Unique Places in Philadelphia

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Philadelphia

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo

    Let's dig around in some old dusty junk :-)

    by Pawtuxet Updated Dec 6, 2004

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    I love pouring through old stuff....and where better to get the real feel of the city's history than in their architectural "bone yards"? You can find vintage doors, bars, lighting, signs, stained glass, furmiture, iron fence pieces....the list is endless. This place had 3 floors of dusty old building parts to investigate. Prices higher than in Rhode Island, but lots of intrigueing gems.
    Architectural Antiques Exchange

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    Turn on the light!!

    by Pawtuxet Updated Dec 6, 2004

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    Here is a fun spot to wander through. You could choose a period lighting fixture from among the zillion pieces they have on display. Helpful clerks to guide you through the maze. Reasonable prices. Much more interesting purchase to take home than a typical soulvenir. Nancy found just the right globe for an old floor lamb in their 20's row house
    THE CLASSIC LIGHTING EMPORIUM.

    Great 20's chandeleirs
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  • Vintage Tattoos

    by peach93 Updated Feb 4, 2005

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    Philadelphia Eddie's tattoo parlor is famous in certain circles and certainly in the tattoo world. They specialize in vintage-style tattoos of the "sword through heart" and "Mom" variety and their designs are true to history. There are not many artists who excel in this type of work, so if you are interested in having some done, I recommend visiting if you are in town. And no, I didn't get one.

    Just Ignore the Police Car
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  • keida84's Profile Photo

    City of Philadelphia Water Works

    by keida84 Written Apr 5, 2005

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    In the year 1793 it wasn't unusual to detect a whiff of camphor or vinegar in Philadelphia’s air. It was thought the odors warded off the deadly yellow fever.

    There was filth in the streets and not enough water to wash it away. And what little water there was came from the city's wells, by then fouled with waste from nearby cisterns (drains) and cesspools.

    Benjamin Franklin, upon his death in 1790, willed the city 100,000 pounds to develop an abundant supply of water to "insure the health, comfort and preservation of the citizens."
    Engineer Benjamin Henry Latrobe recommended tapping the Schuylkill, distributing water through a network of bored spruce and pine pipes. Two pumping stations were built, one at the Chestnut Street wharf, another at Centre Square where City Hall now stands.

    The buildings are beautiful, built in the Federal and Greek revival style.

    In time the Water Works was surrounded by an 8,900-acre park, today the largest city park in the world.

    The U.S. Department of the Interior has declared the Fairmount Water Works a National Historic Landmark as have two professional engineering societies. Historical reports on its technology and architecture are deposited in the Library of Congress.

    You can view the Water Works from the hilltop behind the Art Museum.

    The Water Works
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo

    Colorful doorways...wonderful row houses

    by Pawtuxet Written Dec 7, 2004

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    This was one of my favorites. It's located on Elfreth's Alley, but there are so many interesting row houses in Philadelphia. The friends I stayed with are hoping to do some restoration on their row house. . . a neighborhood that is on its way up. Amazing what some of the little pocket gardens and back yards look like. Reminds me of some of Wash, DC on the "hill".

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    What the ?...

    by spgood301 Written Mar 5, 2006

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    That's what I said when I came upon the South Street Magic Garden. That's if an edifice put together with old beer bottles and other junk, all bonded with (I think) cement is your idea of magic, that is. You can actually walk in and check it out up close, if you'd like. Admission if free - would you pay to see this?

    There's a sign asking to "Save the Magic Garden". I can't believe someone wants to get rid of this thing!

    Stop in the Magic Garden for, at least, a bit of a chuckle. Find it on South Street, between S 10th and 11th.

    South Street Magic Garden South Street Magic Garden South Street Magic Garden

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  • DrexelDragon's Profile Photo

    University City

    by DrexelDragon Written Dec 9, 2004

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    Not often an attraction for many tourists in my mind. It's a decent area and getting better. The homebase for this area is certainly the University of Pennsylvania. My school, Drexel University is right next to it. These two are the main hubs for UnivCity, but there is also the Culinary Institute and UPS (mainly a pharmacy and sciences university). UPenn is the largest, and also has the nicest campus. Take a stroll through Locust Walk and you can feel the school's pedigree. A wealth of academia, ideas, diversity, and heritage. The school buildings are mostly all brick, and they continue to expand. Before I graduated in 2001, they had opened a new campus bookstore, and they recently completed a new building for the Wharton School of Business Management. Drexel on the other hand is not a nice, but it has certainly improved its worth. I went back to campus not too long ago for my transcripts and I couldn't believe it. They refurbished a street area so that it's a small square area. There's a new business college building. There's new landscaping. It's a tremendous improvement over what I had to live with...I wish they had done it sooner so I could have enjoyed my school more. University City is always buzzing during semester and a walk around will be enjoyable.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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  • jltan's Profile Photo

    Experience 18th Century Americana

    by jltan Written Oct 3, 2003

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    At the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation at Ridley Creek State Park.

    It is a showcase of how people farm from the late 1700s. It also serves as a research and educational facility on the 18th century life of an ordinary American.

    Among the year-round activities are: A Plantation Faire, Colonial Spring Dinner, Civil War Reenactment, Harvest Feast, Revolutionary War Encampment and Interpretation, and Ghost Tours.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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  • bct341's Profile Photo

    Jillians---Eat,. Drink and Play!!

    by bct341 Updated Jul 14, 2003

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    This is a great place for family fun.. or just to get away for a bit. They have a bowling alley, larger pool table area.. sports bar.. a huge video arcade with the newest games. And, they also have a dance floor also...so, there is something for everyone here.

    Jillians are nationwide and have places from Boston to phoenix and San Francisco. So, if you can't make it to the one here in Philly, check out their website and go to one closer to you :)

    Hours of Operation
    Club Hours:
    Mon - Wed:
    11am - 1am

    Thurs - Sat:
    11am - 2am

    Sunday:
    11am - 12am

    Where: Franklin MIlls factory outlet mall

    Jillians
    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Visit our Colonial Past

    by grandmaR Updated Oct 7, 2005

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    In 1969 when we were living in Philadelphia, my family (including at least 2 children under 8) visited Winterthur and did the family accessible section of the museum. I remember that we saw four or five rooms similar to the ones that I saw later in the main museum. I think this would have been something similar to

    # Gracious Living: View American furnishings from the 1600s to the 1800s in rooms designed by H. F. du Pont.

    New is the Once Upon a Family Tour: Tuesday-Sunday, 12:30pm. Learn about the lifestyle of the du Pont family while exploring period rooms and garden spaces where they played, worked, and entertained. - designed especially for families with children age 4–12

    Family-friendly tours are open to all ages. Adults, $20; students/seniors (age 62+), $18
    .
    Then I called and made reservations to come back by myself (my sister babysat my kids for me) to take two of the Focus Tours

    Currently this is $30 per tour (a $10 upgrade from the Winterthur Experience)

    * Furniture Focus
    * Living with Ceramics
    * Decorating with Textiles
    * Winterthur Then and Now
    * Conservation (first Wednesday of every month)

    For visitors age 8 and over. Members, $10; students/seniors (age 62+), $28

    I'm pretty sure that at least one of the tours I took was Decorating with Textiles (or the equivalent), because at the time I was particularly interested in crewel and needlepoint, and was starting to design my own needlepoint pieces.

    I have obtained permission from Susan I. Newton, Photographic Services Winterthur Museum and Country Estate to use the pictures. The original slides have become red with age.

    Directions:
    From Commodore Barry Bridge: 95 S - exit 7B Delaware Ave/Rte. 52
    * At end of exit ramp, turn R at light - head NW out of town
    * ASAP, move into left-most lane because road splits; stay on Rte. 52 N
    * Winterthur is on Rte. 52, six miles NW of Wilmington

    Blackwell Parlor, Philadelphia PA 1764 Walkway outside the visitor's center cafeteria Maple bedroom c 1762 Frankfort PA Philadelphia Queen Anne chairs Front of the house
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    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Brandywine Battlefield State Park

    by grandmaR Updated Jun 22, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Day 5 of Easter Break 1969 - Brandywine Battlefield was where the first battle of the Revolutionary War resulted in the loss of Philadelphia.

    Washington picked the high ground at Chadd's Ford as a good place to defend Philadelphia because he expected that the British would have to come straight ahead to cross (ford) the river here. On September 9th, 1777, he posted forces at all the known fords along the Brandywine to prevent the British from crossing. General Howe, had some troops opposite Kennett Square to act as a distractor, but actually on September 11th, his main army crossed several miles north of Wistar's Ford at a ford unknown to Washington

    Although the Continental Army fought bravely, Howe's manuever resulted in the eventual fall of Philadelphia. Congress abandoned Philadelphia and moved first to Lancaster and then to York to escape before the British takeover.

    The actual park (which is closed on Monday) has a museum which has a permanent interpretive exhibit and an audio-visual presentation graphically tell the story of the battle and its relation to the Philadelphia Campaign of 1777, and tours of Washington's headquarters and Lafayettes' headquarters.

    This was the Marquise du Lafayette's first participation in the Revolution. He was quartered in this house, After the battle Gilpin's property was plundered by foraging soldiers. The claim for losses filed by Gilpin included:

    * 10 milch cows
    * 1 yoke of oxen
    * 48 sheep
    * 28 swine
    * 12 tons of hay
    * 230 bushels of wheat
    * 50 pounds of bacon
    * 1 history book
    * 1 gun

    But that's not all. There are three driving tours that can be taken to battle sites. They are the

    Straight Ahead Tour
    The Cornwallis Tour
    The Battle Driving Tour

    Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, noon to 5:00 p.m. Closed Mon.

    Take I 95 South. Exit onto Rt. 322 West. Follow Rt. 322 North to Rt. 1. Left onto Rt. 1 (South) and go 2.7 miles to park entrance

    Gideon Gilpin House - 19 year old Marquise stayed
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • National/State Park

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  • SURFIN7TH's Profile Photo

    FDR skate park. Under I 95....

    by SURFIN7TH Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    FDR skate park. Under I 95. With the X-Games in town, this park is hoppin.

    Go to

    :http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~blathrop/fdrsplash.html

    Great websight !

    Directions:The key thing to remember on your approach to the Park is to use the Pattison Avenue 20th Street entrance to the park, indicated by a red dot on the map (the speed limit on road that traverses Meadow Lake to get you to the Sk8 park is 15 mph). Using this entrance means you avoid a very slow drive around the lake.

    The skatepark is located off of Broad Street directly under I-95.

    PUBLIC TRANSIT
    Take the Broad Street Subway and get off at the last stop (STADIUM).

    Once you get above ground, look for the highway overpass and head up Broad Street towards it. You'll find a steep entry/exit from the park

    go down that drive and stay left. The park is about 200 yards ahead on the left. Get Some.

    From Points EAST (NJ, Europe...)
    From the BEN FRANKLIN BRIDGE

    Take 676 W to 76 E

    Take 76 East to EXIT 43A (International Airport/Penrose Avenue). There is an oil refinery on your right, stay on this road until you hit the first TRAFFIC LIGHT

    TURN LEFT and proceed to next TRAFFIC LIGHT (at intersection with the APlus Minimart/Sunoco Station) and TURN RIGHT onto PATTISON AVENUE

    Stay on Pattison Ave. until you hit the FIRST TRAFFIC LIGHT (there will be a sign for Franklin Delano Roosevelt Golf Course on your right)

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  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Someone famous lived here

    by spgood301 Written Mar 5, 2006

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    A short walk from Rittenhouse Square is a small building that you may not notice, except for the plaque hanging outside it. It pays tribute to George Meade, the Union's winning general at the Battle of Gettysburg. After his lifetime of service, the government gave him a building to live in, right in Philadelphia. This building on 1836 S 19th Street is where Meade lived out the rest of his days.

    You probably won't be able to see it on my picture, but the name "Meade" is written into the building itself.

    This is a bit of history that I came upon by accident. Something that's not unusual in Philadelphia.

    George Meade House Plaque Outside George Meade House
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    TSOP-The Sound of Philadelphia

    by spgood301 Written Mar 5, 2006

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    Many people know that Philadelphia has a history of producing some famous pop music. From at least the 1950's, to probably today, the Philly music scene is going strong.

    If you walk along Broad Street in Philadelphia's theater district, you'll see a series of plaques on the sidewalk, paying tribute to the city's musical past. This is similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Look down and see some of Philly's greatest artists, all immortalized by the city in concrete.

    The band in my picture, the Delfonics, is a soul group that had many hits in the 1960's. Their biggest hit was, "La La Means I Love You". Do you remember it? Yeah, I do too.

    Philly Music Tribute

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  • ringleader's Profile Photo

    Try Our Phildelphian, Fire-side Fall Tradition

    by ringleader Updated Sep 26, 2006

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    Over 90 years ago, Sweetzels revived the colonial spice-and-molasses cookie by developing a unique recipe for spiced wafers. Fresh-baked, spiced wafers, warm apple cider, and a glowing fire have become a favorite Philadelphia Tradition to the welcoming of fall. Sweetzels is based in a northern suburb of Philadelphia (Skippack) not too far from where we live. We always look forward to fall when we do get our favorite, spiced wafers and a glass of apple cider.

    This apple cider is not the fermented, alchohol type. If you've never had fresh-pressed apple cider, you're missing out! Perhaps it is a Pennsylvanian tradition, as well! Our favorite is the full, robust-tasting Zeigler's Apple Cider also made not too far from where we live in Lansdale, Pennsylvnia. They've been making apple cider since 1932!

    Also, another local MUST is Bauman's Apple Butters. (They also press cider, but we prefer Zeigler's.) They are a traditional, Pennsylvania-Dutch family and have 18 flavors of fruit butters; however, our favorite is the apple butter spread on top of a piece of fresh, home-baked bread and butter. YUM!!

    It's THE BEST!
    Related to:
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    • Food and Dining
    • Eco-Tourism

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Philadelphia Off The Beaten Path

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