philly

Philadelphia Museum of Art

It’s hard to drive on the I-76 through Philadelphia and not miss the gargantuan building that is the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  This museum is seriously impressive, boasting two floors filled with various collections ranging from Impressionist paintings to arms & armors collection to a Japanese garden.

Full disclosure: as much as I love museums, I often take advantage of free/discount days.  Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I paid full admission price for a museum.  The awesome thing about the Philadelphia Museum of Art is every Wednesday night from 5pm – 8:45 pm and every first Sunday of the month is pay-as-you-wish admission. I asked one of the staff what’s the lowest you can pay, and they said “one penny”.  SERIOUSLY.  For one penny, you can have access to one of the best art collections.

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Another amazing thing about the art museum is the views.  The views from inside the museum or outside on the steps are some of the best in the city.  If you’re feeling extra touristy, the Rocky statue awaits you down the steps.  It’s become my favorite summer evening activity – going there on Wednesday nights after work and watching the sunset.  It doesn’t get much better than this.

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For more information, visit – https://philamuseum.org/

philly

An afternoon in East Passyunk

I’m finally getting a slow week after a few weeks of work and hosting visitors.  Finally I’m able to look through the photos I took of the places I visited and compile them into a post.  Up first – East Passyunk.

Despite living in Philly for 2 years now, this was actually my first time venturing down to East Passyunk (or even South Philly in general).  I’m not sure why, but I always have found my sweet spot to be hovering around Center City & Old City.  I’m a creature of habit, I suppose.

But when my friend visiting from San Francisco told me that she has to visit this plant shop in Philly, lo and behold it was located in East Passyunk.  Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect.  But after spending the afternoon there on a sweltering July day, I love it. So much.  What I love about it is that despite it having so many cute shops, cafes, and restaurants (which are all ridiculously well-rated), it’s not overly crowded, it’s fairly easy to find parking, and it maintains the perfect combination of residential and “hey, there’s stuff to do here” vibe.

As we were walking towards East Passyunk, we were greeted by this mural outside of Bing Bing Dim Sum.  We already had dinner plans so we didn’t dine here, but I’m definitely coming back.  It has great reviews… and that cat.

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In my opinion, the Gritty mural alone is worth the trip.  We probably spent 20 minutes trying to get “the perfect profile pic” in front of Gritty.  The best part was this lady who lives directly across the street, taking pictures of us taking pictures with Gritty.

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Rival Bros. is one of my favorite coffee roasters here in town.  Granted, I always visit the location near Kimmel Center.  But this one in East Passyunk was just so darn cute.

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The granddaddy of it all was visiting Urban Jungle.  It’s one of the best indoor plant shops I’ve been to.  Fair warning, there’s no AC inside and I was sweating like a beast.  Regardless, the employees were so knowledgeable and helpful, and I got a cutie little plant to add to my collection.  My friend also bought a plant and lugged it back to San Francisco.

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I suppose another reason why East Passyunk is known as the foodie hub of Philly is its close proximity to Italian Market.  It’s just a stone’s throw away.  So we ended up walking towards Italian Market, passing by the famous Pat’s and Geno’s.  In case you were wondering, I don’t favor one over the other.  I live in Roxborough, and my wallet is loyal to Dalessandro’s.

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philly

Philly from the top

The thing you need to know about me is I really enjoy a good observation deck.  As much as I have a fear of heights, I absolutely love staring down at a cityscape and taking it all in.  Sure, it’s a bit “touristy”, but it’s always on top of the list of any city I visit.

Six years ago, Ian and I had just started dating, and I was visiting him for Christmas.  We did a day trip to Center City in Philly, and one of the things we did was go to the observation deck inside city hall.  Although Philly has another really famous observation deck (One Liberty Observation Deck), my fond memories really tie me to the OG city hall version.  In fact, every time I have out-of-town visitors, I make sure to take them to the observation deck.

If anything, the experience is kinda fun.  You have to go through a metal detector (like at an airport).  Then you get to walk through parts of the city hall.  Finally, to reach the top, you ride in a teeny tiny elevator that only holds about 6 people.  On the elevator ride, you can look out to see all the constructions of the building.  It’s quite neat!  On the observation deck, you are boxed in with glass windows, so there is no worry about being too windy or cold.

Click here for ticket info, hours, and location.

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The Rail Park

Ian and I have been living in Philadelphia for almost 2 years now.  I am still amazed at the amazing new finds I’m discovering in the city – restaurants, architecture, parks, etc.  A few weeks ago, my mom came for her annual visit, and she suggested that we visit The Rail Park after reading about it in a newspaper article.  Funnily enough, I had no idea what she was referring to!

The Rail Park is basically Philadelphia’s response to NYC’s High Line.  They are using defunct railroad viaducts to build this urban, sky-level park.  The project has 3 phases, and currently only phase 1 is complete and open to the public.  It’s a short 1/4 mile stretch of the park filled with steel swing benches, lots of greenery, and plenty of seating.

For more information, visit https://www.therailpark.org.

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philly

Cake

Cake – $$
8501 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19118

Since moving to Philadelphia a year ago, a lot of friends traveling through the city have asked me for recommendations.  My response is usually “uhhhhhh idk”.  It’s not that I don’t want to be helpful, but I’m a creature of habit and I tend to frequent the same 5 spots over and over.  I’m trying to be a little bit more adventurous and try more things.  I’m hoping this section of the blog will be a hub that will turn into a Philly Guide – Annie edition.

If nothing else, it’ll always have pretty pictures :)

First up – Cake.  My favorite neighborhood in Philadelphia is hands down, Chestnut Hill.  It’s super duper cute and quaint.  It has tree-lined, cobblestone streets with boutique shops along both sides.  One storefront always stood out to me – Cake.  It’s not necessarily the name that stood out, but the fact that the entire store is basically a greenhouse.  I looked it up and discovered that it’s a brunch/bakery eatery and I quickly put it on my list.

Today, on my husband’s 29th birthday, we finally visited.  The greenery inside is very inviting, and the food is top notch.  We also finished our brunch with a peanut butter chocolate tart, which was super rich and a perfect end to a fabulous meal.