As a new Irish person living in Philadelphia, it has been quite wholesome to be able to immerse myself in the rich cultural heritage of this city while also maintaining my own cultural identity.
One of the things I have found to love most about living in Philadelphia so far is the abundance of Irish pubs and bars. These places not only serve delicious food and drinks, but they also provide a sense of community and belonging for Irish expats like myself. The atmosphere in these pubs is always lively and welcoming, and it’s a great way to connect with other Irish people living in the city. Despite this, one of the most interesting aspects of living in Philadelphia has been the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the diversity of cultures that make up this city. While Irish culture is certainly present, there are also large communities of African-Americans, Asians, and Latinx people, among others. It has been fascinating to see the different customs, traditions, and foods of these cultures and to see how they all come together to make Philadelphia such a unique and vibrant city. The Italian neighbourhood for example has some of the best pizza and coffee I’ve ever tasted, while Chinatown is a lively neighbourhood thriving in Philly.
The historical sites in Philadelphia have also been a huge draw for me. Being able to walk in the footsteps of some of America’s founding fathers is really special. I’ve already visited Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of the city’s historical sites in the coming weeks. I am still adjusting to the American lifestyle and the whole city, however it definitely has started to feel a lot more like home in the last few days as I’ve met people on my travels! In terms of the scope of the city, it is of course far bigger than Dublin, however there is still that sense of community about the place which is refreshing to see. I’m not sure whether that stems from the large sports following in the city, or the various cultures that are immersed here but it’s definitely noteworthy, compared to other large cities I’ve been in people haven’t been as friendly or welcoming! I have a few travel plans coming up (New York and Atlantic City) and I cannot wait to compare them to Philly and share my stories and experiences with all of you!