Archive for the ‘Philly Tourism’ Category

Philadelphia Folk Festival August 17-18-19 2007

If you have never been to the Philadelphia Folk Festival you are missing a very special yearly event. It is not just about a variety of good folk music but the friendly family atmosphere. This will be the 46th festival.

During the three day period over thirty-six musicians will perform for nearly seventy-five hours. But it is not just music. There is Texas Swing dancing, Cajun-Creole dancing, Square dancing, Polka dancing and more. You do not even have to know how, fun free lessons are available. You don’t have a partner? Bet you will meet one in this family party atmosphere.

Attend great workshops in, guitar, banjo, sea shantys, fiddle tunes, writers, story telling, celtic, more than I can list.
There are also Crafts that you can learn and buy. And again it is all free with admission

You can go for an evening, an afternoon, a full day, or camp for the weekend and immerse yourself in it all.

Personally, going for the entire weekend and camping out is an experience you will talk about for years and would be my first choice. It is great when you are single and great when you are married with children. At the very least get out there for a day or evening concert. You are going to love this festival.

Buy your tickets early and save money. Be sure to explore the website. It gives ton’s of important information.

No Fireworks for You!

Last night, some friends and I – among tens of thousands of other Philadelphians – braved the pouring rain and walked down to the Parkway to see the yearly Art Museum 4th of July fireworks display. After thirty minutes of waiting at Logan Circle, we were told by various passers-by that the fireworks had been cancelled. Disappointed, massive amounts of people began their sad, tired and soaked walk home. I received a text message from a friend on my bus ride home that the fireworks were on. Thirty minutes after the city decided to cancel the show, the city decided they should not disppoint the countless number of television viewers – and 10% of people who decided to brave the rain – and started the fireworks. I was so upset – and can’t imagine how all the people who travelled from out of town felt. This is going to be a PR nightmare for some time to come. So, Philadelphia, how are you going to make it up to me? Lower the wage tax? Deal.

Pride Street?


Often a street has an alternate name or designation—there are several street signs around the city that have smaller, more descriptive street signs below them; e.g. 4th Street below South Street is also known as “Fabric Row”.

This morning I noticed a new sign attached to 13th Street, at Walnut: the smaller sign didn’t have another street name, but a rainbow! (It kinda looks like the image to the right.)

I was on the bus when I saw this, so I’m not sure if there are other signs like this one around the “gayborhood”. Has anyone else seen these?

Chinatown Buses vs Greyhound/Peter Pan

The competition has been going on for a few years now, and bus travelers can benefit from the latest change in fares by Greyhound/Peter Pan- 20 dollars round trip between New York and Philadelphia.
What is this Chinatown bus, you ask? It’s not really one bus, but instead a whole slew of different bus companies that started making trips between Philadelphia and New York City, and also DC. When they first started- the buses picked up passengers from designated curbsides where the driver would collect your fare, but more recently- they have rented out shops and turned them into faux-bus stations with window tellers and everything.
Here in Philadelphia, the three big companies I can think of are Apex, New Century, and Today’s Bus, with stops at 30th Street Station, and a few scattered around Chinatown.
While looking around for a way to get to New York this weekend for the Auto Show- I was comparing the rates between bus companies. Normally when I made a trip back home to NYC, I take one of the Chinatown buses because it is cheaper, but with recent fare changes, Greyhound doesn’t look too bad. Personally, I’ll probably stick with the Chinatown bus because I have never had a problem with safety- and they have a few more buses each day (During some hours the buses are leaving every 15-30 minutes!).
The Greyhound website is not very well designed, and uncooperative most of the time, but I found this link-
where you can buy your ticket online for trips for Baltimore-NY, Boston-NY, Philadelphia-NY and DC-NY.

Still more Philly resolutions

I love this idea! Here are my top 5 Philly resolutions for the new year:

Visit the Art Museum. I’ve been promising myself that I’ll get lost in there for about 3 years now and still haven’t gotten around to it. I’m so ashamed…

Visit a park in Philadelphia. This used to mean Pennypack Park in the northeast, since I used to run there, but I’m thinking now it’ll be Fairmount Park or someplace near Boathouse Row.

Go see the Eagles in training camp.

See at least two minor league baseball games.

Not embarrass my girlfriend at a black tie event. I’ve never been to one before, and, well, I’m not well-behaved.

Review: Adventure Aquarium

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday, and the long-standing plan was a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo. Unfortunately, the rain took care of that idea so I opted for the semi-new Adventure Aquarium in Camden instead.

It was fairly easy to find with the directions from their web site, but the layout is somewhat confusing. I realize they want the nice looking side to face the river so people in Philadelphia think “Hey, let’s go there!” but it’s very difficult to see where the entrance is from the (overpriced) parking lot. There are a few non-descript buildings, a very large Spongebob banner and something about ticketing. They really need a few signs for the entrance, and to make the back more appealing. That is what customers see first, and it’s disappointing.

Philadelphia: Not just concrete

Contrary to popular belief, Philadelphia isn’t all concrete. There is actually grenery besides the carefully planted trees that dot Center City and some of the neighborhoods.

Want proof? Take a hike – literally.
From 7:30 to 9:00 pm tonight at the Schuyllkill Center for Environmental Education, there’s a Night Hike for kids. If you’re a member of the Center, the hike is $7. If you’re not a member, it’s $5. Click for the event details.a nifty list of trails near them that are in the city. Visually oriented? There’s even a map.

Things To Do In Northeast Philly That’s Not Franklin Mills or Neshaminy Mall (Part 1)

Steve’s Bug-Off Exterminating and Insectarium
8046 Frankford Ave, 19136

This is the first part of what I hope to be a long-lasting series of things to do in Northeast Philadelphia that’s not Franklin Mills or Neshaminy Mall. Most people seem to think that the Northeast section of Philly is nothing but rowhomes and malls. I would beg to differ, however. There are many, MANY things to do in the Northeast (I hope) and I’m going to try to spotlight them all.

Steve’s Bug-Off isn’t your ordinary exterminator. If your house has ants/spiders/cockroaches, then yeah, you should see Steve and his exterminators. But, if you’d like to go and check out a bunch of cool and exotic bugs, then you should check out the Insectarium. There’s a model kitchen complete with cockroaches crawling about, watch bugs eat other bugs, and even crawl through a spider web! I’m pretty sure your squeamish girlfriend will go crazy over all this. Then again, so will your little brother.

Refreshments include Cajun- or cheese-coated mealworms, or lollypops with caterpillars in the middle of them. All edible.

True, this is mainly set for kids. But, if you really like bugs, you’ll really like the Insectarium.

If you have more cool things to do in NE Philly that’s not the Mills or Neshaminy, please shoot me an e-mail at!

PHL: Philadelphia’s Hellish Landings

Not that I have any personal reason for this, mind you….

Having returned this evening from parts southward (Savannah to Charlotte to Philly), I felt somehow mysteriously compelled to seek out this story from USA Today earlier this month:

Efforts to reduce excessive delays at Philadelphia International Airport are developing on two fronts.

Signs of the most immediate solution will begin this summer as the airport begins to reconfigure Route 291, also known as Industrial Highway, in front of the airport to make way for the construction of a 1,040-foot extension of runway 17-35. The $60 million expansion is expected to take a year. […]

However, it won’t be enough to accommodate projected growth at the airport and to alter Philadelphia’s ranking near the bottom of the nation’s top 33 airfields for on-time departures. It ranked 28th for on-time arrivals.

I’m almost surprised we weren’t dead last on every list available.

Image source: UCal Irvine.

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Yesterday afternoon I attended a preview/walk-through of The Franklin Institute’s new Animation exhibit. The exhibit has lots of hands-on stations to practice activities that make up the process of animation, including stop motion photography, storyboarding, and sound effects.


My favorite site was likely the “soundbooth” where I failed miserably in applying foley to a brief clip. Perhaps even funnier than the out-of-sync sounds was the way the microphones captured me talking to my co-previewers as I tried to move quickly from station to station.

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