Convention delegate Joshua Clennon realized this place was different when he happened to cross the street at 12th and Market.
"Some dude said, 'Welcome to Philadelphia,' " the 23-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter said, certain no such courtesy would be extended in his Manhattan neighborhood. "It'd be like, 'Get out of my way.' "
Count one for the home team.
After a week of being critiqued, analyzed, and reviewed by thousands of visitors from across the country and around the world, how did Philadelphia come across during the Democratic National Convention? How did it fare, in the language of politics, in the optics?
A general consensus: Not bad.
Maybe because the city news was generally positive or at least neutral. Nobody died of heatstroke, despite oppressive temperatures. While there was some pushing and shoving among protesters and police, it was hardly Chicago '68 or even Miami '72.
Out-of-town journalists' views of Philadelphia often differed sharply from those of delegates and visitors interviewed on the streets.
"It really does not seem like Philadelphia was prepared to hold a political convention," tweeted Yahoo News political columnist Matt Bai.
"Worst. Convention. Ever," tweeted the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, complaining of gridlock outside the Wells Fargo Center.
Mayor Kenney's response?
"You're always going to have somebody that's cranky," he said. "I had so many people stop me on the streets and say how friendly Philadelphians really are, and that's the best advertising in the world."
The government-run China Daily suspected something sinister in Philadelphia - questioning whether "Made in China" labels had been deliberately removed from DNC souvenirs. Pravda ignored Philadelphia, asking its Russian readership, "Will Hillary Clinton plunge the world into nuclear apocalypse?"
An anxious world awaits.
Meanwhile, the Informador newspaper in Mexico credited Philadelphia's late 20th-century renaissance to Rocky Balboa.
Other visitors saw a spirited, engaging city.
"I could live there," said 62-year-old Florida delegate Mary Baker, referring to the Reading Terminal Market.
Her electric scooter broke down in an intersection at 1 a.m., and two police officers hurried to her aid, pushing the machine - with her in it - three blocks to the Marriott Hotel on Market Street.
Allison Renville, 32, a Native American from Sisseton, S.D., saw and felt something in Philadelphia that didn't come across on TV cameras - a youngish vibe and diversity that she said would draw her back.
That and Uber. There's no Uber in Sisseton, population 2,450, she said.
"Traffic, parking - awesome," said Carla Broadway, who made a day trip from Wilmington to Center City, wanting her daughters, 16-year-old Catherine and 8-year-old Cassandra, to soak up the scene surrounding the first major-party nomination of a female presidential candidate.
On-the-street TV interviews showed a backdrop of bustling sidewalks and sparkling buildings. The cameras did not roam into Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods, where residents doubted that any election could provide jobs, better housing, and hope.
The hotels were nearly full and some restaurants were booked for the week. But while tourism officials tout the economic impact of hosting conventions, empirical studies show there's not much of a bump to be had.
Image is another matter. But how to compare the impressions of tourists, delegates, and journalists, either against history or against Cleveland, where the Republican Party gathered?
"The protests in Cleveland were far more angry," said Willie Baronet, a Texas artist who attended both conventions. "The vibe was more frightening."
Experts who study politics say people tend to remember historic moments from convention speeches - FDR's promise of a "New Deal," JFK's summons to a "New Frontier," Reagan's dream of America as "a shining city on a hill" - but host cities linger in memory only when something goes wrong.
No town took a greater convention beating than Atlantic City in 1964, when Lyndon Johnson was nominated by Democrats still mourning the death of John Kennedy. Reporters lodged in cramped, dirty hotel rooms wrote endlessly of Atlantic City's shabbiness, fixing the city's reputation for years to come.
The 1968 Democratic convention that nominated Hubert Humphrey erupted in violence, as Chicago police beat Vietnam War protesters - a debacle that still haunts the city.
Four years later in Florida, Richard Nixon was renominated amid demonstrations that led to hundreds of arrests. Nearly 45 years later, no major party has returned to Miami.
In Philadelphia last week, police responded to 60 demonstrations but made no arrests; they issued 106 citations for offenses such as disorderly conduct. Federal officials arrested 11 people who climbed a security fence.
"You've done a good job when you're not remembered," said Mike Lyons, an assistant communications professor at St. Joseph's University and a former reporter for the Associated Press. "The whole idea for the city here is, 'Do no harm.' "
He thinks Philadelphia came across just fine:
It will be forever tied to Hillary Clinton's historic nomination. And news-show images of the skyline and Independence Hall distinguished Philadelphia.
On Friday, weary Clinton delegate Dan Montgomery and his daughter, Elinore, 17, stood outside the Courtyard Marriott in Center City, bags in hand, waiting for a cab to take them to the airport so they could fly home to Illinois.
"I've been wilting a bit all week," Montgomery said, "but for me, it felt like one big festival of democracy, one big celebration of America."
The Montgomerys could soon be back. Elinore used the visit to tour the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and Temple University.
"It's a great city and it seems really easy to get around," she said. "I could see myself here."