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

Northern Liberties

Love Note #271: Do you know the only park in Philadelphia owned and operated by the neighborhood?

Kenny Grono
Favorite Spot: Liberty Lands
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties
Address: 926 N American St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

I Am: Owner of a small remodeling company who lives in Northern Liberties with my wife, daughter, dog and two cats.
Years in Philly: 15
Current Home: Northern Liberties

A photo posted by Max Grudzinski (@maxgrudz) on

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Northern Liberties Leave a comment

Love Note #140: Suzy Woods, aka Beer Lass, raises her pint glass at Standard Tap and Johnny Brendas

Suzy Woods

Favorite Spot: The Bars of William Reed and Paul Kimport (Standard Tap and Johnny Brendas)
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties/Fishtown
Address: 901 N. 2nd St. (ST) 1201 Frankford Ave (JB)

I am: Mid-Atlantic Market Manager for Allagash Brewing Co., founder of In Pursuit of Ale, a lady-centric beer club established in 2006 and the lass behind the beer blog,
Years in Philly: 11 years
Current Home: Italian Market/Bella Vista
Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Fishtown / Kensington Leave a comment

Love Note #135: Colleen Davis discovers a log cabin in Northern Liberties

Colleen Davis
Favorite Spot: North Lawrence Street in Northern Liberties
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties
 1100 North Lawrence to 876 N. Lawrence

I am: I’m a freelance writer splitting life between the stoops of Northern Liberties and the Pocono woods, author of Between the Pond and the Woods, a website for caregivers
Years in Philly: 30 years
Current Home:
 Northern Liberties


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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Northern Liberties 4 Comments

Love Note #84: DJ Suga Shay got her start at PYT in Northern Liberties

DJ Suga Shay (Shaina Robinson)
Favorite Spot: PYT
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties

Address: 1050 N. Hancock St.

I am: Local DJ and vegetarian foodie
Years in Philly: born and raised

My love note: PYT has many different interpretations – Pay Your Tab, Pick Your Toppings, and yes, Pretty Young Thing – and means many different things to me. Tommy Up, a close friend of mine and PYT’s owner, has had a huge hand in my success. I had my first formal DJ lesson in the infamous Backroom, my first weekly residency in the tent, and my first party, Brass Knuckles, at the front bar. PYT is home to America’s Craziest Burgers and it’s eccentric staff reflects that envelope pushing, colorful business model. They make me feel like I’m always welcome. I can walk in at any time, any day — even just to stop by and sit outside for a while — and it’s like I never left.

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Love Note #50: Liberty Lands in Northern Liberties — A neighborhood park as is it truly ought to be by Brent Luvaas

Brent Luvaas
Favorite Spot: Liberty Lands
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties
Address: 926 N. American Street

I am: Visual and cultural anthropologist, Assistant Professor at Drexel University, and the blogger behind
Years in Philly: Three
Current Neighborhood: The slums of the Main Line

My love note: A neighborhood park as is it truly ought to be: overgrown, untamed, and teeming with life. Sure the grass is uncared for and turns dead brown in the summer, but it still feels alive, with a giant fine art mural as a backdrop, a large community garden, a stage, and two decently–sized playgrounds where my daughter spent nearly every afternoon for the year and a half we lived in Northern Liberties. Plus — and here’s the icing on the cake ­— Liberty Lands is a community owned park, not a city park, which means no one’s going to stop you if you swig a few beers on the park bench while watching your kid pile bark on the blue plastic slide.

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Love Note #36: Philly Phoodie’s favorite sandwich spot — Paesano’s in Northern Liberties

Thadeus S.

Favorite Spot: Paesano’s (Girard location).
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties.
Address: 152 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia

I am: A grad student, the Philly Phoodie, and lover of all things Philadelphia. Yes, even the bad stuff. 
Years in Philly: Raised in the suburbs, spent 6 years out West, been back in the city for 7 years. 
Current Home: Old Kensington.

My love note: As a connoisseur of meat and cheese on bread, I have eaten many, many sandwiches in my day. I have often stated with no trepidation that Philadelphia is the sandwich capital of the United States. That being said, I think we can all agree that the United States is the sandwich capital of the world, and therefore, one would conclude that Philadelphia has the best sandwiches in the world.

Now, here’s another statement of truth: Paesano’s has the best sandwiches in Philadelphia. You do the math.

A steady stable of carefully scripted ingredients coupled with the love your Italian grandmother would put into preparing Sunday dinner makes this place my favorite around. The employees are always ready to entertain, and extremely helpful if you need a recommendation, although you honestly can’t go wrong. Sandwiches run the gamut, from the Tuna Italiano, boasting Italian-style tuna salad, green olives, herb cheddar spread, hard cooked egg, roasted tomatoes, pepperoncini, arugula, and crushed up potato chips sprinkled throughout; to the namesake Paesano, with supple brisket, horseradish mayo, roasted tomatoes, pepperoncini, sharp prov, and a fried egg.

Oh, and don’t forget, while they don’t have a cheesesteak, they also make what is undoubtedly one of the best Italian hoagies in the city – the Daddy Wad.

Philadelphia may have my heart, but Paesano’s has my stomach. Thanks for the love handles, friends. 

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Northern Liberties 3 Comments

Love Note #22: Baseball Diamond at 8th and Poplar

George Miller

Favorite Spot: Baseball diamond at 8th and Poplar
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties

Address: 8th and Poplar

I am: a journalist, photographer, dog-walker, knuckleballer and professor.
Years in Philly: 18
Current Home: Northern Liberties

My love note: Every Saturday, as long as it isn’t raining or freezing, I play baseball at 8th and Poplar with a bunch of random people (mostly artists, musicians and other creative folks). We drink, barbecue hot dogs, listen to music and make fun of each other. We hang all day, and the time flies. Center City’s skyline looms in the distance beyond home plate. When the sun sets, the view is stunning. During the week, my dog Mookie and I visit the park and play frisbee. 

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