Food Note

Food Note:
Whatcha Having After School?
by Adowa Mohamed


​Re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia is building an expanded archive of cultural memory that includes multiple histories, re-place-ing the established with new narratives and understandings. Notes consider place via the street, sound, food, trees, and other portals.

In partnership with educator Joshua Block, students from Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy are creating and publishing their Philadelphia Field Notes. Adowa explores what types of places Philadelphian teens go to after school.


Philadelphia, a city well known in PA for not only Rocky Steps and for being the city of brotherly love but also for our food! Food plays an important part in people’s everyday lives not only because of their health but can really bring out many different conversations and sides of people that you would never know about. As teenagers food plays a critical role in our social life. The place you chose to eat at or the type of food you will be eat, the price, and the location are all important factors to keep in mind when buying food, especially for teens.  

I interviewed three students at Science Leadership Academy which is located in Philadelphia, Center city. As most of the said the options to food are limitless and we are open to many different types of foods no matter what you might be craving. Places such as Liberty Place, Qdoba, Chipotle, and Five Guys all provide a place for the customers to sit down and enjoy their meal. Places like these seemed to be more appealing to students and even when going to the places during after school hours I could see the abundance of book bags lying on the floor as teens would line up to order their meal. They would reach into their pockets to pull out that $9.87 and sometimes even whisper over to their friends asking if they have an extra quarter they could borrow. These places are usually always busy with students talking and laughing it up with one another. The food brings people together and the location is what makes things even more convenient.

As students said in the interviews, cost matters. Some days when money is tight teens will refrain from going to places like Chipotle or Five Guys and will go to McDonald’s or Wendy’s. Even food carts are really big when it comes to breakfast and afterschool food. Also as said in the interview the convenience of having many different options for places to go and enjoy food can really take a toll on your pockets. Time also plays a role in the places teens choose to get their food at. Some of the teens I have spoke to told me that when it comes to speed and how fast their food is made or how long they have to eat the food they make different choices in their meals. For example Taylor Washington said, “Whenever I am in a rush to get home but am really hungry I just stop by and get some Chinese food from Liberty place because I know it’ll always be ready and made.” Things like this are important and the choices people make to go really has to do with many smaller factors that lead up to that choice.

Everyone has a different preference when it comes to food. Whether you are in the mood for sweets or want ice cream there are places like Philly Flavors on 19th and Chestnut or 30th street station which has everything. Everything from Cinnabon to Wendy's, Dunkin Donuts, Chinese food, and parked not too far outside are food trucks that are open to everyone. These places really do represent Philly and bring people together especially teens. They are places where you can be social and relax and just to give yourself a break from everything to enjoy a some great food.

Food Notes
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