"Philly Philly..." Philadelphia by Zarasher

Philadelphia Travel Guide: 2,214 reviews and 4,547 photos

Some Background

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the second-largest city on the East Coast of the United States, is a dynamic destination full of big city excitement and small town charm. And with daily non-stop service from London and Manchester, Philadelphia is easy to get to and a convenient gateway to a true U.S.A. experience.

Known throughout the world for the founding of the United States, Philadelphia is home to more American history -- including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, two of the most treasured monuments celebrating American freedom -- than any other city in the U.S. Philadelphia is also a major cultural centre, with museum and performing arts treasures such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Barnes Foundation, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Ballet.

Unlike most cities in the U.S.A., Philadelphia is a residential city made up of a variety of neighborhoods, each with their own character. The easily navigable streets make Philadelphia a walker's paradise while an extensive public transport system makes travel throughout downtown and the surrounding countryside easy.

Philadelphia is filled with award-winning restaurants offering exceptional cuisine and decor from regional American favourites to flavours from around the globe. Between meals, you will want to leave plenty of time for shopping. The largest shopping complexes and the quaintest speciality shops can all be found in Philadelphia, and they all offer tax-free shopping on clothing and shoes. At night, the city is full of performing arts, music, dancing, sports and film.

My Philly Trip

I had a frend who was working in Philadelphia for six months, so I stayed with her for a week in October 2003. I stayed with her just of Broad Street. Much of my time was spent in a bar called Bob and Barbara's playing bingo with drag queens and retireess. Below is a review I have copied and pasted which is hilarious as it describes it as the local dive which is eactly what we called it!

"A juke joint of urban sleaze, Bob and Barbara's continues to draw patrons with its cheap drinks and oddball events. Folding chairs, shadowy corners and flashing-neon beer signs lend the place credence as a kind of Disneyland of hipster low-life -- a goofier version of similar haunts on New York's Lower East Side. But it's not just slummers and frat-boy wannabes that give Bob and Barbara's its ethereal charm. Because of its location in the heart of a residential neighborhood, the bar attracts plenty of locals, for whom B&B's is just the local dive. It's this schizoid personality that makes the place what it is. One night a week, you'll find the organ-driven lounge-jazz of Nate Wiley and the Crowd Pleasers; another night features a raucous drag show. Just as popular is the signature drink special: a shot of Jim Beam and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Less fashionable than familiar, this just might be the quintessential Philly nightspot. -- Nathaniel Friedman (Photo: Stefan Abrams)"

When I wasnt in bob and babara's I was at another "hotspot" Pen and Pencil, apparently named after its clientele. Apparently its the nation's oldest press club!

Pulitzer Prize winning Play

One of the highlights in my Philadelphia trip was going to see the Susan Lori Parks play... Topdog/Underdog by the Philadelphia Theatre Company at the Plays and Players Theatre.

I had read some of her other works and was delighted at the chance to be able to see this play. On the day that we went the theatre was quite empty... We arrived early and the computer system wasnt working so we were asked by a man who seemed to be running things near the front door if we would direct people to their seats and take their tickets in exchange for seats... I was more than happy to make such an exchange in order to see the Pulitzer prize winning play and in the process making a saving of $40. It was easy enough... didnt take long and then we took our seats comfortably up front!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Cold winters...little shopping
  • Cons:Culture, friendly people, everything condensed
  • Last visit to Philadelphia: Oct 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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