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

#whyilovephilly Party

#whyilovephilly Summer Party Recap

After a much needed post-party and post-Spruce Street Harbor Park opening vacation, I’ve returned to the land of Philly Love Notes. First, I wanted to thank everyone who came out to the #whyilovephilly Summer Party and second I promise to begin posting love notes again (starting tomorrow). I’ve slacked, but I have a ton ready to go thanks to the Philly Papercut Contest (congrats again Leigh and Aaron!).

And now for a recap of the #whyilovephilly Summer Party (Summer Jam/Spruce Street Harbor Park Preview/etc) hosted by Philly Love Notes, the Delaware River Waterfront Corp and Drink Philly:


All photos by Matt Stanley

In total, we raised $11,000 in ticket sales and sponsorship and sold out 900 tickets almost two weeks before the party. That money was all donated to the Delaware River Waterfront Corp (yes, it’s a non-profit even though it seems like a city agency) to continue doing free programming like creating Spruce Street Harbor Park and — shameless plug — FREE concerts like the Purling Hiss/Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band show at SSHP this Thursday from 7:30-10PM. Read more

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#whyilovephilly Party UPDATE

Fear not attendees, it looks like the rain will blow over in time for the party to happen tomorrow. If for some reason mother nature tries to screw with us, we’ll make a last minute rain call, pushing it back to July 3, because really, no one wants to watch concerts or drink for 4 hours in the rain.

Hammocks SSHP

For more about Spruce Street Harbor Park, click on the image above

Some notes for the party:

1. Bring cash. Your first drink is on us, but after that, two out of three bars will only be accepting cash. There are a couple ATMs on the premise just in case you find yourself short on dollars. Drinks for the night will include: Yards Brawler, Yards Philly Pale Ale, Yards Saison, Victory Summer Love, PBC Walt Wit, Neshaminy Creek Trauger Pilsner, House-made sangria, and a Root + Rye cocktail made from Bulleit Rye, Root from Art in the Age, Orange bitters, and fresh orange. 

2. Bring cash. There will be a bunch of vendors at the party selling their amazing Philly wares, and we’re hoping you’ll support them. They include Duke & WinstonUS*U.S.Art Star, Dear Adelaide DesignPhiladelphia IndependentsHog Island Press and Eyes Habit, and Wear Liberty.

3. Enter the Instagram Contest. Rachel Hara and I will be choosing four winners today to receive two tickets, and an amazing Philly swag bag filled with gifts from our vendors PLUS Pilot and Captain, Quirk Books, and Girls Can Tell. To win, tag your old and new Philly photos with #whyilovephilly_SSHP and add in a short line about why you love the city.

IG contest

4. Come hungry. We’ll be sampling the #whyilovephilly Little Baby’s ice cream called Strawberry Mansion Shortcake. In addition, our concessionaire will be selling all types of boardwalk snacks, and the Garces Group will be soft launching the Blue Anchor, the pop-up restaurant on the floating barges with a menu TBA.

5. Be prepared to be filmed, so look nice (or not, just be ready to have your photos taken). Poseybooth, Skout Media, P’unk Ave, and our very talented photographer Matt Stanley have very generously donated their services to provide you with tons of photos and videos.

6. Listen to some amazing music. XPN welcomes the release of Ron Gallo’s solo album, “Ronny,” with sets by The Lawsuits and Up the Chain. Check ’em out before the show and support Philly’s local music scene. 

7. Take public transit, bike, or walk. If you need to drive, we have paid parking lots at Walnut and Lombard Streets at Columbus Blvd, and there is some street parking in the area.

8. Get ready to have your mind blown. It has been an honor to work on Spruce Street Harbor Park with a team of incredibly talented artists, craftsmen, site operations, and hell, even our security. The park would not exist without them, and for that, I am and you should be eternally grateful. The site is fantastically beautiful, better than I think any of us could have expected. When I saw it last night with all the lights on, I nearly cried. So welcome to your new summer home.

photo 3 photo 2photo 1

9. Thank our sponsors. We’d like to give an enormous thanks to our sponsors. A bunch of them will be on-site for the party, and we couldn’t have done it without them. Please be sure to visit them, say hi, and learn about what they’re doing to make our fair city even better.

Media Partners: WXPNPhiladelphia Magazine

Lead Sponsors: Bluecadet and Visit PhiladelphiaYards Brewing Company

Sponsors: FringeArtsGreen Mountain Energy CompanyUnited by BlueTicketLeapEnterprise Car ShareSixers CaveSEER InteractiveYoung Involved Philadelphia, I-SiteThink Brownstone, NextFabP’unk AveHooleyWash Cycle LaundryLittle Baby’s Ice CreamPHL Made, and Philly Bike Tour Co.

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The next #whyilovephilly ice cream flavor!

Introducing the next #whyilovephilly flavor ice cream from Little Baby’s!

Each year Martin and I make a new flavor for the #whyilovephilly party (tickets HERE). Last year it was Philly soft pretzel ice cream with a soft pretzel swirl, Butterscotch Krimpets and topped with Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews.

This year we’ve done a Philly-themed strawberry shortcake, and as always, there will be free samples at the party.


Poundcake (vanilla and chocolate) from Stock’s Bakery in Kensington
Strawberries from Greensgrow Farm
Mint from Little Baby’s garden
(oh yeah, and a dash of freeze dried strawberries for fun)

We’re still looking for a good name. Anyone got suggestions?

Side note: I have to give some credit to Joey Sweeney for thinking of Stock’s. It was a brilliant and delicious idea.  Read more

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Love Note #215: Tis the season for biking in Philly

Josh and Philly Bike Tour Co. are joining the #whyilovephilly Summer Party team, and have created a special bike tour just for the occasion. This 2.5 mile, one-hour BYOB(bike) tour highlights over 300 years of Philly’s history and culture, starting in Rittenhouse Square Park and ending at Spruce Street Harbor Park, just in time for the #whyilovephilly party! For full details, and to sign up, visit the Philly Bike Tour Co. website.

Josh Rothstein
Favorite Spot: Biking in Philly
Neighborhood: All over

I am: A teacher. A cyclist. A tour guide for Philly Bike Tours. A lover of all things Philly. A soon-to-be husband (now husband). A dog owner.
Years in Philly: 29 years in and around Philly; 12 years proper.
Current Home: Fairmount

Josh-Rothstein-biking-Philly-3 Read more

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#whyilovephilly Summer Party Coming June 26


What: #whyilovephilly Summer Party and Spruce Street Harbor Park Preview. PLUS, the debut of Ron Gallo’s new album “Ronny” + The Lawsuits + Up the Chain, presented by XPN.

When: Thursday, June 26, 2014, 7-11PM (RAIN DATE, July 3)

Where: The new Spruce Street Harbor Park at Spruce and Columbus Blvd.

How to get there: Walk, transit, bike, drive, or take the #whyilovephilly bike tour from Rittenhouse Square to the party, courtesy of Philly Bike Tour Co.

Why: Because we all love Philly in our own ways

Tickets: $10 (includes free drink ticket)

Stay Tuned: Instagram Contest Details and #whyilovephilly Little Baby’s Ice Cream Flavor

Media Partners: WXPN and Philadelphia Magazine

Lead Sponsors: Blue Cadet and Visit Philadelphia

Sponsors: United by BlueTicketLeapEnterprise Car ShareSixers Cave, NextFabP’unk Ave, and Little Baby’s Ice Cream

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Summer #whyilovephilly Party


Have you heard the news about the new Spruce Street Harbor Park pop-up coming to the Delaware River Waterfront? Well this summer’s #whyilovephilly Party is going to be its preview party (it’s convenient when you both run Philly Love Notes and work for the waterfront).

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, think of the Penn’s Landing Marina (where the tall ships are) transformed with hammocks everywhere, mist walks, an urban beach and boardwalk, and best of all, floating barges, gardens and nets that suspend you over the water. Oh yeah, there will also be a bar and restaurant, so you can do this all with a drink and food in hand. Need more info, check out Zagat Philly, Foobooz or the Inquirer for details.

AND….. it’s also going to be the album release show for Ron Gallo, with the Lawsuits and Up the Chain. So save June 26th, time TBA, for what will hopefully be one of the best parties of the summer. And if you’re interested in contributing in some way because you want to show your love for Philly, hit me up at

What: #whyilovephilly Party Summer Edition

When: Thursday, June 26, 2014

Where: The new Spruce Street Harbor Park at Spruce and Columbus Blvd. 

Why: Because we all have to show Philly some love


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#whyilovephilly Party Recap

Second big #whyilovephilly Party is done! Whew. When scheduling the party, I didn’t realize I would also be opening Waterfront Winterfest the week before, so for about 6 weeks, I’ve been running on complete manic energy (with only one freak out). But now it’s done, and I have to say, I’m a bit sad. I think I like party planning.

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#whyilovephilly Party 2013

#whyilovephilly Party 2013

Friday, December 6th, 6-9PM

Arden Theatre’s Hamilton Family Arts Center

62 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106


This year’s party is going to bigger and filled with more Philly-love than ever before. Think all-local food and drinks, photographers, music, gift bags, hand written Philly Love Notes, and an Instagram feed of your photos tagged #whyilovephilly_13. So come on out and join the party. Admission is free, though a donation to the Arden Theatre’s programming will get you food and drink tickets. It’s probably a good idea to register because tickets are selling out quickly.

Food and Beverage Sponsors:

Drinks: Victory Brewing Co, Yards Brewing Co, Round Guys Brewing, Philadelphia Distilling Co.,  High Street Coffee, Triumph Brewing Co, Philadelphia Brewing Co.

Food: Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Bierstube, Continental, Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse and Headhouse, Victoria Freehouse, Joe’s Steaks

Logos of sponsors for poster final (1)

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The making of the #whyilovephilly Little Baby’s ice cream

Yesterday, my good friends Leigh Goldenberg (who’s helping to organize the #whyilovephilly party) and Aaron Bauman, along with one of Little Baby’s owners, Martin Brown, teamed up to make a new, Philly-centric flavor = Soft pretzel ice cream with Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets, a soft pretzel swirl, and Goldenberg Peanut Chews as a topping. The result will premiere at the #whyilovephilly party on Friday, but needless to say, the initial tastes were amazing.

The process…
1. Toasting the Philly soft pretzels and letting them soak overnight in the dairy base
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