Friday, January 25, 2008

Weekend in Philadelphia

I spend last weekend in Philadelphia to go over some social activities! Last Saturday I had a ‘Potluck’ party, which meant that all the guests brought along something to eat or drink. Combine this, and you get a buffet with some interesting combinations!

On Sunday, I checked out the city center and some interesting shops, like a large store selling all kinds of meat, fish and vegetables from all over the world, a Belgium lunch restaurant, and some nice small parks. In the afternoon, a colleague gave a housewarming party in New Jersey: watching the American Football playoffs! This picture shows the small TV:

The big TV was a wall filled with a projection… That’s the American lifestyle!

On Monday, a friend came over from New York City. We explored the city center of Philadelphia. While Philadelphia is a large metropolis (1.5 million people live in the city, but 5.8 million people live in the metropolitan area), the center city is quite compact, just like Amsterdam’s center. But it was cold… So we stayed more in the Starbucks than on the street 

Last weekend was also the first weekend in my new studio-apartment in Philadelphia’s center city. It is small – small for an American house, but I’m kind of used to living small in Amsterdam. Next week I’ll be moving all my stuff to Philadelphia and I’ll make some pictures!

Last Tuesday gave me another new experience. As part of ING Direct US’ introduction period, every employee should work one day as a volunteer instead of working in the office (also called habitat). Our assignment: building new houses! This project is executed by volunteers, who build houses for people with low income, proven responsibility of home ownership and a stable job situation. Why does ING Direct US do this? Two reasons:
• ING Direct US ‘does things different’ by supporting the community (read more about it);
• ING Direct US wants to market their good name and during these community affairs, they teach people about how to handle money.

In the end, we had a great day: instead of meetings with colleagues, we were working on drywall. In the meantime, the news is about the economy and the government’s intension of refunding taxes to the lower- and middle class. This is going to be an exiting year: presidential elections, and a economy that might go into recession!


Click here to check the pictures from Philly!