25 Things You Didn’t Know About Philadelphia

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It’s home to the Liberty Bell, the Declaration of Independence, and Philly cheesesteaks. But there’s more than that going on in the City of Brotherly Love.

1. Philly is a city of firsts. On top of hosting America’s first birthday, it also started up the country’s first daily newspaper—The Philadelphia Packet and Daily Advertiser—in 1784.

2. The city is home to America's first zoo.

3. It’s also home to the first hospital.

4. And, naturally, the first medical school!

5. Philadelphia is actually renowned for its medical sector. One out of every six doctors in the U.S. is trained in Philly.

6. Move over, England. The Walnut Street Theater is actually the oldest continually running theater in the English-speaking world.

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7. It was originally owned by Edwin Booth—you might know him as John Wilkes Booth’s brother.  

8. Philly became home to the first general purpose computer in 1946.

9. It weighed 27 tons!

10. Philly boasts more Impressionist paintings than any other city outside Paris.

11. Art is a big deal here. Boasting over 2000 outdoor murals, it’s been called the “mural capital of the U.S.”

12. If you’re more of a foodie, Philly is also home to the Wing Bowl, an eating contest that draws crowds as large as 20,000 people. 

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13. In 1943, Phillies owner Robert Carpenter attempted to rename the team the Blue Jays. The nickname obviously failed to catch on.

14. Why are the Flyers called the Flyers? Because Ed Snider’s wife simply thought the name sounded good.

15. As for the Eagles, they’re actually named for the Eagle that appeared on posters during the National Recovery Act, which was part of FDR’s New Deal.

16. Before that, the city's home team was the Frankford Yellow Jackets.

17. In 1988, the Eagles helped make the world’s largest cheesesteak. To no one’s surprise, it was the length of a football field.

18. In the beginning, the Philadelphia mint took several years to produce its first million coins.

19. Today, it can make that many in less than an hour.

20. One of the first businesses in Philly? Beer. William Frampton’s brewery started up in 1683.

21. For the U.S. bicentennial, the city planted a “moon tree.” (That is, a tree grown from a seed taken on the Apollo 14 mission.)

22. Philly’s Mütter Museum has a great collection of medical oddities, including slides of Einstein’s brain, slices of a human face, and a book bound by human skin.

23. Surprise! Neither Thomas Jefferson nor John Adams signed the Constitution—they were out of town.

24. Sorry, but there’s no evidence that Philadelphia resident Betsy Ross stitched the first American flag.

25. The story was made up in 1870, some 100 years after the fact. You can still visit her home in Philly’s Old City neighborhood, though! 

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This Livestream of Brasov, Transylvania, Is Great for Virtual Vampire-Watching

The vampires of What We Do in the Shadows are more likely to be found in Pennsylvania than Transylvania—but you never know.
The vampires of What We Do in the Shadows are more likely to be found in Pennsylvania than Transylvania—but you never know.
© 2020, FX Networks

If vampires were real, they would best be viewed from a distance. That makes a livestream of Brasov, Transylvania—a.k.a. Dracula's hometown—the ideal set up for vampire-watching.

According to Thrillist, this stream from Webcam Taxi provides a 24/7 look at Brasov's Old Town neighborhood. It's worth checking out just for the scenic view: You can see famous buildings like the 17th-century Black Church, with the Carpathian Mountains hedging the scene. For viewers more interested in the region's spooky reputation, the town is also home Bran Castle—one of the inspirations for Dracula's dwelling.

While researching his Gothic vampire novel at The British Museum, author Bram Stoker was struck by the Romanian landmark. His book describes Dracula's dwelling as sitting "on the very edge of a terrible precipice"—a characteristic it shares with the real-life castle just outside Brasov. The site is a tourist destination today, hosting tours and the occasional costume party. The attraction is currently closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, which makes a virtual visit to Brasov especially appealing.

The Brasov cam streams around the clock, but serious vampire-spotters should wait until after sundown to make the most of the experience. This is one of several webcams for people with high patience levels and an interest in the supernatural. After vampire-hunting from home, see if you can spot Nessie in this Loch Ness livestream.