Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the city of murals (philadelphia, pa)

Why hello there! Hope my fellow Americans and all others had a wonderful (Labor Day) weekend. I cannot believe that I've only been in Philadelphia for a day and a half. Kinda really like it here :). And spending time with one of my best childhood friends, Lene, has a lot to do with it. Let's start from the beginning...
I arrived around two thirty on Sunday afternoon. Lene was coming back from visiting family at Ocean City so we met almost perfect timing at her apartment.
After catching up and resting up a bit, we decided to explore so that my new-to-Philly friend could introduce me to her new home. As far as neighborhoods go, Northern Liberties was our chosen destination.
Please don't hate me for what I am about to say: I despise tourists. I know, I know, I technically am one, and I will continue "to be one," but, eh. 
Although I'll admit there are a few things that the visitor within me is dying to see or do in certain places, I would much rather experience a city or town like a local and walk and wander and see what I find. 
Traveling can be so much more exciting and fun that way! I wrote about it on Go Backpacking a while back.
Anyway :) following a bout of boutique shopping browsing we paused on our camino real for a Mexican dinner.
Funny little detail: we were both... starving. So much so that we practically devoured our guac and chips appetizer. I think it was good ;).
Even so, my empty stomach could not fathom any other alcohol other than a filling and refreshing beer. Allagash White all the way, baby.
For my entrée, I ordered the Cactus & Sweet Potato Burrito (which came with a side of jicama slaw and radishes) with a side of Vegetarian Black Beans. 'Twas all amazing. For those of you that are unfamiliar, cactus has a soft but crunch texture and tastes similar to a tart green bean. It's pretty good for you too.
Kept me happily satisfied for the rest of the night as I walked some more and then met Lene's friends for a late night mojito.
Despite my restless (read: too excited) sleep, I awoke bright and early at daylight and took a walk around the neighborhood as Lene and her roommate got ready.
Following a friendly phone call, I met Lene at the Philadelphia Java Company for breakfast. Psh, Starbucks ;).
I had a delicious iced coffee with a toasted and buttered multigrain bagel. 
We may have also paired with a great deal of girl talk, it's just how we do.
Then we went on another stroll threw Center City.
I believe we stopped in each and every public garden along the way? I probably what can only be known as a flower problem. Ha.
We couldn't avoid some of the sites either. But with ones like the Curtis Center, the birthplace of Ladies Home Journal and other important mags, I didn't mind at all. I am a publishing nerd.
And what would a trip into historical Philadelphia be without Independence Park?

Just enough American history to satisfy me. By the way, was it just me or is the Liberty Bell much smaller than you thought?
Afterwards we went to one of the few open eateries nearby for underground sushi.
Mmm, my seaweed salad and avocado & cucumber roll were spectacular.
For the rest of the afternoon we went antique shopping and later, "napped" as we watched InvictusSuch an amazing movie and story! I had chills by the end. 
Have I mentioned that we were in the midst of making pizza during it as well?
Soy meatballs atop tomato sauce, goat cheese, and a whole wheat crust with salad. Absolutely delightful. Lene put cheddar cheese on her half as well. Yuck! ;)
 We followed it all with a trip to a Pennsylvania Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe.
Lene and I were super adventurous and got peanut butter and chocolate respectively :).
And we spent the rest of the night drinking wine on Market Street and later wandering through seemingly all the others.
All that time the lovely Julia had been joining us too. She grew up outside of Philly and it was so so great to see her! I love my friends.
Now that my breakfast is just about digested, it's time to hit the road again. Beforehand though, I just may stop in one last garden, a magical one, or so I hear. I'll add some pictures once I get to my next stop. North Carolina, here I come!


  1. Beautiful glimpse of an awesome city! I loved visiting there and would love to go back - so nice to be shown around by a local!

  2. Great recap full of lots of yummy eats! That sweet potato burrito sounds delicious. Enjoy NC, it is one of my favorite places! :)

  3. What an awesome post! That guacamole looks so fresh. Mmmm

  4. i keep meaning to tell you...whenever you are nearing the west coast holler at me. i may be in northern or southern ca - cant be too sure since im back and forth at the moment, but id love to meet up!

  5. This is making me miss Philly!!! Such a cool city...if you have time, you should venture to the suburbs. Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square and Valley Forge Park in Valley Forge are gorgeous!!

  6. catching up and loving the recap! i'm so excited you've started your trip!!! you look like you're having a blast! can't wait to see more!


  7. sooooooooo much fun!!! AND WHAT AMAZING EATS!!!!!!!!!

    that burrito looks AWESOME!! and the sushi?! plus seaweed salad!? AND THEN PIZZA AND ICE CREAM?! nommmmmmmmmm


    hugs to youuuuuuu



  8. Your travels look so pretty!

    All about the walking :D

  9. Angharad: Thanks, agreed!

    Jessie (Bites and Pieces): Thank you, darling. Oh and it was sooo yummy.

    Dorry: It most definitely was.

    elise: Yes, yes, yes! I will let you know.

    Gabriela: Ah, sounds amazing. I didn't make it this time but I will definitely return :)

    Trying To Heal: Thanks, love!

    glidingcalm: Gracias, chica. xo

    Sagan: Oh I know it! Thank you!


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