Columnist Matthew Flocco advises students to explore the city outside of Main Campus.
My absolute favorite thing about studying at Temple is living in Philadelphia. Hands down. It is actually the reason I chose Temple over Pitt. As a freshman I went to Drexel, and I fell in love with this city so much that I couldn’t look at any other place when transferring.
I mean, there is the University of Pennsylvania, but I would have to live off McDonald’s the rest of my life to afford tuition.
Unfortunately, because Temple is a bit farther away from Center City, not as many students venture there as often.
As a freshman, exploring Philadelphia is essential. The city, set up on a grid, is extremely easy to get around. Most of the best places to explore can be easily reached by the subway.
Here are the givens that you already should know about. If you don’t, then we have a problem: Old City, City Hall, Rittenhouse Square, South Street, Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Love Park.
What you may not know is that some of the best events are held at these places. City Hall has now been renovated and is home to skateboarders and tourists galore. The best time to visit is during the holiday season when there is a tree in the middle and a Christmas Village out front.
Every student should also go to South Street. Condom Kingdom is the best. South Street is like the Venice Beach of Los Angeles. Every other store is a smoke shop or a sex shop.
Penn’s Landing is one of the best places to go at night if you are looking for a cheap date. Just watch out for the smell of weed or couples vigorously making out. If you are one of those couples, tell people to watch out for you.
Here are some underrated areas: Fairmount Waterworks, Fairmount Park, Spring Garden Street and any of the bridges on the Schuylkill River. During the day and late afternoon, even early evening, these places are absolutely beautiful to walk through. At night, just make sure you’re with friends.
Philadelphia is an absolutely incredible city to go to school in. Whether you are into art, music, theater, baseball, football, photography, pizza, cheesesteaks, Italian food or Chinese food, there is so much to explore in such a condensed area.
Take advantage of this city. Let your feet and your instincts guide you. Temple is great, but only because it’s a part of Philly.
Matthew Flocco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.