Favorite Spot: Lemon Hill
Neighborhood: Fairmount / Fairmount Park
Address: Lemon Hill Drive
I am: A twenty-something transplant who lives and works in Philly.
Years in Philly: 6
Current Home: Fairmount
My love note: You’re ambling down Kelly Drive. You hit the boat houses, and decide to cut off into Fairmount Park. Old, twisting steps peek out from the brush and trees. Winding and turning, they carry you up to a dirt footpath worn into the grass. You turn around, and over the treetops is the Schuylkill, the Art Museum, and the Philly skyline. Behind you is Lemon Hill Mansion, once home to one of the premier public gardens in the world. This spot is quiet and calm, allowing you to hide from Philadelphia’s gaze while peering out at it.
Philly is filled with spots like this, whether they are grandiose and world-renowned (Art Museum steps, I’m looking at you) or way-stations that let you take in a great view before diving back into the city’s tunnels (Spring Garden El stop, next up). If you want to see a familiar sight from an unfamiliar perspective, try standing at the top of the Art Museum steps at night, when it’s raining or snowing. During a night rainstorm, Center City’s lights cast a glow unto the clouds, creating a skyline that is both eerie and serene at the same time. Nighttime during snowfall creates some visibility problems, but Philly has never looked so majestic.
Favorite Spot: Penn Treaty Park
Address: 1199 N Delaware Ave
I am: A city lover and a nature lover
Years in Philly: 5
Current Home: 10th and Pine
My love note: As if in fear of being lapped up by the million tongues of the mighty Delaware, Philadelphia keeps its rivers at bay. Stone walls rise from the rivers and old piers decay, severed from the city bustle by our local stretch of the Eisenhower interstate highway system. But a little notch of green in Fishtown cuts through these defenses, where a smokestack giant lumbers upriver and a casino sprawls across its parking lot blanket downriver. You may notice as you walk towards the river at Penn Treaty Park that nothing stops you from walking on, as you head down onto the riprap, till the water laps your feet. Sit there at sunset or after the sun has fallen below the horizon, and it’s another world completely. The sounds and smells of the river seem oceanic. The slow boats, the trees on Pettys Island, the lights on the graceful Ben Franklin Bridge, and a wide expanse of the night sky… it’s a place to be swept away by greater forces.
My love note: I was pissed when they removed the first South Street Bridge, thus altering my bike route to work. And then…and then when I saw the new one I was ok with those two years of detours. It is an absolute pleasure to bike to and from work with that spectacular view. Every day and every hour is different. Sometimes it’s just so pretty I pull my bike over and lean over the railings and just watch my city
Favorite spot: Outside deck of the Water Works Restaurant
Neighborhood: Art Museum District
Address: 640 Waterworks Dr
I am: An English teacher, playwright, husband and father.
Years in Philly: 37
Current Home: Melrose Park, PA