Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has spoken: he prefers Geno’s over Pat’s. He shared his vote of approval during last Thursday’s visit to the cheesesteak corner of the world. Just like on Nov. 8, some are siding with Trump while others prefer the alternative option. He made the South Philly appearance on his way to a rally in Delaware County.
But Mr. Trump, our neighborhood has so much more to offer than a cheesesteak. Yes, it’s what we are known for, but if you were to come back, we would suggest setting aside a full day to tour the area and shake hands with potential voters. If you happen to squeeze in another visit prior to Election Day, here are 10 suggestions to put on the Trump to-do list.
10) Cheesesteak tour continued: Mr. Trump, to be fair, South Philly is much bigger than a two cheesesteak town. Yes, Geno’s and Pat’s may get all of the publicity, but we also suggest giving Tony Luke’s and Jim’s — the runners-up in the South Philly Review’s annual Readers’ Choice poll — a try. We would recommend others, but we are keeping things on a tight schedule.
9) Visit the SS United States: What was once considered the world’s fastest ocean liner has been rotting away for two decades at Pier 82. There have been a number of different suggestions over the years of what to do with this hunk of metal — from converting it into a multi-purpose waterfront complex to scrapping it. She may not be pretty to look at, but we thought you may an idea or two on how to make the SS United States great again.
8) Stroll the avenue: South Philly’s version of foodie row has earned national acclaim, but East Passyunk Avenue also happens to be a great place to take one a stroll and strike up a conversation with residents. If you are not filled up from those cheesesteaks, we could make a lunch suggestion or two.
7) Try a cannoli: Desserts, especially cannolis, are extremely popular, too. Some of these places have been around for close to a century, so it’s hard to single one of them out. Maybe we will save this suggestion for another visit.
6) Murals: While touring through town, you will likely find your eyes wandering to the eye-catching murals of Sinatra, Rizzo and others located on the sides and back of buildings. We know, this may likely send you on a search for some prime real estate as to where to paint yours.
5) 9th Street Italian Market: There is no way you can leave town without stopping the nation’s oldest outdoor market. We are talking about an area that dates back to the mid-to-late 1880s when Antonio Palumbo, an Italian immigrant, opened a boarding house in the neighborhood for Italians. You could easily kill several hours doing some shopping, so use the time wisely.
4) Hold a rally along the South Broad Street median: Over the summer, when Hillary Clinton came through town for the Democratic National Convention, South Philadelphians were forced to remove their cars from the median along South Broad Street. To park or not to park on the median continues to be a heavily debated issue around here. While this topic will have no impact on the election, we figure it’s only fair that residents clear the street for your visit, too.
3) Attend a Philadelphia Eagles game: While you have been touring the country trying to get ahead in the polls, the Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the early surprises of the 2016 NFL season. Do you think Carson Wentz is the next great NFL quarterback? Will the Birds finally win their first Super Bowl title next year in Houston? Mr. Trump, South Philadelphia is listening.
2) Try a Tastykake: Mr. Trump, despite the common food theme in this column, you have our word that we are not trying to fatten you up prior to Election Day. Tastykakes are a Philadelphia institution, and the headquarters are located right here in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Hey, while you are visiting the spacious grounds, you may get one of those crazy ideas to purchase some land to build another Trump National Golf Course.
1) A lunch meeting with Uncle Nunzio: Our award-winning columnist Tom Cardella, who has been writing for our paper for more than five decades, has a very opinionated Uncle when it comes to national issues. In a January column, the two played a game trying to guess what you were saying with the television volume turned off. You are going to have a tough time winning his vote though, as “Uncle says he never saw a man lie more easily except for his friend Vito, who has been cheating him at cards for more than 50 years.” SPR
Contact editor Bill Gelman at email@example.com.