NFT Philadelphia Brewerytown


Named for the large number of breweries that once populated the area, the people in this neighborhood range from cold-cash professionals to college students to families trying to make ends meet. Its proximity to both I-76 and the infamous loop down Kelly Drive makes it hugely desirable for just about everyone--but be warned that when real-estate marketers refer to part of it as "up-and-coming," a lot of the area hasn't quite, er, come "up" yet.

For music lovers, the North Star Bar is one of the premier venues for off-beat tunes, indie rock, and occasional alt-comedy shows. Nearby Kelly Drive is a great place to skate, bike, run and meet/pick up similar-minded folk. Eat at Era for cheap Ethiopian and See more.

>Butter's for solid soul food.


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Mural, Mural on the Wall

By Augustin Kendall
Illadelphia, Filthadelphia, City of Brotherly Love ... whatever Philly is to you, there's a mural for it somewhere. Amidst the spectacular three-story-high or building-long murals that ooze local culture, there are some off-kilter gems you won't find in the official tours. Augustin Kendall brings you an alternative mural tour that will not only satisfy your artistic appetite, but your thirst and sweet tooth cravings as well.
Philly's Rock-and-Roll Five-Spot

By Alex Morales
NYC? Fuggetaboutit. Chi-Town? Yawn. LA? So like, totally not. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re looking for the tippy-top of the indie-rock & pop pyramid, it’s all about Philly. From airplay on NPR and college radio to beer-soaked venues nationwide and spots on the upcoming SXSW festival, 2005 has seen our myriad scrappy troubadours gathering steam. And, if I’m not a monkey’s nephew, bigger and better things await in ’06.
Black Lung Special

By Caren Beilin
Philly is the last hip city in this generally po-dunk America where you can smoke inside public places. Before the inevitable smoking ban takes effect, celebrate some of Philly's hottest spots to light up and fill your lungs with a black lung special.

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Abby Baker
Photo:  Abby Baker

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Mention the word "running" and most people cringe. Mention running 13.1 miles (yes, all at once) and they say "Are you fucking crazy?!" Actually, yes. And I'm not the omly one. Every year around mid-September (this year: Sunday, September 21 at 7:45 a.m.), thousands of runners parade the City of Brotherly Love for what they consider to be a grand ol' time: The Philadelphia Distance Run. Now, if getting up at the ass crack of dawn, wearing shorts and a tank when it's 50 degrees and speed-racing across the city is not your idea of fun, don't worry, there are many other ways to get involved. If you're fortunate enough to live on the race course, then you'll probably be awakened by the noisy crowd of runners passing by your stoop. Instead of yelling profanities out your window, take a look outside and shout "You're almost finished!" even though the runners are only at mile four. If you like volunteering, because really, we all enjoy working for free, you can pass out cups of power drinks at the water stops and hope that the runners are talented enough to grab it from your hand without spilling most of it on you. Of course, if you're feeling really ambitious, you can run the race, brag to all your friends about how awesome you are, and afterwards, eat and drink whatever the hell you want. Cheesesteak, fries and beer, here I come!

Posted By:  Rebecca Troutman
Photo:  Rebecca Troutman

Girard Veterinary Clinic
Yes, I was ready for the responsibility. Yes, I was prepared to scoop the poop. Yes, I was definitely ready for the supreme cuteness. I got a kitten. Choosing a vet you trust is just about as baffling as selecting any doctor; I usually try to get one of my friends to give up some advice so I don't experience a tireless trial-and-error escapade. (Don't even bring up the OBGYNs in this town.) Since maybe you don't have any friends (except your animal friends of course), I am recommending Girard Veterinary Clinic at 28th and Girard. The ever popular "morning drop-in" sessions are the way to go if you're starting out. Getting there early is a MUST (it opens at 8 am so get there by 7:20 am if you want any hope of getting out of there by 11 am). They are entirely receptive to working with feral cats if you are doing a kind deed for a street stray. A visit costs only $30 and I've found the doc to be thorough and attentive. Not to mention the GVC mascot (seen in the photo), the best shoulder cat in the world.

Posted By:  Virginia Blond

Philadelphia Museum of Art
This is two-for-one radar, but you’ll see why. The PMA, as ubiquitous promos make clear, has a Frida Khalo show February 20 to May 18. It’s still worth pointing out again since, unlike, say, the Renoir show this show actually presents a unique opportunity to see an artist’s work. But when are ya gonna go? Sunday, “pay what you wish” day? You’ll wish that guy pressed against you had showered as you catch glimpses of art through gaps in the seething masses. Well the PMA also has, every Friday, “Art After Five” events. The museum is open 5-8:30 pm and there’s live music, mostly jazz. The jazz is often pretty good, but even better, no crowds. Fretting over the cost? Let me suggest getting a museum membership. It’s $60 a year for individuals, $35 for students. With that you get in free any time ($14 otherwise), and you’ll get to see the Khalo show free ($20 otherwise). So for a measly $26 you can go any time for a year; which means live jazz any given Friday. Can’t beat that.

Posted By:  Michelle Sipics
Photo:  Michelle Sipics

Philadelphia Museum of Art
No doubt you're aware that the Perelman building is finally open, if only because the construction vehicles and trailers that surrounded the northeast corner of Fairmount and Pennsylvania Avenue for a seemingly endless length of time are in fact gone. What you probably aren't aware of is that the building is open to the public for free through the end of this year (that would be December 31st, if you want to get all specific). The Perelman is hosting several exhibitions at the moment, including large-scale works of sculpture, modern and contemporary art, photography by Alfred Stieglitz, and various gifts that the Art Museum has collected over the years. There's also a special Renoir exhibit, though that one isn't free unless you're a member. The Perelman building also hosts a new cafe where you can grab some grub (though I'm sure the museum staffers have a more eloquent way of putting it) and an installation they call "A Landmark Transformed," documenting the evolution of the Perelman building from its opening as the home base of Fidelity Mutual in the 20s to its new role as an expansion of the Art Museum. In other words, there's plenty to see, and you can finally walk within 20 feet of the building without worrying about a falling 2x4 knocking you on the head.

Posted By:  Michelle Sipics
Photo:  Michelle Sipics

I don't know about you, but it really bugs me that Philadelphia doesn't accept plastic with their standard recycling pickup in most areas. I've heard all of their explanations for it, and I don't care—I still want to recycle my empty water bottles and juice containers. Fortunately, there are many community programs that have "partnered" with the city to accept recyclable materials that Philadelphia doesn't handle on its own. For me, Fairmount Recycles is the way to go. On the first Saturday of each month, you can truck on over to 27th and Harper (behind the North Star) with your recyclable paper, plastic (only types 1 and 2, though), and even used ink cartridges from your printer. Similar programs are held on the first Saturday of the month in other locations around the city—check the Philadelphia Streets Department website for more info on those sites ( and find out whether that fancy shampoo bottle will be accepted. If nothing else, you'll get some exercise. And oh yeah, helping the planet out a little bit is nice, too.

Posted By:  Michelle Sipics
Photo:  Michelle Sipics

Sometime in the past year, Fairmount favorite The Crooked Frame became the Flying Saucer without telling us. We don't mind, though; the coffee's as good as ever. Housed in a corner shop at 26th and Brown, this place is small and easy to miss (don't bother looking for a sign outside—they've yet to hang one) but well worth a trip—and an easy trip at that, since the 48, the 32, and the route 7 buses all stop at that very intersection. It's a great place to read, write, study, or whatever your pleasure is, without the noise of larger—or less buried-in-the-crazy-streets-of-Fairmount—shops. The Flying Saucer has more of a beatnik feel than your typical coffee house, which somehow adds to the appeal. There's limited seating, but it's rarely crowded and even when it is, the regulars are friendly. The shop is a bit more lively than it was in the Crooked Frame days; a jazz group now plays every other Sunday, and Tuesday nights are home to "Bad Taste Cinema," with films beginning at 8 pm. Recent picks: Ingmar Bergman's 1966 classic Persona, and 1981's LA punk scene-centric The Decline of Western Civilization.

Posted By:  Sara McGovern
Photo:  Sara McGovern

Art Museum Steps
As the name implies, most people go to the art museum for, well, the art. But if, you think outside of the box a little bit, you can become privileged enough to discover my favorite feature of our fair city’s fine museum. No, it’s not the impressionist collection, it’s the steps. If you overlook the fact that people will always be making idiots of themselves by sprinting up the steps a la Stallone, you may find they make the best hang out spot in the city. Breakfast at sunrise, afternoon coffee, an evening repose to watch the skyline and ponder the complexities of life? The steps of the art museum. A bit romantic in the notion of staring pensively at a skyline for hours end, but the tortured individual has to be able to sort through their commitment issues somewhere…

Posted By:  Cheryl Soltis
Photo:  Stephany Soltis

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Some people go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for culture. Others go for the kickin’ giftshop. More formally called the Museum Store, it’s packed with books, posters, jewelry, and clothes. Outfitting yourself in a T-shirt with a wolf on it is a little too Napoleon Dynamite, but the scarves are great accessories. There are allegedly several other stores inside the museum, but I’ve only seen another tiny one sandwiched up on a balcony, which really isn’t worth squeezing through. An added bonus to buying from the giftshop is when people say, “Oh, that’s sooo cute/awesome/the best thing ever,” you get to tilt your nose in the air and say in a bored, intellectual tone, “I picked it up when I was at an exhibition at the museum.”

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