Philadelphia is a grand city well known for its role in history. Our Country can be traced to Philadelphia for starters. Sports teams, the symphony orchestra, universities, and museums rank among the best in the nation. So why the question about comparing Philadelphia to New York City?
The Pope is coming and with the Pope, lots of people, that’s why.
Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia on September 25 and 26. The Pope will also visit Washington and New York City too. While both of those cities will certainly want to put their best foot forward, the Pontiff’s visit is no big deal. Washington and NYC are used to foreign dignitaries of all types caravanning through town. But not Philadelphia.
Philadelphia enjoys large tourist crowds through out the year. The question is how large is “large”/ The local tourist bureau estimates that on average 100,000 or so visitors come to the city each day. That’s a lot of people but is about one tenth or one twentieth the number anticipated to visit Philadelphia during the Pope’s visit. Hmmm.
City officials are clearly panicked over the prospect of crowd control, emergency services, and public conveniences. Subway access will be limited to those holding a lottery pass. This will limit the use of public transportation to those lucky few. Officials have hinted at wide areas of street closures and even wider swatches of no parking. Many Philadelphians, however, have seen this visit as an opportunity to rent their home or apartment and make some money. Hmmm.
Philadelphia is much more like Boston as large cities go. Both are relatively small compared to NYC and feature residences snuggled along side of major tourist attractions. After business hours, Philadelphia becomes a “bedroom” community while New York remains alive 7/24.
It is possible that city officials are making too much of “what can go wrong” possibilities but better safe than sorry, I suppose.
For my money, I think I will just go to Baltimore and escape the crowds.