Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Home of the Philly Cheese Steak, City of Brotherly Love. Where Rocky sprinted up the steps of the Art Museum. This steamy July, Zack and I rode bikes around the town to get a good feel for the city, and of course because that is what we do. We ride bikes. It really is our preferred method of transportation. It gets the blood pumping and lets you soar like a bird down paved hills and bridges. We soared through Philly on a warm Tuesday summer day. Peddled up the Ben Franklin Bridged and sailed into New Jersey. Hovering over the broad blue Delaware River, watching the clouds drift by. It was a magnificent view of both Jersey and Philly from there.
Then we got out a handy bike map my sister lended us, with all the bike routes in the city and of course historical land marks. We made our way to Independence Hall and saw the first standing Methodist Church in America, erected in 1763. We found the oldest residential street in America, Elfreth's Alley, with one house dating back to 1703. Elfreth's Alley was made of two rows of Town houses, three stories high on each side. Each home was about 11 or 12 feet wide. With painted shutters and American flags hanging from the old red bricks. One house even had the Union Jack luffing in the wind. You really have to be there to appreciate how well preserved this historical street was. I mean it's older than probably 99% of the rest of the buildings still standing in this great country.
Then Zack and I toured across downtown to the Art Museum where we too ran up the steps like Rocky. Pausing at the top to take a selfie and admire city hall way across town. What a beautiful city to take your time and tour it by bike. We went a little ways from the museum to find a beautiful trail along the Schuokall River. Pronounced (Skoo-Kle) We noticed many brightly painted murals in the city and many historical signs. Pubs and trendy restaurants. Beer gardens that pop up around town at different parks. The city is known for its look of row houses that extend for blocks and miles throughout the city. Homes that were erected quickly and cheaply for the city's once prominent blue collar workers now being sold for half a million or more.
We chose to ride the city bikes in Philly. They were definitely a little cumbersome, but some of the best city bikes I have been on. And there were plenty of bike stations to return the bikes to if we wanted to get off and walk around for a while. Philadelphia is definitely an amazing, iconic, American city, well worth your time to explore and eat and drink and ride bikes in!