June 16, 2012


I am still in Istanbul enjoying time with my family and friends...so I have this last guest post for you by my amazing friend Amanda. Hope you're okay with the lower case post. Haha!

This time she's talking about something she's very proud of and I have to admit me too. It's all about the city of brotherly love and my lovely readers...I have been to this city and it is amazing. If you never made it there you are missing out. It is by far my favorite east coast city (sorry NYC, I love you but Philly has won my heart!!). I will be back there soon...my cousin lives there! So I definitely have a reason to go again - besides visiting Amanda of course! 
*LOVED reading this post...brought back funny memories especially with the challenge we both mastered so beautifully...

Have fun reading about Philadelphia!
Get some eye drops...it's a long post!

Have a great weekend and I shall be back with my own updates next week.
Excited to hear from me again???
You better be.
Missed you all.

xoxo,  Selma


amanda here. hope y'all have been doing well!

i think i told you before that i'm a transplant to philly from louisiana. well, today i'm going to tell you about that. in 2004, i got the opportunity to move to philly for 6 months to work with a non-profit organization. i was NOT expecting what i got when i moved there. I FELL IN LOVE!! what an amazing city! but, i'd already made a commitment to another job back home, so in august 2004, i headed back to louisiana, but not without a heavy heart. it was all i thought about for a couple of years and finally, i decided to go for it. so on january 3, 2007, i packed my car with as much as i could and headed out of the home i'd known for 25 years. i got to philly on january 5, 2007 and it's been my home ever since. (don't worry, it didn't take me 3 days to drive here, i stopped a few times!).
the longer i've lived here, there more i've grown to know and love it! i lived with a friend (that i met on an airplane!) for a couple of months while i tried to find a place to live and a job. i spent a lot of time wondering around the city by myself, but now i know it better than most born and raised philadelphians! i thought i'd share some of that knowledge with y'all! who knows maybe you'll fall in love just like i have!

there are so many things, i hardly know where to start! well, i guess first things should be first! philadelphia is the city of firsts. there are many things that were first in philadelphia. here are a few:

library: 1901 vine st.
zoo: in west philly
stock exchange
united states mint: at 5th and race
art institution: PA academy of the fine arts
med school: UPenn
theater: walnut street theater, 825 walnut st.
grand opera house: academy of music, 240 s. broad st.
taxi service
thanksgiving day parade
department store: wanamaker's, which is now macy's center city (and the site of the movie, mannequin), 1300 market st.

philadelphia is also home to many 4 year colleges and universities:

thomas jefferson university
drexel university (where the airplane friend went to school)
holy family university
lasalle university
moore college of art and design (where selma's aunt's sister is the dean)
pennsylvania academy of the fine arts
philadelphia university
st. joseph's university
temple university
university of the arts
university of pennsylvania (ivy league)
villanova (outside the city limits, but we don't hate)

there's always the historical part of philly:

independence hall: 14 n. 6th st.
liberty bell: right across the street from independence hall
betsy ross' house: 239 arch st.
ben franklin's grave: at christ church burial ground, 3rd and arch

but, here are my favorite parts of philly, the things i do on a regular basis!

one of the best things to do on a nice night out is to walk along the river at boat house row

or on main st. in manayunk. there are tons of shops and restaurants/bars. manayunk is also home to the international cycling championship every year in june. cyclists have to climb the steep streets that are difficult to WALK up, much less ride a bike up.

chestnut hill is about 10 minutes from where i live and the last time selma was here, she helped me explore it! we found a great place to get a mani/pedi. we also found some great places to eat.

since we are talking about neighborhoods, i'll keep going with that. society hill and the gayborhood in center city are pretty spectacular as well. south philly is very interesting and has it's own culture. when you're in south philly, you have to take a walk down south street, home of jim's steaks (we'll talk about that later) and condom kingdom (i know, i know) and occasionally flash mobs, so be careful! also in south philly are the sports venues: lincoln financial field - "the linc" (home of the eagles), the wells fargo center - "the well" (home of the 76ers and the flyers), and citizens bank park (home of the phillies and the greatest mascot in the world, the phillie phanatic!)

in center city, you must check out the race street pier (at penn's landing) which is only about a year old and a very nice place to hang out and read a book or get some sun. check out city hall, it's a gorgeous building that is in the very center of the city. last i checked you can take a ride up to a lookout inside the clock tower for free. it was once the tallest building in philly. there was a gentleman's agreement that no one would build anything taller than william penn (who sits atop city hall), but in 1987 construction was complete on one liberty place and that ended the agreement. the buildings are still only taller in certain areas of the city, so as to not hinder penn's view of the delaware river.

 in this picture you can see city hall in the center with penn on top. one liberty place is to the left with the antenna on top.

places to get food:
reading terminal market: 12th and filbert st.
italian market: on 9th street between washington ave. and christian st. in s. philly

azalea gardens in fairmount park (the largest landscaped park in the u.s. at 9,200 acres) is a fantastic place to hang out on a nice day for a picnic. i was actually just there last week.

if you're looking for cheesesteaks, there's the iconic pat's and geno's at 9th and passyunk in south philly, or tony luke's at front and oregon. but, i prefer jim's on south street. or you can always do what selma and i have done, which is the cheesesteak challenge: one from each place! do NOT eat breakfast if you plan to do this and take your time.

another thing that makes philly unique is the mural arts program (which you can check out at http://muralarts.org/ ). it started in 1984 as an anti-graffiti campaign and has grown to over 3,000 murals around the city. it affects over 1,500 youth in the city every year.

before you leave, you have to take a run to the top of the "rocky steps" which is actually the art museum and take a picture with the statue (but only after you've made the run up the steps!). you also have to check out love park and check out the art that everyone knows, but has no idea where it originated. (by the way, the O is crooked on purpose, to show that human love is imperfect, beautiful right!)

you should most definitely take a trip "down the shore" while you're in philly and check out the jersey shore (NOT THE SHOW!) but, rather the towns like ocean city, sea isle city, wildwood, and atlantic city.

there's so much more i should tell you, but i think this will do for now! have a great day and let me know if you're ever planning to visit this fine city. i shall be your personal tour guide!


Ashley said...

I had never really considered going to philly before, but I had no idea it was so beautiful. I'll pay a visit someday :)

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

This is one gigantic post but I still love it. :)

I miss Philly...and it's so worth going. :)

Thanks Amanda for writing about it!


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