Philadelphia Again: Spending the Christmas Holidays in a Magical Town

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The past few days have been fun-packed with some proper action. I had the chance to experience Philadelphia over the holidays and spent some quality time with the extended family. My cousin still lives close-by and he invited me over to spend the end of the year with his wife and her relatives. It was just the right amount of relaxation I had needed. Aside from watching the new Star Wars movie (I can only recommend it!) and eating a bunch of sweets, dinners, and whatnots, we marveled at the warm and frizzy temperatures outside. On one day we committed to the entire sightseeing action, or at least a few parts of it. We started off with the Magic Garden, which I already went to when visiting Philly last year (read more here). Designed by Isaiah Zagar for the length of 14 years, it stands in its finished version at South and 11th Street since 2008. A garden made entirely of mosaics, bottles, mirrors, and other items the artists found all over Philly (and perhaps its dumpsters). It’s quite a unique concept and as I was told mosaic art pieces can be found all over the city. We walked through the maze, up and down some steps, and took a quick tour of the insides, where you can read more on the history and background of this magnificent piece of art.

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Our next stop was Reading Terminal Market – a well-known indoor food bazaar and market. Here you can find anything perhaps – from amazing grilled cheese, over fresh fish to spicy hot sauces and much, much more! We had some Greek Pita sandwiches for lunch and I saw a restaurant that had the exact same name my friend did (what a coincidence indeed). I also came across some chocolate rats and other exotic forms. Since we went right after the big holiday, lots of the Christmas sweets were reduced and a cheap steal.

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After this, we made a quick excursion to Rittenhouse Square. The cousin-in-law told me that this is one of THE spots to be during the summer, since it hosts some great musicians and free concerts. So perhaps a mini-version of New York’s Summerstage.

Rittenhouse Square during the winter holidays
Rittenhouse Square during the winter holidays

The cousin had to watch the Arsenal game and after the team’s painful loss to Southhampton (4:0) we made our way over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Unfortunately there was a long line to snap a picture in front of the Rocky Statue so I didn’t get to take one this year. I did snap a souvenir image 5 years ago, when it was snowy outside and life was different.

Me five years ago (how time flies!)
Me five years ago (how time flies!)

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Philly is only two hours from New York and always worth a day trip or longer visit. I know there is so much more to see, especially around Center City, but I’m getting there. It was great to just take a breather and see a different city outside of Brooklyn and Manhattan for once.

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