It may not boast the 71-foot tree of the Rockefeller Center or the legendary status of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, but with a profusion of traditional parades and performing arts presentations, Philadelphia is giving New York a run for its money for the title of "Christmas capital of the world."
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Although Penn had always been her "dream school," Wharton sophomore Leanna Resseguie was not elated when she first learned that she had been accepted to the University.
Move over, MarBar -- the Strikes bowling lounge is about to take over as University City's newest night spot.
Along with much of the Penn community on any given Saturday night, Class of '02 School of Social Work alumnus Ron Wedgeworth can be seen mingling with students, inconspicuously bouncing to the music and partaking in the revelry of a fraternity party.
Three years ago, local resident Kerneisha Boyd returned to her native Philadelphia after attending college in Washington, D.C. She was excited to come back to her hometown, eager to settle down and earn a living for herself in the city she remembered so fondly.
At exactly 8:30 a.m. every weekday morning, a large contingent of well-organized young adults lines up in front of Philadelphia's City Hall in preparation for their morning regimen.
With town hall meetings, campaign rallies, leaflets and political advertisements, a normal day for the 1,200 students of Philadelphia's Masterman High School has more closely resembled life on the presidential campaign trail than an ordinary school day.
Despite bitter rivalry between the two establishments, most city residents can agree that the best cheesesteak in town comes from either Pat's or Geno's in South Philadelphia.
From the ubiquitous campaign T-shirts that dot Locust Walk and the heated presidential debate viewings, it is obvious that the 2004 presidential election has become a visible part of everyday life at Penn.
With a ceremonial mace, traditional robes and a ritualized march, yesterday's ceremony may have looked more like the coronation of a medieval queen than the inauguration of Penn's eighth president, Amy Gutmann.
Despite living in a revitalized neighborhood, the residents of 40th and Chestnut streets look out their windows each morning at a massive graffiti-covered wall.
Students would be hard-pressed to find similarities between Penn's campus and the current hit, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
On any given night, ordering the rack of lamb at Old City's La Famiglia Ristorante would set customers back a hefty $82.
With his horn-rimmed glasses, frilled white shirt, buckle shoes and friendly demeanor, the balding man who sits near Independence Hall nearly every morning appears to be a living reincarnation of the renowned colonial figure, Benjamin Franklin.
Marking the beginning of far more than just her term as Penn's eighth president, Amy Gutmann's official inauguration on Oct. 15 will also signal the commencement of a renewed social justice initiative.
It is difficult to conceive of the paths of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and America's best-selling female mystery writer Mary Higgins Clark ever crossing, let alone in Philadelphia.
In what many members of the West Philadelphia community view as a complete turnaround, when students returned to campus earlier this week, they were greeted by an array of new shops, restaurants and residences, as well as an outpouring of excitement along 40th Street.
In typical fashion, this summer found hundreds of Penn students remaining on campus taking courses, conducting research and pursuing jobs and internships in Philadelphia.
For most Penn students, any mention of the Schuylkill River evokes images of an abandoned, overgrown industrial wasteland that is not only an eyesore, but is also an annoying barrier severing Penn's campus from the restaurants and shops of Center City.
Looking back on Commencement 2004, most members of the Penn community will remember Bono and his eagerly anticipated address to this year's senior class.