Philadelphia and the dictionary, overlaid. I’m still missing J, O, Q, V, Y, though – any ideas?
Anachronism, most wonderful: Wagner Free Institute of Science, last renovated in 1892
Bicycle shop of choice: Trophy Bikes, just west of the Walnut Street bridge
Cupcakes, best: Brown Betty’s
Dr. Dog: Great local band
Ethiopian food, cluster: Baltimore Avenue in the mid-40s blocks
Furness, Frank: Superstar local architect, 1839-1912. Designed the Fisher Fine Arts Library at Penn and an earlier iteration of Wayne Junction Station. Surname is pronounced “furnace.”
Grand building: Philadelphia’s City Hall, an immense marble boondoggle that’s oddly beautiful, in its own right
Historic tourist walkabout: Old City
Italian Market: Best place to get persimmons and other produce; home to Fante’s kitchenware shop
Kelly Writers House: Best place to relax at Penn; also winner of best readings and best reception food
Library: Fisher Fine Arts Library. The Philadelphia Free Library’s central branch is quite grand in the Classical style; I also like the modern Nicetown-Tioga branch in North Philly.
Mummers: Crazycolorful people who march in the New Year’s parade. Visit the Mummers Museum in South Philly to learn more.
Neighborhood names, coolest: Fishtown, Nicetown, Fairhill, Mt. Airy, Manayunk, Mantua, Queen Village, Strawberry Mansion
Poor artist’s dream: The Fleisher Art Memorial, established in 1898 to offer free art classes and still going strong
Radio station, local: WXPN. Check out their Free at Noon Friday concerts!
Schuylkill: Pronounced “SKOO-cull”
Transportation: Bicycles over SEPTA
Unusual first date: The Love Letter train tour, on the Market-Frankford El between 46th and 52nd streets; part of one of the arguably coolest things in Philly, the Mural Arts Project
Winter activity, best: Sledding in Clark Park bowl
X marks the spot: Independence Hall and the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Together, these represent 90 percent of what tourists want to see, and potentially the strongest associations with the entire city of Philadelphia: the signing of the Declaration of Independence/Liberty Bell duo and Rocky.
Z: The end