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South Street... something for everyone
South Street is Philadelphia's hip strip and trendy melting pot. Here you'll find a many-splendored promenade alive with various boutiques, eccentric shops, singular restaurants, bars, night clubs and cafes -- and where the people-watching is as fun as the window-shopping. Aging hippies, the fashionably unfashionable, tongue-piercers, spike-haired skateboarders, and even nuclear families commingle comfortably on this eclectic and electric swath.
Zipperhead, Erogenous Zone, Condom Nation, and Trash and Vaudeville are but some of the titillating stores in this bizarre bazaar. At Zipperhead, those looking for biker leather, piercing accessories, or your black-to-basics wardrobe will find the latest rage of the age. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some nice restaurants and more upscale boutiques... something for everyone!!!!!!
Chain stores and restaurants arrived in full force in the '80s, but have done little to homogenize this center of counterculture. Though one now finds McDonald's, the Gap, Starbucks, Pizzeria Uno, and Tower Records, South Street retains its chic boutique mystique and makes it a must see attraction in Philadelphia.
For more pics of south street, check out my travelogue!!
Here is a run down of what you'll find if you go to south street :)
75 restaurants, 35 bars/clubs, 125 shops for clothes, jewelry & crafts, antiquities & gifts.
Git yer Philly phunk on
South Street is Philly's young, funky neighborhood. Eclectic shops, boutiques, all sorts of restaurants, & a few bars too, all make for a fun experience...especially if you're young. If you're looking for the place to hang out in Philadelphia, make it South Street.
Start out by the South Street Footbridge, by the Delaware River, and just stroll up and down South Street. Stop into the various shops, maybe buy yourself a feather boa (?), then grab a bite to eat.
It's a great place to spend a day & look at the beautiful people. Hey, don't forget - they're looking at you too.
- Budget Travel
South Street's Magic Garden
From Isaiah Zagar's website:
"South Streets's Magic Garden, the property next to Isaiah's Studio, 1022-24 South Street, is a landmark visited by people all over the world, all hours of the day and night. Isaiah adopted the property when it was a vacant trash strewn lot and turned it into an integral part of his mosaic world. In May 2004 the owner of the property ordered the artwork to be taken down so the lot could be sold ...
An anonymous benefactor has agreed to carry the lot purchase for two years. If Isaiah's nonprofit, "Philadelphia's Magic Garden," can raise $200,000 in that time, the benefactor will put down the final $100,000, and the nonprofit will own the lot free and clear."
South Street is without a doubt one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The street is more or less the southern border of Center City, and runs west from the Deleware River to Broadway and further east. The most interested part of the street is the neighborhood between 1st and about 7th or 8th street (though this is changing all the time). This area is full of funky, interesting shops and great restaurants. It is also one of the primary areas for nightlife in the city.
The best way to enjoy the area is on foot. The river waterfront, Queen's Village and Society Hill are all within walking distance.
South Street going west can get a little gritty. The area should be perfectly safe, especially during the daytime, but there is little to see.
A great place for a stroll. Definitely a youth-oriented, almost rebellious atmosphere. There are plenty of great, funky shops, Jim's (cheesesteak's), used bookstores, and great people watching (if you like piercings and purple hair). Need a tattoo? This is the place.
Try a slice of pizza at Lorenzo's, grab a water ice at Rita's and definitely get a falafel at Maoz.
The coolest street in Philly
The funny thing about South Street was that if I had remembered to bring spare batteries for my camera, we may not have gone there during our weekend in Philadelphia. Locals told us it would the likeliest place to have stores still open after 5 p.m. on a Sunday.
Not only did we find batteries, but we also saw some unique shops and, especially, many mosaics made by local artist Isaiah Zagar in the 10th Street area. We also had supper at a fine pizza place (La Fourno Trattoria) further to the east.
South Street turned out to be much more than the tattoo parlors locals had told us about.
Isaiah Zagar's Mosaics
If you walk along South Street, you will likely come across some murals decorated with colourful mosaic tiles. These were made by local artist Isaiah Zagar. Those who know of Antoni Gaudí's masterpieces in Spain will likely be reminded of them when they see Zagar's works.
There is currently a campaign to save Zagar's Magic Garden, probably the place where the artist's fertile imagination was at its richest (or wildest, depending on your point of view). Located at 1022-1024 South Street, it is scheduled to be demolished by the landowner. You may join the campaign by logging onto Zagar's website (listed below) or, at the very least, take the time to pass in front of it if you happen to be in Philadelphia, since it may not be there for much longer.
- Arts and Culture
Philly's Phreak Show
South St. is wher e you can find just about any type of person on a weekend. DO NOT try drving down through South St. during the evening on a weekend either...unless you're trying to draw attention to your new tint job, your new hood scoop, or that ridiculous spoiler on your lime green dodge neon. South St. from say about 12th St. and on down has just about any shop you can imagine. So, naturally it draws all kinds of people, and many times you see that stereotypical picvture where families with kids are walking along and you can see the mother and father cringe after seeing some people walk by. You know what I'm getting at. Different strokes for different folks. It's a place that has a lot of energy in the air, and it's fun just to stroll along and maybe poke your nose into the condom superstore or get a tattoo. It's also the scene for many bars, like Copacabanna, The Blarney South, and Fat Tuesday's. It's alos the place where you can find Jim's Steaks and some other fine eating establishments. It should be in your Philly Top 3.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
South Street is part of a Philadelphia neighborhood called Queen Village which is one of the oldest areas of the city. The Swedes first settled there prior to 1640 and the name Queen Village was in honour of Swedens Queen Christina. South Street is a popular hang out especially at night..
Watch For Overpriced Parking Scams
Parked at New Market Garage around the corner from Cafe Nola on a Saturday night, after I had a wonderful meal (I highly recommend Cafe Nola, the food and the staff were great!) I proceeded to take a very brief stroll down South Street to walk off my dinner. When I retrieved my car and was ready to pay to exit, the girl mumbled my total, having read the sign on my way in, I knew that one hour was $5, and 1 to 10 hours was $13.....so I figured I'd hand her $20 for change, what came next floored me, the girl said "that's $22"!!!!! I said what! How long had I been parked, she said she didn't know but Friday and Saturday nights were more expensive, nowhere did I see this posted! Careful, like I said, and ask before you park!
- Arts and Culture
HAVE FUN ON SOUTH STREET IN PHILADELPHIA
GOODDAY I HAVE BEEN GOING TO SOUTH STREET FOR YEARS THERE ARE ALOT OF POLICE UNDERCOVER AND REGULAR COPS IT IS VERY SAFE PLACE TO BE REMEMBER THE WEALTHIEST PART OF PHILADELPHIA IS CENTER CITY AND SOUTH STREET IS IN CENTER CITY AND SOUTH STREET IS A BIG TOURIST ATTRACTION SO THE CITY DOESNT WANT ANYTHING HAPPENING AROUND THE AREA THE CITY IS ALIVE AFTER DARK ALOT OF PEOPLE AROUND IT IS NOT LIKE OTHER MAJOR U.S.A. CITIES WHERE IT CLOSES AFTER DARK LIKE TAMPA FLORIDA WHERE NOBODY IS ON THE STREET I HAVE TRAVELED EXTENSIVELY IN THE UNITED STATES AND PHILADELPHIA HAS A VERY SAFE CENTER CITY DONT WORRY THEY WILL HAVE A GOODTIME ON SOUHT STREET IN CENTER CITY PHILADELPHIA ALL THE BEST JOSEPH M. OTT ,A.S.,B.A.,M.A.,C.C.H. OF SAINT PETERSBURG FLORIDA AND HISTORIC PHILADELPHIA
- Arts and Culture
The main stretch of South Street stretches from the Waterfront several blocks West. It is home to a mostly younger crowd, and is filled with quirky shops, numerous bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and venues, and lots of really cool, interesting, "artsy" things to see and do. Check out the beautiful art of the "junk yard." (see Picture)
- Arts and Culture
Visit South Street. Once...
Visit South Street. Once there, you should walk down to Penn's Landing.
An eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and tattoo parlors.
Be sure to have a cheesesteak at Jim's.
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