Geno’s or Pat’s?
It’s funny how growing up in Philly, people always ask you how the cheesesteaks are. Are they really THAT good??? I always say, “yes, of course they are!!” Philly is not always known for the most positive of things, so why not embrace the reputation of our infamous cheesesteaks. Coming here to Ireland, I didn’t expect anyone to know anything about our cheesesteaks or have even heard of Philadelphia in the first place.
Well I was wrong.
Thursday night we had a very special dinner with the kids and teens involved in the eHoops program. While sitting at dinner with a 13 year old from West Belfast, I was shocked when he asked me a question so many Philadelphians are accustomed too, “Pats or Genos?”. For those that are not familiar, Pat’s cheesesteaks and Geno’s cheesesteaks are two of the most well known cheesesteak places in Philly. Both are rival shops, sitting directly across the street from each other.
What was even more shocking than the fact that this 13 year old boy, who had never been to America, or for the most part even outside of Northern Ireland and his community in West Belfast, had known more about Pat’s and Geno’s than any Philadelphian I have ever spoken too. This young boy loved Philadelphia, and I mean LOVED. He asked me all about the Rocky stairs, City Hall, William Penn and the Quakers, all of which he already knew about.
I was stunned at how a boy from a small town in West Belfast knew everything about a place I had grown up nearby, a place I took for granted, but yet a place he dreamed about living day in and day out. He’s moving there when he’s older, he told me.
The most interesting part about it all was that his love for Philadelphia started when he randomly came across a video blog on YouTube, BFvsGF, a vlog of a couple that lives in Philadelphia. They showed some clips of Philadelphia and he was sold; he began to look up more and more about the city, falling in love with the city via YouTube videos and his research.
This was just one of many eye opening conversations from the night. The young boys and well, one girl to be fair, that I had the pleasure of sitting with that night, were wise beyond their years. They were some of the sweetest and most intelligent kids I have ever gotten to know. I made sure to tell the boy to please visit me when he finally makes it over there, although we still may have a few years. I would love to buy him both a Pat’s and a Geno’s steak, and let him make the decision for himself.
Who knew a simple question of “Pat’s or Geno’s?” could carry such weight.
Victory Scholar: Emily Leer
Present University: Trinity College Dublin
US League: Big East Conference
Club/Community Partner: Trinity Basketball Women
Alma Mater: Villanova University
Sponsored by: Teamwear Ireland