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

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

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Love Note #282: The best is at the end of the sacred steps

Jordan Price
Favorite Philly Spot: Underdogs
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 132 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

I Am: Delco-raised, a recently graduated Quaker, and a SEPTA-sponsored Philly explorer
Years in Philly: 2
Current Home: Fitler Square

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Center City Leave a comment

Love Note #268: The pilgrimage to West Philly

Joanna Leigh Simon
Favorite Spot: Dahlak
Neighborhood: West Philly
Address: 4708 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143

I Am: Creative director for Philly-based video production company Skout Media. Grew up just outside Philly, then left for a whole, and now I’m back!
Years in Philly: 10 years growing up outside the city, 5 years living downtown
Current Home: Fishtown

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

Love Note #260: 12:32AM … another shitty love note

Christian Monroe
Favorite Spot: Broad Street Diner
Neighborhood: South Philly
Address: 1135 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

A photo posted by Ftmgboys (@ftmgboys_ceo) on

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

Love Note #249: The rabbit hole I love to call El Camino

Melissa Alam
Favorite Spot: El Camino Real
Neighborhood: Fishtown
Address: 1040 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

A photo posted by @elcaminophilly on

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Fishtown / Kensington Leave a comment

Love Note #242: Thousands of post-it notes are why Al Lee loves Rosa’s Fresh Pizza

Albert Lee

Favorite Spot: Rosa’s Fresh Pizza
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 25 S 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

I Am: A native son of the 215, a proud Philly evangelist and a instagrammer.
Current Home: Chinatown
Years in Philly: 35

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

Love Note #241: Philadelphia and Mexican food

Julie Hancher
Favorite Philly Place: The Taquerias – El Jarocho, Jose’s Tacos, Que Chula Es Puebla & Mas.

I Am: A writer, social media professional, advocate for sustainability & lover of Philly
Years in Philly: 7 years, grew up in the Philly ‘burbs almost my whole life
Current Home: Bella Vista

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Uncategorized 2 Comments

The Origin Story of Pete’s Clown House

Last March, I published a love note from George Matysik and Doug Moak to Pete’s Clown House in the Frankford/Juniata section of Philly (I’m not choosing one, as tensions about neighborhood boundaries run way too high up there). Though George and Doug couldn’t make it that day, I asked around on Twitter and managed to round up three friends for a breakfast feast. And I do mean feast. We had four He-Man platters, which basically means we had everything, all for about six bucks each. To this day, Pete’s Clown House remains one of those gems that I take friends to who’ve had it with the lines at Sabrina’s or Honey’s.

To my surprise, after publishing the note, I got some emails from some of the descendants of the owners. As far as I can piece together, Sam McKay opened up a restaurant there called Chatterbox in the 50s. He and his family lived above the store (as people continue to do today). In the 60s, the store changed hands to Pete, his wife Helen, and their 3 daughters. Pete’s loyal customers knew his love for clowns, and gave him pictures to decorate with. Today, a neon clown sign hangs in the main dining area. Ronnie (a long time  employee) took ownership of the restaurant after Pete, and the legacy lives on at 3878 Frankford Avenue. Read more

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Northeast 6 Comments

Love Note #178: A gluten-free Philadelphian finds some love at Zahav’s Kitchen Counter

Nicole Fiamingo
Favorite Spot: Zahav’s Kitchen Counter
Neighborhood: Society Hill
Address: 237 St James Place, Philadelphia, PA 19106

I am: A gluten free foodie that is living life day by day
Years in Philly: 1 1/2 years
Current Home: Wayne, PA

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(Zahav photos from Philly-ism, one of my favorite Philly blogs)

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Old City Leave a comment

Love Note #146: If it weren’t for Resurrection Ale House, Jenny Choplin wouldn’t be a chef

Jenny Choplin
Favorite Spot: Resurrection Ale House
Address: 2425 Grays Ferry Avenue
Neighborhood: Gradate Hospital

I am: A chef, writer, singer and Mom to the sweetest rescue kitty ever.
Years in Philly: Twelve years in Philly but still a proud Jersey girl.
Current Home: South Philly

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Graduate Hospital 1 Comment

Love Note #100: John Paul Titlow loves Little Pete’s in Center City

John Paul Titlow
Favorite spot: Little Pete’s
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 219 s 17th St

I am: John Paul Titlow, a journalist focusing mostly on technology trends and new media. I write for ReadWrite, Philadelphia Weekly and others. I also help media companies with digital publishing and related geekery. Other areas of expertise include drinking milkshakes and owning multiple cats. I also play drums in Harsh Vibes, a psych rock band based in Fishtown.
Years In Philly: Grew up in King of Prussia. I’ve proudly resided within city limits for eight years.
Current Home: Kensington

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Center City 7 Comments