Start your day eating at the Reading Terminal Market which is one of the nation’s most successful public markets with more than 75 independent small businesses offering an array of fresh and prepared foods, lunch counters, and places to eat and shop. I ordered the “banana bacon french toast” at Pearl’s Oyster Bar for breakfast!
Only a few steps away is Philadelphia’s City Hall which is the largest municipal building in the United States, known to be an architectural treasure. If you are a “How to get away with murder” lover, make sure to visit this site, because it appears in almost every episode!
On my way to the Magic Gardens, I walked through the South Street neighborhood which Isaiah Zagar has devoted himself to beautifying since the late 1960s by renovating derelict buildings and adding colorful mosaics on both private and public walls as part of an expansion of the Magic Gardens.
You can definitely see the Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens from afar, dozens of people walk towards it on a daily basis since it is one of Philly’s most popular site. The Magic Gardens, a work of Isaiah Zagar, include an outdoor art installation and indoor galleries. Zagar created the space using nontraditional materials such as folk art statues, found objects, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, hand-made tiles, and thousands of glittering mirrors. I must say it kind of reminded me of Park Güell, one of the major works of Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain.
For lunch, we decided to go to the Reading Terminal Market again! It has a lot of variety so it’s impossible to just visit once. This time, I had the famous MeltKraft grilled cheese… it was out of this world, to say the least, and a cannoli for dessert.
The good thing about Philadelphia is that everything worth visiting is close to each other so we didn’t have to take any trains, we just walked around the city all day long until we found Independence Hall. This is where both the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were debated and adopted, clearly a place worth visiting!
Oh Elfreth’s Alley, what a cute street you are! When I was planning my trip to Philly, this was a must visit for me. Upon my arrival, I felt weirdly awesome because visiting this street is like time traveling to old England. Elfreth’s Alley is referred to as the nation’s oldest residential street, the houses here were built between 1728 and 1836 and just in case you are wondering, YES, people still live here!
I was lucky enough to be in Philly at the same time that the Philadelphia International Festival of Arts was happening! This 16-day celebration of art and community showcased innovation and a breadth of local and international performances and installations. I got to see “Article 13,” which was an empowering and eye opening way to learn about immigration issues.
Afterwards, we had dinner at Pietro’s coal oven pizzeria. My personal favorite was the classic, “margarita” pizza with pepperoni but make sure to taste the “pietro’s” which has prosciutto, smoked mozzarella and baby arugula. YUM!
Finally, there’s no better way to end a trip than to appreciate the city’s skyline at night. For this, we went to the Schuylkill Banks, an eight mile stretch of riverfront that goes through the heart of Philadelphia.