“I love Paris. I love London. I love Rome. All amazing cities. But now I am smitten with Philadelphia,” begins a recent piece in the Vancouver Sun. Writer Steve Whysall goes on to detail each of his favorite things about our city, among of which include:
The People Want Rocky: Why Did it Take the Art Museum and the City’s Tourism Folks So Long to Understand That?
Dan McQuade, God bless you. Your immortal post on Rocky’s run through the streets of Philadelphia has finally shaken the marble pillars that keep the city’s art elite and tourism snobs high above us all and removed from reality. And the reality is that Philadelphia is Rocky and Rocky is Philadelphia.
In case you missed it, Dan’s post on how far Rocky’s run to the Art Museum steps equaled in real miles was shared and spread around the world. The overwhelming response was only eye-opening to those who have been trying so long to ignore the allure of the movie legend.
And now, with Dan’s post and the Rocky musical opening, the city’s upper crust can’t ignore it anymore.
Good for you, Molly Phipps, of North Carolina’s Shelby Star. You may have chosen some of the expected — the Liberty Bell, Elfreth’s Alley, Ben Franklin, a cheesesteak — but you also chose a place that no one ever, never, ever puts on a list of things to do in Philadelphia, and especially in Old City:
“The fourth thing you can’t miss is a very special bookstore in Old City: Jules Goldman Books & Antiques on North 2nd Street. To say I love books would be a huge understatement, but this store had so much more. It had two floors, a whole section for art and a dusty room dedicated to old records. There was even a record set of the original airing of Orson Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds.’ If you’re a book lover, or just happen to be visiting Old City, I wouldn’t miss it.”
That is completely terrific. Here are some photos of what the store has…in store:
Sure, the federal government shutdown has closed lots of the sites you came to Philadelphia to see. But don’t be sad. There’s much more to Philly than Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. For instance:
The Trocadero: Why not take in a concert as a late-night escape? In mid-October, Comedy Bang! Bang! and Thomas Dolby’s Invisible Lighthouse Live will be hitting the venerable Troc. It is, after all, better to be blinded with science than to be blinded by the wheels flying off of our federal government, right?
Franklin Institute: Speaking of science, it’s not going anywhere during the shutdown. As if the NSA scandal doesn’t have you paranoid enough already, you can check out the Franklin Institute’s “SPY: The Secret World of Espionage” exhibit through Oct. 6. It’s just the latest reminder that your information isn’t the only thing being compromised on Capitol Hill.
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That’s pretty, isn’t it?
The great thing about government shutdowns it that they bring people together. If you go to Independence Mall today—or any day for the foreseeable future—you’ll notice large groups of people standing around on the grass, talking to one another. How nice. These are people who came for the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, or the Independence Hall Visitor Center–all of which are closed. In fact, if you want to play a sadistic parlor game, go linger by the entrances of any one of these places, wait for unsuspecting tourists to pull fruitlessly at the doors, and then–preferably leaning against a wall, with a toothpick in your mouth–say, ‘Closed, pal.’
CBS Philly reports that the city has been hosting travel bloggers this week, an effort to get them to promote Philadelphia to their readers. It sounds like the effort has been a success. “I had been to Philadelphia twice before and had done the very tourist side of Philadelphia,” says Erin Musich, who writes the blog The World Wanderer, “and with this trip I was able to do the neighborhoods and really feel what it was like to be a local and really see the other side. And I loved it.” Among the lessons learned: South Street is pretty cool. Who knew?
As if we need another excuse to log onto Facebook today, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) debuted a new quiz on the Visit Gay Philly Facebook page. Not only is the page designed to help LGBT visitors figure out which Philadelphia neighborhood best suits them (Are you into nightclubbing or antiquing? Or both?), but it gives everyone a chance to win a weekend stay in Philadelphia, including free tickets to the next Lady Gaga concert.
It’s all part of GPTMC’s popular “Philadelphia: Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay” campaign (the biggest LGBT tourism campaign launched in the U.S. at one point). The quiz also asks questions about dining, shopping and nightlife as it relates to five neighborhoods: the Gayborhood, Old City, Rittenhouse Square/Benjamin Franklin Parkway, East Passyunk and New Hope in Bucks County.
If you complete the personality quiz between now and November 15, you’ll be entered to win a weekend stay in Philadelphia, which includes: