Giving back this year

[UPDATE: We raised $4725 dollars!!] Now more than ever, I feel a need to give back to my community, so I'll be donating ALL of the profits from map sales from now (4:39PM on November 23) through 11:59PM, November 29. It's an opportunity to buy a holiday gift and give back to some great Philadelphia non-profits (see the Philly Love Notes Etsy shop for more details). Your purchase of a custom Philly map will be a donation to the following organizations: Sunday Breakfast Read more

With all my love

Emma Fried-Cassorla Favorite Spot: Anywhere along the Delaware River Waterfront (but I'm biased) I Am: A Philly lover and resident, Montana lover and former resident, twin, Philly Love Notes, Communications Manager for the Delaware River Waterfront, hiker, climber, traveler, papercutter, iPhone addict, handwritten note taker, Crohn’s patient, scientist, lover of the Race Street Pier and slippers and family Years in Philly: Off and on for 33 (I was 30 when I started!) Current home: A studio loft in Callowhill with my lovely boyfriend Read more

And so we conclude

Cynthia Schmitt A photo posted by Philly Love Notes (@phillylovenotes) on May 20, 2015 at 7:05pm PDT My Love Note Can anyone remember that first moment they fell in love? How does one encompass the complexities of living in a city that's caught between New York and Washington DC? Even Benjamin Franklin, a hero of this city, spent most of his time in Europe. He did choose to die here, so I always thought that must have meant something. Edgar Read more

Wissahickon Creek

Love Note #90: Audrey Bentham — Valley Green as the Philadelphia Brand

Audrey Bentham
Favorite Spot: Valley Green
Neighborhood: Wissahickon Park
Address: Valley Green Road in Wissahickon


I am: I’m the audio engineer for Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and a freelance voice artist.
Years in Philly: 26
Current Home: Roxborough
(photo by Ben Szuhaj)

My love note: Philadelphia really needs to rebrand itself. We get such a bad rap. Philadelphia – It’s dirty, scary, we’re one of the American capitals of corrupt city politics and the reputation of our sports fans, well, let’s just call them ”passionate.” Didn’t we need a stadium courtroom and jail for our beloved Eagles fans? Yet within our much maligned city is a remarkable oasis of peaceful, calm beauty. It always amazes me that Valley Green, this lovely, bucolic park with trails that go on forever is just a short walk away from home. It reminds me of the woods of my summer camp youth because the setting so magically makes you forget you’re still right in the middle of the 5th largest city in America (the one that gets no respect).


Valley Green might not be the best kept secret in the city; on weekends you’ll have plenty of company on your run, bike ride, or power walk, but there’s something comforting about enjoying nature with your neighbors and community– maybe that’s a Quaker concept, but it works for me. A walk in Valley Green is the antidote to the treadmill of modern city life – a place to reset your mind and recharge your emotional batteries. Without having to leave the great city of Philadelphia. There’s no place like home.
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Love Note #86: "This urban wilderness is truly a gift of love for all Philadelphians." Aaron Ogle on Wissahickon Valley in Fairmount Park

Aaron Ogle
Favorite Spot: Wissahickon Valley in Fairmount Park
Neighborhood: Lots? None?
Address: Fairmount Park

I am: Urbanist, ruralist, craftsman of quality software for cities at OpenPlans, family man, stubbornly certain of a beautiful future.

Years in Philly: 4ish
Current home: Narberth

My love note:


Dear Philadelphia,


In all honesty, I wasn’t sure it was going to work out between us. You know how much I love the great outdoors and how restless I get if I don’t hear the sound of a babbling brook, enjoy the smell of an old forest, or walk a few miles on actual earth. I assumed that an old East-coast city, with its industry and concrete, didn’t have much to offer a nature-boy like me.

But I have long since learned that you, my dear, are full of surprises, the greatest of which has been Wissahickon Valley. This section of your Fairmount Park is practically perfect. The rolling waters of the Wissahickon creek are flanked by towering trees and thick vegetation, insulating it from nearly all signs of the city. Its miles of trails are a gift to pedestrians and equestrians, runners and cyclists, historians and naturalists, children and artists. The first time I hiked along these paths I could only think, “I can’t believe this is Philadelphia.” And now, I can’t think of you without it.

This urban wilderness is truly a gift of love for all Philadelphians – past, present, and future. May we enjoy it (and steward it) well for generations to come.

With great affection,
Aaron

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Love Note #68: Vincent Alleva Jr. — Some beers, his dog, and Devil’s Pool in Wissahickon Park

Vincent Alleva Jr.
Favorite Spot: The Wissahickon Creek and Devil’s Pool
Neighborhood: Northwest – Valley Green which is situated between Roxborough, Chestnut Hill, West Mt. Airy and Germantown

I am: A third generation Philadelphian. I live, work, and play in Philly. I have lived in many neighborhoods in the city including Kingsessing, Parkside, Fairmont, Lower Moyamensing, and Pennsport. I blog about the South Philadelphia community on a facebook group page called South Silly. I’ve worked for the Painters and allied trades union of Philadelphia for 8 years. I currently work at the Barbary in Fishtown. On my spare time I enjoy spinning music, riding my bike throughout the city and walking my dog to the plethora of parks in and around my neighborhood.
Years in Philly: On and of for 14 years.
Current Home: Pennsport

My love note: In ’93 my family moved out of Southwest Philly to South Jersey where I grew up, in the suburbs. That gave me the opportunity to become a boy scout and spend plenty of time camping and playing in the woods. As I grew older, the allure of moving back to the city became a daily commute. 

Upon moving my adult self back to the city, I longed for the hot summer days spent in the woods by creeks and rivers. To me, there is nothing like getting the dog ready, filling a backpack with some beers, and heading to the woods with some buddies to go cliff jumping and swimming in the Wissahickon. Relaxing, fun, and adventurous. 

Meeting other people out there and watching dare devils doing back flips some 15-20 feet above the water with perfect execution and thundering splash is most definitely entertaining. Catch it during the week when its not so busy with a few close friends and you’ll have yourself a wonderful time. The surroundings can almost bring you back in time. This is why I love the Wissahickon Creek and Devils Pool.
(Top and third photo by Vincent)
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