I Heart My City

National Geographic runs a series called I Heart My City, producing a collection of great city guides from residents themselves. I submitted my answers for Philadelphia, which don’t seem to have been chosen, but I figured I would share them here…

Philly (Philadelphia) is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to the 33rd floor of the PSFS building.


The last couple of weeks in April is the best time to visit my city because there are so many festivals.

You can see my city best from from the bridges.


Locals know to skip cheesesteaks and check out roast pork sandwiches instead (or the Paesano).


Center City Pretzel Company is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs (warning, hours are from midnight to noon).

My city’s best museum is the Wagner Free Institute because no one knows about it, it’s free, and they’ve purposefully kept it the same for more than a century.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s walk or take public transit — there is no reason to rent a car.


The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is at one of the two waterfronts (but I’m biased because I work on the Delaware River).

race street pier from Philly Love Notes

My city really knows how to celebrate July 4th because, well, it’s where it started.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they pronounce water as “wudder” or if they call Italian Ice “wudder ice”.

For a fancy night out, I get the Dump dinner at Oyster House where they cover your table in newspaper and throw down a bunch of delicious seafood, potatoes, corn, and sausage. That’s my kind of fancy.

Just outside my city, you can visit a beautiful museum and castle made out of concrete.

My city is known for being a Bud Light kind of town, but it’s really a craft beer mecca.

The best outdoor market in my city is the Headhouse Sqaure Market.


Federal Donuts is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and Little Pete’s is the spot for late-night eats.


To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read uwishunu.com.

My city’s biggest sports event is probably the Eagles/Phillies games, but I go for the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby. Watch it at the Trenton Ave Arts Festival.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I eat pho, tons and tons of pho.

To escape the crowds, I go to FDR park in South Philadelphia.


If my city were a celebrity it’d be a reality TV star because it puts it all out there.

The dish that represents my city best are the real Philly soft pretzels.

City Hall is my favorite building in town because look at it.


A random thing about my city is we have the oldest street in continuous use, called Elfreth’s Alley.

Johnny Brendas is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Medusa Lounge.


Watching tourists continuously run up and down museum steps could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should walk along Kelly Drive when the Cherry Trees are blooming.

In the summer you should check out the numerous free public pools. There’s nothing like floating in a pool while looking at rowhomes and the skyline. My favorite is the one at 17th and Catherine.

In the fall you should go to Laurel Hill Cemetery or Woodlands cemetery (some of the nation’s first garden cemeteries) for a picnic or to enjoy their great programming.


In the winter you should enjoy some of the city’s finest gastropubs with fireplaces.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the Please Touch Museum or the Academy of Natural Science.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is Summertime by Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff (I crowdsourced that answer).

What would your answers be?

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Uncategorized 1 Comment

One Response to I Heart My City

  1. Lauren Q.

    Emma, for your kid question, have you been to Smith Memorial Playground? It’s a total secret at 33rd and Ridge, tucked away. Free, totally modern playground with space out front to have a picnic.


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