After the Bryn Mawr Performing Arts Series event, my friend Joy Chan (’17) and I went into the city for a friend date. Joy knows the city very well as she currently lives there with her sister this semester teaching full time and commuting to Bryn Mawr for classes. She took me to my first oyster bar and my first Franklin Fountain ice cream.
The oyster bar we went to, Oyster House, is located on 15th and Sansom near Suburban Station. We arrived near the end of happy hour and managed to order a dozen and a half oysters at $1 each. With both of us finally over the age of 21, we got to sit at the bar (after proudly showing our IDs to the bartender, to which he said “Welcome to the [21+] club”). Joy taught me how to properly eat a raw oyster. Lemon first, then some hot sauce and horseradish. The oysters come pre-shucked, so all you do is put your condiments on and slurp from one edge of the shell.
I felt very “adult-like” and “classy” eating raw oysters, but a little out of place since most of the people there seemed in their early 30s or older. That did not stop Joy and me from enjoying our food and happy hour savings.
Our food adventure did not end there. After we finished our oysters, we walked past many mid-20s people hitting the club Rumor next door to the oyster place and took the Market Frankfurt Line to 2nd Street for Franklin Fountain ice cream. 2nd Street is next to Penn’s Landing in Old City. In addition to the historical sites, Penn’s Landing houses many popular bars and clubs that were doing good business when we walked by them. I know a lot of Bryn Mawr seniors and upperclass students who enjoy Cuba Libre for salsa dancing. I guess I will have to come back another time to check that out.
Even in February, there was a line for ice cream at Franklin. Apparently Franklin Fountain is the oldest soda store in the USA. Their interiors still look like their early 1900’s origins. Joy’s favorite flavor is Coconut, but this time we shared a Rose Custard Pistachio special flavor. I thought the ice cream quality was good, but not spectacular. Sadly, I think my small Asian heart prefers shaved ice, rolled ice cream, and bubble tea in flavors like black sesame, taro, ube, milk tea, winter melon, red bean, and green tea. Joy says next time I have to try Franklin’s sundaes because those are their specialty. I do want to explore more of Penn’s Landing. I never got the chance to go ice skating down there. I know they have more events planned for the Spring and Summer (if I’m still around).
After ice cream, Joy and I parted ways. I got back to Bryn Mawr at a reasonable time (12:10am). I think I am starting to go out a little too often as a student… It is great to have some spending money from my campus jobs. It is great to be over 21 and live close to a major and affordable city. It is not so great to still have class commitments, no postgraduate job lined up, and grad school applications looming for the summer. Alas, I will return to my school duties with the determination to finish this semester (and undergrad) strong!