#PhillyMeet17......When Culture & Food Meet
It's been about a month since #PhillyMeet17 has graced the streets of Philadelphia. Saturday, January 21st, was a day that represented creativity, love and uniformity. This event was hosted by some of the most talented creators in Philadelphia. Bruce Loatman (Ronin.Zero), Luis (ill_Vibe), Steph (Steph.C.Photo) and Jerome (215Shooter). These men wanted to bring people from all walks of life to showcase Philadelphia in a way that hasn't been done before.
This Instameet was by far the biggest one held in Philly with close to 200 people in attendance. It all began at 1601 Market Street in one of WeWork's offices. Before the walk began, attendees had a chance to meet and mingle. Everyone from photographers, models, bloggers and even people from PR firms were in the mix. There were even some folks who traveled from different states just to be apart of something so great. A few goodies were provided during the indoor portion of the InstaMeet. Core Water was a sponsor and they provided many bottles of water for people to enjoy. Cupcakes and a few cheesecake bites were also provided by a local baker, Neffar (NECakes) who ended up being quite a huge hit. Who doesn't love sweets!
Bruce Loatman, Philly & NY photographer, opened up with a very welcoming introduction. His vision was to bring the creative community closer together, showcase our city's cultural diversity and to just have fun! He commanded everyone to say hello to someone they didn't know. To step outside your comfort zone and get to know one another. The view of the room was amazing. All ages, races, people from all different backgrounds were together in one huge room. You could feel the excitement and so much love. Nothing but pure magic could come out of an event like this. 2pm finally rolled around, and it was time to head on out! It was time for the fun to begin!
Once everyone exited the building, there were more people waiting outside to join the walk. There was huge crowd! It was overwhelming, but in a good way. To see such enormous support was truly a wonderful feeling. Everyone made their way to the first stop, City Hall. A few minutes were spent here while people took shots of one another. There was even a couple short photo shoots going on with some of the models that came along. Once that was over, the group made it's way to Reading Terminal. This was a stop that I was waiting for. Since I'm naturally a food lover, I couldn't wait to snap a few shots of places I considered to be personal favorites. The Reading Terminal is a huge melting pot of all kinds of food. You can find everything from fresh seafood to freshly made pastries. There's candy, beef jerky, you name it, they got it!
Once it was time to exit the Reading Terminal, we made our way over to the Friendship Arch in Chinatown. This is a popular spot where many tourist explore. I personally enjoy many places down there to eat dessert. You can find everything from Thai rolled ice cream to bubble tea. Everyone dispersed to take pictures. People were getting really creative and took great advantage of the scene. During my own personal excursion, I experienced seeing durian fruit for the first time! If you're unfamiliar with durian fruit, it can be found in Southeast Asia. It's kind of large, the color is usually green and it's outer texture is a little tough and thorn-like. I love discovering things that aren't usually sold in your everyday grocery store. So seeing durian fruit up close for the first time was one of the highlights of my day.
Now it was time to head to the last part of the walk, Race Street Pier. As we approached the final destination, the view had everyone in awe. It was a breathtaking scene. Many people were able to capture the essence of moment. As #PhillyMeet17 approached its final moments, Bruce gave a brief speech to thank everyone who participated and took a group picture of the remaining people that made it to the pier. People stayed for a while to take a couple more pictures and to exchange information. Afterwards, it was time to head down to the after party at 2nd Story Brewing (www.2ndstorybrewing.com). The establishment provided the upstairs area to host the afterparty. There was so much room, great drinks and the food was delicious. One thing that I tried was the brisket poutine fries. WOW....The brisket was very tender and the gravy was perfect. And it was also topped with a fried egg. Another crowd favorite seemed to be the tilted barn burger. This had fried onions, jalapeños, cheese fondue and it was also topped with a farm egg. I highly recommend trying both of these dishes if you ever visit 2nd Story Brewing.
#PhillyMeet17 was quite an experience that I will always remember. I personally wanted to participate in this event because I felt it would be a great opportunity to network and meet other creative people within the community. Not only did I gain new relationships, but it's also opened up my eyes to how much love our city is capable of showing. It was beautiful to see so many people from all colors and ages just letting loose and having pure fun. If you missed this event, don't worry. This one won't be the last. Keep your eyes open for the next #PhillyMeet17 instameet and join the movement!