Coming to Philadelphia...Help!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 30, 2013 3:37 PM GMT
    I'm going to be in Philadelphia early April for work, I'm travelling alone and I'd love to hear from any locals, or anyone who has visited the city - what are the things I shouldn't miss, where is good to eat? Shopping?

    I'm staying pretty central, and I don't have a huge amount of free time (late afternoons/evenings) but I want to make the most of the trip.
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    Jan 30, 2013 4:56 PM GMT
    Stay in Center City and you will have a lot of fun. Philly has some of the best restaurants in the country. Rittenhouse Square is awesome. Also, there are plenty of hot guys there.
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    Jan 30, 2013 5:04 PM GMT
    My hotel is just a block or so from Rittenhouse Square!
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    Jan 30, 2013 5:07 PM GMT
    I know like one guy from RJ in Philadelphia. He's a great guy. Bet he'd be able to give you all the advice you need.
    Post Edit: He's 100 miles away. icon_confused.gif
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    Jan 30, 2013 9:04 PM GMT
    Museum area, gay area, harbor.
    Addictive phili cheese steaks !!!
    And yes, Rittenhouse square in spring.
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    Jan 30, 2013 9:51 PM GMT
    Oh.
    I was sure you wanted to get out of having to go to Philadelphia.
  • tautomer

    Posts: 1010

    Jan 30, 2013 10:09 PM GMT
    I grew up very close to Philly.

    Check out south street. Lots of interesting things there. Just be warned it gets a bit weird after dark!
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jan 30, 2013 10:10 PM GMT
    It's a lovely city. I have spent much of my life there. I grew up ten miles outside the city and lived downtown for ten years.

    Points of interest:

    Old City. Not just for the history (Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, etc.) but for the art gallery scene. First Fridays (of the month) are a hoot, as they open the galleries at night and serve free wine and snacks, and all the gays come out to cruise and be cruised.

    The Art Museum. Run up the stairs and pretend you're Rocky. Or go inside and see one of the greatest collections in the country, in one of the most beautiful buildings in the country. The back of the building presides over Boathouse Row, where all the university rowing leagues suit up to train. In the summer, this is a vista and a half.

    While in that neighborhood, check out the Green Street area restaurant scene. Local mom-and-pop-shop restaurants in charming old rowhomes. They pretty much cover every continent and many different styles with the cuisine there, but you'll really enjoy the Northern European fare.

    If you like beer, go to Monk's Cafe, right near Rittenhouse Square. Biggest beer selection in the city, and mussels to die for. Oh, and fries. (Belgian, of course.)

    Walnut Street Shopping and Restaurants. George Perrier, Susanna Foo, and Morimoto all have flagships there. Philadelphia's "Fifth Avenue" for shopping, as if there were any comparison.

    For the Bohemian experience, go to South Street.

    If it snows, take a walk in Society Hill and Old City. It's one of the most romantic neighborhoods in the country.

    And I'm sure you'll get plenteous recommendations on bars, but I'll only mention one: Tavern on Camac. It's a restaurant downstairs, with a pub bar attached. The main floor is a piano bar with great entertainers. They encourage people to go up and sing with live accompaniment. Upstairs: a dance floor. And it's PACKED on the weekends. Most out-of-towners will tell you to go to Woody's, which is the same gay bar you'll find in any city. TOC is unique to Philadelphia. Also, next door, a dive bar called Venture Inn. Cheap and awesome. The bar staff at both places are top notch.

    Hope that helps.

    Daniel
  • tckrguys

    Posts: 133

    Jan 30, 2013 10:12 PM GMT
    Also check out Eastern State Penitentiary. Fascinating old prison that opened in early 1800's and closed in 1971. Also, across the street is Urban Spoon, great restaurant.
  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Jan 30, 2013 11:08 PM GMT
    I'll be in Philly this Sunday through Wednesday. Anyone want to meet for a drink? And, any suggestions as to where to spend superbowl evening? Is the Bike Stop a good bet?
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    Jan 30, 2013 11:16 PM GMT
    Whipmagic saidI'll be in Philly this Sunday through Wednesday. Anyone want to meet for a drink? And, any suggestions as to where to spend superbowl evening? Is the Bike Stop a good bet?


    HOW FUN I wish I was there to go out with ya? Hey Whip, how is your lil' one? She doing ok?
  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Jan 30, 2013 11:32 PM GMT
    Roguewave said
    Whipmagic saidI'll be in Philly this Sunday through Wednesday. Anyone want to meet for a drink? And, any suggestions as to where to spend superbowl evening? Is the Bike Stop a good bet?


    HOW FUN I wish I was there to go out with ya? Hey Whip, how is your lil' one? She doing ok?


    Thanks, Rogue. It was fun going out with you in SF last month. And no, Krypto (my cat) is not doing better. I am still waiting for another set of blood test, but all indications are that it is an irrecoverable kidney failure. Unless a miracle occurs, I will have to put him down tonight or tomorrow morning.
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    Jan 30, 2013 11:35 PM GMT
    Whipmagic said
    Roguewave said
    Whipmagic saidI'll be in Philly this Sunday through Wednesday. Anyone want to meet for a drink? And, any suggestions as to where to spend superbowl evening? Is the Bike Stop a good bet?


    HOW FUN I wish I was there to go out with ya? Hey Whip, how is your lil' one? She doing ok?


    Thanks, Rogue. It was fun going out with you in SF last month. And no, Krypto (my cat) is not doing better. I am still waiting for another set of blood test, but all indications are that it is an irrecoverable kidney failure. Unless a miracle occurs, I will have to put him down tonight or tomorrow morning.


    My heart goes out to you, I have been through it. Hold him in your arms when you need to do it, if you feel that it is time. And remember, they are always with you, and you gave him the best life he could ever have. And there are others waiting for your love as well. You were lucky to walk this earth for a time, however brief, it was.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 30, 2013 11:36 PM GMT
    I just got this weird urge to visit Philadelphia in April.
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    Jan 30, 2013 11:45 PM GMT
    I love Philly. People are so friendly, and I wish I could've spent more time there when I visited. The big gay bar was Woody's. But you could have a perfectly fun-filled weekend doing non-gay stuff.
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    Jan 31, 2013 12:06 AM GMT
    Philly, is a great city, lots to do and see. I'm not a club guy so you may need someone else to fill in those blanks.

    China town is excellent, there is a great amount of excellent food going on in there, it has its own feel for sure. Reminds me of my time living in China.

    Kyber pass in old city, excellent food (a hidden gem) and amazing bacon grease popcorn.

    Philadelphia brewing company, they do free tours and free tastings Saturday from 11-4 I think, great way to catch a buzz for free.

    Little Baby Ice cream on Frankford ave no that far from PBC, has some of the most unusual and great flavors, i highly recommend the Siracha and Earl Grey.
    Also the Franklin Fountain is old timey at its best serving up some great sundaes in old city.

    Reading Terminal Market on a lunch hour is a true Philadelphia event and shouldnt be missed they have everyone and everything under the sun.

    If you havent realized, Philly is a superb food city.

    things to do, I think on of the best and most unknown thinks to do is take a tour of the Masonic Temple in Center City, its only Saturday mornings but man is it cool.

    Mutter museum, America's finest museum of medical history, the Mütter displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th century "cabinet museum" setting. This place isnt for the weak of heart or stomach...

    Every first friday of the month a free art even happens in old city, where all the galleries are and vendors line second street. all the galleries have opening and usually have free beverages, another way to get a cheap buzz.

    Eastern State Penitentiary has really great tours, a jail that used to look after Al Capone but is now a museum and an interesting place where artists use the cells to create installations responding to the space.

    and yeah, theres a lot of historical stuff, which I shouldn't be so flippant about because it is all pretty rad to see. but any tourism site can tell you that.

    If you are looking for trendy/hip bars go to old city and center city. Now if you are looking for cool/hip/dive bars Fish town is your place. Take the "L" train get off at Girard and you are in the "cool" bar area of philly. "Johnny Brendas" crazy on a weekend and has excellent food, Frankford beer hall across the street, get a beer bigger than your head. A few blocks north is "Kun- fu Neck Tie" a rough around the edges place that has a eclectic mix of people, I once saw this excellent hangarian heavy metal band play there it was intense! and one block up from that is the "El Bar" this is one of the best dive bars in Philly hands down. There is a "gayborhood" (yes, its actually called that) they have all the gay stuff there, I don't really make it down that way though. But man this is just the tip of the ice berg for things to do here
  • Kwokpot

    Posts: 329

    Jan 31, 2013 2:43 AM GMT
    As a Native New Yorker who moved to Philadelphia in ’06, I can give you some good insight into the city.
    Philly, as it is more commonly called, is a great, small scaled city that manages to be urbane with a small town feel. I see you’re from the UK, but didn’t mention what city. Many people feel Philly manages to be New York City Lite; all the amenities without the crowds. The city population is a lot more Blue Collar/Working Class than say New York or San Francisco, but where you are staying, which is the expensive part of the downtown and right next to the Business District, it won’t necessarily be that apparent. Philadelphians do have a small ‘chip on their shoulder’ for being the in the shadows of Washington DC to the South and New York City to the North. The downtown City Center is referred to as ‘Center City’, but the city itself is much larger. The main businesses that keep Philly afloat are Hospitals and Education.
    Yes, the history is unmistakable, so you MUST visit places like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. We have many, many museums, but the two must sees are The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The New Barnes Museum. If you are interested in American history, I would strongly suggest the Constitution Museum. Understanding the U.S. Constitution will give you a REAL insight into what it is to be an American.
    With regard to shopping, your hotel is right where the main shopping district is, Walnut St. It has all the boutique stores for your shopping needs. There is a Macy’s department store also in Center City, but on the east side of the city. If you are looking for an American style shopping center, the closest one to Center City is located across the River in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. There is another larger shopping center that’s Northwest of Philly located in the suburb s called King of Prussia Mall.
    The Gayborhood , which is on the east side of town, is a great place to have a drink and go to the clubs, which I see you’re not a big fan of. But Philly doesn’t really have big dance clubs. There are many bars and pubs that have recently renovated, and those would include Woody’s, Tabu,Tavern on Camac, I Candy, The Westbury, Knock, U Bar, Bike Stop, and Venture Inn. There are also some GREAT restaurants in the area, and obviously they are gay friendly. Some of the better ones are El Vez, Mixto, Mercato, Valanni, Barbuzzo, and many others. If you have certain types of food you like, I can make recommendations. There are also many good places on the West side of town, where your hotel is. Whatever you do regarding food, though, DO NOT go to the South Philly part of town and have a Cheesesteak at Pats or Genos; Philly cusine has moved past the Cheesesteak many, many moons ago. If you must have a cheesesteak, go to the Reading Terminal Market in Center City and have one at Dinics, which also has EXCELLENT Roast Pork sandwiches. RTM is a must see as one of the countries great indoor markets. It’s a place not only for tourists but actually is used by locals.
    Your profile lists that you enjoy playing poker. You are only a 1 hour bus ride from Atlantic City, sorta like Brighton in the UK but with 12 large casino hotels. Definitely worth visiting if you enjoy gambling, but if you don’t have the time and still want to gamble, there’s actually a full service casino right in Center City called SUGARHOUSE CASINO. It’s a small, basic casino but it has everything you need for your gambling fix only a taxi ride away.
    Please email me if you have any other questions!
    EDIT: here is a link to what's happening in the Gay Community:
    http://phillygaycalendar.com/index.php
    EDIT: Forgot to mention that there is a gay bar on the Westside of the city where you are called Stir Lounge.
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    Jan 31, 2013 11:38 AM GMT
    minox saidMuseum area, gay area, harbor.
    Addictive phili cheese steaks !!!
    And yes, Rittenhouse square in spring.


    I don't eat steak so the local delicacy is kind of wasted on me - anything else it's famous for?

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    Jan 31, 2013 11:39 AM GMT
    tautomer saidI grew up very close to Philly.

    Check out south street. Lots of interesting things there. Just be warned it gets a bit weird after dark!


    Haha, weird in what way? I hear that Philadelphia can be a pretty dangerous city, lots of gun crime etc. I'm a bit wary of being out late on my own!
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    Jan 31, 2013 11:41 AM GMT
    danisnotstr8 saidHope that helps.

    Daniel


    That was fantastic, thanks Daniel - just the sort of thing I was looking for!! I wish I could 'favourite' your post :-)
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    Jan 31, 2013 11:42 AM GMT
    tckrguys saidAlso check out Eastern State Penitentiary. Fascinating old prison that opened in early 1800's and closed in 1971. Also, across the street is Urban Spoon, great restaurant.


    I like this idea, something to see then something to eat - it cuts down on the wandering round a strange city! Cheers!
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    Jan 31, 2013 11:46 AM GMT
    pasfu31 saidPhilly, is a great city, lots to do and see. I'm not a club guy so you may need someone else to fill in those blanks.



    Great post, thanks! I'm not really a club guy either so your recommendations are awesome. However, I'm coming on a Saturday and leaving Wednesday night, so I'll miss the Saturday morning Masonic Temple tour and the art gallery, though I definitely want to check out the ice-cream place and the market!!
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    Jan 31, 2013 11:50 AM GMT
    Kwokpot saidAs a Native New Yorker who moved to Philadelphia in ’06, I can give you some good insight into the city.


    Thanks so much for your post, some more great suggestions here! I think I will try and avoid travelling too far from the hotel to be honest as I only have limited time so I'd skip a trip to Atlantic City for example, and I probably wouldn't go to the big out of town shopping malls, if there's plenty of smaller shops within walking distance. I'm not planning to buy a huge amount but it's always good to get clothes in the US cos they're cheaper!!
  • Kwokpot

    Posts: 329

    Jan 31, 2013 2:25 PM GMT
    Pure said
    minox saidMuseum area, gay area, harbor.
    Addictive phili cheese steaks !!!
    And yes, Rittenhouse square in spring.


    I don't eat steak so the local delicacy is kind of wasted on me - anything else it's famous for?


    If you're not a meat eater, then you must try this restaurant called Vedge, located in the Gayborhood. It's a new vegetarian restaurant that's gotten rave reviews, here is the website:
    http://www.vedgerestaurant.com/
  • Kwokpot

    Posts: 329

    Jan 31, 2013 2:27 PM GMT
    Pure said
    tautomer saidI grew up very close to Philly.

    Check out south street. Lots of interesting things there. Just be warned it gets a bit weird after dark!


    Haha, weird in what way? I hear that Philadelphia can be a pretty dangerous city, lots of gun crime etc. I'm a bit wary of being out late on my own!

    Don't worry about the crime stuff. You're not in the part of town where that stuff happens. The media blows everything out of proportion and scares everyone.