Food! Dickinsonians! Touristy Things!

A few weekends back I was lucky enough to have three of my friends from Dickinson come visit me in Philadelphia! Here’s how the visit went!

On Thursday night, I drove to center city to pick up my roommates Caitlin ’20 and Kat ’20 from the train station. I parked and patiently waited for them to find my vehicle among the tall walls and other cars. They eventually spotted my car and hopped inside we drove back to my sisters place in Mt. Airy where I made them some homemade pizza and went to sleep.

Friday morning we hopped on a train to Suburban Station and visited Love Park. It was the first day of Pride month and there was a magazine photographing a couple in front of the small LOVE statue. The park is nice, equipped with seating, fountains and even PING PONG TABLES. We played for a few minutes before realizing ping pong was not our calling and started walking.

Next, we visited Reading Terminal Market, which is A DREAM for food lovers (and who doesn’t love food?). This market originally opened it’s doors in 1893, it still exists as a great location for food dealers and farmers to sell their goods. After walking around for some time, and nearly getting lost in this maze of tasty eats, we decided to sit down at a Pennsylvania Dutch deli counter and order some sandwiches. I had the special, which was a massive cold reuben complete with cole slaw and thousand island dressing – two things I typically do not like that went together perfectly on this sandwich. Completely stuffed, we really needed to get up and do some more walking.

After taking a detour through Chinatown, we headed over to old city to see the Liberty Bell. We had no intentions of going inside, just plans to look through the glass, but when we got there, admission was free and the line wasn’t very long. Since Kat is a huge history geek and we were feeling pretty touristy, we decided we couldn’t pass up on the opportunity. The bell was really large with a big crack down the side just as expected.

Tired and sweaty from the 90º heat, we walked back to the station to board the next train back to Mt. Airy, having a quick run-in with Ellis ’20 on the street. When we arrived back home, a third Dickinsonian, Abby ’20 was there to join us for the rest of the weekend!

That evening we got some delicious food from Biryani Bowl Indian Cuisine! It was Caitlin and Kat’s first experience with Indian food, and they really enjoyed the Butter Chicken, one of my favorites. 

The next morning we went to one of my favorite places to eat in Philadelphia, the South Philly Barbacoa! This gem is nestled in the Italian market, in a teeny tiny mosaic building – they hardly have enough room for all the people who want to eat there! Inside, on weekends they offer a full experience complete with soup to start, handmade tortillas, tons of great toppings and smoked pork and lamb by the kilo. Though, we had to be sure to arrive early (we got there around 9AM, but they open at 5AM!) to make sure they didn’t sell out, and to beat the afternoon rush. Truly the BEST tacos I’ve ever had.

After stuffing ourselves, and taking some leftovers for the road, we walked off our meal and headed uptown to the Franklin Institute! If you’ve never heard of this place, I would best describe it as a curious person’s dream. This is an interactive museum that explores almost any and every branch of the scientific world – from astrology to biomedicine to physics, this place has it ALL. My friends and I met up with recent grad, Liza ’18, and let out our inner nerd for a seriously exciting time (even for the non-science majors)!

Our time together was quickly coming to an end and we had to go our separate ways. We took one last stop at Goldie, a small falafel place right off 16th street. This place has the most fabulous vegan shakes on the planet. Made with tehina, the shakes have a sort of nutty taste and come in several flavors such as, coconut, turkish coffee, original and chocolate chip mint. Everybody was happy with their choice, mine was gone within 5 minutes!

Overall, I had a great weekend with my fellow Dickinsonian’s! Seeing them made me a little sad that I won’t be on campus in the fall but, I know I’ll have a blast studying abroad in Turks and Caicos.

Myself, Kat and Caitlin ’20 at the Franklin Fountain
Small Abby, Big City
Kat ’20 and Caitlin ’20 at the Franklin Fountain

 Abby ’20 at South Philly Barbacoa 

Reading Terminal Market 

We made it to Philly and we’re doing alright.

** This post was written after my Orientation on 3/17, but not published until I discussed the assignment with my supervisor. Enjoy! **

Let me start off by saying that I NEVER thought I would end up working in a zoo. It’s not that I wasn’t interested, or thought zoos were some evil place that only benefitted the man, I just had only been to one zoo in my life, the Bronx Zoo once when I was in kindergarten and once during my senior year of high school. The memories are positive, but fuzzy, zoos just weren’t a major part of my life at all.

Fast forward to my Sophomore year at Dickinson College, I was looking into places to intern in the Philadelphia area for summer 2018 so I could build my resume, get some experience and spend time with my sister who lives in the city. I applied to the Philadelphia Zoo on a whim, figuring I wouldn’t get in and knowing that they likely receive hundreds of applications each year. Though, here I am having just finished orientation for my Environmental Education and Animal Behavior Internship, or EEABI for short.

This week has been interesting, as I have always felt the most difficult group of people to interact with were my peers, a personal challenge for myself this summer is to quit being so awkward and shy and make friends and have some great conversations.  Over the four day orientation, we’ve been spending a lot of time in a conference room discussing a lot of logistics. Though, we also had the opportunity to do some team building activities. One of my favorites, “Pterodactyl”, a game that is played by standing in a circle squawking the word   while covering your teeth entirely with your lips and trying not to laugh (if a clearer explanation is needed, I would definitely be willing to follow up). Though my eleven-year-old self was squealing with excitement to play this hysterical game, my peers didn’t seem quite as excited, which may be because it was 9 AM on the fourth and final day of orientation.

Our most elaborate team building activity was a PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT! My team, the axolotls, actually won the competition thanks to our creative recreation of zoo statues and fine attention to detail, granting us a free trip on the ZOO BALLOON! (photos below)