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Things You Miss When You Are From “Outside of Philly”

I will happily admit that I am part of the 75% of Pitt’s population that is from “just outside of Philly.” Some people have a snarky comment to say about us—that half of us are about an hour away and not right outside. Well, they just do not understand because who wouldn’t want to be associated with the great city that is Philadelphia? I absolutely love Pittsburgh, but there are certain aspects of life that being “outside of Philly” offers that cannot be replicated here. Sure, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are two massive rivals, but both have my heart.


Seeing a Philly cheesesteak advertised makes me laugh-cry. I want to laugh because there is no way that someone could replicate a Philly cheesesteak and not be in Philadelphia. I want to cry because I, too, have never had an authentic Philly cheesesteak from the city. That is the great thing about the ‘burbs: I have my favorite place to grab a cheesesteak, and it is still semi-authentic. How I miss those cheesesteaks I have eaten from Wawa, Slacks Hoagie Shack, and really any place that sells pizza…


There is nothing like driving into Philadelphia to watch a sports game. There is something about the camaraderie that accompanies Philly sports fans that I have only felt in the Oakland Zoo. Is this because the Zoo allows me to heckle the other team without being looked at funny? Maybe. Sure, Philly fans are debatably called the worst sports fans out there, but what people don’t realize is that is where the passion lies. Sidenote: Booing a Philadelphia hated sports player at a game is NOT appreciated (sorry Jayson Werth).

Going into the city

There is something about hopping onto Septa and heading into the city for a nice walk or shopping. I know I now technically live in a city, but even going into Downtown Pittsburgh gets me excited. Being from the suburbs and going into the city to mingle with city folk is new and exciting.

Being where the nation was born…but suburban

Okay, sure, Independence Hall is in Philadelphia. But suburban Philadelphia has VALLEY FORGE! That’s right; that super cold, historical piece of land that George Washington and the Continental Army resided in is located outside of Philly. They still have some old log cabins up too, which is neat.

Soft Pretzels

I’m not entirely sure why, but the Philadelphia area has some of the best soft pretzels. That is really all I can say on the subject; it was short, sweet, and to the point. AKA: the opposite of how I enjoy my pretzels: long, salty, and twisted.

King Of Prussia

This mall is by far my favorite mall ever. It has just about every shop you could ask for, and the expensive ones even have guards! Plus, you can just see the passion in the eyes of the kiosk venders, who from time to time touch you with their product whether you want it or not. What more could you want?


Only once you step foot outside the Philadelphia boundaries do you realize that Wawa and Philly are practically synonymous. This is one of the most important things in Philadelphia (besides my family of course…); even Jersey has them! I miss the hoagies (not subs). I miss the coffee. I basically miss everything about Wawa. Sheetz is nothing compared to the beauty of Wawa (sorry if that offends anyone), and Subway cannot compare to the decadent hoagies Wawa creates. Though, at this point I am more than willing to accept a Sheetz somewhere on Forbes; I am that desperate to get a convenience store that is not 7/11. Okay, Wawa rant over.

Pittsburgh has opened my eyes up to many amazing things, but you can’t take the “outside of Philly” out of someone.

Image credit: 1, 2, 3

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