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


Love Note #46: Local urban ecologist David Hewitt loves Jefferson Park and the Kentucky Coffee Trees planted there

David Hewitt
Favorite Spot: I have a lot of favorite spots, but for this, I’ll choose Jefferson Square (a park)
Neighborhood: Southwark
Address: Between 3d and 4th Streets, between Washington and Federal

I am: A biologist – I do a number of different things professionally, but in this context, I’m an urban ecologist
Years in Philly: I was born here
Current home: Currently living in South Street area (but moving soon – to either Germantown or Manayunk)
My Love Note: My father used to live around the corner from Jefferson Square, but I never went there – it was a bit chaotic, and it was also just simply off my radar. After having moved back to Philadelphia (I was away for 9 years, moved back 2 years ago), I went over there and was amazed how much it had changed – clean, well kept – great place to go. And really nice plantings – some quite old, some quite young. There’s a beautiful Kentucky coffee tree in the northeastern quadrant of the park – you can identify it by the big bean-looking pods hanging from it – it was there when that neighborhood had heavy industry (there used to be an iron foundry in the next block over, between 4th and 5th streets) and more cemeteries (the Union Burial Ground was 2 blocks over – it was a good sized cemetery – you can still see its walls, one of them lining the parking lot of the supermarket at 6th between Washington and Federal). Now, that tree is a shade tree in a residential neighborhood. It’s seen the changes, and stood the times.

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

Part 1: 1011 E. Moyamensing in Southwark

Whenever I bike from Fishtown back to S. Philly, I find myself biking down Moyamensing. I can never remember why I’ve chosen to make that turn until I see the house at 1011, one of the few remaining clapboard houses left in the city. One day I finally stopped to take some pictures just as the owner was walking home. She told me a bit about the history, but I wanted to find out more. I’m taking advantage of having my own blog to document my attempts to learn about this house.

Part 1: The house has historic designation and is on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. Hoping that this would lead me to the home’s history, I took an extended lunch break to wander City Hall looking for the Historical Commission. Once there, I was handed a thin manilla envelope with documents showing the date that the homeowners registered for the historic plaque (1990) and the approvals for renovations in the late 1970s. That was it. No history, no build date, nothing else. I was told that the next step will be to establish a deed chain through the City Archives.  Hopefully another extended lunch break will come in the next few weeks and I can learn (and write) a bit more about this unique home.
Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Queen Village / Bella Vista 3 Comments