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

Giving back this year

[UPDATE: We raised $4725 dollars!!] Now more than ever, I feel a need to give back to my community, so I'll be donating ALL of the profits from map sales from now (4:39PM on November 23) through 11:59PM, November 29. It's an opportunity to buy a holiday gift and give back to some great Philadelphia non-profits (see the Philly Love Notes Etsy shop for more details). Your purchase of a custom Philly map will be a donation to the following organizations: Sunday Breakfast Read more

With all my love

Emma Fried-Cassorla Favorite Spot: Anywhere along the Delaware River Waterfront (but I'm biased) I Am: A Philly lover and resident, Montana lover and former resident, twin, Philly Love Notes, Communications Manager for the Delaware River Waterfront, hiker, climber, traveler, papercutter, iPhone addict, handwritten note taker, Crohn’s patient, scientist, lover of the Race Street Pier and slippers and family Years in Philly: Off and on for 33 (I was 30 when I started!) Current home: A studio loft in Callowhill with my lovely boyfriend Read more

Italian Market

Love Note #297: Guesses for the most sensory overload in Philly?

Stevie Black (ex-pat files)
Favorite Spot: Italian Market, but only by a little.
Neighborhood: South Philly
Address: 9th Street from Washington to Christian

I Am: A surface and textile designer on Boston’s Northshore (presently) who went to art school in Philly.
Years in Philly: 14
Current Home: Swampscott MA

A photo posted by Elias Baldino (@efb727) on

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Love Note #208: An ex-pat’s fond memories of the Italian Market

Brandon Gollotti (ex-pat files)
Favorite Spot: Italian Market
Neighborhood: South Philly
Address: 9th St between Washington and Christian

I Am: Philly native stuck in Brooklyn
Years in Philly: 25
Current Home: Park Slope, Brooklyn

Brandon-Gollotti-Italian-Market-2

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Love Note #163: Michelle Chikaonda finds peacefulness in a beautiful walk along Pine Street

Michelle Chikaonda
Neighborhood: Italian Market, Old City
Favorite Spot: The walk from the Italian Market to Old City, via Pine Street

I am: A writer from many places who somehow keeps coming back to Philly
Years in Philly: Born here; went to college here; moved back two years ago
Current Home: Old City

michelle-chikaonda-Walking-tour-5

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Old City, South Philly 7 Comments

Love Note #132: A romance set in the Italian Market, by Joy Manning

Joy Manning

Favorite spot: 9th Street (Italian Market) 
Neighborhood: Bella Visita
Address: The blocks of Ninth Street between South Street and Reed Street, in my book at least

I Am: Editor at Table Matters who hails from Mayfair but has put down roots for keeps in Passyunk Square

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in South Philly 2 Comments

Love Note #32: See why Brett Mapp loves brunch at Sabrina’s in the Italian Market

Brett Mapp

Favorite Spot: Brunch at Sabrina’s
Neighborhood: Italian Market

Address: 910 Christian Street


I am: One of Leadership Philadelphia’s Emerging Connector’s and also a Creative Connector. My day job is Director of Operations for the Old City District and my night job is Cultural Liaison of Culture Works. I am on the board of Mural ArtsFlashpoint Theater Company and serve on various arts and culture committees. 
Years in Philly: 28
Current Home: Bella Vista 

My love note: Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day but brunch is the most enjoyable. In my mind there is no better place for brunch than Sabrina’s. The specials never change, yet each week they have the most creative pop culture titles one can think of. Please make sure you are hungry because the serving size is more than generous. You can always tell a first timer by the look on their face when the stuffed French Toast arrives at the table. Yes, there can be a long wait on the weekends, but they have a beautiful waiting room and give you a free cup of hot chocolate in the winter


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Love Note #31: Matthew Sherman is like a kid in a candy store at Fante’s in the Italian Market

Matthew Sherman
Favorite Spot: Fante’s Kitchen Shop at the Italian Market
Neighborhood: Italian Market
Address: 1006 South 9th Street


I am: I am a mechanical engineer, with a passion for cooking and I take my kitchen utensils/gadgets very seriously. 
Years in Philly: 5 
Current Home: West Philly

My love note: Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think their collection’s complete? Look at this trove treasures untold how many wonders can one cavern hold? Looking around here you think sure, they’ve got everything. They’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty. They’ve got whozits and whatzits galore. You want thingamabobs? They’ve got twenty!

Alright, had to get that out of my system. Yes I like Disney songs too, but Disney doesn’t sell an 1800 watt stainless steel deep fryer that makes you want to let out a Tim Allen-esque grunt. Fante’s Kitchen Shop really does have everything, even a 3 ft pepper mill, and nothing says manly kitchen time like over sized cookware. I feel like a kid in a toy store when roaming the aisles, jumping from cutlery to cast iron cookware to meat grinders. For those of you who are more of the in-and-out type, the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable, allowing for well informed purchases of all of your cooking and baking needs. The store also has a rich history dating back to 1906, making it a great place to get some local culture.

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in South Philly 2 Comments

Love Note #25: The Spice Corner in the Italian Market brings Alemji Taku back to her roots as a child alchemist

Alemji Taku

Favorite Spot: The Spice Corner
Neighborhood: Italian Market
Address: 904 S 9th St

I am: I am a graduate student with a discerning palate and a taste for tea.
Years in Philly: 6 

Current Home: West Philly

My love note: I love The Spice Corner because it takes me back to a time in my childhood when everything around me seemed exotic. A time when I would sit in the kitchen with my mother pouring random ingredients into a bowl and pretending I was mixing potions. This small shop is packed with jars of fine spices, spice blends, dried fruit, flavored coffee beans and lots and lots of loose tea. I usually go in to replenish my stock of a particular tea but then quickly become mesmerized by the wall of tea and end up leaving with two or three teas that I haven’t tried before. The old-world feel of the shop, and the act of brewing an exotic tea allow me to recapture my days as a child alchemist. 


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Love Note #7: Center City Pretzel Company

Ben Cassorla (ex-pat files)
Favorite Spot: Center City Pretzel Company
Neighborhood: Italian Market
Address: 816 Washington Ave

I am: guitarist, brother 
Years in Philly: solidly on till I was 18, now fleetingly (and usually in the wee hours)
Current home: Los Angeles


My love note: Center City Pretzels is where a piece of my childhood was baked. They’re only open from midnight–noon, the pretzels you buy are literally coming right off the conveyor belt (its a factory) for maximum heat and goodness, and they’re just 35 cents. Perfect for the wee hours of the night or morning.


Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in South Philly 2 Comments