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Postcards from Travel Near and Far by Jia-Rui

19147, Philadelphia

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Frying up the steaks at Jim's

Dear ——–,

Bryan had a hankering for cheese steaks so he text-message-polled his Philly friends and they told us to go to Jim’s. The line was out the door and around the corner at the South Street location. We had a long time to contemplate cheese whiz vs. provolone and whether we wanted onions, peppers and mushrooms. One of the fryers was heckling the crowd, which seemed endearingly East Coast. Then, he started talking to my mom: “Where you from?” “New Jersey.” “No, where are you really from?” That question usually makes me groan, but my mom shot back, “Africa.” I ordered a birch beer to drink while eating half my dad’s order (provolone + steak + mushrooms) and half Bryan’s order (a purist provolone + steak). Bryan was in cheese steak heaven, but, to be honest, I thought it was just OK. I wasn’t disappointed, but maybe I’d built it up too much. After lunch, we headed out to Longwood Gardens, where my dad really wanted to see the nighttime Christmas light display. The grounds were beautifully decorated, but everything we wanted to see required shuffling in excruciatingly long lines. There were some gorgeous lady’s slipper orchids and roses, but the nearness of other people put us on edge after a while. If you’re going to go, I’d recommend getting there early. When we left around 6:30, there were still long lines of people making their way in.

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Author: postmarkhere

I'm a journalist based in Los Angeles who has always said that writing postcards for a living would be a dream job. The posts -- short enough to fit on an actual postcard -- chronicle recent travels near and far. I could blab on about being inspired by epistolary novels, the short poems of Emily Dickinson, and the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" pieces, but I'll just say that I'm aiming to give you a sense of flavor of a place without boring you to death. Wish you were here!

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