One of Us: Meryl Levitz

There’s no resting on laurels for Meryl Levitz, even if she is currently celebrating the 15th successful year of her baby—the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation. Here, the woman who’s done more than anyone (save the Phillies) for city pride spills—with love—on what Philly still desperately needs, her Francophilia, and why she’s heard enough about the damn cheesesteaks, already

My full name is … Meryl Levitz.

I am … a happy and productive person most of the time.

I was born in … Chicago.

I’ve lived in Philadelphia for … 40 years.

The thing I like most about myself is … that I give everyone a chance.

The thing I would change about myself is … I would be more patient. Maybe.

My greatest extravagance is … daydreaming.

The place I’d most like to live someday is … Paris, for part of the year.

My fictional hero is … Anne of Green Gables, since I was 9.

My real-life hero is … Winston Churchill.

The best thing I own is … I don’t know, but the worst is my hair dryer.

Cheesesteak or roast pork? Roast pork, and I’m just down the street from Tony Luke’s.

The question I get asked the most is … “Want to hear my idea for a love letter?” And I love hearing them.

One thing this city doesn’t have that it really needs is … public schools that every parent wants their kid to go to.

If I could do anything for an occupation, I’d be … a singer/songwriter.

The best book I ever read is … the book of fables my husband wrote for me.

I’m just so sick of … people saying with surprise that Philly’s dining scene is more than just cheesesteaks. We’ve had fabulous chefs, restaurants and BYOBs for a long time now.

My favorite place to shop is … Les Puces, the big flea market in Paris.

The person I most envy … I don’t. Nobody has it all wrapped up.

I always take my out-of-town guests to … the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, if they’re first-timers.

If I could switch places with one person for a day, it’d be … my 3 1/2-year-old granddaughter Mae. How do kids see things, anyway?

My favorite spot in the city is … Reading Terminal Market. It’s all of Philly under one roof.

I found the love of my life … in my college classroom. (He was the teacher.)

The coolest person in the city is … ?uestlove … and soon, Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

The best Rocky movie is … the first one, Rocky.

My last meal on Earth would be … a bottle of great champagne and a perfect pomegranate.