#ItsStillAPhillyThing: Reasons to Love Philadelphia After Heartbreak

Stephen Tornetta image
Stephen Tornetta
March 2, 2023

When you talk to most Philadelphians, many of us consider the city like a member of our own family—we love them, but they annoy us, so yeah, we’re gonna talk shit (us Philly folk aren’t exactly known for our polite language, after all). 

But just like family, WE’RE the only ones allowed to be badmouthing our own turf. We can say things like, “Damn, I wish they would sweep the streets more,” but as soon as an outsider comes in claiming “Philly is so dirty,” they better be prepared for a verbal onslaught as to why Philly is the best city in the world. Don’t they know all the incredible work ya fav trashman is doing?!

That being said, our city pride took a beating this year when you measure by sports teams. It’s been hard to experience the #PhillyLove with heartbreak after heartbreak. From the Phillies to the Union and now our most recent devastation, the Eagles in the Super Bowl, it might feel like there’s nothing left to love. Nothing left to gather in the streets for and cheer. So much grease, wasted…

From @phillyaffirmations Instagram

However, I’d like us not to forget that our love for this city isn’t only reserved for our beloved sports teams. There are countless unique things that make Philadelphia our favorite gritty little city, so let’s take a figurative stroll around some of my favorite South Philly spots (yes, there’s more to it than just the stadiums) to take us out of the losing-streak funk and into some #PhillyStrong vibes.

*Cue the Rocky theme…*

#1. Love Philly for… the food

Let’s start with a nice stroll through the historic Italian Market. Pick up a loaf of bread and some antipasti at Talluto’s, followed by a stop at Cardenas Oil & Vinegar Taproom, known for their classic balsamic vinegar and olive oil tasting room. Finish that off with a delish bottle of wine from Di Bruno’s Bros. bottle shop and you’ll be well on your way to a nice spring picnic in one of Philly’s finest parks when that first 70 degree day finally hits.

(Or, stick around the Italian Market and perfect your climbing-greased-polls skills for when we DO win the Super Bowl again.)

#2. Love Philly for… more food

As the saying goes, “happiness is a full belly,” so that’s right: we’re still talkin’ food. We really have one of the best food scenes out there with options both old and new, and it’s so much more than just hoagies and cheesesteaks. Stop with your friends at Santucci’s on 10th and Christian for one of their famous pizzas with a great BYO bottle of wine. After that, head towards South Street for a nightcap at one of my favorite bars, Le Caveau, for some dessert and a glass of wine.

#3. Love Philly for… the shopping

Philly has a unique shopping scene, too. I love the one-two-punch of RetroSpect Vintage on South Street for some great vintage finds, then head right around the corner to Philly Aids Thrift, a volunteer-run non-profit where all proceeds go to local AIDS organizations. If you’re not totally shopped out after that (or just tired of digging through clothing bins), head nearby to Walter Pine Floral Studio for a gorgeous bouquet and other adorable items for your home.

#4. Love Philly for… the art

Yes, we all know about the Rocky steps leading up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And yes, it’s gorgeous and you should totally check it out (now that the union workers were finally able to win a new contract). But, there’s countless other museums worth exploring in Philly as well.

Into something a little weird?! Why not stop by the Mütter Museum. I would describe it as eccentric, bold, and not for the faint of heart. A cabinet-like collection of medical oddities and mysteries, the Mütter (pronounced moo-ter) explores the human body via the history of diagnosis and treatment of diseases. A truly unique experience exclusive to Philly.

All of these reminders are here to help reignite the spark that you first had for Philly, whether you’re born and bred or transplanted over at some point along the way. You loved this city once, and you’ll love it again. After all, the days are getting longer, warmer, and more full of life. Beyonce is performing at the Linc in July. Hope springs eternal. And most importantly, remember…

From @phillyaffirmations Instagram