The “Horrifying” Side of Philadelphia

Location | New York, NY

This past Sunday, I went to Philadelphia to meet up with my cousin, Jessie. Billy, Jessie’s brother, drove us there. We left around 9 and arrived around 11. We met up with Jessie and her research assistant Yi-zhen. The first stop was South Street. We headed to Ishkabibble’s Eatery to have some Philly Cheesesteaks. I noticed that the line for Jim’s Steaks, the typical tourist stop, was already out the door and down the block. Ishkabibble is rated highly on Yelp, which tends to be my bible for finding delicious places.

Although I wasn’t elated about the quality of food, I wasn’t quite disappointed either. Between the four of us, we ordered 3 South Philly Cheesesteaks (red pepper, spinach, provolone and beef), 1 South Philly Chicken Cheesesteak (same, but with chicken), a large order of fries, 2 Gremlins (half grape juice, half lemonade), 1 Diet Coke, 1 Apple Juice.

The inside of Ishkabibble’s is tiny, but we found a space for the 4 of us at the counter. There we chowed down, but I was only able to get through half of mine, but I also ate half of the large fries (oh man!) and also downed the Gremlin, which was amaaaaazing.

Making Philly Cheesesteaks!

Making Philly Cheesesteaks!

After Ishkabibble’s, Jessie needed to get back to the conference center (she was there to give a speech on public health), so we dropped her off and took Yi-zhen to the Eastern State Penitentiary. I called up Danny (my friend from college) to come chill with us as well.

The outside of the Eastern State Penitentiary looks like a castle. It looks completely out of place in the outskirts of Philly. Due to Halloween, the haunted house decorations were still up. $8 for a student ticket, and $12 for regular adult. With every entrance ticket you get an audio set to take you on your own tour. There’s also free tours with guides if you go at the right time.

Creepy Hallway

Creepy Hallway

Walking in, you just go between a thick wall and you see the old buildings to your left. When you enter for the first time, you realize that it’s cold. Not just cold temperature wise, but just like that eerie cold you get when you feel like you’re all alone. It was actually a nice day outside (where jackets were not needed), but I was practically shivering inside the building.

Who is this prisoner!?

Who is this prisoner!?

Walking hallway through hallway, I knew that I would never want to experience prison or jail. Even if it is supposedly “nicer” these days (whatever that means).

We walked down the different cells peeking in doors (if possible) and just feeling the eeriness of the prison. We went past death row, the greenhouse, outdoor area, and completely dilapidated cells. It was a great and surreal experience.

We walked by Al Capone’s old cell (which was “beautifully” furnished). Over all it was highly recommended.

After the penitentiary, we headed back to find my cousin. We went to Capogiro Artisan Gelato and had some truly divine gelato. Pera, heirloom apple and bacio (chocolate w/ hazelnut). Not only those 3 flavours, but also a huge dollop of homemade whipped cream! YUM!

Delicious gelato! YUM!

Delicious gelato! YUM!

We walked a mile or so to a small store that sold some Japanese goodies, but otherwise, we didn’t do much besides drop off my cousin and her assistant back at the hotel and then my cousin and I headed back to NY.

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11 2009

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