birthday philadelphia

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.

Yards offers (FREE!) tours on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4. They fill up quickly and you may have to wait a bit until your tour leaves. However, waiting is no problem because of the large bar and the food trucks that are waiting outside. (Yes, you are allowed to bring food in!) We enjoyed our beer at the bar, and topped it off with food and additional free beer from our tour. This is definitely something we would do again, especially with (beer-drinking) newcomers to Philly.
Edgar Allen Poe once lived in Philly! A National Historic Site, you can visit where he (briefly) lived and wrote. You’ll even find a surprise lurking beneath your feet at one point. v

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…

These pictures are obviously just snippets of how picturesque Philadelphia is. Although I believe that it is always beautiful, springtime is breathtaking. This photo was taken in our neighborhood, walking East towards Center City.
Words can’t describe the contentment that I feel while walking down these streets.

IMG_7842 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. IMG_7866 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.

My favorite view. (Super grateful that this guy was born.) He was getting ready for Neil Gaiman by revisiting The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I sat beside him (save for the moment that I took this photograph) and fell in love with Neil through Smoke and Mirrors.

IMG_7871 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.

No photography allowed inside, so this is the best that I could do…
Who doesn’t love Maurice Sendak?!
The Rosenbach Museum is a hidden gem, to be found on a residential street. 2008 Delancey Pl., to be exact.
On our way to lunch, we came across these murals. How delightful to look up and come across this view.

IMG_7902 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. IMG_7904

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:


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!

IMG_7907 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.

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