By Lauren Lipton

By Lauren Lipton

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mandi Woodruff, who lives in New York City, is the editor of the personal finance section at Business Insider.   She has launched a travel series in which she visits different cities on $100 a weekend.

The first city she picked was Philadelphia.

Read Mandi Woodruff’s Review of Her Philadelphia Visit

“It’s very hard to go anywhere in New York and get a full meal without having to pay for each part,” she notes — but she was able to do so in Philadelphia.  “That was very nice, going into the Reading Terminal Market and getting a full meal for under ten dollars.  I also loved the deals that I found in the Italian Market; a huge sandwich from Paisano’s for nine dollars that could have fed two people for four bucks each.”

And some of the things she liked the most were free!


(Mandi Woodruff. Photo provided)

“I love when I go into a city and can just look up and see something wonderful and it’s free,” she tells Positively Philadelphia.   

Here she was struck by “the architecture, (and) Philadelphia’s many murals.  A lot of the energy that you get from New York comes from the people and everyone walking and pushing and shoving and running and sightseeing, and everyone just… around.  It’s very hard to find a place that’s just quiet.  There’s nowhere to go to be private in New York.”

But she found Philadelphia much more relaxing:

“I always like going to cities where I feel like I could actually get a park bench to myself, or sit at an outdoor market and get a chair to myself without having to get there hours before normal time.”

She thought it was especially funny to visit a Trader Joe’s supermarket in Philadelphia: no two-block lines to get into the store, and no huge line to check out.

“I was just spinning around in circles looking for people to line up behind, and there was no one!” she recalls with delight.

(Trader Joe's in Philadelphia: a lot less crowded than those in NYC.  Credit: Mandi Woodruff)

(Trader Joe’s in Philadelphia: a lot less crowded than those in NYC. Credit: Mandi Woodruff)


An employee finally went up to her and said, “You can check out here.”

Hear the full interview with Mandi Woodruff in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 7:10)…

And, for this week, that’s “Positively Philadelphia!”

“Positively Philadelphia” main page

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