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    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2007
     
    So, my mother is getting married in July and her fiancee is from Philly. This is pretty cool, however because of the days they could get the church and could leave OK...the wedding is the day before my birthday. I have a friend in Princeton who will be coming down with her Canadian girlfriend to help me celebrate and there is a possibility of a Baltimore contingent too. The only problem is that I have never been to Philly and I don't know where I should go or what I should do to celebrate an out of town birthday or just to get to see the city in general. We'll be coming in on a Friday, the wedding is saturday afternoon. I will have Saturday evening, Sunday and part of Monday morning to do fun things in Philly. The only thing on my must list so far is the Mutter Museum (yeah, I'm weird). Any suggestions?
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2007 edited
     
    Son of a.... ok, I just wrote a long entry with a bunch of stuff and then my browser crashed. So you'll have to make do with the short version. Ready?

    Even though I've lived in the area most of my life, I don't know the city that well. However, I'm not a complete dolt. Old City is cool and it's got just about everything you could want. Great restaurants and bars, good historical sites and museum type stuff (Ben Franklin's house, first post office, Betsy Ross's house are all there), the only arthouse movie theaters in the area (Ritz Theaters) and it's right down by the waterfront (i.e. low numbered blocks). I'm pretty sure that's where the Real World folks lived too...

    In terms of specific restaurants and bars, I'm a little out of the loop. I used to live just north of the city, so all of my knowledge comes from those few years. Since I moved away a couple of years ago, a lot of the bars and stuff that I used to visit semi-regularly are gone (which is pretty typical of trendy areas I suppose). If you're in the mood for something really fancy and famous and don't mind paying, check out Morimoto (you'll need reservations, probably pretty early too - that's what you get if you want to eat at an Iron Chef's restaurant:P) In fact, all of Stephen Starr's restaurants come highly recommended, though I've only been to a couple (and I only went to Alma de Cuba for drinks, though that was nice). And did I mention they're expensive? Because they are. Seriously, though, there are lots of great restaurants in the area. I've been to several little places that I barely remember, but I've never had a bad experience... A couple of places I've been to multiple times: Aoi (decent, relatively inexpensive Sushi place, which is right down the street from a couple of good Irish pubs), New Deck (near Penn university, so lots of college students there, but good Irish bar, with typical bar food), and Pietros pizza (good gourmet pizza and other Italian food, I like them because they have Orval ale)

    I suppose I should mention South Street. Lots of shops of varying styles (actually, there's a Pietros just at the end of the popular area) and that's where the TLA (theater of living arts) is - a nice, small venue that usually has some sort of show (music, movie, comedian, etc...). Honestly, every time I've been to South Street, it's been a madhouse and not all that fantastic, but then, I'm not a shopping kinda guy and I hate really crowded areas. It's a diverse crowd, which means lots of everyone, good, bad, pierced, and ugly. I'm not a big fan, but lots of people seem to like it and it appears to be a popular attraction.

    And finally, you've got Pat's and Gino's. Honestly, you can get a quality Philly Cheesteak just about anywhere in Philly, but it's probably a good idea to check these out just so that you can say you've been there. They're open 24 hours a day, so you can go anytime, but I guarantee it'll be crowded from 2-3 am (i.e. after all the bars close). Personally, I prefer Pat's ("american wit!") but like I said, there are lots of places to get a quality cheesesteak. They're a little out of the way, but if it's 3 in the morning and you're hungry, it's hard to beat... No wonder we're a fat city:P

    And oh yeah, you've got the standard Art museum, Franklin Institute (King Tut exhibit is there this year), constitution center, and kimmel center (I think Wicked is playing there this summer).

    Ok, I said short version, right? Damn.

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2007
     
    You may shoot me for this (as will my future stepdad) but I may actually go without the Philly Cheese steak. Unless there are chicken and tofu versions, no one I am with will be able to eat it. I don't eat red meat, my boyfriend is vegan, my best friend is vegetarian and her girlfriend has celiac disease and would be killed by the bun. It may be sacrilegious, but it just isn't that high on the list. Sushi followed by some beers at an Irish pub might do the trick though. Thanks.

    I think the only shopping we were planning on doing is going to some big indoor market. I forget what it is called, but I think it's more food than anything else.
    •  
      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2007
     
    Naw, cheesesteaks are just a part of Philly that a lot of people want to know about because a lot of places outside the area have bad cheesesteaks (usually, you'll get slices of actual steak with cheese on them, as opposed to a real Philly cheesesteak). Most of the non-famous places to get cheesesteaks will also have chicken cheesesteaks... But seriously, if it's not your thing, it's not your thing:)

    Aoi is around 12th and Walnut. Their big thing is that they have all you can eat sushi (though there are limitations on what you can get). One of my friends loves this, though I honestly have a hard time getting my money's worth. Also worth noting is that you have to eat what you order, and they'll supposedly charge you extra if you leave even a few pieces of rice on your plate (apparently it's an "honor" thing, as the sushi chefs are right there... though I don't get it because every sushi place is like that and they don't charge extra). And the bathrooms are icky. It's a decent place, not the best sushi in the world, but ok (I have a soft spot for Aoi because it was the first place I ever had sushi). Sorry if it sounds like I'm playing it down, I just don't want to be blamed for a bad recommendation:P

    You mean Reading Terminal Market? I'd actually never been there until last year. It's pretty neat. There's a great cookie place in there somewhere (don't remember where exactly, except that it was near one of the exits/entrances). Lots of fresh produce and fish and whatnot, and probably a good place to grab lunch...

    ~tallman