April 7, 2011 – Center City.

It wasn’t my first time visiting Center City. I actually was introduced to Center City Philadelphia in 2007 when I was dispatched by my old job to attend a trade conference.  I took the Amtrak train, which was really cool because I really enjoy a nice long train trip… Well,  I didn’t realize how close Philadelphia was to NYC at the time because as soon as got settled in for the trip, we were pulling into the 30th Street Station!  Later, I would learn that if I could take my sweet and cheap time getting to Philadelphia from north Jersey by jumping on the NJ Transit’s Northeast Corridor and SEPTA’s R-7 trains….those were good memories!  😉

At any rate, I was really excited to know that Philadelphia was a getaway destination if I needed a change of pace from the craziness of NYC.  In its own offbeat way, Philadelphia charmed the pants off me and I never dreamed that 4 years later, I’d be calling Philly home.

Another thing:  Being a born and raised Midwesterner, you grow accustomed to the idea that if you want to travel from one city to another, chances are, you’re either going to have to fly or drive.  Coming to the East Coast, seeing how interconnected and accessible all points are up and down the seaboard, and knowing that having a car is not a necessity, thrilled me!  

At any rate, here’s a little snippet of background information on Center City…

From Wikipedia:

“Center City, or Downtown Philadelphia includes the central business district, and central neighborhoods of the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. As of 2005, its population of over 88,000 made it the third most populous downtown in the United States, after New York City and Chicago (editor: I didn’t know this!). This number can rise to over 235,000 during the working hours due to the daily influx of commuters and tourists.

“Center City is bounded by South Street (see my South Street portraits) to the south, the Delaware River to the east, the Schuylkill River to the west and either Vine Street or Spring Garden Street to the north (though the 88,000 population figure corresponds to an expanded area of roughly Poplar Street south to Christian Street).”

I was really excited and was hoping to encounter some interesting people to photograph that day.   Despite the relative chill in the air, I wasn’t disappointed.  People were out and about, on their lunch breaks, waiting for the bus, on their cell phones, or just making their way to their next destination. 

Despite the fact that Philadelphia’s central business district is the 3rd largest in the country behind NYC’s and Chicago’s, I can say confidently that it lacks the 24/7 hustle and bustle that I had come to know and love from living in the Big Apple and from growing up in the Windy City.  Nevertheless, I’ve grown to develop a fondness for Philadelphia that I think will grow deeper as time goes on…and I say this primarily because of the people.  What I can get away with photographically in Philadelphia I would never dare try in NYC.  And that’s saying a lot because I consider myself to be a pretty bold person when it comes to interacting with people I don’t know and may never see again.  The subjects I photographed below were very good sports, and they have my sincere thanks and appreciation for indulging my requests. 

Without any further delay, I’m pleased to present three of my favorite photos from my Center City/Love Park photowalk in early April. 

Click on each image above to view the full-sized version of each photo and an accompanying description.   And don’t forget to register your comments and feedback…I appreciate it!


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