9 Habits You Pick up Living in Philadelphia, PA

City Hall 
City Hall  | © DMZ111 / Flickr
Nina Starner

Philadelphia is a unique place to live, and when you reside there you pick up some interesting habits, from the practical to the outright odd. Here are 10 habits you may pick up while living in Philadelphia, PA.

You always bring an umbrella

The weather in Philadelphia can be fairly unpredictable, so when you leave the house, you tend to tuck a small, portable umbrella into your bag, just in case. Since the skies could turn on a dime at basically any moment, it’s good to be prepared.

You learn to avoid potholes

Philadelphia’s streets are… well, let’s just say they’re a work in progress. From potholes to holes in the sidewalks, drivers and pedestrians alike have to navigate a (literally) rocky road just to get around. If you’re in a car, drive slowly; if you’re on foot, be wary.

City Hall

You know where to go for a real cheesesteak

You know there’s more to life than Pat’s and Geno’s, and you live accordingly. When you want a great cheesesteak, you go to Jim’s, but more often than not, you head to DiNic’s in the Reading Terminal Market to pick up an award-winning roast pork sandwich.

You can transfer from a subway to a bus (or vice versa) like an expert

Philadelphia only has two subway lines, and they can be a bit limited, so eventually, any Philadelphian worth their salt becomes an expert at switching from the Market-Frankford Line to the Broad Street Line, or from either subway line to one of the city’s many buses.


You’ll learn to love walking

Philadelphia is an extraordinarily walkable city, and if you live here, you’ll find yourself setting out on a sunny day to traverse the city by foot. Yes, the public transit is good, but since it’s relatively quick to walk anywhere, you’ll walk more than you ever expected.

You’ll mispronounce words

Contrary to what many Philadelphians would have you believe, the word “water” is not pronounced “wooder,” but after spending a few months here, you might change your mind. Even if you don’t succumb to the Philly accent, you’ll still hear it everywhere around you.


If you don’t know what to call something in Philly, you can just go ahead and call it a “jawn,” the catch-all term for items, people, and really anything at all. Is it a noun? An adjective? Nobody’s really sure, but you’ll know you’re a Philadelphian when you start working it into your vocabulary.

Elfreth’s Alley

You’ll find yourself rooting for Philly sports

The enthusiasm surrounding Philadelphia sports is so contagious that even an avowed sports-hater would find it impossible not to get swept up in the joy. Whenever a Philly team scores a major victory, such as the Eagles winning their first Super Bowl, you’ll be rushing the streets with the die-hard fans to celebrate.

You know where to get the best meat and produce

Forget Whole Foods – when you live in Philadelphia, you know that the best fresh produce and locally raised meats are elsewhere. Try the Italian Market or the Reading Terminal Market for humanely raised meats from Esposito’s or Giunta’s, produce from street stands or Iovine’s, and other local goods at much better prices than big chain stores.

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