We traveled down the New Jersey Turnpike in search of the best places to eat in Philadelphia. We found a vibrant and burgeoning food scene. And as a bonus, in the process we discovered that there is a lot to learn about America from how Philadelphia came to be.
It was in 1681 that King Charles I gave a young William Penn a large tract of land in the New World in payment of a debt owed to Penn’s father. He could never have imagined that he was planting the seeds of a new nation that would eventually exert its independence from all the European powers that sought to rule it.
Penn, a Quaker, was not a fan of big cities and looked on his early years in London with some considerable disgust. Setting off for the New World in search of religious freedom, he left London with grand ambitions to create the ideal city. On arrival, he quickly set about testing his revolutionary ideas about how a city should be structured.
The first thing to do for any new endeavor is name it. Hopefully this helps to imbue the venture with the best attributes from the start. So Penn set his agenda by calling his city “Philadelphia”, meaning “Brotherly Love” (phileo “to love” and adelphos “brother”). And to a large extent, from Penn’s city of brotherly love flowed a nation, originating many of the unique attributes which today are admired the world over.