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For years, insiders have flocked to South Philadelphia’s East Passyunk Avenue for its restaurants, particularly its red-gravy Italian spots. The neighborhood surrounding the avenue—a diagonal interruption to Philadelphia’s grid layout—has enjoyed revitalizations in recent years, creating a sort of renaissance for the thoroughfare itself.
Visitors who stroll down Passyunk (pronounced pashunk by those in the know) find eclectic boutiques, coffee shops, gastropubs, excellent Mexican and sushi fare, as well as the amazing Italian eateries that first made this street famous—not to mention the two across-the-street cheesesteak rivals, Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks. Generally, the area known as East...
Like its hip neighbor Northern Liberties, Fishtown has quickly become one of the coolest sections of Philadelphia, thanks to an influx of quality restaurants, inventive bars, impressive music venues and forward-thinking art galleries.
Philadelphians have found new and innovative uses for Fishtown ever since William Penn made peace with the Lenape Indians there in what’s now Penn Treaty Park. It’s the only place in the city where, in the same evening, someone can buy a custom-made guitar, drink craft beer while playing Tetris, eat stellar Yugoslavian food and visit the world’s only pizza museum. Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue Arts Corridor serves...
Once considered Philadelphia’s favorite up-and-coming neighborhood, Northern Liberties has officially arrived, evidenced by the international restaurants, respected gastropubs and trendy boutiques—all this while maintaining the artistic vibe that made it so cool in the first place.
The warehouses that populate the former manufacturing district found new life as condos, galleries, stores and restaurants, and along with newly designed buildings, the area enjoys a pleasant mix of older functional and modern design. Two shopping/dining/art/entertainment plazas helped make Northern Liberties an accessible and thriving area: Liberties Walk and The Piazza at Schmidts.
The neighborhood lies north of Old City, and its borders...
When it comes to visiting Philadelphia, some of the best things to see and do are free—or close to it. For families and budget-conscious travelers eager to explore the region, that’s great news. Check out the city’s many low-cost or no-cost attractions, including historic Independence Hall, student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music and the high-tech production line of Herr’s Potato Chip Factory.
- Snuggled behind the east wing of Independence Hall is Philosophical Hall, a brick building erected in the late 1780s that was the nation’s first museum, national library and academy of science. Today, the
Weekends were made for brunching—chatting with friends, digging into a stack of syrupy pancakes, lingering over a cup of a coffee and/or a Bloody Mary. No one knows this better than Philadelphians, who have a wide array of fantastic brunch options to choose from every Saturday and Sunday. Whether the craving is for a prix-fixe menu offering foie gras and lobster (Lacroix), a Latin feast of plantains and agua fresca cocktails (Rosa Blanca) or fresh granola and locally grown berries (Talula’s Daily), Philadelphia foodies have plenty of go-to spots for a late-morning or early-afternoon...
Dubbed the “Loft District” by real estate developers and “The Eraser ’Hood” by locals referencing the once-dark landscape that inspired former resident David Lynch’s cult classic Eraserhead, Callowhill is something in between these two extremes. The stylish-yet-still-transforming neighborhood attracts both young professionals who enjoy its high-end condos and close proximity to Center City and artists looking for affordable-yet-expansive studio and gallery spaces. It’s a formerly industrial neighborhood that charms with a rich stock of large, urban buildings, remnants of cobblestone streets, edgy rock clubs, emerging galleries and the kind of hidden cultural gems that intrigue visitors and residents alike....
On top of spaghetti, covered with cheese, tucked into a roll, grilled on a skewer—meatballs in all forms abound in Philadelphia, and not just in South Philly, the city’s largely Italian enclave. There are traditional Italian versions with gravy (Villa di Roma, for starters), Vietnamese pork balls in noodle soup (Vietnam), vegetarian tofu-ball sandwiches (Magic Carpet) and luxuriant rounds of short-rib hand-rolled by celebrity chefs (Barbuzzo). Here’s a look at some of the most memorable meatballs in the region:
- Repeat winner of the Golden Meatball Challenge between South Philadelphia and
As home to the world’s original and biggest craft beer week—Philly Beer Week—Philadelphia sets a high bar for beer events. In the city and suburbs, beerific happenings take place all year long that draw hundreds and thousands of beer lovers. Here’s a look at some of the oldest, largest, quirkiest and most popular celebrations of artisanal suds slated for 2015:
- Called “one of the top 10 beer festivals in America” by Forbes Traveler, the Philly Craft Beer Festival returns under tents at the Philadelphia Navy Yard with more than 75 national and international breweries, food trucks
Once considered working-class suburbs, the tree-lined South Philadelphia neighborhoods of Queen Village and Bella Vista have spent the past decade establishing themselves as some of the city’s most stable and vibrant places to live, work, dine and shop. Small, mostly historic townhouses and a mix of new and well-established businesses make up these side-by-side neighborhoods. Residents both new and old are passionate about maintaining pocket parks and patronizing independent merchants and restaurants. The districts’ busiest byways include the open-air Italian Market on South 9th Street and the mini neighborhood of west-to-east-running South Street.
Directly south of Old City and...
Throughout the Philadelphia region, art spills out of galleries and into the great outdoors. Many of the region’s galleries and museums are set amid colorful gardens, quiet woodlands or serene meadows that accentuate the art found on the walls. Here’s a look at some of the Philadelphia region galleries that celebrate beauty inside and out:
- When there isn’t a festival, concert or film series in the 27-acre Sculpture Park at the Abington Art Center, visitors can claim a quiet bench under the Katasura trees to contemplate the 24 environmentally themed semi-permanent and temporary sculptures by artists such as Ursula von
Every day is geek day in Philadelphia. Brainiac activity abounds in University City, a vibrant section of West Philadelphia that boasts numerous institutions of higher learning, including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, along with 51,000 college students and groundbreaking advances. Outside of the classroom and on the other side of the city, startups and co-working spaces dot North 3rd Street between Old City and Northern Liberties, earning the corridor an amusing and appropriate nickname, N3RD Street (read: “nerd street”).
Bucking stereotypes, Philadelphia’s nerd population is social, creative and downright fun, following the example of the original Philly...
Multiple waves of immigration have left an indelible German influence on the Philly area. The multi-venue Celebration of Pennsylvania German Art, beginning in early 2015, will explore this legacy through traditional Pennsylvania German (a.k.a. Pennsylvania Dutch) art forms such as fraktur, letters and documents embellished with motifs such as birds and flowers.
These exhibitions are just the beginning of the Pennsylvania German experience. Visitors can find a rich store of German culture in the Philadelphia region: the customs of the Amish, the historic grounds in Germantown and top restaurants serving bratwurst.
Here are just a few suggestions for a German-themed...
Having already given the city their brilliant talents, several of Philadelphia’s restaurateurs and food purveyors also give back for the greater good of the community. And while Jose Garces and Marc Vetri have both established foundations that make an impact, Philadelphia diners have a chance to show their generosity as well. At Rosa’s Pizza, for example, patrons can pay an extra dollar for a slice of pizza for someone less fortunate. This pay-it-forward approach even caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, who recently featured the shop on her show.
Here’s the scoop on those in the Philly food scene paying...
There’s a non-stop fiesta happening in Philadelphia, where Latin dance is hot, hot, hot. Throughout the city, dancers are heating up the floor with their sultry and steamy dance moves as live bands and DJs pump out the evening’s sound track. And with classes led by talented instructors, even newbies can salsa, samba, tango, cha-cha and more before the last note fades.
Here’s a look at spots where everyone from bachata beginners to merengue masters can get their Latin groove on:
Nightclubs & Restaurants:
- Almost every night is dance night at Brasil’s Nightclub and Restaurant in Old City. Every
Through February 16, 2015
WILLIAM GLACKENS. Focusing on his most distinctive works, the Barnes Foundation exhibition features 45 paintings and almost 25 works on paper, most from public and private collections and some on view for the first time. (215) 278-7000, barnesfoundation.org
Through February 8, 2015
PHILADELPHIA AUTO SHOW. The Pennsylvania Convention Center transforms into a car lover’s dream, with 700 pre-production, hot-production, classic and green
Logan Square’s personality defies a single definition. What’s there? Corporate and municipal office buildings; the museum-packed Benjamin Franklin Parkway; and green spaces, including the square that gives the area its name. Once called Northwest Square, Logan Square—one of the city’s original five squares—was renamed to honor 18th-century mayor James Logan.
City Hall is a natural focal point of the Logan Square neighborhood. Its elaborate architecture and ornamentation makes people stop and take notice—and photos. The architectural equivalent of a wedding cake, the sprawling building is adorned with carvings of allegorical figures and is capped off with a massive...
From February 28 through March 8, 2015, the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show will transform the Pennsylvania Convention Center into a floral fantasyland of creative displays that “Celebrate the Movies.” But the City of Brotherly Love is no stranger to cinema. From screwball comedies to tearjerkers, inspiring true stories to action-packed adventures, more than 100 films have showcased the Philadelphia region on the silver screen since the 1970s. Here’s where to relive some of Hollywood’s most memorable Philadelphia moments:
Sports Flicks For A Sports Town:
- Rocky (1976) – This triumphant underdog story about a blue-collar boxer, played by Sylvester Stallone,
Latino art thrives in Philadelphia, and it’s available for sale at galleries and museums around town. Want a Frida Kahlo print for the living room? Find it at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In the market for an original oil painting in the magical realism style of Orlando Quevedo? The Cuban artist’s NoLibs gallery delivers. Maybe only a Day of the Dead doll will do? Eyes Gallery offers just the thing. Here’s a look at where to buy Latino art in Philadelphia:
- A visit to the community-based arts and cultural organization Taller Puertorriqueño means a visit to its The Julia
The Gardens and Galleries Trail of Greater Philadelphia
Visitors can use The Gardens and Galleries Trail of Greater Philadelphia on visitphilly.com to plan their trips to the beautiful gardens of the Philadelphia region. In addition to Mother Nature’s artwork, the trail highlights historic galleries and museums that feature artistic interpretations of the local landscape.
Arboretums For Pleasure, Education & Inspiration
In part because the Quakers who settled in Pennsylvania were meticulous about identifying and cataloguing the forms of natural life they discovered here, the Philadelphia region is internationally recognized for its wealth of arboretums. Chestnut Hill’s Morris Arboretum of the
Philadelphia is well known as the nation’s birthplace, and in summer 2015 the city will make history once again with blockbuster events and exhibits filling the calendar all season long. Festivities sail into Philadelphia in June with the arrival of the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden and the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s major exhibition of impressionist works. Come July, the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement marks a half-century of activism in the place where it all began, and Wawa Welcome America! throws the country’s biggest birthday party. As summer fades into fall, all eyes will be on Philadelphia...