Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and is about 50 kms from New York. Philly and the City of Brotherly Love are the other names for this city. Being a social and geographical centre, it played a vital part in American Revolution and Independence. This region initially belonged to Lenape (Delaware) Indian village. Swedish, Dutch and British took control of this region in the 16th century. Charles II of England granted William Penn, this charter in 1681. Penn was extremely tolerant to religion and this encouraged friendship with the natives. He had plans to develop it as an English rural town but the locals were not supportive. He established it as a city which slowly established itself as a trading centre. Leading citizens like Benjamin Franklin were instrumental in forming societies to promote agriculture and manufacturing sectors. It soon developed as a significant financial and cultural centre. Unfortunately, they lost 10% of the population to the ‘Yellow Fever’ epi
Focus on transport and infrastructure ensured Philadelphia as a vital destination for industries. Major corporations set up their offices here to develop the transport sector. The textiles industry showed the highest growth factor. The Centennial Exposition held in 1876 was the World’s first Fair. With the growth in industries, many skilled workers immigrated. They were from Germany, Ireland, Russia, Eastern Europe, Italy and African Americans from Southern US. In fact, the population of the African Americans increased sevenfold. The population began to decline when the general attitude became ‘corrupt and contented’. Industries relocated to new horizons in the United States. In the 20th and 21st century major focus has been Centre City and University City. There was a paradigm shift to services sector from manufacturing. Skyscrapers were constructed and historic areas resuscitated; the population has more or less stabilized after the steep decline.
The City Of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia
Delaware and Schuylkill rivers and Cobbs, Wissahickon and Pennypack creeks flow across Philadelphia. Mongomery to the north; Burlington County, New Jersey to the east; Gloucester County, New Jersey to the south and Delaware County to the west are the neighbouring counties. Georgian architecture dominated in the 18th century. Federal architecture and Greek revival architecture replaced it in 19th century. Skyscrapers built of glass and granite dominated from 1980s. The Comcast Centre replaced One Liberty Place, the tallest building here. The Comcast Centre is also among the tallest buildings in the entire United States. Victorian Style homes and Twin-row houses are typical residences in this region.
Manufacturing, health care, oil refinery, food processing, biotechnology, finance and tourism sectors are the major occupations. It has the fourth highest GDP among American cities; the other three are New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Philadelphia Stock Exchange and many Fortune 500 companies have set up their offices here. Health care employs many locals in Philadelphia. Law, Transport and Tourism sectors have developed considerably in the last few decades. Independent retailers, fashion boutiques, shopping malls and strip malls dominate the retail scene in Philadelphia. The King of Prussia Mall is the largest in the US East Coast and largest in the country with respect to area. Education is encouraged here, and it has the second highest student concentration in the entire east coast. Many colleges, schools, universities and specialty schools have opened here.
White Americans including French Canadians make up 43% of the population. African Americans, Asian Americans, Irish, Italian, Jamaican, Polish, Hispanics and Latinos have also set up residences here. Varied cuisine, cultural events and styles are part of this unique heritage.
General Etiquette in Philadelphia
Tipping is customary and not mandatory in Philadelphia. If your restaurant bill reads gratuity, then it is inclusive of tip amount. Tip a minimum amount of 15% or $1-$5 depending on the level of service acquired. 25% of the bill amount is a good tip. Walking after dark is safe and common.