A travel journal
to Philadelphia by diminor1929
Quote: In many ways, Philadelphia is the East Coast's best kept secret. It has history, culture,events, sports teams, shopping, museums,outdoor activities and lots of terrific restaurants and hotels, all stamped with its own historic imprint.This is what makes it so unique from other big cities in the mid-Atlantic region!
Another must see- the Reading Terminal on Market Street, unfortunately it is closed on Sundays. If you like zoos, Philly has a terrific one with a new balloon ride that takes you up for a bird's eye view of the entire city!
The aura of mystery begins with the location; the spot is tucked away in an alley (Leithgow) off of South St. between 4th & 5th Ave. When you see the huge, ornate, wooden doors, you knock with a brass door knocker and are welcomed inside. Instantly you will feel transported outside of Philly. The strains of Moroccan music,the beaded room dividers,the smells of saffron, cinnamon and other spices send a signal to your brain that something unusual is about to happen. You are seated on couches (very comfy and romantic) with lots of pillows in front of a rather small round table. Your waiter (looking a great deal like a genie out of a bottle) sits on a little hammock in front of you and recites the menu choices. He explains that you will be eating, for the most part, without utensils and how you can accomplish this task. Next,a Turkish towel is draped in your lap (like a huge napkin-I liked this!). A large pitcher with long neck is brought around so you may cleanse your hands before the meal. The first course is a selection of salads with carrots, eggplant, lentils and other ingredients mixed with unusual spices. Spicey but not hot. The salads are served in small bowls and you use pieces of pita bread (baked fresh) to scoop it up and into your mouth. Fun.
The next course "pastilla" is one of my favorites but hard to describe. It is a large round pastry of phyllo filled with chicken, raisins, spices (cinnamon) then covered, baked and sprinkled with powdered sugar. It is yummy and you eat it with your hands. This is followed by a choice of a chicken or rabbit dish and then a course of couscous (a small rice-like grain) steamed with a delicious assortment of vegetables and spices. For this we were issued a spoon, which came in handy. After that came mint tea, a selection of Moroccan pastries (baklava and others) followed by some fresh fruit. The meal is served very leisurely and is a great conversation starter or romantic spot for a first date. Live belly dancers are available by request but must be reserved ahead of time.
The whole atmosphere is designed for your dining pleasure and it succeeds in this department quite well.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 17, 2002
517 South Leithgow St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
325 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
+1 215 574 9440
Attraction | "From Valley Forge to Philadelphia Art Museum"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 2, 2002
Betzwood Trail Biking
Valley Forge National Park
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19406
Attraction | "Philadelphia Marathon-new pix-2004"
Crowds throng along the Schulykill River in this "tres chic" little outpost of the city and the runners receive much encouragement to continue on the remaining six or so miles from this point.
Thumbs down- 'Right to Life' protestors who posted huge, gory, highly-prejudicial posters of aborted fetuses along the route about two miles from the finish. This was a cowardly, un-Christianlike exhibition that went beyond the right to Freedom of Speech. Other than that the marathon was well-organized and an outstanding experience to all who participated. See you again next year!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 29, 2002
1515 Arch St, 12th Floor (office)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102
+1 215 685 0054
First row at left(12th St.side) includes The Rib Stand, a real down-home spot for ribs and roasted potatoes. Then there's Pearl's Oyster Bar, one of my favorite stops. It's always crowded as the oysters and seafood are fresh and delicious and give you a real taste of Philly. The next row finds another popular spot...the Dutch Eating Place, run by Amish and Mennonite workers who are the real McCoy...and so is the food! I took my brother and a friend and they chowed down on a breakfast of scrabble, fresh fried eggs, applebutter and schmierkase (a kind of cottage cheese). There's a great set of hoagie vendors in this row as well...Rocco's and Spataro's.
For more exotic fare try Sang Kee Peking Duck, right out of Chinatown(the ducks are hanging by their necks in front of stand) not for the squemish...but the Shanghai Gourmet Restaurant, also in this row, serves fresh, better than ordinary Cantonese, Mandarin and Szechuan meals. There is also a Tokyo Sushi Bar,located only a few feet away from Amish butchers and produce stands.
There's a Mexican Cantina (so-so),a decent vegetarian snack bar and fresh-roasted turkey sandwiches and platters right next to each other in this aisle. For great Southern cuisine there's Delilah's, Down Home Diner and Fireworks!
For Greek and Middle Eastern try Olympic Gyro and Kamal's Middle Eastern Specialties. For seafood there are 4 great Asian seafood markets where you can get your meal cooked right there; Coastal Cave,Golden Fish Market,Johnny Yi Fish Market and Kim's Seafood . This is just a sampling of eating establishments I have personally visited and loved in this Philadelphia must-see!
The Market is closed Sunday.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 28, 2002
Reading Terminal Market
12th And Arch Streets
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
+1 215 922 2317
Attraction | "Reading Terminal Part 2."
Get a map when you first walk in and if you're with a group, pick a common meeting spot (a good place is the big stone pig, Philbert, near center.
For fresh produce you have choices among Asian,Italian, Pennsylvania Dutch and several organic stands.Each one has a little something different to offer.
For bread that tastes as good as that in New York, try Le Bus or Metropolitan Bakery...a little pricey but worth it. Don't leave without stopping at Termini's Italian Bakery stand (row 3) for some Sicilian cookies or fresh cannolis.
If you are interested in seafood,the selection is UNBELIEVABLE. I found prawns the size of small lobsters for a very reasonable price. Vendors are more than happy to answer questions and though I've tried many it seems to me the Asian seafood guys have the freshest fish.
Old City Coffee carries not only every conceivable flavor of coffee but an unbelievable selection of teas as well. If you're thirsty for something else there's Four Season's Juice Bar for fresh blended drinks and smoothies,and even a Beer Garden serving domestic and imported beers,wines and spirits.
There are several Amish stands clustered next to each other for fresh eggs, turkey products,REAL original hot pretzels- made on site. Then there's Glick's Salads for pickled chow-chow,apple butter and honey. Keep moving and you'll find several Pennsylvania Dutch butchers (with pork,veal,prime beef,sausage,lamb) and poultry vendors,(with home-raised duck,geese,turkey and game birds). Pick up some fresh Lebanon Bologna at any of the Amish butchers, take it home,spread it with Philly cream cheese and slice into rounds. Heaven! Move along and you'll find farm fresh dairy products(with ice cream, fresh-churned butter and local cheeses).
An interesting day stand is My Kid's Dairy where fresh goat's milk cheese and goat's milk fudge are sold... This is just a small sampling of the many quality items sold at Reading Terminal Market. You will have to come and see yourself the best that Philadelphia has to offer!
Attraction | "Tour the Famous 9th Street Italian Market"
Another excellent place for true Italian delicacies is "Talluto's." This place rocks with fresh-made specialty pastas (available fresh and frozen), sauces, imported meats and the best selection of olives I have encountered anywhere on the East Coast. Also available here, the best Italian Hoagie in the city and good selection of real prosciutto,mortadella and capicolla as well as salami and soppressate. If you are interested in carrying home a fresh-killed goat,lamb or eel there are places along 9th street where you can find just such a thing. Don't forget the "War of the Philly Steaks." Two nearby steak sandwich emporiums (Gino's and Nick's) have battled it out for years trying to produce the best cheese steak. A hint; they both use velveeta so take it from there. Look elsewhere in Philly for the best.
Produce of every description abounds in outdoor stalls year round and even in cold weather you will find vendors and patrons alike huddled around huge "trash" can fires talking, smoking, etc...Legend says this is how the "doo-wop" music of South Philly got its start with acapella groups harmonizing in settings like this. At any rate, the Italian Market is certainly worth a trip for anyone who loves local color and loves to eat!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2002
700-1100 South 9th St (9th Street between Christian and Wharton streets)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
Attraction | "Philadelphia International Car Show-2004"
If you are not totally in love with cars in general (like my husband) and have no interest in them other than that they get you to your next destination with a minimum of fuss (like me), you will find it an hour or so of SHEER TORTURE.
On the other hand, if you love sitting in cars and developing an "ass-memory" for the ones you like best, go right ahead and be my guest. You will love it.
The fourth floor (the most crowded) was filled with the glamourous, luxury cars like the Infiniti’s, Jaguars, Mercedes, BMWs, and Acuras. I have to admit the assortment of styles, colors, makes, models, and variety of features is astonishing. I have included pictures of ones that caught my attention for at least five seconds. There are also lots of advertisers handing out literature and a few sales representatives available to answer any questions you might have. Most of them were swamped, however, and it would have been tough to stand in line waiting to talk with them.
Other than that, it’s a lot of walking, pushing, and shoving through big crowds laced with strollers, wheelchairs, motor-heads, football players, men and women in the crux of mid-life crisis. . . and cars. That’s it: just cars. Wear comfortable walking shoes; although the demo areas are mainly padded with cushy carpets, the convention center floor is pretty unforgiving on the feet.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 15, 2004
Pennsylvania Convention Center
One Convention Center Place
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
+1 215 418 4700
Creativity and craftsmanship are two of the hallmarks that shopowners in the town must convey with their shops. This is not a typical "tourist-trap" type souvenir spot. Many shops are tiny and are tucked into renovated 18th and 19th century buildings, homes, barns, etc... There are approximately 60 shops that feature everything from doll houses and doll house miniatures to pottery, designer jewelry, New Age artifacts and a myriad of other specialties .
Skippack has distinguished itself in American history as one of General Washington's encampments during the Revolutionary War. A variety of special events take place year round which feature antique cars, costumed reenactors, craft fairs.