Rocky Steps to Diwali

My week started off with my first ever ice hockey match. My friends and I watched an intense game between New York University and Drexel at the Class of 1923 arena on Penn’s campus. This was an interesting sport and was a lot more intense than I had imagined. There were two games, one happened the day before where NYU won. But the game I watched had a Drexel win!

This was also the week where I finally took a trip to the Philadelphia Art Museum, famous for the memorable Rocky steps immortalized in the film. It was a surreal experience, transforming a cinematic memory into a reality as my friends and I ran those legendary steps.

We planned our visit for the first Sunday of the month, taking advantage of the “pay what you want” scheme. The museum is actually bigger than I expected, with its grandeur and vast collection, had us there for a good 2-3 hours. Each level and exhibit offered a unique journey through different exhibits from every corner of the globe. As we left from the museum, the weather was on our side — a perfect blend of warmth and coolness that made a walk to Center City perfect for fall.

Coming from Hong Kong, I’ve been trying to find asian flavors similar to back home. We settled into a restaurant and my usual indifference towards mapo tofu took an unexpected turn. The dish in Chinatown exceeded my expectations, boasting the perfect balance of spice and numbness. It was a nostalgic taste that momentarily transported me back to my usual spots in Hong Kong.

Speaking of hits of home, Diwali arrived, marking my first celebration away from the familiar comforts of family and tradition. Determined to infuse the festivities into my new surroundings, I gathered with friends for a big Indian dinner. Surprisingly, we stumbled upon an authentic Indian eatery near campus, and the food was nothing short of amazing. It was great to spend it with my friends from the same background and all of us celebrating away from home.

As my journey through Philly continues, each day unravels something or somewhere new in this city. From cinematic moments on the Rocky steps to unexpected food hunts in Chinatown and the celebration of Diwali, Philadelphia has become a pivot of diverse experiences for me. It’s a reminder that, even miles away from home, the city has a way of offering familiar comforts and creating new memories.