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


Love Note #284: What could divert someone from the Mummers Parade?

Dana Schmidt
Favorite Spot: Dirty Franks
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 347 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

I Am: A writer, a reader, a runner and eater – who can be found at WHYY most weekdays
Years in Philly: 18 in the ‘burbs, 2 in Center City
Current Home: Washington Square West

A photo posted by Rambo Dog (@rambo_gone_wild) on

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

Love Note #280: Beer and pretzels as big as your head

Michaele-Lynne Jacot
Favorite Spot: Frankford Hall
Neighborhood: Fishtown
Address: 1210 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

I Am: Living in Rochester, but missing my favorite City!
Years in Philly: 3
Current Home: Rochester, NY

A photo posted by Margie (@margie228) on

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Fishtown / Kensington Leave a comment

Love Note #279: An ode to Philly’s piano bars

Clint Randall
Favorite Spot: Sunday evening at 1 Tippling Place
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 2006 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

I Am: A product of a Fitler Square childhood, former city employee, occasional tour guide, avid coffee drinker, and karaoke fiend.
Years in Philly: About 24 of the nearly 31 I’ve lived so far
Current Home: Fishtown

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

Love Note #268: The pilgrimage to West Philly

Joanna Leigh Simon
Favorite Spot: Dahlak
Neighborhood: West Philly
Address: 4708 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143

I Am: Creative director for Philly-based video production company Skout Media. Grew up just outside Philly, then left for a whole, and now I’m back!
Years in Philly: 10 years growing up outside the city, 5 years living downtown
Current Home: Fishtown

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in West Philly Leave a comment

Love Note #160: According to Thomas Faust, Quizzo is one of Philly’s greatest contributions

Thomas Faust (ex-pat files)
Favorite Spot for Quizzo: New Wave Cafe
Neighborhood: Queen Village
Address: 3rd and Catherine

I am: An architect/urban designer who loves the last 20 minutes of the 1995 movie Felony. Look it up and then thank me.
Years in Philly: 3
Current home: Physically, I live in New York City. Mentally, in Philly.


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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Queen Village / Bella Vista 19 Comments

When love notes work

Last week I posted a great poem by Linda Huss to Grace Tavern bartender Rees. I’m never sure if the Philly Love Notes reach their intended target, but I’m happy to report that this one did.

So please keep writing about your love for Philadelphia and I’ll keep posting.


Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Graduate Hospital Leave a comment

Love Note #154: Linda Huss’ Ode to a Philly Guy

Linda Huss
Favorite Spot: Across the bar from Philly’s best ’tender
Neighborhood: Graduate Hospital
Address: 2229 Grays Ferry Avenue

I am: I’m a Downingtown-bred, Penn State-educated, and Philly-loving word nerd who works for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation—known to you and yours as Visit Philly. Also, I’m the occasional writer of those other Philly love letters.
Years in Philly: 1 in Manayunk (don’t we all?) and 5 in Center City.
Current Home: Fitler Square or Graduate Hospital, depending who you ask.


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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Graduate Hospital 11 Comments

Love Note #138: Nikki Volpicelli, on meeting her future ex-husband at the El Bar

Nikki Volpicelli
Favorite Spot: The El Bar – KFN block
Neighborhood: Fishtown, USA
Address: 1356 North Front Street,

I am: Nikki Volpicelli, Editor of the Philly Music Showcase, freelance music writer, night timer
Years in Philly: 6+
Current Home: Fishtown

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Fishtown / Kensington 3 Comments

Love Note #137: Pasqually’s, where Laura Boyce and friends go to unwind after a long week of teaching

Laura Boyce
Favorite Spot: Pasqually’s
Neighborhood: West Philly
Address: 200 S. 43rd St. (43rd & Walnut)

I am: A high school English teacher, originally from North Carolina, with a love of cities, the outdoors, and music
Years in Philly: going on 6
Current Home: Graduate Hospital

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in West Philly 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 

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