Sightseeing is commonplace in most major areas. Philadelphia, the fifth largest city in the country, has never been exempt from a high volume of visitor engagement. The Democratic National Convention will occupy Philadelphia from July 25th-28th. The political assembly will merge thousands of individuals from delegates, to entertainment personalities, to journalists, to enthused citizens. Organizers believe that around 50,000 people will converge on the city. While the event will be held at the Wells Fargo Center, it’s certain that the city’s new surplus of visitors will indulge in the local splendor and attractions. Various brochures and websites designed for the DNC are filled with key Philadelphia visitation sites and breakdowns of the city. Somewhere between the hghlight of Philadelphia’s essential American history, cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, Rocky, and the Love Statue, I was reminded of my various tourist encounters in the city. Here are a few instances where my headphones or blank stares didn’t save me from the most absurd Philadelphia tourist questions and scenarios:
1. After a tourist rapped the whole show’s theme song I was asked, “Is this the area where the Fresh Prince was born and raised?” in front of City Hall.
2. I was once asked, “Is there a place I can get a cheesesteak oven baked?” I sent them to 14th and Arch.
3. Every time without fail, when I give directions on the subway, I get told “well Google Maps says…”
4. This family asked me to take their picure in front of the Love Sign. They asked me to re-take the picture fifteen times. It was always the same pose.
5. “Oh! There’s a figure on top of City Hall. Did you ever notice that before?”
6. “What time do they ring The Liberty Bell?”
7. The times when people are looking for the Amish downtown or in the city in general.
8. A tourist once asked me to help him find his hotel. He couldn’t recall its name, the street it was on, or any landmark it was near.
9. “We have a Chinatown where I live too.”
10. Driving past The Philadelphia Museam of Art seeing random patches of crowds doing this:
When it comes to the signatures of any city, outsiders will assuredly ask locals where, when, and how to find them. The DNC will bring a wave of tourist intrigue and many more head scratching scenarios. When all else fails, try avoiding eye contact.