exchange student Jimena Pacheli visited Philadelphia for the first time over spring break and reflected on her experience exploring the area.

Commentary by

JIMENA PACHELI

Among the many experiences I have lived during my time abroad, travelling has certainly been one of the most outstanding of them. There were no beaches, exotic destinations, or fancy tan for this Latina during spring break. Instead, I got to experience the dream city of Philadelphia.

Although it may sound awfully mainstream, I must confess that as soon as I set foot on the streets and began to walk through Pennsylvania´s largest city, I played Bruce Springteen´s “Streets of Philadelphia.” Sometimes, I romanticize myself way more than I should, but if not now, when?

You never know when you will have another chance of visiting the place in which you find yourself travelling. This thought is the one that makes me want to make the most out of every trip. Philadelphia is an old city full of American history, beautiful places to walk through and delicious restaurants to eat in; therefore I decided I would enjoy every second of my trip in it.

I can´t help my extreme liking for creepy and infamous places, therefore I visited the Eastern State Penitentiary. Yes, it was cold, empty, and it managed to send chills down my spine whilst I thought about the way and the conditions in which prisoners in the penitentiary lived whilst it was still functioning.

Just like every old city, Philadelphia has ghost stories, too. So, continuing through the lines of creepiness, I took a night ghost tour through the Independence National Historical Park. Our guide was dressed in black, wore a long, black cloak, and carried an old lantern while guiding us. He told us about the many ghost and apparition stories that people tell around that area. These stories are strongly related to the independence battles that took place within Philadelphia.

Finally and definitely the highlight of my little trip, was the visit to Edgar Allan Poe´s house. Of all the places he lived during his years in Philadelphia, that is the only house that is preserved. There is no furniture and the house is practically empty, but for a Poe lover like me, visiting the space in which he lived and wrote famous stories, brought great excitement and even further appreciation toward his life and works.

Not everything was about creepy, obscure places. I visited museums, and climbed the famous Rocky steps. There was so much to do, but so little time. Philadelphia is a city I would definitely like to visit again. I got lost in the city; I was enraptured by its beauty, and got lost within myself. There will never be another first time in Philadelphia, but walking through its lovely streets is something that I definitely want to do again. I can only hope for another visit to this city sometime soon for I have no doubt that it will have new and amazing ways of surprising me.

Contact the writer: jimena.pachecoelizondo@scranton.edu

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