Through your Lens:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Focusing on historic neighborhoods, local restaurants, and small businesses, this community guide showcases the City of Brotherly Love’s small-town feel. Weaving together Jewish delis, Latin American folk galleries, and intergenerational fabric stores, Philly’s cultural and culinary prowess is evident through the people who call the city home.

3rd and Bainbridge Rowhomes

A neighborhood fit for a queen! This once-suburban village – named for Queen Christina of Sweden – is home to a colorful array of houses. Now a part of Philadelphia proper, it’s a prime spot to explore narrow streets peppered with unique architecture, including trinities, Colonial-style homes, and rare wood-plank facades.  It’s also home to a variety of historical churches, including Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which stands upon the oldest continuously Black-owned parcel of land in the United States.

701 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Famous 4th Street Delicatessen

Perhaps the oldest Jewish deli in the city, Famous 4th Street Delicatessen has been a neighborhood landmark for a century. The restaurant is not only known for its overstuffed corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, but has historically been a hangout for politicos on Election Day. Make sure to grab a large black-and-white cookie no matter how full you are – it’s worth it.

700 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA

Fabric Row

Wander down Fabric Row to discover what was once a booming textile district of Jewish immigrants. Although only a handful of shops remain, the street’s diverse mix of art galleries, restaurants and cafes, and specialty stores serve as a reminder of the generational impact the fabric industry had on this bustling street.

748 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Eastern State Penitentiary

Have you always wanted to visit a place that combines the history of America’s greatest crime bosses with the one and only Steve Buscemi? Stop into the Eastern State Penitentiary for an audio tour that will be sure to spook and thrill as Mr. Buscemi tells all about one of the most famous prisons in the world. Just be sure to be cautious visiting around Halloween, we hear the haunted house is next level.

2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130

2220 Green St.

Walk over to Green Street to find a row of ornate brownstones and elaborately constructed Gilded Age mansions, including the Bergdoll Mansion, an Italianate-style building that notably housed playboy and World War I draft dodger Grover Cleveland Bergdoll. Across the street, feast your eyes on this former flashy home of Pennsylvania State Senator Vince Fumo, who was convicted on 137 counts of corruption for misusing nonprofit funds – funds that, according to the indictment, helped outfit the 10,000-square-foot Victorian mansion. The property boasts a billiards room, shooting range, elevator, wine cellar, and vault is currently on the market and could be the perfect home for you – if you can afford the price.

2220 Green St, Philadelphia, PA

A short drive from Philadelphia will deliver you to this expansive estate. Its expansive grounds are home to gardens, an outdoor theater, and a conservatory located in suburban Chester County. Taken over by Pierre du Pont in the early 1900s, he modeled some of the grounds after Italian and French water gardens. Known particularly for its Christmas light show, Longwood Gardens is a great place to hear some music and escape the sounds of the city.

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1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348

Rittenhouse Square

Take a break in Rittenhouse Square, one of the five original squares planned in the late 17th century by founder William Penn. Named for astronomer and inventor David Rittenhouse, the Square – inspired by European urban parks and public squares – features a beautiful central park lined with shopping, restaurants and condos. Grab lunch at French-bistro-styled Parc, which overlooks the park, and look closely at your surroundings: Four of the Square’s original mansions still remain.

1800 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Bud & Marilyn's

Embark upon a trip back to the mid-century at Bud & Marilyn’s, dreamed up by Chef Marcie Blaine Turney as a homage to her grandparents’ Midwestern supper club. The Midtown Village restaurant serves up nostalgia in American comfort food such as crispy cheese curds, fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits, and retro furnishings that include throwback fabrics and shelves filled with old board games and records. Turney and co-owner Valerie Safran own a slew of other restaurants and boutiques along 13th Street, but Bud & Marilyn’s ‘60s vibe makes you feel right at home.

1234 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Bloomsday Cafe

Bloomsday Cafe has a simple motto: believing in the simplicity of everyday pleasures. This all-day café serves natural wine, coffee, and cocktails “thoughtfully prepared and poured joyfully.” It’s located just off the historic Headhouse, which served as the first volunteer firehouse in 1805. The Headhouse Shambles are now home to a year-round weekly farmers’ market and nightly outdoor dining. Cocktail, anyone?

414 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA

Eye's Gallery

Husband-and-wife duo Isaiah and Julia Zagar opened their one-of-a-kind Eye’s Gallery as an ode to their love of Latin American folk art. Isaiah is a prominent mosaic artist, and the two served in the Peace Corps as craft developers to the Aymara and Inca people of the Andes Mountains in Peru. After settling in Philly, they opened their gallery to sell jewelry, art, textiles, and other hand-picked pieces. Although a fire shut down the pictured original space in July 2022, the gallery reopened a block away in April.

327 South Street, Philadelphia, PA

Forrest Theatre

A theatre built out of a business rivalry? Oh, the drama! In the mid-1900s, the Shubert brothers and A.L. Erlanger co-owned the original Forrest Theatre and had a mutual agreement to not employ destructive booking tactics against each other. However, after the original theater was demolished, things got a little …dramatic. Erlanger built a new theater, edging out the Shuberts. In retaliation, the brothers built the current Forrest Theatre as it stands today. Sounds like a story made for the stage!

114 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

English Village

Calling all Anglophiles: English Village is a secluded enclave of picturesque Tudor-style homes constructed in the 1920s. The courtyard – closed off to cars – is enveloped in British-style gardens and well-tended landscaping. Revel in the serene countryside charm and the homes’ pastel palette, sure to inspire a visit to the Cotswolds.

229 S 22nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

South Jessup St. & Irving St.

One of the worst-kept secrets in the Washington Square West neighborhood lies at the intersection of Jessup and Irving streets. The quiet location has all of the elements that make Philadelphia the quintessential American city: charming cobblestone streets, narrow brick walkways and Colonial-style homes. The houses boast wooden shutters, crawling ivy, marble steps and other historical accents.

222 S Jessup St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Fitler Square Neighborhood

Situated in the Fitler Square neighborhood, the 2400 block of Panama Street might be the most colorful in Philadelphia – and the prettiest, according to architecture critic Inga Saffron. “Every house is painted a different color. It’s very narrow and has Belgian bricks, and in the spring it’s overhung with cherry blossoms and magnolias and mimosas, a canopy of pink blossom,” Saffron told Philly Mag. If that doesn’t convince you to see it, we don’t know what will.

S 23rd St & Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Pennsylvania Hospital

Beyond the lightning rod and bifocals, Benjamin Franklin also helped found the Pennsylvania Hospital in the mid-1700s, as one of the oldest public hospitals in the United States. The hospital’s original Pine Building – which exemplifies Colonial and Federal period architecture – is home to the nation’s first surgical amphitheater and medical library. One of the most beautiful aspects of the building, however, is its Physic Garden, which boasts plants used for medicines in the 18th century and provides a nature-filled respite for patients and visitors alike.

800 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA

Harp & Crown

Named to be one of America’s most beautiful restaurants, Harp & Crown features 24-foot ceilings fitted with impressive chandeliers, leather booths and chairs, and walls lined with vintage wallpaper and photographs. Try the gastropub’s buffet-style brunch in the Garden Room, a light-filled space replete with hanging ferns and flea-market finds. For those searching for a more exclusive feel, the speakeasy-like basement holds a cocktail bar, lounge and two lane bowling alley. Don’t mind if we do!

1525 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

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