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 #196: 35-45 seconds. That’s all it takes for Jordan Klein.

Jordan Klein
Favorite Spot: 5th Street Tunnel
Address: Right north of 5th and Race
Neighborhood: Old City

I am: A shoulder-dancing, concert-going, olympic-weightlifting, museum/culture/design obsessed new Philadelphian. I am also half of The Philadelphia Public History Truck (check it out!)
Years in Philly: 2 + a bit
Current home: Bella Vista


Read more

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Center City 3 Comments

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


Read more

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

Love Note #121: “Art is the center of the real world” (Danya Henninger — Zagar Back Alley Mosaics)

Danya Henninger 
Favorite Spot: The Back Alley Mosaics of Isaiah Zagar
Neighborhood: South Philly
Address: Throughout South Philadelphia, mostly in Bella Vista, Hawthorne and Queen Village

I am: A photographer, editor and writer with a focus on food and drink and a love of design.
Years in Philly: Eight years
Current Home: Bella Vista

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

Love Note #119: Working in Frankford has helped Michelle Feldman love her city

Michelle Feldman
Favorite Spot: Frankford, it’s institutions and its commercial corridor
Neighborhood: Frankford

I Am: Commercial Corridor Manager, Frankford CDC
Years In Philly: Almost My Whole Life
Current Home: Fairmount

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Northeast Leave a comment

Love Note #112: The best block in the city? 18th Street near Rittenhouse according to David Neff

David Neff
Favorite Spot: 18th Street in Center City
Neighborhood: Rittenhouse
Address: 18th Street, between Chestnut & Rittenhouse

I am: David Neff, President of Neff Associates and a huge fan of all things Philadelphia has to offer!
Years in Philly: Life long resident
Current home: Rittenhouse


Read more

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Rittenhouse Square 1 Comment

Love Note #96: Conrad Benner of Streets Dept loves, not surprisingly, Philly’s beautiful streets

Conrad Benner
Favorite Spot: Alleys/streets I’ve not been down yet.

I am: Extremely focused. Except when I’m not, which is often. But when I am focused, I’m very focused. I like taking photos. That’s one of the biggest reasons I started my blog. I also love street art. And that’s the other reason. Outside of my personal blog, I am a social media community manager at Quaker City Mercantile. When I’m not willing (read: able) to get out of the city and explore, I do so here — like the Divine Lorraine, the Reading Viaduct, or Laurel Hill Cemetery. 
Years in Philly: Born and raised in Fishtown. 27 years in total.
Current Home: Now living in Center City. Graduate Hospital area.

My love note:

It may not come as too big of a surprise if you’ve ever read my blog, or hell, if you even know the name of my blog, but my love note is… to the streets of Philadelphia.

Seriously, Philly has to be one of the best walking cities in the entire world. Granted, you have to know what areas to generally avoid, but nevertheless taking into account Philly’s relatively small size, along with its dense residential and commercial blocks, it’s safe to say you could do a pretty extensive walk of the city in a single day. Add an extra day or two and you can explore all the little alleys that exist which I, as a life-long Philadelphia, truly find inspiring. And give yourself a whole week and you could write a book on all the new and old beauty you’d find in Philly’s little nooks and crannies. 

But words don’t do it justice… Just look around!!

(all photos by Conrad)

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Love Note #20: Elfreth’s Alley

Martha Fried-Cassorla
Favorite spot: Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest, continuously occupied street in the United States

Neighborhood: Old City
Address: Between Arch St. and Race St. right off of Second St.

I am: A mom, wife, psychologist and aspiring singer (as my nephew says)
Years in Philly: I’ve been in Philly since ancient times, actually since 1975
Current Home: Melrose Park, which is north of the city by about 3 blocks

My love note: It might be a bit unusual to like a place which is pretty touristy. However, when you are there, especially in the early evening, and you walk down the cobblestoned street and look at the houses, you can picture yourself living in nineteenth or even eighteenth century America. Perhaps it brings out the Luddite in me – but I like the feeling of a complete lack of technology and a sense that everything that was created there had to be created by hand with simple tools. I’d love to time-travel back to 1776 and live on that street!

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