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

Powelton Village

Love Note #98: Holly Otterbein on Carnivolution and the Ellen Tiberino Museum

Holly Otterbein
Favorite Spot: Ellen Powell Tiberino Memorial Museum, which is the home of Carnivolution
Neighborhood: Powelton Village
Address: 3819 Hamilton Street

I am: A city government reporter at the Daily News and WHYY, as part of a collaboration between the two media companies
Years in Philly: Almost 6 years
Current home: Southwark

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in West Philly Leave a comment

Love Note #64: Erica Hawthorne watches over the city she loves from Drexel Park in University City

Erica Hawthorne
Favorite Spot: Drexel Park
Neighborhood: University City
Address: Baring and 32nd streets


I am: Poet, artist advocate, chocolate chip cookie connoisseur (or addict…same same), owner of one very spoiled cat and founder of Small But Mighty Arts Grant (thanks to the Knight Foundation!).
Years in Philly: 9 years…and counting.
Current Home: Powelton Village…but I just call it West Philly 🙂
My love note: I fell in love with Philadelphia before I even moved to Philadelphia. When I arrived, I had a bit of culture shock! But it grew on me…the neighborhoods, the restaurants, the friends I’ve made (who have awesome house parties), getting lost EVERYWHERE, every creative, artistic venue, event, person and moment I experience, and the skyline that peeks out every time I crest a hill in surrounding neighborhoods.

This park used to be a graveled inaccessible space, the skyline hidden behind fenced tension. Even then, I used to drive by, slow down and strain to see what I knew was a great view, save for all of the barriers. When they began turning over soil I thought the space would end up as a condo haven, but to my surprise, it become this amazing park space. 

Here, the city looks close enough to touch, and I come here to reflect on how far I’ve come since I’ve been here and just how close I have become with the city. The park is a great spot to hang out during the day, although the grass is a bit rough, but isn’t that so Philly?: a bit rough, even more beautiful…and still someplace you want to be. At night, from this place, it’s like watching a rambunctious toddler finally settle down, peaceful and resting. Only a few windowed lids flutter on the building facades, haloed by the stars, the occasional whining of a train pulling into to the station like a familiar blanket, while the Art Museum sits off to the left like a night light. Even at night, you can feel the city still building and renewing and getting ready for another day.

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