Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – May 2000

Welcome to Philadelphia – City of Brotherly Love
Liberty Hall
For those of you that have not visited Philly recently, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.  The last few years have brought an infusion of the arts into the city itself.  Philadelphia offers a wealth of choices in galleries, theatrical and musical productions and museums.  These attractions, combined with the many historical highlights of the city can keep one occupied for days.

Philadelphia is a wonderful walking city.  The majority of historical attractions may be found within the few blocks surrounding Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.  From here, one may stroll to the galleries of Old City, Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River, South Street and its eclectic shops and restaurants, or the wonderful food stands and shops of the Italian Market.  Since Philly is still largely residential, it is also enjoyable to view some of the beautiful historic homes around the city, as you trek to your destination.

Events in May
Philadelphia Furniture and Furnishings Show
May 12th – 14th
Held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the show is the largest single collection of decorative arts under one roof.

Pridefest America
May 1st – 7th
Billed as the "Nation’s premiere gay & lesbian symposium and festival"

Devon Horse Show
May 25th – June 3rd
In it’s 103th year, the show and country fair is held just outside Philadelphia in Devon, PA.

Jam On The River
May 27th – 29th
A music and food festival on the river at Penn’s Landing. Featuring Ratdog, George Clinton, Beausoleil, The Neville Brothers and more. For tickets call (215) 922-2FUN.

Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival 2000
May 11th – 14th
Call (877) 4BA-FEST for information and tickets.

In my opinion, the best place to see some truly unusual sights is South Street.  Running from the Delaware River to the Schuykill River, South Street has an eclectic feel, and is often compared to New York’s Greenwich Village.  There are many great restaurants, bars, coffee shops and boutiques to explore – particularly between Front Street and 8th Street.

Some great spots to take in the sights and sounds of South Street:

Bridget Foy’s – A good, moderately priced restaurant on the corner of 2nd Street.

John’s Bar & Grille – Lots of outdoor seating, and rumored to be on the site of the birthplace of Larry Fine of the Three Stooges.  On the corner of 3rd Street – look for the big Stooges mural!

Bean Cafe, The Frite Shop or Montserrat – Good coffee, Belgian Frites, or American and Vegetarian fare respectively.  All 3 are between 6th and 7th streets on South, and offer outside or street-side seating.

Different Things To Do
In Philly on a beautiful weekday?
Head over to City Hall (Market & Broad Streets), the largest municipal building in the world, with 14.5 acres of floor space.  Try to find your way up to the Observation Deck. Look for red arrows on the floor, which help you to find your way – Basically take the elevator to the 7th floor, an escalator up 2 more flights, then another elevator up the 30 story tower to the base of the Penn statue on top.  The trip is worth it, for the incredible panoramic views of the city.

In town on a Wednesday night?
Head over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a night of film, music, readings, tastings and talks.  Subjects change weekly, and admission is inexpensive ($8 adults, $5 students).  Usually runs from 5pm through 8:45pm.

Do what Oprah did!

Take the ultimate Philly cheesesteak challenge:  Pat’s versus Geno’s.  Find these two cheesesteak vendors (and infamous rivals) on South 9th street, just south of the shops and vendors of the Italian Market District.  Ask any local – they’ll be able to point you there!  Enjoy!

Philly is located on the Eastern Coast of the US, a short distance from Washington D.C., New York City and Atlantic City, NJ.

A wide variety of hotels at all price ranges may be found in Center City.  I am myself a B&B lover, especially in such a historical city, so here are a few to choose from:

Bed & Breakfasts

  • Gaskill House
    Old City, a private residence since 1828 w/a private city garden.  (215)413-0669

  • Rittenhouse B&B
    A beautiful European-style B&B centrally located. (215)545-1755

  • Ten Eleven Clinton B&B
    The highest rated B&B in Philly (AAA 3-diamond).  An all suite B&B, with many amenities in a townhouse dated to 1836. (215)923-8144

  • Spring Garden Manor
    In the Art Museum district, featuring artwork by local artists.  Rooms have private baths. (215)567-2484

    The cheapest method of transportation between Philadelphia International Airport and Center City is the SEPTA Train.  The train picks up from all terminals, and runs to 3 Center City stations :
    30th Street Station (N 30th St. between Market and Arch Sts.)
    Suburban Station (JFK Blvd. between N 16th and 17th Sts.), and

    Market East Station (N 11th and Market St.).

    A one way ticket costs $5, and trains run every 30 minutes from 6:10am to 12:10am.  The ride takes 20-30 minutes. Most areas of the city are accessible from these stations by bus, subway or cab.

    Cab fare from the airport to most Center City locations runs about $20, and the ride can take 15-30 minutes, depending on traffic.

    30th Street Station is the main Amtrak station, with service to and from most major Eastern U.S. cities.

    US currency is standard.
    Per diem costs can range from $50 and up, depending on your tastes!

    Weird Facts
    In 1776 Philadelphia’s population was approximated at only 23,700.

    The statue of William Penn atop City Hall weighs 27 tons and stands 37 feet tall – it is the largest sculpture at the top of any building in the world.

    The Author
    I am not a native Philadelphian by any means…however I have lived here now for over a year, and have come to appreciate all it has to offer!