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Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City still boasts charming cobblestoned streets and plenty of 18th-century charm—along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene. Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Ben Franklin Bridge make Old City a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries and theaters and vibrant nightlife. Especially popular are First...
Spanning from Broad to 10th Streets and from Market to Pine Streets, Midtown Village is the lively center of downtown Philadelphia. Other neighborhoods converge here, but Midtown Village—a new but buzzing city enclave—maintains a distinct personality thanks to a business boom that includes independent shops and restaurants, small cafes, alfresco tables along every sidewalk and a rainbow street sign-lined Gayborhood. On the neighborhood’s western border lies a district appropriately named for its place as Philadelphia’s performance hub: the Avenue of the Arts, which runs along Broad Street from City Hall to Lombard Street. The wide stretch is home to...
Graduate Hospital goes by many names (Center City South, South of South, G-Ho), which is fitting for a neighborhood that draws its personality from the people inside it: young transplants, born-and-raised neighbors, hip urban professionals, craft beer crowds and more. In recent years, the area stretching from Lombard Street to Washington Avenue and from Broad Street to Gray’s Ferry Avenue has accumulated a healthy dose of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and markets that reflect the area’s residential and cool vibe.
Restaurants & Bars:
- Balkan Express Restaurant – This family-run bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot serves up Mediterranean fare that’s both wallet-friendly
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares in West Philadelphia, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille in Fairmount, there’s always a reason to celebrate in the authentically Philly neighborhoods outside of Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Fishtown & Northern Liberties:
- Lining the cobblestone street with artists of all stripes and genres, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival includes the storied Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a quirky competition for the most
Used to be when a guy needed a shave or a haircut, he had to choose: Book an appointment at a unisex salon, or take his chances at a grandfatherly barbershop. That’s not the case anymore—at least not for guys in Philly. These days, the city is full of tonsorialists—that’s vintage speak for barbers—who pull off skillful styles in old-fashioned shops. Execs seeking subtle shags, students going for a clean crop, grooms getting their first straight-razor shave can all rest easy, knowing they’ve got a bevy of awesome Philly barbers to choose from. Here’s where to start:
- 2B Groomed –
Style-wise, most cities are melting pots. But when it comes to menswear, Philly’s fashion mash-up comprises a dynamic dichotomy. At the one end of the spectrum are long-established—even historic—men’s clothiers. At the other resides a youthful, independent, urban movement toward retro street style and local indie brands. Sure, there’s a little in-between, but even Philly’s menswear middle ground is made up of mix: sporty yet sophisticated, tailored yet tattooed. Take a look across the landscape, from tony Rittenhouse Square to grittier South Philly to historic-yet-artsy Old City, and discover the distinctively dual dapperness of Philadelphia men.
Rittenhouse Square’s Tailored Traditions...
Long-considered one of the toniest neighborhoods in the city, Rittenhouse Square isn’t just an enviable address. Along its sidewalks—many of which boast seating for alfresco dining and drinking in the warm months—residents and visitors find high-end stores; locally owned boutiques; small galleries; renowned museums; cafes; beer, wine and cocktail bars; and restaurants of all kinds. And, of course, the one-block Rittenhouse Square is more popular with sunbathers, readers, families, artists and even dogs than city founder William Penn ever could have imagined. With a number of hotels also in the area, this neighborhood remains an out-of-towner favorite.
Restaurants, Bars &...
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares on Penn’s Landing, a celebration of the fall season in Midtown Village, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street or a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue, there’s always a reason to celebrate in neighborhoods in and around Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
- For the third year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival will unleash 10 days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures, debates and hands-on activities on campuses, museums and other venues around the city, culminating
Every resident knows (and secretly loves) Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air lyric “In West Philadelphia, born and raised … ” Not obvious from the 1990s theme song is the dynamic culture that thrives inside the large area—due to historic characteristics, large educational and research institutions and new developments and residents.
Separated from Center City by the Schuylkill River, West Philadelphia resembles a microcosm of the city itself, with a number of smaller, distinct neighborhoods inside it. Many of its attractions and events—community gardens, Ethiopian restaurants, offbeat performances and the like—were created to benefit the people living in the...
Pet lovers are crazy about their animal companions and spend more than $50 billion a year in the U.S. on pet services and accoutrements to prove it. For those who love to spoil their pet but hate to leave him behind while traveling, the Philadelphia region proves to be the “purr-fect” getaway. Pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and retail shops welcome visitors and their animal companions in all sections of the city and its suburbs. From canine-friendly parks to VIP (Very Important Pet) hotel programs, the Philadelphia region makes it easy for visitors to bring their furry friends along for the ride....
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....
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, shop—and generally hang out. 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 are the open-air Italian Market on South 9th Street and the west-to-east-running South Street, which needs its own neighborhood overview.
Anglophiles rejoice: Brilliant!: The 2013 PHS Flower Show will be on view at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from March 2-10, 2013, and the best of Britain doesn’t end with the show’s exquisite themed garden displays, on view for two full weekends for the first time ever. English culture remains alive and well across the Philadelphia region, with historic sites, top-notch museum collections, pubs, tearooms, theaters and sporting events. This season makes the perfect time to explore Philly’s British treasures, and the following are just a few places to start:
Ace Sights: History & Art:
- Independence National Historical Park –
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 the Fishtown section of the city 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...
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, vintage clothing stores, 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...
Beyond the colorful Friendship Arch at 10th and Arch Streets lives Philly’s vibrant Asian enclave, settled in the mid-19th century by Cantonese immigrants. Stretching from Vine to Arch Streets between 9th and 12th Streets, the neighborhood is packed end to end with restaurants and stores that represent Hong Kong, Cantonese, Fujianese, Northern Sichuan and Taiwanese cultures, with a sprinkling of Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Burmese, Vietnamese and hipster thrown in for good measure. On any given day or night, Chinatown bustles with activity and authenticity, from the steaming platters of hand-stretched noodles to the seasonal street festivals...
Hotels throughout the Philadelphia region are offering packages to promote popular attractions and activities both indoors and out this winter season. Couples can get in on the New Year’s Eve action at various hotels, families can take advantage of an offer that includes tickets to the BlueCross RiverRink and girlfriends can get cozy with a package that nabs them a 20% discount at The Bellevue’s haute shops. Here’s a look at some of the offers available this holiday season and beyond:
Philadelphia Holiday Package
Hotel: Omni Hotel at Independence Park
Package Overview: Guests enjoy deluxe accommodations, valet
Philadelphia’s vast and vibrant art scene boasts daily, weekly, monthly and annual events that keep the culture calendar packed. Here are some of the recurring events making Philly a year-round visual arts destination:
- The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program offers a variety of tours of the city’s more than 3,600 indoor and outdoor murals. Tour-goers can see the city’s colorful walls during a mile-long audio walking tour of Center City, trolley tours through diverse neighborhoods and the Love Letter tour, which uses the Market-Frankford Line as its mode of transportation— just to name a few. Most
The green and lively Washington Square looked very different a couple hundred years ago. After city founder William Penn set the land aside for a public park, Philadelphia used it as a burial ground and as an animal pasture. Today, the park, located just steps from Independence Hall, attracts picnickers, families, sunbathers and history buffs, and the neighborhood that sprouted to the south and west has enjoyed a similar reawakening. Exciting nightlife, independently owned galleries, celebrity chefs and the famed Jewelers’ Row keep the area between 6th and 10th Streets and Chestnut and Pine Streets buzzing day and...
Donna Schorr, a young-at-heart Baby Boomer
Director of Communications
Yes, I take a train ride to the city every day, and at this age, I’m no expert on late night clubbing. But I’ve lived in or near Philly for decades (never mind how many), and I can tell you a lot about great things to see and do that don’t cost a fortune. Here are some of my sentimental favorites:
- Rittenhouse Square: When I miss my dad, I visit his memorial bench in one of the most loved green spots in the city. Rittenhouse Square is the heart and soul