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

Ignite Philly

Confronting my fears at Ignite 12

The other week, I did something that totally terrified me. And by terrified, I mean the last time I tried to do it I ended up crying in a bathroom stall and not coming out till it was over. What was it? Giving a public presentation. When the guys behind Ignite Philly asked me to speak at Ignite 12, I only accepted because I had one drink too many at an inspiring Ignite 11. I was roped in, and anyway, there’s no better way of getting over a fear than confronting it head on — in front of 300 semi-drunk Philadelphians. Luckily I was talking about a subject I’m passionate about.

I gave a lightning five-minute talk about Philly Love Notes and the lessons learned from doing it. And they are as follows…

1. Do something that terrifies you (Ignite)
2. Be surprised (Beryl Belcher and Alison Dell)
3. Be open to new experiences (David Goodman and Holly Otterbein)
4. Appreciate your surroundings (Leah Kaufmann and Nathaniel Popkin)
5. Listen (Susanne Johnson and Emma Sicalowski)
6. Enjoy other people’s excitement (Matthew Sherman and Ralph Onesti)
7. Find your community (Timothy McKenna and Rudy Flesher)
8. Find someone who makes you laugh (Andrew-Lansie and Leigh-Aaron)
9. Find quiet (Zach Subar and Phil Jablon)
10. Learn someone’s history (Colleen Davis and Tom Petersen)
11. Document your own loves (Gate Lane and the Race Street Pier)
12. Take your friends out (Nick Goldberg and Dan Ueda)
12. Go out of your way (Jill Sybesma and Joel Mathis)
13. Eat liberally (Philly Phoodie and Polly Math)
14. Drink even more liberally (Tara Nurin, Nikki Volpicelli, Molly Eichel, Swabreen Bakr, Isabelle Heyward)
15. Fall in love (Shannon McDonald and Michelle Feldman)
16. Find your own spot (and if you do, submit a love note)

If you’re interested, the audio of my talk and all the others can be found on the Newsworks website.

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Ignite Philly 10

If you want to be inspired by a young generation of Philadelphians, and then hang out and get drunk with them, go to Ignite Philly. It’s a series of short five minute presentations from a wide range of impassioned people, who basically show you how much cooler they are than you. Technically Philly did a great write up on the event, but I’m adding a bit…

Data Garden — The marriage of music, tech and plants. They are having an event on October 14th that looks like the coolest thing happening all fall. As they explain it, “participants will have the opportunity to wander Bartram’s Garden and connect with their natural environment through live music, performance and sculpture that blurs the distinction between biological and digital worlds.” I plan on dragging anyone I can get my hands on out to the gardens.

Philadelphia Opera Company — Watching their Macy’s Hallelueigh Chorus flash mob gives me the chills. Not sure why, but I love that they do these Random Acts of Culture here in the city. Supposedly you can get the inside scoop on the next one if you follow them on twitter.

RAIR Philly (Recycled Artist-In-Residency) — Salvage, art, sustainability all at a construction and demolition recycling facility. Those of you who know me in my real life know that I love this kind of stuff. And, they’ve come up with the phrase of the year — the Biggie Shorty.

And of course, Albert Lee, who loves Philly even more than I do. Luckily he’s open to sharing her with all of us.
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