--October 2008: Issue 27 of City Reading II
Helen Keller put forward her well-known proposition ‘”Three Days to See”. Since then, people have persisted in making an assumption. We may ask a question, “Where will you choose to tour if you are only allowed to visit a city in Europe?” I will choose Florence, the epitome of Europe. Then, “Where will you choose to tour if you are only allowed to visit a city in the United Sates?” I will choose Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is derived from Polish with original meaning of brotherhood and it is the old capital of the United States. Thus, Philadelphia was founded earlier than the United States and has faithfully recorded the history of the United State, telling us that the United States with a history of only 200 years to 300 years has spared no effort to preserve its relatively shorter history and left a large historical legacy. In east Philadelphia, all kinds of relics related to the foundation history of the United States have been finely and carefully preserved. It is worth mentioning that Independence Hall on Chestnut Street is the birthplace of the United State founded more than 200 years ago, where America’s founding fathers signed famous United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution. No cities can bear comparison with Philadelphia in witnessing American history.
When it comes to the arts, you will associate it with Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra and we marvel at the rising United States having its own world-class Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. As one of top three symphony orchestras in the United Stats, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra has established an international reputation and gained in popularity in the world. Additionally, there are many theaters in Philadelphia, ranking second in the United States and being second only to American Broadway. Apart from music and theatres, you will have a chance to admire a good number of word well-known urban statues, including red statue with the theme of “Love”, which I appreciated in Tokyo and New York. After I visited Philadelphia, I knew of Philadelphia being the hometown of Love . It is worth mentioning that world well-known The Thinker created by Rodin is also displayed in Philadelphia. Additionally, Rodin Museum sits in Philadelphia. For this reason, both Philadelphia and Paris are renowned for the full range of Rodin work collections.
Philadelphia boasts church clusters. Although there are numerous churches in the United States, most of American churches cannot bear comparison with those in Europe. However, Philadelphia is not the case. When gazing at so many churches here, you may doubt you are visiting a city in Europe. Actually, only ancient American cities bear a resemblance to those in Europe. Thus, a superbly illustrated book entitled Historic Sacred Places Philadelphia has been published.
Philadelphia takes pride in its universities. Western Philadelphia, also known as a university city, is known for local famous Drexel University and Ivy League University of Pennsylvania filled with cultural atmosphere and cultural stores and restaurants. It is worth mentioning eminent Chinese architects Liang Sicheng, Yang Tingbao and Chen Zhi graduated from University of Pennsylvania which founded influential Philadelphia School in American architectural history. Louis Isadore Kahn (Note:Louis Isadore Kahn and Frank Lioyd Wrignt are genius in U.S. construction circles) is a representative architect of Philadelphia School and created a architectural masterpiece “Richard Medical Research Building” standing in University of Pennsylvania, a place of pilgrimage for students majoring in architecture.
With so many priceless treasures in Philadelphia, It needs not to mention other valuable things. Philadelphia is a city envied by other cities in the United States because it owns what other cities own and outstrips them all. In terms of park, there is the largest city park called Fairmont Park in the world, in terms of shopping mall, there are a good number of elegant aristocratic brand-name shopping malls, in terms of residence, Society Hill Residence created by Ieoh Ming Pei stands here. In addition, there is well-known NAB Team Philadelphia 76ers in the United State. In terms of local history, Philadelphia has its own characteristics suburb where a variety of European races gather. It is worth mentioning that world well-known Amish People adopt a lifestyle before the industrial revolution and refuse to use electricity. If you see a group of ethnical minorities who are bizarrely dressed and drive cart in the market, you should avoid a misunderstanding that they are playing a role in drama. Instead, they are ancient Netherlands ethnic minority who persist in adopting ancient lifestyle prevalent in the 18th century- men wear straw hat and black pants and sport moustache while women pull hair back in a bun. This is Philadelphia City boasting unique cultural landscape and beautiful scenic spots.
It is recommended visiting Philadelphia, a city ranking fifth in the United States and second on the east coast of the United States. It is worth mentioning that it is an ancient American city which has a longer history than the United States and disseminates the culture of the United States.