NSO 2008 > Orientation Events > PennTracks
began as the site of summer homes for colonial elites and then became
Philadelphia's first suburb in the late 19th century. Once people were
able to commute via the streetcar, it was possible to live across the
Schuylkill River. Lined with Italianate, Victorian and Queen Anne "cottages,"
the neighborhoods today house faculty and students of Drexel University
and the University of Pennsylvania.
For the next four years, Philadelphia will be your home away from
home. Did you know that until 1820, it was the country's largest
city? Most people know that the Declaration of Independence and
the United States Constitution were signed here in the late 18th
century, but the city's history began long before that, and continues
to this day.
celebrated restaurants serve everything from cheesesteaks to the
best French cuisines, its museums include some of the finest art
in the world, and its charming, walkable streets are filled with
history. Take time during NSO to explore your new home for the next four years.
During Orientation, your RAs and GAs will have copies of the maps and will give them to you on your tours. Check back soon, and you will find printable versions of the walking tour maps of some of the city's
various neighborhoods. These maps include some of the most intriguing
sites to be seen all over the city -- there's so much to discover!
Walking Tours were designed and developed by Poor
Richard's Walking Tours. The Gayborhood Tour was designed
and developed by Penn's LGBT
Center. Additional tours, designed by the NSO Orientation Staff, are also available.
will take you from the Penn Bookstore, through Drexel University and the
Powelton Village section of West Philadelphia, over to the Philadelphia
Museum of Art (Rocky!), and down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This tour,
like this city, is oozing with culture, but also gives you a little ethnic
flavor and history to keep you on your toes.
has been a cultural Mecca for over two hundred years. There is great theatre,
ballet, opera, and music abounding in this city, and the Avenue of the
Arts is the cultural spine. This tour will take you down that spine, and
also through City Hall, the splendor of Chinatown, the unrivalled Reading
Terminal Market, and through the hidden neighborhoods of Philadelphia
that even the locals don't know about!
will take you through the Asian cultural center of the entire Philadelphia
region. Chinatown offers a variety of amazing cuisines including Japanese,
Thai, Cambodian, Burmese, Laotian, Malaysian, and Vietnamese. Each one
is unique, so you won't know which is your favorite until you've tried
them all. Chinatown offers much more than just great restaurants. Through
this tour you will see churches, temples, artwork, and a concert hall
among other highlights.
will take you through the footsteps of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington
and Thomas Jefferson, who lived in Philadelphia when they were laying
the groundwork for a new nation. But you will see more than Independence
Hall and the Liberty Bell. This tour will also visit 18th century churches,
19th century factories that became 20th century apartments and art galleries,
and the hippest restaurants of the 21st century.
will take you through the Victorian neighborhoods that surround Rittenhouse
Square and into the finest shopping and dining in the city. Along the
way you will see parks, sites from movies, countless restaurants, many
churches and why Philadelphia is one of the most beautiful cities in the
will take you down to South Street, into the heart of South Philly and
its largely Italian neighborhoods and through the famous Italian Market.
It continues through the oldest neighborhood in the city, Queen Village,
and then up and down the eclectic and energetic South Street. Along the
way, you will find the best cheesesteak, water ice, seafood, pizza, and
cookies in the city, so come hungry.
This tour encompasses
the Washington West "Gayborhood," the heart of the lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community. It features nightclubs,
sidewalk cafes, theaters, and community centers. Some say the LGBTQ rights
movement began in Philadelphia on July 4th, 1964, when, outside of Independence
Hall, the first "Annual Reminder" was held protesting America's
treatment of gays and lesbians. Since then, the LGBTQ community has become
integrated with the entire city, but this neighborhood remains its most
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