Uncategorized sg1293 on 12 May 2014 05:33 pm

By Sarah Goldy-Brown

After almost 4 entire months in the city of Philadelphia, I can say that city life is probably not for me.  The constant sirens kept me awake some nights, I never felt totally safe on the subway, and going anywhere at night was not my favorite thing to do.   I missed the quiet suburban area that I grew up in and the safety of driving my own car.

After almost 4 entire months as a Temple student, I can also say that I am not Temple Made.  I felt lost in my classes of 100 students with professors that never learned anyone’s names, I never quite understood why someone would want to stay up all night partying when they knew they had a final the next morning, and I always felt like someone was going to try to steal my stuff (thankfully all that got stolen was a flash drive in the library).  I missed the small Messiah classes, the academically focused students, and the privilege of leaving my stuff at a table in Lottie without worrying that someone would come along and take it.

Despite those revelations, I am glad that I chose to spend my spring semester at the Messiah Philly Campus.  For me, I may not have enjoyed city life and I may not have enjoyed Temple, but I definitely enjoyed the time that I spent getting to know the amazing students at MCPC.  We all bonded over our dysfunctional building that seemed ready for us to leave and we had some fun times playing Game of Things.  The community (sorry, I had to say it) that we all formed is something that I will miss, and I am so thankful for every person that chose to come to Philly for MCPC’s final semester.

As I sit at home and reflect on my semester, here are some memories that come to mind:

  1. The explosion of the soda fountain…a nice bonding “exercise” during our first weekend on campus.
  2. Playing the “Scrabble Master” during the MLK Day of Service and losing to him in the quickest game I have ever played (30 minutes).
  3. Getting stranded in the subway station while the train pulled away because the doors closed before my friends could get off it.
  4. Standing in the freezing cold and snowy weather to see a free Switchfoot concert in the middle of January
  5. Cheering on Temple at a basketball game.
  6. Watching Mean Girls and Clue in the cable cave.
  7. Living in the 2024 building for a week.
  8. Discovering that a mouse had decided to munch on my Ramen, chocolate bar, fruit roll ups, and granola bars.
  9. Going ice skating at Penn’s Landing
  10. Playing with Temple’s Ultimate Frisbee team in a scrimmage against Villanova.
  11. Attempting to beat Eva at the Silly Face game at dinner (she always managed to win)
  12. Venturing over to “Little Vietnam” to eat some delicious Pho during Easter weekend.
  13. Falling down the stairs during our PSAB-sponsored Easter egg hunt (I really wanted those free subway tokens) and finding an egg that was hidden last spring.
  14. Taking my first train ride to Lancaster
  15. Making cards for Caitlin’s Smiles at the second last community gathering.
  16. Listening to all of the stories at the Farewell to Philly event.
  17. Late night insomnia cookies or Munchies runs with my roommates.
  18. Performing “Oh it Broke” with Aubrey at the MCPC Talent Show.

Uncategorized sg1293 on 28 Apr 2014 09:02 pm

By Aubrey Werley

With the stress of projects, exams, portfolios, and due dates looming just around the corner, the MCPC family took a weekend to step back from course work and enjoy each other’s company for Messiah College Philadelphia Campus’s final Celebration Weekend.

Late Friday night we piled into the van for a midnight bowling excursion.  The night was filled with plenty of laughter and dancing, frequent gutter balls and the occasional strike.  Whether we were self-proclaimed, semi-pro bowlers or hitting the alley for the first time, everyone enjoyed the weekend’s kickoff event.

On Saturday, those of us who were available spent the afternoon picnicking and playing in Fairmount Park; the largest landscaped, urban park in the country.  We managed to avoid the predicted rain showers and enjoyed the weather by playing Frisbee, tossing water balloons, challenging one another to sack races, and strolling along Boat House Road.

We wrapped up Celebration Weekend in style by dressing to the nines to dine at Bahama Breeze.  Our MCPC family enjoyed a delicious Caribbean dinner at a table that situated all seventeen of us around a comforting, glowing fire pit.  Our evening was complete with group picture opportunities, a little improvised instrumentation, and a new batch of memories by firelight.

Messiah College Philadelphia Campus may be preparing to wrap up its final semester, but this past weekend has proven that our students have no intention of winding down just yet.   Our Celebration Weekend has served as an encouraging push to experience everything Philadelphia has to offer in our limited time before the end of the semester, and I look forward to the adventures that await us as we hurry to cross off the remaining items on our bucket lists.

Uncategorized jh1502 on 21 Apr 2014 03:03 pm

By Joel Hoover

Apart from the occasional hiccup of a rainy or windy day here and there, it has been a fantastic past two weeks here in Philadelphia! It is great to see everybody getting outside and having a chance to explore around the city and go new places here in the waning weeks of the semester.

There are many great places to just go for a walk around the city, both of the current and modern look and also the classic and historical. Just the other week, I got to walk around Old City a little bit during a break at my internship. It’s a fascinating place for many reasons: first, many of the buildings there are quite old and have their own unique style. Obviously, you have Independence National Historic Park and some of the other historic buildings that are in the blocks around it. But there is also something to be said for the cobblestone streets and neat little shops that are also either somewhat older or very specialized in what they do.

That very same day, as well as the day before, I also had the chance to finally go inside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As spectacular and beautiful as it and its grounds are from the outside, the inside is just as impressive. Floors of magnificent exhibits, covering centuries of European artwork and furniture, as well as American and Asian artwork and even some weaponry and modern artwork. It took me two days to cover everything, and I didn’t even see every exhibit, plus there were two other buildings I have yet to see! It’s a remarkable place to go–whether it’s alone or with a small group–just to walk around and take in the past and the splendor of the artwork/craftsmanship of the world’s history.

But it was the Saturday of that weekend that was particularly nice. You know it’s an especially nice day when you are able to both wear shorts outside and also catch some sun for the first time in a long time! I had the chance to go visit the Belmont Plateau, a lesser-known but still picturesque park view in West Philadelphia. From here, I was able to see the buildings of Center City in the distance over a cropping of trees, as well as the rising and falling balloon of the Philadelphia Zoo! It was just nice to grab some food, sit down in the grass for a bite, then just lay down and relax for a little bit outside while watching kids and parents fly kites. Even in a city, it’s still possible to get outside and find a nice patch of green to enjoy the outdoors!

It was a perfect day to be along the riverside as well, as there were people packed all along the length of Kelly Drive’s riverwalk running next to the Schuylkill River. Some used it as an opportunity to do some running and work on their fitness. Others biked. Many just took a walk and enjoyed the beautiful day, as well as watching the rowers on the river and the sights of Boathouse Row (from the back) and East Fairmount Park. Several cherry blossom trees had bloomed on the walk as well. There are so many neat spots along this walk to enjoy, and with a perfect day to accompany it, the riverwalk was a wonderful example of just how much Philadelphia comes to life in the spring.

Even just this past weekend, a group of students took the evening to go down to Chinatown and Vietnam Town–some for the first time–to explore and also try the food down there. Springtime and the warmth of it also provides an opportunity to walk down South Street, with its vast array of shops, restaurants, and just unique stores in general. It’s a place I’m hopeful I will get to spend more time at in the closing weeks of this semester.

It’s hard to believe! Just as the weather is getting warm, we are coming to the end of our time in Philadelphia! But this weekend especially should be a great time, as it will be MCPC’s Celebration Weekend.

Uncategorized sg1293 on 14 Apr 2014 07:40 pm

By Sarah Goldy-Brown

I only have one month left in Philly.  Probably the last month I will spend living in a city.

There are quite a few things that I’m hoping to cram into my last few weeks amidst studying for finals and finishing up final projects.

  • Go to Scoop DeVille to get delicious ice cream
  • Eat at Banana Leaf once more–I highly recommend their Prawn Mee
  • Eat at Einstein Bros. Bagels–it’s in the Student Center, so I have no excuse not to complete this one
  • Decide which cheese steak I like best:  Pat’s or Geno’s
  • Go see elephants at the Philadelphia Zoo!
  • Go to the Art Museum to see the Rocky statue
  • Ride the carousel at Franklin Square
  • Go to the top of Morgan Hall to see the view of the city
  • Find a good Jamaican restaurant
  • Take a tour of the Betsy Ross House
  • Walk along Kelly Drive
  • Go to Magic Gardens
  • Find a show to go to
  • Get a milkshake at Max Brenner Chocolate Bar

    Comment if you have any other suggestions of places to visit during my last month in Philly!

    Uncategorized jh1502 on 08 Apr 2014 08:18 pm

    Skyscrapers, history, and natural beauty: all components that make Philadelphia unique.

    By Joel Hoover

    I have been living in Philadelphia since August, attending MCPC for both semesters of this academic school year. It has been my first experience actually being a resident of a city for a time–in all my previous trips to some of the larger, more notable cities of the United States, I have only been in them for a day or two. Such a time frame is just enough to experience what it’s like to be in such a congested, busy place, but it doesn’t really give much of a chance to see everything. It’s more of a hodgepodge of running around than anything else!

    Before I moved here, I had been to Philadelphia only a handful of times for day trips. Like most of the other city day trips I mentioned, these had been no different–taking in a couple of places in particular all within a span of a few hours, which seemed to go by like a blur. Because I had been in Philly for brief spurts, I didn’t really think of it as being much different from any other big city I had been to. There were lots of places to go, lots of shops, plenty of tall buildings, and of course a ton of people. Nothing out of the ordinary.

    But after living in the city as long as I have, there is something I am discovering: Philadelphia is very unique and perhaps not as big as one might imagine.

    I know what you’re thinking: it’s a city, of course it’s big! I’d imagine that if you have never lived in a city before or spent much time in them, that this is your first thought. Let me explain!

    Last week, my roommate and I took a bus trip up to New York City for the afternoon and evening after we had finished our morning classes. We were planning to go see the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) men’s college basketball championship game at Madison Square Garden that evening, and also wanted to take the time to walk around NYC a little bit, especially since it was my roommate’s first trip to the Big Apple. It was a very enjoyable day: we got to see Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building (from the ground), saw many of the big TV network buildings, and went to Times Square after the game. MSG was the main event though, especially since we had never been to the Garden–often called the “World’s Most Famous Arena”. It was a great experience seeing the update building and all the history inside. The game was really great too!

    Both coming into and departing from New York City, I was struck at just how massive and grandiose the city appears from a distance. The first thing that stood out was seeing the towering, 1,776 ft. tall One World Trade Center from a distance, even before being able to see the rest of New York’s iconic skyline. It is a marvelous building to see in person (even from far away), especially with all the history of 9/11 in mind. Once the rest of the skyline comes into view, it’s incredible to see just how many tall buildings there are throughout Manhattan, including the Empire State Building and so many others. It is an overall scale and size that few cities can rival.

    Once you’re actually into the concrete jungle, the big thing that stands out is just how many people are. There are crowds of folks everywhere, no matter what street you are on! Crossing the street during a red light? Don’t even think about it. The taxis and rows upon rows of cars traversing the streets are in a hurry to go go go!

    And the advertising. It is just RAMPANT. Electronic signs in motion, billboards on the sides of buildings themselves, multiple signs with the same message on them. Times Square is a huge conglomerate of media and industry and advertisement all blended into one cacophony of shops and signs. It’s quite unbelievable.

    There is every kind of food you could imagine. There is every kind of store you could imagine. There are iconic places everywhere. I’m sure there are iconic people amidst the huge crowds and we just don’t even see them walking about.

    So what does this have to do with Philadelphia? And my experience living there?

    Philly is a vastly different kind of city. Sure, there are some skyscrapers down in Center City–the Comcast Building and One and Two Liberty Place are all pretty massive. And there are several other high-rising apartments, businesses, and hotels that range across those blocks surrounding City Hall.

    But really, Philadelphia does not span with the incredible height of New York City, the architectural wonder of Chicago (which I have visited), or the glamorous apartment risers of Miami (which I have not visited–yet!). There are also no hordes of people on the sidewalks–getting around in Center City is fairly easy. In fact, there’s not as much to the downtown district compared to many other cities. Washington D.C. has its federal and historic wonder. New York City has its size and glitz.

    In reality, having now lived here as long as I have, Philadelphia has become somewhat small–but not the small you would think. Between the north and south Broad Street Line and the east and west Market-Frankford Line, taking the subway is not too hard within the city limits. The shops are not a congested row-after-row kind, and are mostly quaint little places. The “suburbs” feel very close to the downtown area. The houses here are more row and townhouse types, instead of the rising apartments of Seinfeld and others in a place like New York City.

    But the biggest thing I see through all of this? A city with character.

    Where else in a different city would you see a place like Old City: where there are cobblestone streets, old shops and restaurants, a view of the Delaware River from Penn’s Landing, and the birthplace of America and some of its most iconic symbols sitting in Independence National Historic Park. City Hall itself stands dwarfed now by the size of all the skyscrapers surrounding it, but still majestic, ancient, and beautiful in the very heart of the City of Brotherly Love. LOVE is the park where one sign is the destination–and beyond it, there’s a view to behold. On down that view takes you into the Benjamin Franklin Parkway–a walk that takes you through a row of country flag after country flag and fountain after fountain.

    At the end of it stands the remarkable Art Museum. Perhaps this would be stuck in the middle of a bunch of buildings and advertising in another, “larger” city, but in Philadelphia, it is almost revered. With room to breathe and plenty of green and blue around it, it stands as a patch of architectural wonder and relaxing serenity amidst all the hustle and bustle of the rest of the cityscape. The riverwalk, garden, and Fairmount Water Works around it serve as the sides to an incredible view–especially from across the river entering the city. And then there’s Boathouse Row: by day, something out of a nature novel that has been placed mere miles from downtown of a city, but by night set ablaze by light and wonder.

    Even the nuances of the city make it unique. People freely chill in the middle of the street if they can cross half of it, unconcerned by the cars shooting by. You can walk the sidewalks and they will be pretty easy to navigate for the most part: not usually too much congestion. Traffic within the city is steady–though I cannot say the same for the Schuylkill Expressway! And you may happen to see a duck boat go cruising by from time to time.

    There’s life to this city. The vast majority of people live right along the street, rather than above it looking down. The troubled areas of the city–and there are many–seem to stand out all the clearer when you enter them, but are opportunities. Opportunities to reach people on their level and make an impact. As with any city, there are problems–problems stick out so much because it’s a city more about the people than the size or grandeur of it all. There are problems all around where I live. But because there are so many neighborhoods and because everyone is right on street level, you see them. You feel them. And they challenge you to act.

    Being a sports guy, it’s now become quite evident to me why Philadelphia sports fans like their teams to be hard-working ones with character–this is a hard-working city. It’s smaller. Everything here is earned. There is struggle and challenge on every street.

    It’s a character I have come to admire. This is not your typical city–the character you see in its views, landmarks, skyline, and sprawling suburbs is unique to any other city I have been to thus far in my life. Philadelphia has become a home to me–big, but not big like many others. Cozy, but never comfortable. Enjoyable, and yet extremely challenging and revealing all at the same time. To think I will be leaving it in a month is still sad and hard to believe.

    But it has taught me a lot. Just by being the city it is.

    Uncategorized sg1293 on 31 Mar 2014 03:40 pm

    By Sarah Goldy-Brown

    Immersion Weekend 2014 contained many different events, but one in particular left a lasting impact.  On Sunday morning, students went to one of three different culturally diverse churches.

    I headed out on Sunday morning with four other students to Abundant Life Chinese Mennonite Church.  When we arrived at the church, we received an extremely warm welcome from their small congregation.  The inside looked similar to other small churches I have attended, but the service was quite different.

    At my home church, the pastor preaches and we all listen and can understand what he says.  At this church, the pastor preaches in Chinese (some people understand him) then a woman translates into Cantonese (the rest of the people understand her) and then on the occasions where people like us, who do not speak either language (besides Madi who knows some Chinese), come in, someone else translates from Cantonese into English.  Listening to that service required a whole lot of attention because of the 3-way translating and the language barrier.

    I honestly did not understand much of what the pastor spoke about in the service because I had a hard time hearing the translator.  I know he spoke out of Jonah 3 and talked about the feeling of regret.  I know he encouraged us to examine our own lives and to examine God’s qualities.  However, for me, it did not necessarily matter that I could not understand the sermon, because I was so easily able to see God in that church in a new way.

    When I pray to God, I pray in English and God responds to me in English as well.  Praying with someone who speaks another language is a very thought provoking experience, one I have only experienced one other time in my life.  Hearing the pastor pray in Chinese was very moving even though I have no idea what he was saying.  It’s neat when you take a step back and realize how many other languages people pray in and how many other languages God can respond to them in.  This English speaking God that I pray to isn’t necessarily the most accurate depiction of God.

    God transcends language and culture.

    I saw this again when the service neared its end and we started singing the doxology.  They put the Chinese characters up on the screen for it, but not the English words (for some of the other songs, they had both).  I have sung the words to that song many times before, so I, as well as the other Messiah students, started to sing along.  At one point, we must have been singing loud enough for a man sitting in front of us to notice because he turned around and started smiling.  We were united as one through song.  Two languagesSame meaningOne God.

    Following the service, we went into the basement of the church for lunch, authentic homemade Chinese food.  In this church, it’s tradition to celebrate birthdays in the church at the end of the month with a cake.  Someone asked us if any of us had a birthday during the month of March.  Madi, one of the RAs here at MCPC, did.  They welcomed her to stand up with the other birthday person, and we all sang to them in Chinese and in English.  They even invited Madi to cut the cake.  Their hospitality was overwhelming.

    So, I may not have learned much from the sermon at Abundant Life Mennonite Church, but I definitely learned how to see God through a new lens.

    Uncategorized jh1502 on 24 Mar 2014 01:27 pm

    By Joel Hoover

    Come the middle of March, much of the country becomes consumed in Madness. And MCPC has been no different!

    On March 16, the field of 68 was announced for the NCAA Division I men’s college basketball tournament. With the coming of the tournament field comes the inevitable—and annual—process of filling out a bracket to predict the outcome of the tournament’s games. For many years, fans and casual spectators alike across the country have taken part in this guessing game with fellow housemates, office workers, and friends among many others. With so many upsets, storylines, and the coming of Warren Buffett’s $1 billion promise to whoever could pick a perfect bracket, it’s no wonder March Madness has the name it does!

    This year, Messiah College Philadelphia Campus has joined in the fun with its own house-wide competition. 22 of the students and staff have filled out brackets to compete for the grand prize of a box of glorious Insomnia Cookies (and house bragging rights as well)! Despite a slow start filling out brackets, and some general confusion on how the process took place, everybody had their brackets in by the time the games began on Thursday, March 20.

    Strategies were quite vast. Some students took to researching data on how teams had done over the course of the season. Others made educated guesses based on the advice of friends or family. And for some, it was a matter of picking teams based on preference of school colors, mascot, familiarity, or just plain who sounded cooler!

    Day 1 of the tournament (the 2nd Round, which by now had 64 teams after a play-in 1st Round) provided a host of upsets, as unheralded teams like Dayton, North Dakota State, and Harvard pulled off surprise victories. Other low ranked seeds gave some of the top teams in the tournament a close run in their games. By the end of the day, many of the Messiah competitors had a battered bracket—but against all the odds, student Lauren Veness was one of just a couple THOUSAND people in the millions across the country who filled out a bracket to go a perfect 16-for-16 in picking the first day’s games!

    Lauren’s fast start was hit by a surprise upset the next day, as Mercer took down perennial power Duke. A few more surprise results ended up jamming the top of the leaderboard after the 2nd Round of games, with Lauren and Danielle Burkett tied at the top with 26 out of 32 correct.

    The 3rd Round of games, played Saturday and Sunday, saw the point values for correct picks double, meaning more to gain from a good pick! More top teams, including Kansas, Syracuse, and undefeated Wichita State, fell to upsets, leaving a lot of red marks on brackets in the MCPC household. By the conclusion of the round, MCPC maintenance man Thomas Hines—who only filled out his bracket during a quick five-minute break from his work!—had risen to the top, scoring 49 total points and correctly picking 12 of the 16 teams currently left in the bracket. Lauren and Danielle remain lurking at 46 and 44 points, while Akeem Earle is flying the flag for MCPC’s gentleman residents with a score of 46. Several other students/staff are lurking close by, while some have seen their national champion picks fall in the early rounds and will have a lot of catching up to do.

    With four more rounds of games to come—and ever-increasing values for correct picks—the Madness of March has well and truly consumed Messiah College Philadelphia Campus, and will continue to into the first weekend of April. Stay tuned!

    Uncategorized sg1293 on 17 Mar 2014 12:33 pm

    By Sarah Goldy-Brown

    A note from the writer:  I find it a tad ironic that this post goes out on a snowy day that feels very much like winter and not very much like spring.

    On Tuesday, March 11, we experienced one of the nicest days we have had since coming to Philly.  Walking to class was a whole lot more bearable, my winter coat finally got a break, and I could finally open up my window without the fear of frostbite.  At MCPC, with good weather, comes good ideas…specifically from our maintenance guy, Thomas.

    That Tuesday around 3:30 p.m., I stepped inside Thomas’ office to chat with him and Krystalyn.  Next thing we know, Thomas is telling a story about his barbequing from the previous weekend and said, “we should have one of those around here sometime.”  I assumed he meant we would have one in the coming weeks, so I brushed off his comment and returned upstairs to get ready for Dr. G’s class at 4:30 p.m.

    While sitting in class, we started smelling a grill going, not too unusual since the Frat boys next door have grilled a few times this winter.  But, by the time we took a break for dinner, we were certain that smell was coming from our very own backyard.  Sure enough, we were greeted with a happy Thomas (what other kind of Thomas is there?) grilling homemade burgers, hot dogs, and spicy sausage.   In the two hour gap between the conversation in his office and smelling the grill in class, Thomas had grabbed one of the RAs, run the event past PSAB, gone to the grocery store, bought all of the food, returned back to MCPC, and grilled everything.  If that is not the magic of nice weather, then I do not know what is.

    Not to mention the fact that we finally could enjoy our backyard.  The glass doors that lead into the backyard were open (this was an exciting moment since they are on an alarm and you receive a fine if you open them) and it was warm enough to eat outside on the hammock or under the gazebo.  Some students even started claiming dibs on territory for studying out there.

    All in all, that Tuesday we caught a glimpse of what MCPC has to offer in the spring and I sure am looking forward to more of that.

    Uncategorized jh1502 on 12 Mar 2014 08:03 pm

    Welcome back for another round of “Philly Eats!” Last time, we took a look at some of the delicious delicacies that you can find on the campus of Temple. Now comes the hard part: expanding into the vast cuisine wonderland of the City of Brotherly Love to evaluate some of its restaurants.

    There are hundreds upon hundreds of restaurants in Philadelphia, so this is quite an undertaking! With that in mind, I’m going to talk about a few of the places I’ve been able to sample over the past two semesters thus far, as well as places that come highly recommended. Many of these are very affordable, but I may also throw in some more expensive options too if you have a date or something. I’ll also throw in a special wild card at the end…

    Going back to last semester, one of the first places I ate out in the city at was an Ethiopian restaurant in the western suburbs called Abyssinia. It’s VERY out of the way over on S 45th St., but once you get there, don’t let it’s tiny size or less than dynamic inside put you off. The food there is an extremely unique experience and it was awesome to sample some African food. Ethiopian food is generally served on an airy, doughy bread that covers the entire plate, with the contents you ordered put on top. It’s spicier than I imagined it would be, but it’s worth a try if you are feeling like taking an adventure for a taste bud adventure!

    Out around Eastern State Penitentiary is a small Greek restaurant called Zorba’s Tavern. The prices are pretty good and it’s a neat, quaint little place with a lot of character on the inside. The pillars and lights speak “You are now in Greece”, and it’s an awesome place to sit down for some dinner. They have a lot of good Mediterranean dishes, including some authentic names, and I would highly recommend giving their lamb a try! The general vibe of the place is very relaxed and nice, especially if you come in the evening.

    If Chinatown and Asian cuisine is what you like, Banana Leaf is the place to go! Located on Arch St. in Chinatown, it features many well-cooked Malaysian food options that are a step up from your typical Chinese fast food restaurant. If you want, you can dig in with chopsticks as well! After it’s all done, you can wash it down with some of their cleansing broth that they offer.

    One of my personal favorites, especially in this Spring semester, has been Sahara Grill on Walnut Street close to Broad. I hadn’t tried Middle Eastern food until getting to come here, but it was FANTASTIC. Their shawarma sandwich is delicious (thanks for the recommendation, Tony Stark!), and there are lots of other good options to try out if you’re feeling adventurous. If you really want to experience it fully, order your sandwich or whatever you get Lebanese-style (if possible), which adds several additional goodies to the food to give it a true Middle-Eastern touch.

    I’ve been recommended MANY good restaurants that are eligible for Philadelphia’s bi-annual Restaurant Week, and if you are ever in the area for that I highly recommend giving it a try. Though I was unable to get a group together for either one, Restaurant Week takes the prices of a three-course meal at some of Philadelphia’s finest restaurants down to a flat $35/person rate. If you want to go for something really high class or that would typically be out of reach, this would be your chance. Places like Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao and R2L with its beautiful views have been in play in the past. Keep it in mind!

    Finally, my big wild card is READING TERMINAL MARKET. This place is absolutely amazing. Just about any kind of food that you can imagine is located within the confines of this amazing space. Even several Amish and PA Dutch Country stands are set up there with food from where I come from! The variety of food stretches from German to Mediterranean to even some French food. Desserts are also available there; the last time I visited was around Valentine’s Day, so there were also lots of chocolate and flowers set up specifically with the holiday in mind. There’s way to much there to even go into detail about here because there are so many stands and so many people who swarm around, but it’s worth coming to try sometime if you are in the Center City area. If you think of it, there’s a good chance it’s probably there to eat!

    I’m excited to continue trying new restaurants as the semester goes along, and I hope you have the chance to go around the city and give some of these places a try.

    Uncategorized sg1293 on 06 Mar 2014 11:39 am

    By Sarah Goldy-Brown

    After spending a solid 41 days in Philly, I returned home for Spring break (“spring” here being used as a title, not to define the weather).

    Coming back to my small suburban hometown (filled with farmland, pizza shops, and churches) has been a nice change of pace and I have certainly noticed a few things since leaving the city…

    1) Silence is something I most certainly take for granted.

    When I came home for the first time, no one else was in the house.  I was left completely alone and in complete SILENCE.  When you live right on Broad Street with your desk right next to the window facing the street and your bed not too far over, you truly get to enjoy (?) the sounds of the city at all hours–police sirens, ambulances, car horns, people screaming, and, of course, the subway (I like to call him Forrest).  Oh silence, how I have missed you.

    2) The sky still does contain stars.

    I spent my first night of break back on Messiah’s main campus in Grantham and when I walked back from throwing Frisbee in the gym that night, I looked up and saw something I had not seen in quite some time:  STARS.  I have missed seeing that part of God’s Creation during my time in Philly.  The streets in the city are lit up so brightly at night that it is nearly impossible to see any stars.  Not that I’m complaining though, because  I am extremely glad that it seems like daytime at all hours around MCPC.  If it did not, I do not know that I would even be outside at the hours the stars are anyways.

    3) My lungs love fresh air.

    A city = high population density which = close proximity which = the impossibility of avoiding smoke-filled air.  Walking around Temple’s campus does not allow a person to enjoy fresh breathing air.  The amount of students that smoke at Temple astonishes me and has caused a great deal of coughing and second-hand smoke inhalation.  Getting some nice breaths of fresh outdoor air has been quite refreshing.

    4) I am dependent on the convenience of the city.

    I am a self-proclaimed slushy addict and I became a bit too overjoyed to learn that Temple had a 7-11 only a 4 minute walk from MCPC.  That being said, when I came home, it felt a tad unnatural to put aside 30 minutes just to get a Slurpee.  I had to grab my keys, get in the car, and drive all the way into town to fulfill my frozen beverage desires.  At home, the only place I could comfortably walk to is a pizza shop and even that would require risking my life walking along curved roads and about 2 hours of my time.  Living at MCPC means that pretty much everything I could want to buy is within walking distance which is something I definitely appreciate.

    5) The polar vortex is not just contained within the city limits of Philadelphia.

    I had some false hope or fantasy that somehow the rest of the state of Pennsylvania (or at least where I live) had actually been enjoying some semi-comfortable outdoor temperatures.  I was wrong.  It appears the abnormally cold winter has surpassed city limits and infiltrated the entire state.  Sometimes reality hurts (like cold wind hitting you in the face every time you walk outside).

    I’m hopeful that by the time I return on Sunday, Spring will have arrived in the City of Brotherly Love (or at least be very close to on its way) and the view out my window (see below) will be a whole lot different.

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