Pittcon 2019 Preview – Philadelphia: Cheesesteaks and Chinatown

Next week, Philadelphia will host Pittcon 2019 – now in its 70th year! – a show that has always been a major spot on the calendar for the SDi team. The companies and products exhibited at the show has about an 80% overlap with the technologies covered in our flagship Global Assessment Report, encapsulating our analysis of market size, growth and vendor share. We just published the 2019 version of the report last month, and we’re still glowing with the response it’s received so far. Pittcon gives us a great opportunity to meet and interact with clients, and learn about new companies and products involved in the laboratory space, and learn how working scientists are putting them to good use in the technical sessions.

Pittcon was last in Philadelphia in 2013, which I attended. And it looks like Philadelphia will be more regularly in the rotation in the future, with Pittcon also scheduled for 2023 and 2026. I can’t claim to know the city all that well (especially after a gap of 6 years), however, I am a minor expert on things within walking distance of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. So for my particular audience in the laboratory world, this may actually be of more use to you than a really well-informed guide. Or so I flatter myself.

As it turns out, the convention center is right in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, which offers plenty of color and good food, day and night.

A few blocks to the east is a gathering of many of the important Revolutionary Era sites and related museums: Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and you can pay your respects to scientist (and Founding Father) Ben Franklin and many others at Christ Church Burial Grounds.

Of course, the greatest cultural treasure that Philadelphia has given the world is the cheesesteak. I understand arguments over whose is the best cheesesteak in Philly can get quite contentious, so as an outsider I’m going to stay out of the fray, but point people to a list of 30(!) places to try. If 30 is too many to think over, an office tip is Dalessandro’s, which does make the list. Our CEO, Craig Overpeck, lives in the Philadelphia area, so it’s safest for me to say that my favorite cheesesteak is whatever his favorite is.

For a unique dining experience, if you continue on past the historic areas to the Delaware River, you’ll come across Moshulu, a restaurant aboard a square-rigged sailing ship. At more than a century old, the décor may be a little dingy, but I recall the food being top notch (and current Yelp reviews suggest they’ve kept up their quality).

I was sorry to see that it is only open on weekends and Monday mornings, so I will probably miss a chance, but I had hoped to get some tacos from South Philly Barbacoa. Why would someone from Los Angeles want to go to Philly for Mexican food? Well, owner Cristina Martinez was featured on Netflix’ Chef’s Table and I was impressed.

Wishing everyone a safe trip and a good show! See you around the convention!