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

Sean Martorana x Philly Love Notes

The best part about running Philly Love Notes and making maps is the opportunity to connect with, spotlight, and help build the Philly community (see Giving Back This Year -- news about 2017 soon, #whyilovephilly Twitter campaign, #whyilovephilly parties, Philly Love Letters). So... I'm very excited to announce the new project, #whyilovephillyarts, a series of collaborations aimed at showcasing the amazingly talented artists and makers we have here in the city.  The Concept - Commission a piece of art from a variety of painters, illustrators, graphic designers, Read more


Love Note #273: It’s the murals that get you

Favorite Spot: Philly’s murals
Neighborhood/Address: All over

I Am: A transplanted Delawarean who really likes Philadelphia
Years in Philly: 0
Current Home: Just outside D.C.

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Love Note #265: The refuge of Philly’s music scene

Sean Mellody
Favorite Spot: Philly’s Music Scene

I Am: A corporate guy by day; homebrewer, concert goer and Philly adventurer at night
Years in Philly: 18 years in burbs, then the rest in various neighborhoods
Current Home: Queen Village

A photo posted by PALMAS (@palmastheband) on

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Love Note #264: The City of Love

Gayle Morrow
Favorite Spot: OMG, seriously? The whole place! Little Pete’s if I have to choose one.

I Am: A transplant who has lived in seven states, don’t remember how many cities, and 2 other countries. Now desparately in love in Philly.
Years in Philly: 9 years total
Current Home: Graduate Hospital

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Love Note #257: Can you write just one love note to Philadelphia?

Giuliano Andricola Alexander
Favorite Spot: Citizens Bank Park, Wells Fargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field, Reading Terminal Market, Old City, Penns Landing, Rittenhouse Square

I Am: A WCU graduate currently managing a boutique salon in Chester Springs looking for a way to move into the city
Years in Philly: 6
Current Home: Chester Springs

A photo posted by JJ (@jj.bowen) on

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Love Note #247: In just ten days Philly Beer Week manages to make this city even more special

Jordan Price
Favorite Philly Spot: Each of the participating bars during Philly Beer Week

I Am: Delco-raised, a recently graduated Quaker, and a SEPTA-sponsored Philly explorer
Years in Philly: 2
Current Home: Fitler Square

Jordan Price Philly Beer Week 1 Read more

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Love Note #245: If I’m ever lost and I can make it back to Broad, I know where I am

Editor’s Note: This post features photos by the amazing @cbeatz, who takes some of my favorite skyline photos, and who introduced me to the Belmont Plateau. Check out Chris’ full feed on Instagram.

Favorite Spot: Anywhere along the way

I Am: Politically incorrect, morally corrupt, and cynically optimistic, but always stopping to appreciate the moment
Years in Philly: 10


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Love Note #243: There is no such thing as the “perfect” place

Editor’s Note: This post features photos by the amazing @stanleyphoto, who somehow manages to capture scenes in ways that I didn’t know were possible. Check out Matt’s full feed on Instagram.

Liz Pagonis
Favorite Spot: All of Philly

I am: a former social worker currently living in South Philly who has lived in other Philly neighborhoods
Years in Philly: almost 11
Current Home: Pennsport


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Best of Philly 2015 Collaboration

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Each year I look forward to Philadelphia Magazine‘s “Best of Philly” issue. The waterfront has even won a few over the last couple of years (shout out to Spruce Street Harbor Park and the Race Street Pier)! I didn’t realize it, but the magazine has actually been doing this issue for over 40 years — oh how fun it would be to look back in the archives from the 70s.

This year Philly Love Notes and Philadelphia Magazine are doing a collaboration where you can submit a “Best of” love note for one of the categories below:

Best City Park
Best Neighborhood Bar
Best Late Night Restaurant
Best Museum

So, what are your favorite places in these categories? Send over your choice in the form of a love note (Need help? Here are 241 examples). This is a chance to highlight some of the hidden gems in the city that you have a real connection with. On June 8th, the Philly Mag editors and I will comb through the submissions and the best note in each category will run in the August issue of Best of Philly! If you’ve been procrastinating on that Philly Love Note, now’s the perfect time to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

Submissions can be made directly through the blog or via email to For those of you still writing on paper, and I really really hope there are some of you out there, mail them to me at 2036S 17th St, 19145.

FINE PRINT: Please limit the love notes to 200 words

SECOND FINE PRINT: The editors reserve the right to edit some submissions for space reasons

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Love Note #241: Philadelphia and Mexican food

Julie Hancher
Favorite Philly Place: The Taquerias – El Jarocho, Jose’s Tacos, Que Chula Es Puebla & Mas.

I Am: A writer, social media professional, advocate for sustainability & lover of Philly
Years in Philly: 7 years, grew up in the Philly ‘burbs almost my whole life
Current Home: Bella Vista

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Philly Set Go Talk on March 5

Occasionally opportunities come up for me to speak at events about Philly Love Notes. Aside from being terrified of public speaking (see Ignite Talk for reference), I’m sometimes unsure of how this project fits into larger political or media conversations. However, when Philly Set Go recently asked me to speak at an event that they’re hosting this Thursday, March 5th from 6:30-8:30, I thought it could be a really interesting collaboration.

Philly Set Go, along with the 5th Square, are two relatively recent additions to the Philadelphia political sphere that have piqued my interest.

  • Philly Set Go is a non-partisan political action committee with a simple mission: encourage millennials to become more involved in local politics so that city government is more responsive to our concerns, particularly improvements to quality of life, job growth, and education.
  • The 5th Square is a political action committee organized within the State of Pennsylvania to advocate for smart policy for transportation, public space, land use, and better governance in Philadelphia.

In the past, I’ve been generally apolitical, in part because of my work — I don’t want my personal interests to be in any way confused with my organization’s positions — and in part because the political system has seemed untouchable — how could I possibly affect change in the city? What I’ve learned, and what I’ll be talking about is how we can make changes in the city from within, both by voting with feet and dollars, and in our choice of work, play, and personal projects.

So please come join and support a great organization that can help us make this a great city.

Details: Philly Set Go (part 2)
When: Thursday, March 5th from 6:30-8:30
Where: La Colombe, 1335 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125

The Inquirer just wrote up a piece about millennial political involvement in Philly that at the very least has a very “lively” comments section (what else is new?).

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