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

Old City

Love Note #145: Tenaya Darlington’s love note to Wedge and Fig’s secret passage

Tenaya Darlington
Favorite Spot: The café garden behind Wedge & Fig
Neighborhood: Old City
Address: 160 N. 3rd Street

I am: Cheese blogger (a.k.a. Madame Fromage)
Years in Philly: 8 years, prior to that: Madison, Wisconsin
Current Home: Fishtown

Tenaya-Darlington-Wedge-and-Fig-5

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Old City 1 Comment

Love Note #141: Steve Weinik looks back on Independence Hall stoop sitting

Steve Weinik
Favorite Spot: On the stoop at Independence Hall
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 6th and Chestnut

I am: A photographer and writer from Northwest Philadelphia. I am currently the Staff Photographer for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
Years in Philly: Whole life
Current Home: East Mt. Airy

Steve-Weinik-Independence-Hall-1
(photo by Steve Weinik)

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

Love Note #114: Whenever Lindsay Lehault returns to Philly, she finds herself strolling through Lawrence Court Walk in Society Hill

Lindsay Lehault (ex-pat files)
Favorite Spot: Lawrence Court Walk and surrounding streets
Neighborhood: Society Hill
Address: Pine and Delancey Streets between 3rd and 5th

I am: I lived in Philly from second grade up until I went away to college. Then I lived in Brooklyn for twelve years and now we live in the lovely Garden State. We make frequent trips back home to visit the city and all my friends and family that still live there.
Years in Philly: 12 years as a resident and another 12 years of regular visits
Current Home: Cranford, New Jersey

Lindsay-Lehault-small-streets-4
(all photos by Lindsay)

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Old City Leave a comment

Love Note #110: It starts with the stairs of the Tin Angel for Tammy Paolino

Tammy Paolino
Favorite Spot: Tin Angel
Neighborhood: Old City
Address: 2nd floor (above Serrano), 20 South 2nd Street, 19106

I am: A South Jersey features editor at the Courier-Post, food blogger and music lover.
Years in Philly: 8 in SJ, been coming to Philly from Central Jersey my whole life.
Current Home: Collingswood 

Tammy-Paolino-Tin-Angel-2
Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Old City Leave a comment

Love Note #107: Lily Cope’s poem to Third Street Habit in Old City

Lily Cope
Favorite Spot: Third Street Habit
Neighborhood: Old City
Address: 153 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

I am: Executive Director of COOK; Lover of food, Stevie(s) Nicks and Wonder, and mid-century modern design.
Years in Philly: Ages 0-18 and 26-33
Current Home: Rittenhouse Square

Lily-Cope-Third-St-Habit-8
Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Old City 1 Comment

Love Note #71: Alex Hillman’s love? Karaoke at National Mechanics in Old City

Alex Hillman
Favorite Spot: Karaoke Tuesdays at National Mechanics
Neighborhood: Old City
Address: 22 S 3rd St

I am: I’m a software developer by trade but a people lover by profession. I created Indy Hall, a coworking community and space, because I wanted to spend more time with awesome, creative, smart, interesting people. Now I work with people and companies around the world to help them do the same for themselves.
Years in Philly: A decade ago I moved to Philly. 5 years ago I tried to leave. Today, nobody’s quite sure how to get rid of me.
Current Home: Queen Village

My love note:

Dear National Mechanics Karaoke Night:

It’s hard to believe that there was a time in my life when I didn’t love karaoke, but you’ve played a huge part in cementing Karaoke into my favorite pastimes.

Other karaoke bars just didn’t get it quite right. Private rooms were never my speed, and every other “open mic” karaoke crowd just didn’t feel like they wanted me as much as I wanted them. You had everything I wanted – a wonderful, cozy and familiar room. Great drinks & food, and staff I’ve come to call my friends. You have a quality list of songs to sing. You have a quirky KJ (and you’ve had a few since we’ve met). 


But most importantly, you were filled with a great bunch of people who loved to share a performance with the room. The regulars are colorful in their selections, consistent in their applause and support. I’ve spent time with other karaoke bars around the world but you – you’re the one for me. Thanks for being you.

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Old City 1 Comment

Love Note #66: "Then one day I ran the bridge" (Dan McQuade, Ben Franklin Bridge)

Dan McQuade
Favorite Spot: Ben Franklin Bridge walkway

Neighborhood: Old City-Delaware River-Camden
Address: Bridge is between Race and Vine from N. 5th Street to the river, with pedestrian walkway entrances at New (north) and Florist (south).


I am: I write things, usually for money. I have a blog and a Twitter.
Years in Philly: Native (I’m 29)
Current Home: Center City

My love note:

12 years and about 50 pounds ago, I was a pretty decent runner.

My times were never great — I won a few cross country dual meets, I never got hurt — but I was hardcore. By senior year of high school I savored every minute of every run. I loved running in the woods in Philadelphia and Bucks County, on streets near the Northeast Airport and on tracks all over. Unfortunately, running competitively for 10 or so years killed my spirit. I fell out of it in college. I found new interests. I dropped my favorite hobby for reasons I still don’t understand.

A few years ago I got fired, got dumped and, most importantly, saw an incredibly unflattering photo of myself. I’m pretty vain, so it wasn’t hard to get back into running. But even though I was running every day, I never found that perfect place to run. I don’t own a car (so no Belmont Plateau) and I live east of Broad (so the Schuylkill River trail is a bit far, too). I thought I’d be running big loops around South Philly streets forever.

Then one day I ran the bridge.

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge is gorgeous, but I never realized how great it is until running over it. It opened on July 1, 1926 to rave reviews as the Delaware River Bridge; the chief engineer, Polish-born American bridge maven Ralph Modjeski, was born exactly 122 years before me. The view of the skyline from the middle of the bridge is the best in the city, but the scenery from the bridge is great, too: The backsides of buildings, a baseball stadium and nicer-than-you-think Rutgers-Camden campus in New Jersey.

I’ve been running the bridge almost every day this summer. I dread it a little every day; my shins do even more. I only have to go through Washington Square, past Independence Hall and down Fifth Street to get there, but some days I step onto the walkway and already feel defeated. It’s steep. The first incline on the Philadelphia side goes up forever. Unlike running on streets, though, there’s no opportunity to slack. It’s a straight shot to the top, no stopping. And, yes, the runner’s high from going up and down and up and down is unmatched.

The Ben Franklin Bridge is this city: Beautiful and formidable, underrated and unmatched. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s really nice out today and I’m headed out.

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Delaware River, Old City 9 Comments

Love Note #60: Philadelphia could learn a thing or two from the ice cream at Franklin Fountain in Old City (Sean Blanda)

Sean Blanda

Favorite Spot: Franklin Fountain
Neighborhood: Old City
Address: 116 Market St.


I am: Co-founder of Technically Philly, now looking for the next big thing. (**Found**)
Years in Philly: 8 with a few breaks in Jersey.
Current Home: East Passyunk

My love note:


I’ve never seen an advertisement for The Franklin Fountain. As best I can tell, there’s never been a GroupOn or frenzied radio promotion for the humble ice cream shop that is on the precipice of Market Street’s slide into the city’s waterfront clusterfuck.

There are two things I like about Philadelphia: it’s real and its delicious. Franklin Fountain? Real. Delicious.

Owned by the Berley Brothers, the siblings keep Franklin Fountain true to a old time-y soda and sweets store. Electricity is scant, everything is hand-made and the handlebar mustaches are without irony. Mostly. While modern dessert places slap some sprinkles or M&M’s on bland custard and call it a day, Franklin Fountain creates sundaes that are masterpieces of gluttony and engineering. I dare you to tackle the “Mt. Vesuvius” by yourself.

While the sundaes carry the day for ten months a year, the Berley Brothers’ masterpiece is the pumpkin flavored ice cream in the Fall. And in the Winter, the long lines shrink allowing ample time to sample the Fountain’s ever-rotating stable of flavors.

As Philadelphians, we struggle balancing our past with our potential. We can birth democracies and become the world’s workshop but I’m still using tokens when I travel on the subway.
Franklin Fountain, on the other hand, just goes for the nostalgia without apology. Its dedication to our past makes it the most interesting and innovative ice cream shop in the country. By embracing the old, it creates something new.

Philadelphia could learn a thing or two from ice cream.

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Old City 1 Comment

Love Note #53: From Tara Nurin — Go to Positano Coast, get the far corner table on the outdoor terrace bar, and relax in the Mediterranean atmosphere

Tara Nurin
Favorite Spot: The far corner table overlooking the street below at Sopra Lounge, Positano Coast’s outdoor terrace bar.

Neighborhood: Society Hill
Address: 212 Walnut St {Second Floor} 

I am: A former TV reporter and current freelance journalist who specializes in craft beer/dining and destination coverage for national and regional print, video and radio outlets. I’ve spent my adult life living all over the world for no more than two years at a time until a job brought me to the Philly area. I’ve never left.
Years in Philly: 9
Current Home: Camden Waterfront
My love note: An accidental encounter first introduced me to you; then a second, then a third. After that, I began seeking you out, pouting when I couldn’t approach you. I luxuriate in your 360 views — to the right, a gauzy, breeze-blown curtain that modestly obscures the old-fashioned street; to the left, a discrete bar for those who wish not to participate in the buzz of the main lounge; straight ahead, beautiful people, beautiful seascapes of the brilliant hues of the Mediterranean, beautiful furnishings in virginal white leather, deep sea azur, blood-pumping rose and tree-ripened lemon; and behind me, the freedom of Philadelphia’s open air. You offer me the sophisticated and languous setting for pleasant chatter, martini glasses bearing fresh, organic ambrosias, and dapper plates overflowing with grilled octopus, artichokes, imported oils, lemon zest and rosemary pesto. You give me gifts that are unmatched by other suitors for my affection, and in return, though I cannot give you my loyalty, I do promise you my devotion.

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Old City Leave a comment

Love Note #45: Want to impress someone with a beautiful walking tour? Check out Ashley Hahn’s walking tour of Ed Bacon’s Greenways in Society Hill

Ashley Hahn
Favorite Spot: Ed Bacon’s Greenways
Neighborhood: Society Hill
Address: St. Joseph’s Way, St. Peter’s Way, and Lawrence Court, between Locust and Pine, 3rd and 5th Streets

I am: a planner, preservationist, writer, maker, grower, and beagle enthusiast.

Years in Philly: On and off since 2005. Happily on again since 2011.
Current Home: Bella Vista
My love note: As a rule, I don’t have a lot of love for modernist, urban-renewal era projects but Ed Bacon’s greenways are an exception. Under Bacon’s leadership at the Planning Commission, Society Hill was partly razed and partly preserved using federal urban renewal funds. Today the greenways Bacon designed in Society Hill show off both sides of this history in spades, as 1960s modernism abuts Federal-era rowhouses. 
 
For me, a walk down Bacon’s paths is like a meditation. It’s a quiet experience of heightened sensory awareness. I tune in to appreciate the light, the birds, the textures, or the happenings in someone’s yard. I go out of my way to route myself through the greenways day and night.
 
A Walk: Start at 4th and Locust and walk east down St. James Place to I.M. Pei’s mod townhouses surrounding a circular garden. Then turn right (south) to walk down St. Joseph’s Way. There’s a park nook to your left and an historic interior court of houses to the right. Cross Spruce and St. Joseph’s Way becomes St. Peter’s Way. St. Peter’s leads you through another mixed historic and modern block to Three Bears Park (aka Delancey Park), a space designed by John Collins. Three Bears is a leafy mid-block treasure tucked between Cypress and Delancey streets. The park has a small play structure, mature plantings, plenty of benches, and a small sculpture of three bears covered in chalk markings. It’s at once a peaceful and playful space and on weekends it is packed with families. You could continue straight down St. Peter’s Way to Pine Street or hang a right on lovely Delancey. Cross 4th Street and walk down a narrow alley (Lawrence Court Walk) that looks like a dead-end – it isn’t. Keep meandering through Lawrence Court (smelling the roses if they’re in bloom) or turn south onto 4th Street.

Here’s a map to help you out

 

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