NFT Philadelphia Landmarks

Philadelphia / Landmarks

Philly is essentially a city of landmarks, some obvious, some a little more esoteric. Some of the city's historic moneymakers are located on Independence Mall, which houses the Liberty Bell (Map 4), the National Constitution Center (Map 4), and Independence Hall (Map 4), where the Declaration of Independence was first signed. They are all well worth seeing, if only so you can direct friends and family members when they visit.

Whilst in Old City, you can also check out Christ Church (Map 4) (founded in 1695), which has a lovely garden, free-of-charge to muse in, and Franklin Court (Map 4), which has a museum o' Ben and frame replica of his original house (what happens when the city doesn't have enough insight to keep the thing up). With a great view of the city, the William Penn Statue (Map 2) sits high atop City Hall (Map 2); from some angles he looks more excited to see you than in others (ahem).

In South Philly you can behold the Pat's and Geno's Showdown (Map 8), the intersection at 9th and Passyunk where the two legendary steak shops seemingly stare down each other from across the street. Both spots are legendary. Pat's is where presidential candidate John Kerry famously asked for Swiss. The bustling dirty gem that is the Italian Market (Map 8) has great cheese and greater personality, while Reading Terminal Market (Map 3) buzzes with old-timey commerce (and don't forget the Amish!).

In the artistic realm, the well-endowed Philadelphia Museum of Art (Map 16) has an extensive permanent collection. The steps alone hold great fame, and are a top spot for midnight romance on the cheap. Nearby is the free Rodin Museum (Map 17), where you can do your best to emulate The Thinker, ironically requiring no thought. If you have children in tow and want to reward them for trekking through art museums, they'll love The Franklin Institute (Map 1), which has both an IMAX theater and planetarium--and the Giant Heart inside is a landmark all on its own.

Isaiah Zagar's mosaic murals are, literally, plastered all over the city, and most notably make up the Magic Gardens (Map 8) on South Street. Glistening with the chunk of yesteryear's ceramics, this garden is magic--if you only believe. Drop some money into the trashcan, believers, just beyond the gate, to help preserve this masterpiece.

Armchair athletes should check out Lincoln Financial Field (Map 12) and Citizens Bank Park (Map 12) for the Eagles and Phillies, respectively--both facilities are fifty times better than the Vet, the concrete-and-carpet multi-purpose hunk of junk they replaced, though some do miss the back-in-the-day antics of the old venue's infamous "700 Level" (the spirit of which lives on in the Philly sports website of the same name).

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Asylum Arena
Remember a couple of years ago when everyone was suddenly obsessed with Kaiju Big Battel, the monster wrestling league? It reminded us all that at its best, wrestling isn't overly ripped men with stringy, Gollum-like hair, it's tremendous athletes donning campy costumes and following ridiculous story lines. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have a new wrestling obsession for you: Chikara. Taking place with relative frequency in South Philly, Chikara is some of the most gleefully ridiculous shit I've seen in this city in the last year: tag-teaming men in ant costumes, midget wrestlers, moves with eight-plus people working's fabulous. And it's family friendly, too--nothing all that dirty, disgusting, or violent: just good ol' fashioned wackyness. The next show in Philly is on November 22, just in time for Thanksgiving. Because what I'm thankful for this year is definitely men dressed up like snakes and lumberjacks doing body slams.

Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Penn's Landing Marina
I realized I had been working a lot when I started thinking about going kayaking on part of the notoriously dirty Delaware River for 20 minutes as a "tiny mini vacation." Hell, it wasn't even kayaking on the river itself, but on a squared-off piece of marina water at the base of the Independence Seaport Museum--a somewhat twisted way of Mayor Nutter giving Philadelphians better access to the Delaware waterfront. But dammit, it was nice. Being able to hop off the El, walk for a few minutes, and get in a boat and paddle around for a while honestly did feel like a tiny mini vacation. The program is unfortunately over--the last day was August 16--but I'm already looking forward to next year. And you should be too. Oh, and it's totally free, so you have no excuse. Start planning your tiny mini vacation for next summer.

Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Penn's Landing Marina
I imagine that one of the low-to-middle rings of hell consists of being smothered by sweaty, sticky-fingered children as they press progressively closer and closer to you, eating ice cream that you yourself are not allowed to enjoy. If you would like to prepare yourself for this particular hell, I suggest that you visit the annual Fourth of July Ice Cream Festival at Penn's Landing. Oh, I probably shouldn't be so harsh. After all, you do get to try as many delicious ice cream flavors as you can eat..that is, if you have the stamina to push yourself through the crowds of sweaty families who stand like Lindsey Lohan's bodyguards between you and the ice cream. And yeah, your entry fee does go to charity. Sigh. Maybe I'm becoming an agoraphobic cynic. Or maybe I just hate being touched by sticky-fingered children.

Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

The Piazza at Schmidt's
Before we start delving into individual shops and restaurants, let's just talk about the new Piazza at Schmidt's as its own entity. I walk by the ol' Piazza almost every day, and even though there's been construction happening for months, it feels like the whole thing suddenly sprung out of nowhere, like a child that pops out of the womb already 18 and ready to date. And just as I feel creepy admitting that a just-born 18-year-old could be attractive, I feel a little weird admitting that the Piazza looks neat. There's the big open area, the giant TV, and the new bar from the Good Dog folks. But, on the other hand, there's also the guys protesting Vino, the bar named PYT that promises (SURPIZE) 80's music and (most likely) a terribly annoying clientele, and all of these stores that I can only assume were offered cheap rent, because really, who is opening a store in this economy that has a 5:1 glass-vase-to-clothing ratio? To sum up the Piazza: one day I saw a man walk out of it wearing a lab coat and holding a teddy bear. Like the Piazza itself, this made me excited, disturbed, and hopeful.

Posted By:  Rebecca Troutman
Photo:  Rebecca Troutman

Barbara's Florist Statue
The Barbara's Florist butler statue was not glamorous. He was not wise. He was losing pieces of his nose with every new season. But what he will be remembered for is his fondness of the various holidays (pictured here: St. Patrick's Day), and very lifelike, creepily human eyes. He was recently tossed away, his sacrifice of standing sentient wearing ridiculous costumes day in and day out just a hindrance to Barbara's Florist's new dreams. With fresh owners leading the charge, it will soon change its name to "Walnut Flower Company": Philly's "hottest floral design studio" with an "event planning division." The butler statue will not be a part of it. Rest in Peace.

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30th St Station Bathrooms
Ann Newman Giant Wooden Slide
Antique Row
Art Museum Steps
Asylum Arena
Barnes Foundation
Ben Franklin Bridge
Ben Franklin's Grave
Blue Cross RiverRink
Camac Street
Christ Church Park
City Hall
Clark Park
Comcast Center
Divine Lorraine Hotel
Elfreth's Alley
Fabric Row
Fairmount Park's Whispering Benches
First Unitarian Church
Fleisher Art Memorial
Franklin Square
Grumman Greenhouse
Independence Hall
Kelpius Cave
Liberty Bell
Liberty Lands
Mario Lanza Park
Mikveh Israel
Mummers Museum
Ol' Dirty Bastard's McDonalds
Penn Ice Rink at the Class of 1923 Arena
Pennypack Park
Philadelphia Brewing Company
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens
Reading Terminal Market
Real World House
Rittenhouse Square Fountain
Rittenhouse Town
Rizzo Rink
Rose Garden
Self-Immolation Point
Shrine of St. John Neumann
South 9th Street Italian Market
Space Tree
SS United States
Sun Ra Arkestra House
Swann Memorial Fountain
The Armory
The Philadelphia Zoo
The Shawmont Waterworks
Toynbee Tiles
Underground Tunnel
UPenn's Edible Forest
Washington Square Park
Weccacoe Playground
Yards Brewing Company

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