What I’d Show You About Philadelphia

My Mom is coming to visit Philadelphia this weekend for the first time since we moved here. Here’s the thing: I really want her to love it. I want her to see the life that we’ve built here and be proud of me. I want her to see what I see when I walk around my neighborhood. And I want her to think I live in a really cool place. Because I do! In fact, according to the New York Times, Philadelphia is #3 on the list of 52 Places to Go in 2015.

love statue philadelphia

So if you were coming to Philly, here’s what I’d want to show you. Here’s what I’d want you to see in this beautiful city of mine.

1 // It’s safer than its reputation.

There are neighborhoods you don’t go to at night, just like any city. But overall, I feel safe here. In doing research for this post, I checked out some of the crime stats in Philadelphia over recent years and crime by neighborhood. I found that no murders or rapes have happened in my neighborhood in the last 6 months. A lot of people’s cars get broken into though. I guess that’s the upside to me having a really old, crappy car.

2 // The New York Times wasn’t wrong when they called it “the making of an urban outdoor oasis”.

The parks and recreation available in Philly is absurd. Everywhere you walk, there’s a little park and they’ve recently re-done a lot of outdoor areas. In fact, they’ve just opened a boardwalk along the Schuylkill River for running and to help move the foot traffic from University City and South Philly to Center City with ease. The dog park by our house is astroturf and incredibly well-maintained. Plus, we’re getting a bike share program this spring!

Schuylkill River Boardwalk

3 // We are killin’ it with the brunch options.

BRUNCH. My favorite meal of the week. Philadelphia is loaded with brunch options. But so is every city, right? But unlike New York or D.C., you can find a great variety of brunch options. From $9 to $40, yoga pants to fancy pants, cozy to classy, you can do brunch how you want to do brunch. And you don’t need a reservation a week in advance to get in. This doesn’t just apply to brunch, it goes for all meals. And hey, if you aren’t into brunch, you can always grab a cheesesteak or a soft pretzel.

Philadelphia Brunch

4 // It’s oozing charm.

If you like brick and shutters, Philadelphia will make your heart go pitter patter. My favorite streets are the really narrow ones, paved with cobblestone, and lined with brick rowhouses with shutters in every color. Sometimes as I walk I try to pick which house is my favorite on a street. I can never choose just one.

Philadelphia Cobblestone Street

5 // You have a dog, in a bar?

Our neighborhood bar allows dogs (proof). And it’s not just bars. There are tons of dogs here. And a shockingly high goldendoodle population (no seriously, they’re taking over the neighborhood). Archie told me that he loves living in Philadelphia and he wanted me to add that trash day is his favorite day because – all the smells!

archie walks

6 // It’s city life with a low-key feel.

Everything about Philadelphia is pretty casual. I don’t have that feeling of inferiority that I sometimes get in New York (but maybe that’s just me). I can’t quite describe it. Maybe it’s all the hipsters or the fact that I don’t have to wear heels to a bar and I still fit in. Maybe all the brick just makes it feel cozy and un-intimidating.

So basically, we’ve lived in Philly for three months now and I can safely say – we love it. It’s quickly become our home.

  • Glad you’re loving life in Philly! Even though I am stuck in the suburbs I try to make once a week pilgrimages because I can’t live without my Philly fix 🙂

  • Love your picture of the neighborhood. My dad is from Philly and always loved it. I would love to go back someday!

  • Many of my favorite bloggers live in Philly. I would love to join y’all even more after this post. It looks like so much fun!

  • I love that you made this post! I think so many people have these negative stereotypes about Philadelphia (I’ll admit even I did) and the city is so much more than that!

  • This makes me miss “home”! I always love to see Philly through the eyes of someone who moved there as a young adult, because whenever I go back to visit I just fall into what I did as a teenager.

  • I agree, Philly is great!

  • I’m glad you’re loving it in Philly! I’ve always lived in the close suburbs of Philly, and in the spring I’m planning to move into the city (here’s hoping). As great as NYC is for a day, and as much as I loved San Fran (and would move there in a heartbeat) and Boston, I think Philly may be one of the greatest cities in the world (but maybe I’m biased).

  • We live about 20 minutes outside of Philly, and we go there almost weekly. They always have lots of stuff on the weekends, and the BEST restaurants.

  • Jessica

    I’m glad you are loving Philly. I’m in Philly, born and raised. In one of the as you said not good neighborhoods to go into at night. haha.

  • never been to Philedelphia but it looks great! Definitely on our list when we move.

  • I *still* want to meet you and Archie at the dog park sometime! 🙂

  • I’ve never been, but it’s definitely on my list!

  • I love Philly too! I’m there about once a month (and moving a little later this year-ahhh!) and I was absolutely expecting to not be comfortable there or have it feel so different than California (and it does) that I just wouldn’t be able to adjust but I love it. I’ve been able to really explore the city and every time I’m there, I just seem to love it more and more.
    Frankford Hall soft pretzels with the white cheese sauce (and a huge beer, obviously) are my favorite. If you havent been to Cafe la Maude for brunch, its amazing. Also, so far my favorite restaurant is Sampan, We went last week and I seriously can’t get over how amazing it was.
    Glad you guys are enjoying the city!

  • I’ve never been, but it sounds amazing! It kind of sounds like everything I love about Cincinnati… except I don’t think there are dog bars here. My neighborhood does do a pup crawl once a year where you can bring your dog around to all of the bars and stuff.

  • lex

    So great to hear you are settling in and loving it! I’ve never been to Philly but you are making it sound worth a trip! (especially if you can bring your dog in a bar…WHAT?)

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  • Wow those brunch pictures look so good, how do you decide!!! I think Philadelphia is definitely on my must visit list now, thank you for sharing

  • OMG just being able to have a dog in a bar totally makes it worth it for me. Miami & Key West are like that too. I’m sad D.C. is too stuck up about those things…

  • Shell

    I like Philly it’s a cool place. But I will have to disagree with you on number 3. I don’t know where you go to in NYC but I can give you several options that have great brunches from $10-$75. Not everything is expensive as what tv makes it out to be. As for dogs in the bars. There are a few bars in Brooklyn that allow it. It’s the city that shuts it down saying it’s unsanitary.

  • It has never been high on my list but the way you describe it makes me want to go there tomorrow! It sounds amazing. Also I love how you started the post out. When we moved to our new place I couldn’t wait for my mom to come see it and I hoped she would fall in love with it.

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