Welcome to Philly

Erin McKenna
3 min readMay 30, 2022

It really is the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection

I love my city. I realize this does not make me unique, as many people love the place where they reside.

What I have come to learn though is that as soon as I hear that someone is visiting Philly, I become like Betsy Ross. WELCOME TO PHILLY. WHY HAND ME A FLAG, AND I WILL TELL YOU ALL ABOUT THIS GREAT CITY.

In the movie American President, there’s a scene where the president invites Sidney Ellen Wade to a state dinner for the French president and his wife. Sidney is touched, and she responds something to the effect of “Mr. President, it will be an honor to join you in representing our country.”

I am Sidney Ellen Wade.

I’ve chatted up Purdue fans on the subway on their way to a March Madness game. (Did you know it takes about 11 hours to drive from Indiana to Philly? I did not.) I’ve spoken to a couple who had Texas Rangers caps on at a Phillies game where we were not playing the Rangers. (They and their kids were on a tour of east coast ballparks — they had done Fenway the week before.)

Two weeks ago, I was waiting in line at the downtown Macy’s. Now a little background on this Macy’s — Philly used to have four main department stores lined up on Market Street. The subway stops were designed so you could hop off and go directly into the store of your choosing. I want to say the stores included a Lit Brothers and a Gimbels and something else. I know, real specific. The grand dame was Wanamakers (now Macy’s) at 13th and Market. It is a beauty inside. It has this wide-open middle with a giant bronze eagle in it. What is even more famous than the eagle is the organ. It is something to behold.

Now I’ll admit it, I have seen the organ many times before so wasn’t paying much attention to it on this day. I was more concerned with paying for the bralettes in my hand (honestly, they are a wonder, where have they been all my life?). So I get in line behind some older ladies. Three of the ladies noticed my standing there, and they were like, “oh, we are just waiting for her” (referencing a fourth woman in line to purchase an item), “just killing time before the organ concert.”

An organ concert, you say? You seem like you might be from out of town because, let’s face it, no local is specifically waiting around for the organ concert.



Erin McKenna

Writer hoping to spread joy and laughter. Loves dogs, pasta, Nova basketball, volunteering and learning about different cultures.