Fruits of the Same Tree, but Different in Flavors
Comparing two American cities
by Andres Lombana


It is commonplace to think that cities in the United States of America are very similar. The stereotypes express that they have skyscrapers, fast food restaurants, shopping centers and a boring history. Comparing the characteristics of New Orleans and Philadelphia demonstrates that this popular belief is not always true.  Both cities are very different, unique and special.


Historically, both cities have different colonial roots. While New Orleans was founded in 1718 by French conquerors that came from Canada, Philadelphia was founded in 1682 by English Quakers that came from the other side of the Atlantic.  After the English regime was overthrown, Philadelphia became the capital of the United States (1776-1800), and was the most representative place of America’s freedom and independence. On the contrary, New Orleans was ruled and governed by the French from 1718 till 1763, then by the Spanish from 1764 till 1802, then returned to the French for a period of one year, and finally, in1803, was annexed to the United States in the famous Louisiana Purchase” signed by Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States.


Both cities have different environmental characteristics due to the fact of their geographical locations. New Orleans is situated in the east bank of the Mississippi River, in the south of the country, very close to the Gulf of Mexico.  It has humid weather characterized by spontaneous tropical storms and hurricanes, and is surrounded by swamps and marshes. The vegetation is a little bit tropical and even the oak trees keep their green color in the winter months. All year long, New Orleans’ sky is so blue that one would like to melt in its deepness. On the other hand, Philadelphia is placed in the north east of the country, close to the Atlantic Coast, between two rivers: the Delaware and the Schuylkill. Its weather is dry and cold all year, except for the summer, when it turns very warm and humid. The chestnut trees are naked in the winter with out any green color and shiver with the strong wind that comes from the north. Due to the big amount of factory chimneys that always are making white clouds, Philly’s sky never turns deeply and clearly blue.


Culturally, even though both cities belong to the United States of America and possess a big African American population, they strongly differ from each other. From the music to the food, both New Orleans and Philadelphia have something unique to show. While Philadelphia is very famous because of its food trucks, cheese steaks and hip hop, New Orleans is recognized by its Cajun and Creole food, the jazz and the blues.   


 In conclusion, historic, geographic and cultural differences make these two cities unique and different. Even if they are situated in the same country, each one has its own taste and style. It’s a perfect example of the saying, “Even though all fruits come from the same tree, each one has a different flavor,” and human civilizations and settlements follow suit.