Tomorrow (Sunday) is the big Baltimore move day. We had a stoop sale this morning and I met so many nice neighbors that I wish we would have done that when we first moved in. Jesse will be staying in Philly and commuting back and forth between the two cities a little longer while our house is still on the market, but I'll be an official Baltimore resident beginning next week. I've enjoyed seven years in the land of Rocky and cheese steaks and these are the random places or things in town I'll miss the most:

For Sketching and People Watching:

1. Rittenhouse Square. My favorite park out of the five strategically placed throughout the city. My regular walking path takes me by this park and I made sure to stop there one last time today. When the weather's nice, this is my favorite spot in the entire city.

2. Reading Terminal Market. So many different kinds of people and foods smushed all together. I could wander around here for a whole day and still not get bored.

3. The Museum of Natural History. Surreal, beautiful, and creepy all at the same time. I would recommend paying a few extra dollars to walk through the butterfly room.


4. The Ritz Theaters. These are a triumvirate of art house movie theaters (The Ritz Five, Ritz at the Bourse, and Ritz East) all within a few blocks from each other and all within walking distance from the three places we've lived in town. Each theater only shows between two to four films at a time, but you can count on them to be good ones.

5. The Trocadero. My favorite live music venue in town. Beautiful architecture and Movie Mondays!
6. North Bowl. A kind of kitch-y, hipster-y bowling alley, but cheap. The upstairs is full of pinball and arcade machines and the downstairs has an old-fashioned photo booth. The food is delicious and there is a bar. I am the absolute worst bowler in the world, but even I had fun as a member of a bowling team here one summer.

Thrift Shops:

7. Philly Aids Thrift. This place is enormous and you there is a ton of junk to sift through, but it's cheap, cheap, cheap. I have rarely walked out of here with nothing, and have more often than not found treasures. Plus, the volunteers there are all extremely nice and write funny editorial notes on many of the clothing tags and all profits go toward local HIV/Aids organizations. This is possibly the place I will miss most out of everything else in this list. I dropped some of our things off here today in an attempt to lighten the moving load....but still couldn't help leaving without a few extra finds.
photo taken at their old location, P.A.T. just inspires this kind of random magic.

8. Retrospect. More expensive, and smaller shop, but better curated stuff than Philly Aids Thrift. Only a block or two away, so you can hit it up right after.

**There are tons of other thrift shops in town, but these are my favorites in "Queen Village", the neighborhood I lived in the longest. R.I.P. The Curiousity Shoppe. Other good ones in this area include Astro Vintage, Wilbur, and Decades.

Restaurants/ Desserts/ Coffee:

9. Franklin Fountain. Intricately detailed retro Ice-cream shoppe. They serve phosphates and the servers more than likely have handle bar mustaches. I went there on my 28th birthday, for an anniversary, and last night, after a goodbye dinner with friends. It's that kind of place.
The "Broken Hearts" specialty.

10. Sabrina's. My favorite spot for brunch, just not on Sunday when the line is crazy long.

11. Miel Patisserie. The only place I've found in town that offers fresh macarons. I picked up several today because I just couldn't leave without one last stop there.

There are so many restaurants in Philadelphia, it's too hard to narrow them down in list, but I'm also going to quickly mention Parc, The Mid-town Continental, Buddakan, and Bistro Romano for being the setting for several special occasions during my time here.

Oddities/ Misc:

12. The Carousel in Franklin Square. A carousel downtown. Nothing more needs to be said.

13. The Toynbee tiles. Too bizarre to explain here, so just read about their history here. A documentary is coming out about them soon!

14. The Mütter Museum. A museum devoted to medical oddities and not for those with weak stomachs. I only needed to go once, but I'll never forget it. If you have any interest is seeing the world's largest colon, Grover Cleveland's tumor, or a collection of items swallowed and removed, this is the place. I'm just glad that such a macabre museum exists. 

15. The Magic Garden and all of the glass tile mosaics that pop up on row house walls throughout Society Hill.
photo from here

16. The Four Seasons Murals. Philly has tons of murals scattered throughout the city, thanks to the Mural Arts Program, but I'm especially partial to David Guin's Four Seasons, since our first apartment used to be located across the street from his Winter mural. His mural for the Morris Animal Rescue was also a favorite to pass by.
image via flickr

Okay, there are many other things I'll miss about Philly (the zoo, the sculptures around City Hall, the intersection of "Tattoo Row" and "Fabric Row" where we lived for five years, watching waves of tourists do the "Rocky" run up the art museum steps, my friends...), but this post has to end. I have to go to sleep before our big move day. If you ever make a trip to Philadelphia, check out this great Philly Guide from Design*Sponge - I can vouch for almost every place on there.

Goodbye "City of Brotherly Love". I hope to come back and visit you often.

Goodbye Philadelphia

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