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

Ave of the Arts North

Love Note #39: Quizmaster Johnny Goodtimes’ favorite spot? The Divine Lorraine, a place in need of much love

Johnny Goodtimes
Favorite Spot: The Divine Lorraine.
Neighborhood: Ave of the Arts North
Address: 699 North Broad

I am: Quizmaster, writer, and Philly’s foremost man of leisure. 
Years in Philly: I’ve been here just over 10 years.
Current Home: I live in the G-Ho area

My love note: My pick is hardly unique, but there is something about the Divine Lorraine that just draws me to it. Anytime I am ever north of City Hall, I make it a point to drive by the Divine Lorraine. There is no building in Philadelphia that I enjoy looking at more. Yeah, I’d like to see it refurbished, but I also really love the way it looks now. It’s such a spectacular building that the graffiti and boarded up windows don’t make it look trashy. They just give it more character, just add another chapter to the building’s enigmatic life instead of signaling ruin. Its history is so fascinating too. Divine Lorraine architect Willis G. Hale was the toast of the town in the 1880s, but by his death in 1907 he was discredited and financially destroyed. The building itself underwent an remarkable transformation from a luxury hotel to the first racially integrated hotel in the city run by one of the most eccentric men to ever call Philly home, the Reverend Major Jealous Divine. I don’t believe in ghosts, but I believe that places give off the energy of their history, and the Lorraine all but glows with it. Furthermore, I love how she is so imposing when you come up on her from Fairmount, just looms over you like Castle Greyskull. I’ll be honest, just writing about it makes me want to drive up North Broad this afternoon.

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Fairmount 1 Comment