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Old 09-05-2018, 11:44 PM
 
6,794 posts, read 14,231,337 times
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So I have finally made it to all top 50 metro areas and am starting to do a round two (or five or ten in many cases) as I tour satellite top 200 metros. This has been a goal of mine for decades.

I'll be mostly in Wilmington but I need to spend a day or two in Philly as I haven't been there in almost 15 stinking years!

It's no secret on these forums that I love Louisville for being an urban, compact, yet gritty and historic river city that's very little known and appreciated.

I love Philly for all these same reasons but based on reading here and elsewhere, center city Philly is starting to look very much like my hometown of downtown Chicago. To me, Philly is that gritty, urban, rejuvenated city that no one thinks about much but it's super awesome. Again, on the mid sized city level, it's why I love Louisville. Philly is the alpha city version.

That said, what are 5 things you'd recommend doing in a day to get a feel for Philly these days? I realize I can only see a fraction of the city in that time but keep in mind I'll have an older uncle with me and I need to do some "touristy stuff" too. He's most definitely going to want to take a pic with Rocky which I have already done, but what else besides that and the Liberty Bell? How about the ship? Rittenhouse? Fishtown? If I could see one urban neighborhood, what would it be and why?

Also, please shout an affordable ethnic eat, a good and vibrant lunch spot, and a mid grade to average priced dinner spot.

Additionally....is there a way to get a family Septa pass without waiting 10 days for snail mail? We have 3 adults and will use transit alot....ideas there? It seems the system has changed a bit.
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Old 09-06-2018, 06:06 AM
 
82 posts, read 42,784 times
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You should be able to get the family independence pass at any center city rail station. I assume Wilmington Station as well but I could be wrong.
As for things to do, definitely check out the Italian Market if you want to see how things have changed while getting good ethnic food. Some of the best tacos I have ever eaten have been on the Italian Market. There are tons of things to do in Center City and I love Rittenhouse Square. Fishtown is cool, if you have previous familiarity with it from 15 years ago the change will be striking. Personally I am a big fan of the cheesesteaks at Joe's which is close to the Girard El stop and I am a fan of the bar across the streets Bring Your Own Cheesesteak policy. Definitely check out Cira Green which is a newish park on top of a parking garage near 30th street which offers great views of the city. A portion of the rail park just opened which in my opinion is a bit underwhelming because how small that portion is but still is interesting to see. If you want to see how the vibrancy of Center City has exploded in recent years take a walk down Chestnut or Walnut west of broad during lunch hours. Reading Terminal and Chinatown are always go to spots. Magic Gardens and South Street is always a fun time. The list goes on, hope you enjoy your day!
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Old 09-06-2018, 06:44 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter1948 View Post
So I have finally made it to all top 50 metro areas and am starting to do a round two (or five or ten in many cases) as I tour satellite top 200 metros. This has been a goal of mine for decades.

I'll be mostly in Wilmington but I need to spend a day or two in Philly as I haven't been there in almost 15 stinking years!

It's no secret on these forums that I love Louisville for being an urban, compact, yet gritty and historic river city that's very little known and appreciated.

I love Philly for all these same reasons but based on reading here and elsewhere, center city Philly is starting to look very much like my hometown of downtown Chicago. To me, Philly is that gritty, urban, rejuvenated city that no one thinks about much but it's super awesome. Again, on the mid sized city level, it's why I love Louisville. Philly is the alpha city version.

That said, what are 5 things you'd recommend doing in a day to get a feel for Philly these days? I realize I can only see a fraction of the city in that time but keep in mind I'll have an older uncle with me and I need to do some "touristy stuff" too. He's most definitely going to want to take a pic with Rocky which I have already done, but what else besides that and the Liberty Bell? How about the ship? Rittenhouse? Fishtown? If I could see one urban neighborhood, what would it be and why?

Also, please shout an affordable ethnic eat, a good and vibrant lunch spot, and a mid grade to average priced dinner spot.

Additionally....is there a way to get a family Septa pass without waiting 10 days for snail mail? We have 3 adults and will use transit alot....ideas there? It seems the system has changed a bit.
Check out the Phlash touristy bus. It stops in front of the Rocky statue. Or do a double decker bus tour.

Urban neighborhood? Fishtown, still fits as a very Philly neighborhood inspite of lots of gentrification.

What ship are you talking about?
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:40 AM
 
Location: New York City
6,227 posts, read 5,562,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter1948 View Post
So I have finally made it to all top 50 metro areas and am starting to do a round two (or five or ten in many cases) as I tour satellite top 200 metros. This has been a goal of mine for decades.

I love Philly for all these same reasons but based on reading here and elsewhere, center city Philly is starting to look very much like my hometown of downtown Chicago. To me, Philly is that gritty, urban, rejuvenated city that no one thinks about much but it's super awesome. Again, on the mid sized city level, it's why I love Louisville. Philly is the alpha city version.
.
I think those days of gritty dirty old school Philadelphia are finally behind us. Start thinking of Philadelphia in the group of Chicago, Boston, DC, etc. That is what keeps the city on the right trajectory.

It is also starting to pop up on peoples radar, I hear about it almost daily in work and social circles in New York.
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Old 09-06-2018, 08:06 AM
 
544 posts, read 462,414 times
Reputation: 555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter1948 View Post

Also, please shout an affordable ethnic eat, a good and vibrant lunch spot, and a mid grade to average priced dinner spot.

I would recommend Hardena in Point Breeze for good indonesian and/or South Philly Barbacoa in the Italian market. If you like Pho you can check out Pho75 on Washington ave. All of these except South Philly Baracoa could work for lunch or dinner.


Its hard to know exactly what is meant by Mid Range Dinner. I like Noord (BYOB) in East Passyunk, Brau Haus Schmitz and Rex 1516 on South Street, and had a good cheap dinner at Chez Novaks (BYOB) in Brewerytown. Maybe also look at Bud and Marilyns in the gayborhood or Bar Hygee in fairmount/francisville. If you don't mind spending a little bit more I would strongly recommend getting reservations at Suraya in Fishtown.


Hopefully you know to go to reading terminal market at some point.
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:15 PM
 
1,506 posts, read 1,390,380 times
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Post pho

Quote:
Originally Posted by KansastoSouthphilly View Post
. . .If you like Pho you can check out Pho75 on Washington ave. . . ..


Hopefully you know to go to reading terminal market at some point.
I would personally not recommend Pho75 for pho.

Instead, I would recommend the pho from Pho Ha at 600 Washington.
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:24 PM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
1,095 posts, read 1,124,688 times
Reputation: 2100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter1948 View Post
Also, please shout an affordable ethnic eat, a good and vibrant lunch spot, and a mid grade to average priced dinner spot.

Additionally....is there a way to get a family Septa pass without waiting 10 days for snail mail? We have 3 adults and will use transit alot....ideas there? It seems the system has changed a bit.
From SEPTA | One-Day Individual & Family Independence Pass:
Where To Buy
The pass is sold at all Regional Rail Ticket Offices, SEPTA Sales Offices, the Transit Museum Store, the Sales Office at 1234 Market Street, and online at shop.SEPTA.org. Customers have the freedom to purchase this pass in advance for whenever you decide to have a day or night out.
For lunch, I'd recommend the multi-ethnic Reading Terminal Market (adjacent to SEPTA's Jefferson Station, where you can buy your pass).
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:50 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,966,926 times
Reputation: 420
A good route is to start in Old City and hit as many as the historic sites as you want (Liberty Bell and Independence Hall being the most famous, but there are many others in and around Independence Park), then walk south through Society Hill to South Street (which is certainly "gritty" and unique), go west on South St to 9th St and then make a left and go south into South Philly. That will take you down through the Italian Market (which is uniquely Philly), ending at "Cheesesteak Corner" at 9th and Passyunk, which is definitely worth a visit at least once. I think that would give you a lot of what you are looking for. That's assuming you are willing and able to walk quite a bit, but Philly is a walking city and all those areas are seamlessly connected.

After that, Uber it to Rittenhouse, Art Museum, Reading Terminal (and neighboring Chinatown) etc, depending on your interests and how much time you have. There's a lot to see in Philly, so you aren't going to see it all in one day.
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:31 PM
 
544 posts, read 462,414 times
Reputation: 555
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessimprov View Post
I would personally not recommend Pho75 for pho.

Instead, I would recommend the pho from Pho Ha at 600 Washington.
How DARE you!?
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:50 PM
 
1,506 posts, read 1,390,380 times
Reputation: 842
Quote:
Originally Posted by KansastoSouthphilly View Post
How DARE you!?
Well, I guess you could always treat me to pho at your favorite place and vice versa, and then we make up!
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