Riding the train into the city is unfortunately pretty expensive, around $14 for a roundtrip ticket. There is a special type of ticket called an Independence Pass which is only $12 dollars and can be used an infinite amount of times any one day on regional rail trains, the subways, buses, and trolleys. Freshman year I remember asking the conductor for a roundtrip ticket into the city and receiving one of these independence passes. Seeing the confused look on my face, he explained how purchasing a pass saved passengers a little money. It was really nice of him to do that, and I’ve noticed most conductors do the same. Yesterday evening I purchased my seventh independence pass in two weeks. Considering I usually make my way into Philly once a month if I’m lucky, the past couple of weeks have certainly been full of craziness, exploration, and many things to see and do.
Two weeks ago, my Museum Anthropology class made our way to the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology for a visit. In a blog last semester, I talked about Bryn Mawr’s incredible new Museum Studies program, and I am thrilled I was able to take the next course, “Museum Anthropology” this semester. After walking through and visiting their new exhibit, “The Golden Age of King Midas” we had the opportunity to speak with two very influential members of the museum’s staff. We had really rich discussion throughout our visit and it was really neat to have such a close experience with the collections and people that bring them to life!
As you might have read last week, my next visit into the city was to take the TExES teacher certification exam which is required for me to be able to teach in Texas after graduation. My trip that day had a sweet beginning though, as I stopped by Reading Terminal Market for a treat and some caffeine before my test. The other six trips into Center City were related to my thesis research, which I am very happy to share is going really well!
To get to important events and interviews over the past couple of weeks, I took a mix of the subway and regional rail, which is where my independence pass was particularly handy! It was my first time taking the Market- Frankford line, one of Philadelphia’s two subway lines, and I am proud to have navigated it by myself! (It honestly isn’t difficult, but still 😉 ) I really wish I had explored this transportation option much sooner as it opens up and makes so much more of the city easy to access.
Because I was in the city so often the last two weeks, I have had the opportunity to see downtown Philadelphia in ways I haven’t seen it before. Going in and out of 30th Street Station so many times, it really struck me how beautiful the station building and the skyline behind it is, which is all too easy to take for granted when you are running for a train or dashing out into the city. This weekend I was in the city so much that I was able to watch the city wake up at 8am, watch the sun go down on downtown, and observe how night transforms the station into a piece of glittering beauty under the bright lights.
I regret not exploring Philadelphia as much as I thought I would when I first moved up here for college. I haven’t for a couple different reasons, most of all because we are always so busy. But with a few months left, I am going to try my hardest to see even more of this City of Brotherly Love before I head back to Texas!