Now that my first year in Philadelphia has come to an end, and I am home for the summer, I started thinking about what I miss from Philadelphia. These are the places where I made the most memories and will be sure to see again as soon as I return in August. If anyone is ever in Philadelphia, I implore you to check these not-so-touristy locations out.
1. South Street
South Street has an insane amount of local fame. There are so many different places to eat and shop, and the lively aesthetic makes it a great place to walk around. The buildings, sidewalks, and even trash cans are covered in art. Far east, there is the South Street Diner, which has been there for 33 years--practically an eternity in South Street time.
As for myself, I love walking around in the different shops and looking at the beautiful colors and lights surrounding me. I even got my first tattoo at No Ka Oi, a right on the corner of South and 4th. It is my go-to for any boring afternoon.
2. Silk City Diner Bar & Lounge
The Silk City Diner is located on Spring Garden and 5th street. The atmosphere is very tradition-meets-today's-hipsters, with the classic old train car diner and delicious food, but it also has a club with live music and an outdoor garden with seating in the springtime is attached as well.
My boyfriend and I discovered this place when we were looking for somewhere to eat one Sunday, and it has become our Sunday night tradition. We always split a plate of chicken wings, then order various sides or desserts. It's delicious, fun, and a great way to start our week.
3. Octavius V. Catto Monument
I am absolutely fascinated by monuments and museums so my appreciation may be a bit different than others, but I would still encourage everyone to visit this monument when in Philly. The monument is located on the Southwest corner of City Hall. I discovered it when walking past City Hall, and then did my reading on Catto.
Octavius V. Catto was one of the most influential Civil Rights leaders in Philadelphia during the late nineteenth century. He was a staunch abolitionist, and post Civil War, fought for voting rights for African Americans, desegregated public transportation, and ratification of the 15th amendment. He was shot and killed October 10, 1871, the first day African Americans were allowed to vote in Philadelphia, at the young age of 32.
Philadelphia is a city with monuments, but this one tells a story we do not hear enough of, and it is done so beautifully.
4. Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute is an interactive science museum right by Logan Square. There are many different exhibits that are fun for all ages to touch, and there is so much to learn. They have special exhibits as well if you are willing to pay the extra price. The museum is named for, you guessed it, Benjamin Franklin.
I recently attended the Star Party After Party, a formal late night gathering where you can dance, drink, and explore the museum after hours. All around though, it is a fun, educational experience for all ages. Plus, the area surrounding the museum is beautiful as well.
5. Union Transfer
My Photo of Mom Jeans Live
Union Transfer is a concert venue located on 10th and Spring Garden. It is a great venue--good prices, good sound, great security. I saw Mom Jeans there on Halloween, and the music, the crowd, the venue, was all phenomenal. It is standing room only, and although it does have a few bars, most shows are all ages with the optional 21+ wristband, which allows everyone to enjoy the music. I am on their email list, and every week they have great bands of all genres playing. If your favorite band is in Philly, I would definitely go there to see them.
6. Washington Square
Now, this one is a bit of a hot take. Everyone loves Fairmount Park or Rittenhouse Square, but my favorite is Washington Square. It does share a name with the one in New York, which can be confusing, but it has its own reputation. It is located in Southeast Center City, with plenty of benches and green space.
I frequent it whenever I am in Center City looking at restaurants and shops, and it is also very close to one of my other favorite places: South Street. It is great for a quick sit, a picnic at midnight during finals week, or just a quick stroll. I love finding green space in the city, and Washington Square gives green space without taking me away from the excitement of Center City Philadelphia.
7. Temple University
I could not write this article without mentioning Temple University. This school brought me to Philadelphia, where I met some of my closest friends, my boyfriend, and got to see all these amazing places. Plus, I am getting a great education and paving my own career path. I would be a different person if I had attended another school, and I am so happy I picked Temple. Go Owls!