In Philadelphia

Friday, May 6, 2011

I lived on the edge of West Philly for five years, and spent the first 18 years of my life only 20 minutes outside of the city. Even today, when people ask where I'm from I say "Philadelphia" (although "New Jersey" is slightly more accurate). Philly's a pretty awesome place, with lots of stuff to do. I still keep a Google Map of Philadelphia, although it's mostly for my favorite restaurants/food. The food in this city is good.

I know all the dessert places in a new city, before I know anything else. Philly's no exception!

Philadelphia City Hall

Design*Sponge does a nice overview of things to see/do in Philly, here: Design*Sponge's Philadelphia Guide by Kevin Derrick, but here's some of my favorites/recommendations:

Activities
The First Friday of every month, Philly's galleries in Old City are open to the public.
You can walk by the window, or wait in a ginormous line to see the Liberty Bell. Catch a horse-drawn carriage ride nearby, to be shown all the nearby historical houses.
Get to Independence Hall early if you want to go on a tour of the building where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
One of my favorite museums, the Ben Franklin Underground Museum is in a bit of disrepair, but it may help you get slightly closer to understanding the city's love affair with this man.
Visit the Betsy Ross House to learn about the first American flags.
Elfreth's Alley is a nearby historical little street to wander down.
Check out the Mummers Museum for insight on an unusual local New Years' custom.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has "donation days" on Sunday, where admission is what you feel like donating.
Get real close to Billy Penn with a weekday City Hall Tour.
Food
Cheesesteaks from Pat's or Geno's or Jim's.
Soft Philly pretzels from a lunch cart.
Express lunch from Stephen Starr's Pod Restaurant (it's quite a bargain, compared to normal prices).
World Cafe Live for live music and food.
Cuba Libre does a great brunch, but there's also occasionally salsa dancing lessons/shows.
McGillin's Olde Ale House is one of my favorite bars, but it gets packed at night. They also serve a decent lunch.
Naked Chocolate Cafe serves thick European hot chocolate. European-style Aztec or American-style Caramel Salt are the best options.
Capogiro Gelato Artisans. omg. Probably the best authentic gelato since Italy. Seasonal flavors.


There's nothing quite like wandering past the place where our nation was signed into existence, on your way to/from the Old City nightlife.

Philadelphia Skyline from the West Foutain in Love Park during the Skateboard Rally
Schukyll River at Night Phillies Game
Drexel's Mascot with Fruit Philadelphia Garden after

3 comments:

Kris said...

awesome list. my hubby's family lives outside philly so we find ourselves down there frequently. :)

iris said...

My only concern is that it's been 3 years since I lived in Philly, so some of my restaurant recommendations on the Google Map may not exist anymore, haha. Oh well!

Jo said...

I LOVE Philly! My boyfriend is from there, and I just love going to visit his family and his hometown. It really is such a charming city!

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