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!
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:
|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.|
|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.