Birthdays in Philadelphia are fun because we (Matt and I) can justify doing anything we want without feeling guilty for spending too much time or money on one day. Last year, I thought that my plan for Matt’s birthday was the best plan ever because it consisted of Yards Brewing Company, and Edgar Allen Poe. We took the subway to Northern Liberties, and were able to visit both of these sites, both in walking distance of public transportation.
But that was so last year. This year, we heard that Neil Gaiman was going to be close by so Matt specified what he wanted to do. Since he chose that as his birthday night, I figured he might as well plan the rest of it too. He chose to walk Philadelphia and stop wherever we pleased as the day went on. And this is what it is like to walk through Philadelphia on a Spring day…
Philadelphia is full of books. It has been common, on our walks, to come across book stores that seem to pop up out of nowhere. To our great dismay, this one happened to be closed at the time we were walking. However, it was charming all the same. In addition to the books, Philadelphia holds Universities galore. U-Penn has an amazing Archaeology Museum. We didn’t have the time to go in on this particular day, but we did have time to walk by and visit the courtyard outside.
The next part of our walk brought us to the Rosenbach Museum and Library. (We like books.) This museum held rare books and was a museum of the brothers who bought these books and other collectibles. So worth taking the time (and small fee) to take the tour. We truly enjoyed this. The best part is that they have a room full of rare and unique books (incredibly old!) that you can just schedule time to peruse. Those who most frequent this room of books are students doing research, but we plan on going just for fun sometime.
We ate at McGillin’s Old Ale House. This was unplanned, so when seeing the crowds, we initially thought we would try another place. However, we noticed that there were signs for another room upstairs. We tried it, and found an almost-empty bar. This restaurant is located at 1310 Drury St. and I would definitely recommend it. The beer selection was great and we enjoyed the food as well.
Any sports fan who has been shopping in Philadelphia has likely been to Mitchell & Ness. I am not a huge fan of sports, but even I find this place to be enjoyable. They sell vintage style sportswear. Their history is interesting as well: https:mitchellandness.com/company/story
Our day was almost over, but we realized that we had some time left for some dessert. Thanks to Yelp, we found this small dessert/coffee shop at 1112 Locust Street. We enjoyed a milkshake and pastries while sitting happily outside at a table on the sidewalk. Another place to recommend!
The fact that it was Matt’s birthday is moot. This was a typical Saturday in the life of a Philadelphian. We walked miles and miles and every step felt like another privilege given to us by Philadelphia. All in all, a great day.