I only spent one fabulous weekend in Philly (and well, an afternoon on a completely separate occasion when my friends and I drove all the way for cheesesteaks at Pat’s and Geno’s) but I learnt this much.
- Reading Terminal Market (51 North 12th St) is an awesome place. Go there. The chocolate stall is rad!
- Their Chinatown is seriously legit. Head to Joy Tsin Lau (1026 Race St) for lo mai gai and dimsum and then pack a bunch of pastries to go at one of the many Chinese bakeries in the neighbourhood.
- Penn university is big on sculptures.
- Spruce St Harbor Park is (was) a summer pop-up and a great place to hang (hammocks!).
- Cedar park is my favourite neighbourhood for all these reasons.
- The best day of the month is First Friday.
I also learned that Philadelphia loves murals and spotted them everywhere thanks to the Mural Arts Program that was set up nearly 30 years ago. Then on my last evening in Philly, when Raina (mega shoutout to this girl for being a great host!) and I were on our way to Magic Gardens, I discovered magic murals. BLING!
Magic Gardens is essentially a giant installation, an outdoor mosaic sculpture garden and maze of tunnels and grottos with thousands of tiny mirror mosaics decorated with discarded glass bottles, crockery and china, bicycle parts and other odds and ends. It is the work of artist Isaiah Zagar who also beautified dozens upon dozens of walls around South St with his creations.
Unfortunately when we got there it was closed for a wedding (Oof hipsters!) and I only got a peek but I have it on good authority that it is a terribly enchanting place and definitely worth the $7 general admission fee. Raina and I checked out some of Zagar’s other mirrored mosaic murals and if you’re interested in doing that too, you can find a map here.