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


Impose’s Philly Report

Editor’s Note: One of my many jobs at the waterfront is to book summer concerts featuring Philly bands. Now that spring has begun (sort of), I’m on a quest again for new music. Dayna Evans, from Impose Magazine put together an awesome list of Philly bands, including interviews with performers, music writers and others. She was kind enough to let me repost it here on Philly Love Notes.

After playing my first real show in Philly in 2010, embarrassed from a poor performance that got worse with each song, I decided to take a long hiatus from playing music. I knew that no one in my new home of New York would mourn my band’s end, so I let the whole thing go.

On subsequent visits to my hometown, I’d run into people asking me when we would play again, if we had any cassettes to sell, what kind of music I was writing, if I wanted to jam. At the time, I had posted only three songs to Myspace, and didn’t promote them anywhere. My response was always dismissive bemusement. “Oh, yeah, that? It’s over now. Kaput.” There was a bullying disapproval that came with these conversations, friends who were gently critical of my giving up on something I cared about, and these conversations were the currency of community, of which Philly’s is astonishingly strong.


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Love Note #153: Jeff Barg writes a love note to Jerry “the Geator” Blavat’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Express

Jeff Barg
Favorite Spot: The Geator’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Express, Saturday nights, 6-7 pm, on ‘XPN
Neighborhood: All over town, but rooted right in Center City
Address: 88.5 FM on your radio dial; check out the Geator Gold storefront at 6th and Market.

I am: Writer, editor, and urban planner.
Years in Philly: 14 (plus another 10 in the burbs, if you count that. Which I don’t.)
Current Home: Grad Hospital.


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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Center City 2 Comments

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

Mann Center

One of the highlights of a Philly summer is the Mann Center summer concert series. $12.50 gets you an amazing orchestral concert, fireworks, and a beautiful lawn on which to picnic your heart out.  

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Love Note #18: If you’re looking for Shannon McDonald, you can find her at Pennypack Park

Shannon McDonald (Part 1 of 3)
Favorite Spot: Pennypack Park
Neighborhood: Winchester Park and Holmesburg
Address: Near Cresco and Welsh Rds.

I am: A journalist from Northeast Philly with an appreciation for all neighborhoods.
Years in Philly: All of ’em
Current Home: Holme Circle


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Love Note #8: Morgan’s Pier

Allison Stadd
Favorite (New) Spot: Morgan’s Pier
Neighborhood: Delaware River Waterfront/Penn’s Landing
Address: 221 N. Columbus Boulevard

I am: the editor of, jazz drummer, word nerd, granola addict
Years in Philly: 7
Current home: Midtown Village

My love note: Morgan’s Pier is the perfect new summer bar in Philadelphia. The setting is perfect with the fresh river breeze and view of the soaring Ben Franklin Bridge, far enough from the hustle of the city to feel like you’re on a mini vacation; the setup is perfect with casual picnic benches and umbrellas on a boardwalk-like deck; the drinks are perfect, with a huge local craft beer list and really tasty cocktails made from scratch; the food is beyond perfect, from pro David Katz of Meme – who else would dream up “snack bacon,” caramelized bacon you chew on like jerky? One of my favorite things about Philly is that it’s a city of neighborhoods, and each feels so different. Morgan’s Pier turns Penn’s Landing into a neighborhood unto itself, one that I kind of never want to leave…

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Delaware River 2 Comments