Archive for the ‘Landmarks’ Category

General Tso’s Slot Machines

Foxwoods wants to build a casino at The Gallery. Some people are opposed to it because of the je ne sais quoi that a casino might bring to the area – like traffic.

Other people are opposed to the casino because of the “shady elements” and “crime” and “prostitution” that a casino “would bring” to the area. That reason always make me chuckle because – if I recall from my eleventeen years – isn’t Chinatown the place where kids go to get fake ID’s and nunchucks and chewing gum that gets you high?

Still others are are opposed to the casino, for, well, batsh*t crazy reasons.


Goodbye, Wanamaker’s Cafe

Today  was the last day for the cafe.  The first restaurant inside a department store was in the original Wanamaker’s Grand Depot.

I bought out all their wonderful scones (to freeze) and had their carrot cake for lunch. Wednesday, I had my last tea there, complete with tea sandwiches.  I will miss the cafe…


Gotta go? Visitor Center!

Last week after a doctor’s appointment, I had the opportunity to do something I rarely get to do: walk around the historic areas and Old City. A coffee and a bottle of water later, and the inevitable happens—I need to pee. I’m at Fifth and Market, let’s walk up a block and check out the visitor center!

I think I was only in the Independence Visitor Center once before, shortly after they first opened, and, as a resident of the city, I never felt the need to go back. But boy, are those bathrooms amazing! The toilets are clean, the floors are shiny, the sinks are in proper working order, and the trash is not overflowing. The place doesn’t even smell like a public bathroom.

My only gripe? While everything is automated, I’d rather have hand-dryers rather than electric paper towel dispensers. Hand dryers are more efficient and leave less waste. I mean, if you’re going to go automatic anyway, why not use dryers? didn’t have a review for this bathroom, but I did find an article for the National Constitution Center, and from the one photograph, I think the bathrooms are pretty much the same. Now, as a resident, I’m not looking for the historic elements this reviewer valued—I just want a place to pee without worrying about creepy men masturbating in the corner.

Comcast Center


They let me in! Today was my first experience with seeing the Comcast Center close-up. I’ve only seen it from a distance, so far, and in the extremely delicious and informative website:

I was visiting a friend at Center City Film and Video, one of the few non-Comcast businesses that will occupy the building. It was very cool to get my own badge (for security), and to have had it arranged before I arrived. There are sculptures of people perched on high metal beams above your head in the lobby, looking very businesslike and important – muy futuristic. Not many people work in the building yet, but we were speculating about how much the building’s occupants will affect new business around it. We were hoping for new business and could see several things under construction. Very exciting! I was awed at the height. (I’m a girl from the sticks, okay?) I could barely fit the tip-top in my frame for this shot. As you can also see, it wasn’t all gray skies today.

Did you know this was in Philly?


I didn’t! I know, I know, many of you DID know about it, but I didn’t. Do you know how, sometimes, when you are riding or running or walking, you just want to keep going? That’s how I found this bridge, located by Forbidden Drive, in the Wissahickon Valley portion of Fairmount Park. The trail is easy, but if you’re riding, watch out for pedestrians – they have the right of way. There were many people out with small children, who tend to suddenly stray in front of bikers, and they are NOT looking behind them. Anyway, if you are car-less, like me, this is a nice way to escape into nature. I picked up a lovely map of the Wissahickon Valley at the Valley Green Inn snack bar, and you can also see it at the Friends of the Wissahickon website. Happy trails!

I apologize for the weird angle. Sometime, I like to get creative.

That tower makes me angry.

Every time I see that Comcast tower going up over center city it makes me angry. Not just because of the $106 a month they cost me due to a complete lack of competition in Philadelphia, and not just because for some reason I don’t get the travel channel while my friends a few miles away do. Because that tower exists thanks to their disgusting business practices and unfair monopoly that lawmakers somehow don’t see a problem with. Maybe all of that green is blocking their line of vision.

The latest ComCRAP tidbit comes from Texas where they changed a woman’s home phone number, failed to inform her, then refused to change it back until local reporters got on their case.

Manny, Moe and Jack to leave East Falls


The 86-year-old auto parts store may be selling their East Falls headquarter building. They say that they won’t be leaving the Philadelphia area, but that the pre-World War II building is no longer serving their needs effectively. Yet another change in the landscape of Philadelphia.

Pep Boys may Sell Philly Headquarters [CBS3]

Photo credit: Roadsidepictures’

Deux Cheminee’s Tag Sale

This Saturday and Sunday Chef Fritz Blank is having a Tag Sale at his famous French restaurant, Deux Cheminee’s, located at 1221 Locust Street. Chef will be selling his personal cookware, culinary ephemera, and lots of other stuff from the restaurant. Bring cash, because no credit cards will be accepted. Saturday from 7AM TO 3PM, Sunday from 8AM to 6PM.

SS United States

Once in a while an article pops up about how Norwegian Cruise Lines, who purchased the ship, will do something with it. I’ll believe it when I see it.

The first time i saw the SS United states was when my friend had his car towed to the lovely PPA lot in South Philadelphia. On the way down I saw the gigantic boat, which looked to me to be a half-sinking dirty eyesore. Shortly thereafter, I lived in the neighborhood for a couple of years and grew accustomed to the sight. I can’t imagine it’s not embarrassing, though, especially with all of the development (Ikea and Home Depot complexes).

The latest update is more of the same. Norwegian says they’re going to restore it. Someday. Perhaps when they climb out of the red and find the $500 million laying around somewhere for restoration. At least the asbestos is all gone.

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?

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