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It may seem a little weird to put the City of Philadelphia, a city of 1.5 million people, in a website about Trenton, a burg of 80,000. I suppose most people who live here, and many who are just exploring for the first time, know Trenton is located between New York and Philly. If, like me, you were NY focused before you moved here, you may not know that Philly is a) unbelievably close (34 miles, city center to city center), and b) a really, really cool place to visit.
By unbelievably close, you can hop in your car and be sitting in a bar in Old City 35 minutes later. That’s if you miss traffic, but even during peak morning rush hour it will still be under an hour. You can also take public transit. SEPTA trains run at least hourly (and more frequently on weekdays and especially rush hour). They take 45 minutes to 30th Street Station, and just under an hour to Market East (near Chinatown and Old City). The River Line takes slightly longer, but runs more frequently, and is more reliable. You take it to Camden, then change to PATCO into Old City. Total cost is only $2.75!!!
The other day my wife and I hopped in the car on a Saturday evening, drove to Philly’s Vietnamese section on Washington Street, and dined in a Laotian cafe. After dinner, which was quite reasonably priced and exotically fabulous, with friendly service and patrons, we hopped back in the car. Really, it didn’t take any longer than driving to North Princeton, and was quicker than New Brunswick.
Philly has just about everything a big city should. Great restaurants ranging from upscale and exquisite to ethnic and dirt cheap, with large communities of Vietnamese, Ethiopians, Chinese, and others to make them authentic. Great museums. Amazing shopping for food, clothes, and most everything else. Wonderful professional sports teams (if you can suffer their fans). And, of course, incredible historic sites.
If you live in Trenton, and don’t make Philly a regular part of your life, you’re missing a bet.