Philly is Number 3 on the New York Times "52 Places to Go in 2015" list, and I'm feeling pride

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Not as if I haven't been saying that myself (well, sort of), right here, and in the Inquirer, and in my books. But huzzah. This is the New York Times speaking, not just some homegrown booster.

I am taking particular pleasure in this because I have had the privilege of working with some of the people who are making the radical difference. Let's put Brandywine Realty Trust high on that radical difference list, and Brandywine CEO Jerry Sweeney himself, who has quietly and collaboratively helped engineer a renaissance along the Schuylkill River Banks (through the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, which he chairs), in University City, and in the downtown nexus. Let's talk about outdoor artists like Jane Golden and Isaiah Zagar. Let's look at my alma mater and employer, the University of Pennsylvania, which keeps the greening coming.

In naming Philadelphia right after Milan and Cuba on its list, the New York Times, in its January 9, 2015 story, said this:

The making of an urban outdoor oasis.

A series of projects has transformed Philadelphia into a hive of outdoor urban activity. Dilworth Park, formerly a hideous slab of concrete adjoining City Hall, reopened this past autumn as a green, pedestrian-friendly public space with a winter ice-skating rink (and a cafe by the indefatigable chef Jose Garces). Public art installations, mini "parklets" and open-air beer gardens have become common sights. The Delaware River waterfront was reworked for summer 2014 with the Spruce Street Harbor Park (complete with hammocks, lanterns and floating bar) becoming a new fixture, following the renovation of the Race Street Pier, completed in 2011, and offers free yoga classes on a bi-level strip of high-design decking and grass. The city’s other river, the Schuylkill, has its own new boardwalk. To top it off, this spring, Philadelphia will get its first bike share program, making this mostly flat city even more friendly for those on two wheels. Nell McShane Wulfhart


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