Philly Love Notes Gift Guide

Hello friends and Philly-lovers, Time for the first Philly Love Letters Gift Guide! With some help from you, I put together a completely non-comprehensive list of amazing things being done right here in the city (or right outside). This only scratches the surface of the cool stuff being made here. There are always tons of great markets and small businesses to support (like Amalgam Comics, Philadelphia Independents, Yowie, and Omoi Zakka). And of course, one of the best gifts of all -- donating money, time, Read more

Giving Back 2017

Oh this year. Time to buckle down and do what I can to give back. Like last year, I'll be donating all of the profits from the map sales to local nonprofits from Thanksgiving through Giving Tuesday. That means that your purchase of a map will help to support all of the following organizations: Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory, Marian Anderson Historical Society, SEAMAAC, Red Paw Relief and Students Run Philly Style (more about the nonprofits below). Last year we raised Read more

#whyilovephillyarts Launches

It's official, the first #whyilovephillyarts, featuring Sean Martorana, is now live! Check out the prints below and purchase one of the 30 limited edition prints online. This is the first collaboration that aims to build a body of Philly-specific art across a variety of mediums for people to purchase with 100% of the profits going to the artist (along with a full commissions and licensing Read more

Center City

Love Note #149 A love story that began—as many great ones have—in secret (by Natanya DiBona)

Natanya DiBona
Favorite Spot: Logan Circle
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 19th St. and Ben Franklin Parkway

I am: The daughter of parents who both grew up in South Philadelphia in a time when, as my mom said, you knew you would marry someone within a six block radius. I was raised in the suburbs, but valued my trips with my grandparents to the Italian Market and to Penn’s Landing to watch fireworks. We frequently visited Philadelphia on trips to the Art Museum, the Academy of Music and Saturday morning classes at The Franklin Institute. I guess with this childhood, my love note really comes as no great surprise.
Current Home: I live in Chadds Ford and work in Philadelphia.


(B. Krist for GPTMC)

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Center City 3 Comments

Philly Love Note writer (and fellow blogger): Dana Marston

It turns out that blogging can get you places.

I don’t mean necessarily turning your blog into a full time job, but more so using it to leverage skills to meet new people and market yourself. Though it wasn’t my intention (in either case), I’ve found both a job and a boyfriend through this site.

My friend, and love note writer, Dana turned her lifestyle and design blog into an actual brick and morter store and styling business called Circa Dee. I got a chance to check out her work at the Philadelphia Home Show, where she helped transform a section of the convention center into a room consisting of all vintage and repurposed decor. I’m normally a mid-century, Mad Men-era furniture person (who am I really kidding though, my room is entirely Ikea), but seeing what she could do with some pallets, blueprints, and drop clothes may change my whole perspective on decorating.

If you’re interested in shopping local, buying vintage, upcycling, or doing DIY projects, check out her website, or follow her on Twitter or Facebook. Below are some of the beautiful things that she pulled together for the show. Read more

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Center City 5 Comments

Campus Philly Love Notes: To the Schuylkill River Trail

Editor’s note: The interns of Campus Philly share their most loved Philly spots and experiences as students in the City of Brotherly Love.

Rebecca Hannaford, Arcadia University
Favorite Spot: Schuylkill River Trail

I am: A full time student at Arcadia University, and full time dog lover.
Years In Philly: 2 and a half.
Current Home: Split between Glenside, PA and Newark, DE.
(Photo by Rebecca Hannaford)
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Love Note #126: Heather Calvert’s love note to Macy’s Christmas Pageant of Lights

Heather Calvert
Favorite Spot: Macy’s Christmas Pageant of Lights
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 1300 Market or Chestnut Streets

I am: Associate director of the Botswana-UPenn Partnership. I grew up in Europe but moved to Philly after college and never left and never will.
Current Home, Cedar Park, West Philly
Years in Philly: 21
(photo by Heather)
Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Center City 1 Comment

Love Note #125: If you’re looking for Elliott Sharp, chances are you can find him at the The Wanamaker Building

Elliott Sharp
Favorite Spot: Macy’s / The Wanamaker Building
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 1300 Market Street

I am: A freelance music journalist.
Years in Philly: I ran from Virginia, to Massachusetts, to South Carolina, and then stopped in Philadelphia three years ago.
Current Home: West Philadelphia

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Center City 2 Comments

Love Note #124: Let’s celebrate the nation’s oldest diamond district (Richie Goldberg)

Richie Goldberg
Favorite Spot: Jewelers’ Row
Neighborhood: Diamond District

I am: Richie Goldberg, Third Generation Jeweler and President of Safian & Rudolph Jewelers
Years in Philly: Born and Raised
Current Home: Society Hill


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Love Note #123: A note to the beautiful art deco Post Office building by Leah Kauffman

Leah Kauffman
Favorite Spot: US Post Office Building
Neighborhood: Market East
Address: William Penn Annex, 900 Market Street

I am: Executive Entertainment & Lifestyle Producer at
Years in Philly: 8 wonderful years.
Current Home: Old City


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The #whyilovephilly Party. What you said…

At the #whyilovephilly party, I asked people to write postcard to their favorite spots. I had been trying to make the blog tangible, and took inspiration from the site, The World Needs More Love Letters. People took the assignment in all different directions.

There were love notes to neighborhoods,

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The #whyilovephilly Party (Blowout)

Oh man.

I threw my first real party on Friday night.

I’ve been trying to remember the last time I had a party. No birthday parties, maybe a dinner party here and there, perhaps one in college, but nothing for a long, long time. And nothing quite like that.

I teamed up with Alex Hillman from IndyHall and Young Involved Philly to bring a bunch of Philly-centric people together to celebrate the City. I was nervous, and gave myself way too much work, but it was totally worth it.

The #whyilovephilly Party happened on November 30th, 2012

at the Trestle Inn (make the trek to the Callowhill neighborhood, it’s worth it).

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Center City 2 Comments

Walking the Reading Viaduct

The Viaduct

One of the city’s gems is an abandoned railroad line, historically part of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroads’ 9th Street and City Branches. My friend Brian Lim and I got a tour this weekend with Viaduct Greene, an organization advocating for the creation of a linear green space along these branches. I had been to the elevated, Reading branch, but had not yet had the opportunity to wander through the tunnels and corridors that make up the City Branch. Going here without a SEPTA guide (like we had) is, I think, technically trespassing. However, I have never experienced anything like it in the city, and I strongly encourage everyone to check in with Viaduct Greene to see their plans, and hopefully get in on the next tour.

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