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

Sean Martorana x Philly Love Notes

The best part about running Philly Love Notes and making maps is the opportunity to connect with, spotlight, and help build the Philly community (see Giving Back This Year -- news about 2017 soon, #whyilovephilly Twitter campaign, #whyilovephilly parties, Philly Love Letters). So... I'm very excited to announce the new project, #whyilovephillyarts, a series of collaborations aimed at showcasing the amazingly talented artists and makers we have here in the city.  The Concept - Commission a piece of art from a variety of painters, illustrators, graphic designers, Read more

North Philadelphia

Love Note #270: Possibly the best museum in Philly

Matt Shantz
Favorite Spot: The Wagner Free Institute of Science
Neighborhood: North Philly
Address: 1700 W Montgomery Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19121

I Am: A college student with a love of history

A photo posted by Margaux Kent (@pegandawl) on

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Love Note #220: The Hidden Joys of Sorrentos Pizza

Dan Ueda
Favorite Spot: Sorrentos
Neighborhood: Olney
Address: 1624 W Olney Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19141

I am: An engineer, turned activist, turned teacher, turned robotics education enthusiast who appreciates the mountains of Montana as much as Passyunk Ave.
Years in Philly: 6
Current Home: West “The Best” Philly

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Love Note #211: Dorrie Dillalogue’s 10 mile love note to Broad Street

Dorrie Dillalogue
Favorite Spot: Too many to mention but my favorite right now is Broad Street

I Am: A worker bee by day and an appreciator of all things Philly (food, beer, music and beyond) on nights and weekends
Years in Philly: 34 years in and around Philly
Current Home: The Burbs

Dorrie-Dillalogue-Broad-Street-Walk-16

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Center City, North Philadelphia, South Philly 4 Comments

More love letters from the kids of the Urban Blazers

Naimah, 12 years old
Favorite Spot: Delaware River
I am: A participant in the Urban Blazers Girls Active In Nature Program at Hank Gathers Recreation Center

My Love Note: I love the Delaware River because in the summer Urban Blazers, a youth program, took the girl’s at Hank Gathers out boating with the Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory. It was something new I tried and I loved it.

Urban-Blazers-Delaware-River-3Urban-Blazers-Delaware-River-1

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The best last line of any love note, from Tyahmiya of the Urban Blazers

Tyahmiya Age:11
Favorite Spot: The green lady’s house
Neighborhood: Strawberry Mansion
Location: Fairmount Park, Boxers’ Trail

I am: A girl and a book lover; student at St. James School in North Philly and an Urban Blazer

Tyamyah-Green-Lady-House-1

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in North Philadelphia 3 Comments

Love Note #150: Eric Dolaway has fallen in love with the Boxers’ Trail in Fairmount Park

Eric Dolaway
Favorite Spot: The Boxers’ Trail
Neighborhood: Strawberry Mansion
Address: East Fairmount Park

I am: Small town kid, Philadelphia transplant by way of Baltimore, MD and Brooklyn, NY; Executive Director of Urban Blazers; semi-professional rock skipper. I run a non-profit organization that took a thousand kids hiking in 2012.
Years in Philly: 7
Current Home: Brewerytown

Eric-Dolaway-Boxers-Trail-5
(All photos from Urban Blazers)

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in North Philadelphia 3 Comments

Love Note #127: Kelly Cox finds herself at Treehouse Books whenever she is short on books, friendly faces, or inspiration

Kelly Cox
Favorite Spot: Tree House Books
Neighborhood: North Central Philadelphia
Address: 1430 W. Susquehanna Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19121

I am: a recent Arcadia University graduate, freelance writer, and Philadelphia bookstore enthusiast.
Years Spent in Philly: A native of the Philadelphia area (North of the city in Montgomery County), 4 years in Glenside.
Current Home: North Philadelphia in spirit, Montgomery County in body.

Kelly-Cox-Treehouse-Books-10

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Love Note #44: Chip Chantry explains why you should put down your golf clubs and head straight to the disc golf course in Fairmount Park

Chip Chantry
Favorite Spot: Hole #13, Sedgley Woods Disc Golf Course
Neighborhood: Fairmount Park
Address: Reservoir Drive (33rd and Oxford Streets) Philadelphia, PA 19121


I am: A comedian/writer. If I could have dinner with any three people, it would be Hall, Oates, and an empty seat in case Oates wanted to bring somebody with him.
Years in Philly: 5 years in the city, the formative years in the burbs.
Current home: Fairmount



My love note: Why people play regular golf is beyond me. It’s expensive, boring, you have to dress
like you work at Vanguard, and you get sunburnt. But disc golf, especially at Sedgley, is a chance to play in the woods. Built in 1977, it’s one of the nation’s oldest functioning disc golf courses. I’m sure a lot of people don’t know about it, or could find it for that matter. That’s the beauty of it. You’re playing in the city, but you would never know it. You’re surrounded by nature, which is surrounded by a city, which is surrounded by a delicious candy-coating.


Hole #13 is my favorite because it’s deep in the woods. The tee and the hole are on opposite sides of a wooded valley, so your first throw is kind of a leap of faith- you just toss it, and hope it makes it to the other side. If it doesn’t, then you have to go for a bit more of a hike to find it. Which really isn’t bad thing, is it? It sure beats being on a regular golf course, in a foursome with your boss, a sleazy client, and some prick from sales who won’t shut up about how his dad met Jack Nichlaus in a men’s room once.

(My note: Go see Chip do his thing at Helium Comedy Club this coming Wed-Sat (15th-18th) and follow him @chipchantry)
Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in North Philadelphia 1 Comment

Love Note #12: Strawberry Mansion Bridge and Trail

Ryan Callahan
Favorite spot: Strawberry Mansion Bridge to Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park
Neighborhood: Fairmount Park
Address: No address

I am: a runner, a plane nerd, and online marketing manager at Philadelphia Runner
Years in Philly: 2
Current Home:  Fairmount

My love note:  My favorite spot in Philadelphia is this inconspicuous trail just west of the Strawberry Mansion Bridge. There is no better way for me to unwind after a long day than with an evening run, right before sunset, over the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and into the woods of Fairmount Park. As you go further down the trail the car noise subsides and you can forget that you are surrounded by the sixth largest city in the country on all sides. It’s a surreal experience that is unmatched by any other urban park in the country. To me, it’s a hidden gem in a city with many of them.

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