Saturday, April 21, 2012

48 hours in Philadelphia

This posting is long overdue. But in the hiatus, I survived pre-match jitters and matched to my top choice residency. I was so thrilled and have been celebrating and getting ready for this next phase of my life. 

I was blessed with a vacation month this April so I did some small fun trips. 
A and I planned a weekend trip to Philadelphia and I thought I would share my itinerary with you all. I scoured the library guidebooks (Lonely Planet was the best) and combined what was recommended by nytimes (I have a love affair with their "36 hours in..." series) to bring you.. 48 hours in Philadelphia!!!

Day #1:
We got Friday off, so we headed towards Philly at 10am (5 hours planned drive). We hit some traffic so only got to our (love this site!) hosts at 5pm ish but we managed to rush and squeeze in/see from the outside most of what we wanted to see this day. Our assignment was to hit up...

  1. Liberty Bell, Old City Hall
  2. Franklin Court - tribute to Ben Franklin (closes at 5), can see his innovations/fireproof building
  3. Elizabeth Alley and Betsy Ross House (closes at 6)
  4. US Mint (closes at 4:30, free admission)
  5. Dinner options:
    1. The Continental/Martini Bar, retro, lots of food variety., this was the restaurant we ended up choosing. It was a bit pricey but I loved the vibe and atmosphere and my tofu tempura and bruschetta were so delicious.
    A and I got an appetizer of Szechuan shoestring fries with spicy mayo sauce. A bit of a challenge to eat!
    My scrumptious tofu tempura with plenty of creamy avocado.
    The Continental is very conveniently located in Old City and the people watching is excellent. ;)
    1. Amada- Spanish Tapas-
    2. Zahav- mediterranean, nytimes, rave reviews, pricey according to our hosts!!!,
    3. Franklin Fountain-, old fashioned desserts! Did not make it here but wish we could have.
  6. Comedy show- 8pm-9:30. The N Crowd- 257 N 3rd street. $12 in advance. We really enjoyed the show, very intimiate just 50 people and 6 improv actors right in front of you. They get the audience involved in suggestions and taking cues from your daily lives. A really pleasant way to spend an evening on the cheap! And very walkable from everything in Old City.
We were very exhausted and tired by this time in the day but had a great time hanging out with another couple (J and S :))at the Dave and Buster's right on the water front.

DAY #2:
Our goal was to tackle Center City and all the markets this day. We woke up at a leisurely 9am and had a wonderful spread of pastries and omelettes by our hosts to get us energized for the day ahead. We were staying south of the Italian Market so we walked there first.

My favorite piece of art in the Magic Garden galleries.
  1. Italian Market- mostly produce/meats etc out on the street. Apparently some great bakeries etc around the area (we were recommended the cannoli's at Isgro's, which were indeed yummy but I still love Mike's Pastries in Boston). Fante's was also highly recommended by our hosts if you like fancy kitchen cookware or just more specialty stuff like gold sprinkles :).
  2. Magic Gardens- gorgeous and a very cool artsy area. If you like mosaics this is a place to stop by. We were inspired to make a mosaic from this visit and its a great photo op. To quote Nytimes:  "an art center and endearingly bizarre outdoor maze of mortar, bicycle tires, bottles, textiles, artwork and tchotchkes...Isaiah Zagar’s magnum opus is a multitextured, multilayered labyrinth that leaves visitors amused, if maybe puzzled. “I think it communicates something, but I don’t know what that is,” said Mr. Zagar, who frequently roams his creations and obligingly fields questions from visitors."
  3. Me in the Magic Gardens
  4. Pine St. "Historic Antique Row": Between S 13th and S10th street I believe. This street is so quaint with a scattering of antique shops and fun home design stores. A great 20-30 minute detour. We would highly recommend.
  5. Detour: We then walked towards Pennsylvania Hospital because I wanted to see the nation's oldest surgical amphitheater. You are supposed to be able to get a free walking tour guide pamphlet at the info desk but this part of the hosp is closed on weekends. My bad!
  6. Reading Terminal Market: (we've been walking north all this while) and we finally hit Market st.! This market is indoors and the entrance is through a sketchy tunnel. It was fun to roam around to find LUNCH and I got some culinary souvenirs here. I found an authentic philly soft pretzel after much searching (Lonely planet says it should be rectangular in shape and stuck to other pretzels). Very hectic though!
  7. The chaos of the Reading Terminal Market
  8. Mutter Museum: Note (up to this point, everything has been somewhat in a logical walking order in from South philly to Center City). We took a big detour to the west to go to this medical oddities museum. It was so worth it ($10 for students) and fun given I am medstudent.
  9. Mutter Museum. Gross and Cool! (pic from
  10. Dinner at Chinatown (also a big detour, but not bad if you are already in Center City): We went to Nanzhou handrawn noodle house, which had such rave reviews I was dying to go! The noodles were such a great texture and I loved the peanut sauce on mine. A got the House special meatball soup noodles. And tried bubble tea for the first time (very mediocre here, but for $1.75, I can't complain).

8. We finished up the night by trekking all the way to UPENN, had cocktails, then watched a great comedy with our friends J and S, 21 Jump St. I loved it. Sometimes I wish I was back in high school...

9. A wanted a midnight snack when we got back to our B&B, so how convenient that Geno's and Pat's (of cheesesteak FAME) were only 6 short blocks away?

Ironically, we ended up choosing Pat's (because it had the longer line when we got there). I did not partake in cheesesteak eating, but their fries were excellent. I was also here pre-veggie days and I can't even remember which one I liked most! Share one from each place, everyone recommends!

Day #3: 

West Philly and UPENN
Sunday, our last day in Philly! :(. 
We woke up, enjoyed our breakfast then drove to (btw Philly is a city of street parking just fyi)...

1. Boathouse Row: Very pretty. I wanted to see all the crew houses up close. Great for a morning walk and almost made me want to row again. However, we were behind all the houses, not sure how to get the lovely front view without being on the highway.
And old picture of boathouse row that I found, and love (www.
2. We finished up at UPENN. A wanted a tour of Wharton, but unfortunately you need a student ID to get into anywhere on the weekend. Still, it was a gorgeous area and I got to meet a very special man...
Thanks for a great weekend, philly!
and.. extra thanks to J and S who were excellent hosts all weekend :).


Anonymous said...

Hello therе! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform
are you using for this site? I'm ǥettinng tired of Wordƿress because I've had isѕues with hackers and I'm lοoking at alternatives for another platform.
I woսld be greɑt if you could point me in thе directiοn of
a gooԀ platform.

Also visit my web-site digital photography photoshop tutorials

Anonymous said...

Hello there! I could have sworn I've been to this website before but after
looking at many of the articles I realized it's new to me.
Regardless, I'm certainly happy I came across it and I'll be book-marking it and checking back often!

Also visit my web-site; 24 hour access storage units

Anonymous said...

Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
The text in your article seem to be running off the
screen in Firefox. I'm not sure if this is a format issue
or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I'd post to let
you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the issue solved soon. Cheers

Here is my webpage; rechargeable canned air

Anonymous said...

I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites
really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later.

Feel free to visit my blog: Internet Video Production Companies Toronto ON

Anonymous said...

Hi, Neat post. There's a problem along with your site in internet explorer, might
check this? IE still is the market chief and a huge section of
people will miss your excellent writing because of this problem.

Feel free to surf to my webpage how to lose weight fast (

Anonymous said...

I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This
article posted at this web site is in fact good.

Here is my web site; Cheap home improvement

Anonymous said...

Everything posted was very reasonable. But, think about this, suppose you typed a catchier title?
I mean, I don't wish to tell you how to run your blog, however suppose you added something that
makes people want more? I mean "48 hours in Philadelphia" is a little
vanilla. You could look at Yahoo's home page and
watch how they create article headlines to get people to
open the links. You might try adding a video or a picture or two to grab people interested about what you've got to
say. Just my opinion, it would make your posts a little bit
more interesting.

Here is my blog post executive coach cleveland

Anonymous said...

We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You've done a formidable job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

Here is my blog post - online casinos

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I have just been searching for information approximately this subject
for a long time and yours is the greatest
I've discovered till now. But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you certain about the supply?

my weblog - Pritika Naik []

Anonymous said...

ecig forum, ecig, best electronic cigarette, best electronic cigarettes, buy electronic cigarette, ecigs

oakleyses said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
oakleyses said...

nike air max uk, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors, ray ban pas cher, new balance, north face, true religion outlet, mulberry uk, michael kors, hollister pas cher, coach outlet, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet online, true religion jeans, ray ban uk, nike free uk, hollister uk, nike air max, burberry outlet, lululemon canada, ralph lauren uk, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, sac vanessa bruno, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike air max uk, kate spade, michael kors outlet online, guess pas cher, burberry handbags, north face uk, converse pas cher, nike air force, true religion outlet, nike blazer pas cher, michael kors outlet, coach purses, coach outlet store online, nike tn, sac hermes, hogan outlet, oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet, polo lacoste, timberland pas cher, replica handbags, nike roshe run uk, true religion outlet

oakleyses said...

hollister, beats by dre, vans, mont blanc pens, valentino shoes, gucci, giuseppe zanotti outlet, vans outlet, reebok outlet, hermes belt, babyliss, celine handbags, wedding dresses, nike roshe run, chi flat iron, oakley, iphone cases, soccer shoes, converse outlet, new balance shoes, ralph lauren, nike air max, p90x workout, nike air max, mac cosmetics, longchamp uk, lancel, nike trainers uk, ray ban, ferragamo shoes, nike huaraches, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, lululemon, louboutin, jimmy choo outlet, baseball bats, nfl jerseys, insanity workout, asics running shoes, herve leger, hollister, north face outlet, abercrombie and fitch, ghd hair, bottega veneta, mcm handbags, timberland boots, instyler, hollister clothing

oakleyses said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.