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


Loving SEPTA’s Underground Concourse

No love note today, just some photos of SEPTA’s amazing tunnel system spanning from 8th street to 18th.

Underground-Concourse-2 Read more

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

I’m a sucker for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Flower Show

My dad and I have one annual tradition – the PHS flower show. We’ve gone for enough years now that we have our routine down: I get there early to look at all of the booths selling flowers and the juried submissions, my dad joins me and we oooh and aaah at the over-the-top-installations, we get our picture taken in front of the most elaborate feature, and then we get some food and sit in the old train shed. It is always a lovely (and delightfully smelling) night.

PHS-Flower-Show-7 Read more

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

Steve Grantz writes a love letter to a Philly-based past time, the Pimple Ball

Editors Note: This love note strays a bit from the norm. It is not an ode to a place or an event, but rather to a Philly-specific  . The pimple ball was popular in two cities — Philadelphia and Boston. The writer grew up in S. Philly, went to Central High School and UPENN, and has since moved on to Baltimore. Rather than choosing a particular place, he wrote this love letter to his childhood game.    

Steve Grantz (Ex-pat files)
I Am: A Philly native living in Baltimore, which has similarities, but plenty of differences.
Current Home: Baltimore (Roland Park)
Years in Philly: Ages 0-21

(photo from Collectors Weekly)

Read more

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Uncategorized 33 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

#whyilovephilly Twitter Campaign

Philly Love Notes is putting together a #whyilovephilly Twitter campaign for
Valentines Day, and we want your help!


The mission is simple: To show Philly some love and to get #whyilovephilly trending on Valentines Day.

How you can participate: On Valentines Day, tweet about why you love philly, using #whyilovephilly. Ask your followers to do the same. Retweet some of your favorite responses. It’s that simple.

Who else is involved: We’ve got a bunch of organizations all ready to spread the word. They include, but are not limited to, NewsWorks, the Academy of Natural Science, Geekadelphia, Hidden Cities, Campus Philly, JUMP Magazine, the Tin Angel, Old City District and many, many more.
#whyilovephilly Twitter Feed

 (we want Twitter to look like this all day)

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Uncategorized 1 Comment

Aaron Hertzog’s Love Letter to Philadelphia Comedy from WitOut

Editors Note: This piece was originally published on WitOut, a blog run by a group of comedians that covers the burgeoning and lively comedy scene in Philadelphia. You can follow WitOut on their website, on Facebook and Twitter


Dear Philadelphia Comedy,

All of it. Every open mic that lasted for two weeks in a bar I’d never want to step foot in unless they let me talk at half-listening strangers. Every fire hall gig in the middle of nowhere booked by a gravelly disembodied voice on the phone with a promise of pay I wasn’t sure I’d really receive. Every awkward improv scene where I wasn’t sure what to do so I just got louder, repeated what I’d already been saying, and tried to be a bigger, sillier, goofier fool. Every line of every sketch where I’ve agonized over details that don’t even matter, like the full first and last name of a character whose name is never even said.

Read more

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Special: Philly Love Notes goes on the Radio with WXPN

  Kelly Writers House logo

Guess what readers! Philly Love Notes is going on air with Kelly Writers House and 88.5 WXPN 
Come join us and our host, Michaela Majoun, as we tape our hour-long broadcast to be aired on Feb. 4th at 8pm.
Come join us and our host, Michaela Majoun, as we tape our hour-long broadcast to be aired on Feb. 4th at 8pm.


Edith Mulhern (Woodlands Cemetery)
Katie Sweeney (Kelly Drive)
Andrew Thompson (Farm 51)
John Paul Titlow (Little Pete’s)
and me (reading a piece by Emma Eisenberg)

The program will also consist of students from Tree House Books and will star musical guest Gretchen Lohse.


Monday, January 28, at 7:00 PM in the Arts Café
Kelly Writers House | 3805 Locust Walk
No registration required – this event is free & open to the public


WXPN logoLIVE AT THE WRITERS HOUSE is a long-standing collaboration between the Kelly Writers House and WXPN FM (88.5). Six times annually between September and April, Michaela Majoun hosts a one-hour broadcast of poetry, music, and other spoken-word art, along with one musical guest, all from our Arts Cafe onto the airwaves at WXPN. For more information, contact Producer Alli Katz (


Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Uncategorized 1 Comment

Philly Love Notes on Talkadelphia


Kishwer Vikaas and Gino Barrica are the geniuses behind the Philly-centric podcast called Talkadelphia. Inspired by Terry Gross’ Fresh Air, they’ve set out to talk to every single Philadelphian that fascinates them. Their podcast provides insight into the lives and projects of people like IshKnits, Eric Smith and Tim Quirino, Leah Kaufmann, and Tim Whitaker. Their classic episode features Mayor Nutter with a surprising and lovely twist at the end (I will not spoil it, just listen).

Kishwer and Gino were kind enough to invite me onto the show to talk about the Philly Love Notes project. For those readers who don’t know, people send me love notes written to their favorite place in the city. We then meet, chat, and take a few pics. Most of these meetings are pseudo-interviews, or my attempt to learn about all the fascinating Philadelphians. I rarely have the chance to talk, at length, about the project. It was enlightening to prepare for the interview and realize just how much I’ve accomplished since the site started in the spring. So thanks Talkadelphia (aka Kishwer and Gino)!

You can listen to all of the Talkadelphia episodes on their website or through iTunes. You can also follow them on Twitter or Facebook 
Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Uncategorized 2 Comments

FDR Park Boathouse

FDR park is an underused gem in the city. I mean, look at how beautiful this is. Who would know that it existed right across the street from the stadiums?
Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in South Philly Leave a comment

SuperPlus Eats Philly “One Year of Being in Philly”

Superplus Eats Philly is a Philly-based food blog run by Tom and Holly. It’s got a lot of great recipes for seasonal, local cooking, and foodie related events around the city. They also wrote a one-year anniversary post, which, as you may have already guessed, shows their love for their new city.


But enough of that. This is a food blog!

As I mentioned, when I lived in Philly before, I lived in the Northeast section, which is about 10 miles from where we are now. When I did come into the city, I normally stayed more in the Center City area because of its proximity to the train home. I tried the best I could to avoid driving into the city.

Where we live now is in the Graduate Hospital (aka G-Ho) area, south and a bit west of Center City. It’s not an area I was all that familiar with before, so it has been a fun adventure exploring all the restaurants in the area. This part of town is really up-and-coming and new places are popping up all over the place.

Before I secured the apartment, I came by after work to check out the neighborhood. I hung out for a while at Pub & Kitchen which is a block away from our building. When I lived in Vegas (technically in Henderson, NV which abuts Vegas), I lived in a restaurant and bar dead zone. There was only one bar in walking distance and it was terrible, so I was beside myself at the thought of living so close to a pub with an excellent beer list and great food. It can get a little crowded and loud at night, but it’s become a nice spot for us for early dinners or afternoon drinks. It was the first place we went to when we needed a break on move in day.

On a subsequent visit to the neighborhood, I checked out Jet Wine Bar a few blocks away and instantly fell in love. Holly and I had some favorite wine places back west, and I loved the idea of having an excellent wine bar in walking distance. Again, coming from a place with zilch in walking distance, having anything decent nearby gave me a thrill. Jet tends toward unusual and adventurous wines and the list changes pretty frequently. It is unarguably one of our go-to spots.

I mentioned a couple of times how happy I was to find good places within walking distance. This is important because Holly and I decided to embrace our urban lifestyle and forego having cars. I think I can say it has been a rousing success. I always found having a car stressful, and given our eatin’ and drinkin’ lifestyle, it’s nice to be able to enjoy ourselves and not have to deal with driving.

So it’s been an exciting year of learning all about our neighborhood, and we couldn’t be happier with it. Onward to part 2!

To see the rest of this post and Part 2, and to read more about eating locally in Philly, check out their blog.

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Uncategorized Leave a comment