Eastern State Penitentiary Who Loves It (1)
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Address: 2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130 (Cross street: N 22nd St)
Neighborhood: Fairmount
Phone: 215-236-3300
Website: www.easternstate.org
Landmarks Take a tour, buy a t-shirt. Get the daylights scared out of you.

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On Our Radar:
Elvira Cometh!
Posted by:  Meg Favreau

You'd think that with all of the cities she could visit, Elvira wouldn't say yes to Philadelphia for Halloween. I mean, she's the hilarious and buxom Mistress of the Dark! She could entertain New York, LA, or Hades with equal ease. But she chose Philadelphia--I'm guessing it's because of all of the darkness we have in our hearts. So yeah, Elvira's going to be here on Halloween, visiting creepy locations such as Eastern State, the Poe House, and the Park Hyatt ("Park Hyatt! Our room rates will make you scream!"). "But Meg!" you might be saying to yourself, "I'm so jaded that seeing a campy celebrity just isn't enough for me!" Well, how about this: Cassandra Peterson, who plays Elvira, has also been a member of The Groundlings (the launchpad of famous comics from Phil Hartman to Kristen Wiig), worked as a Vegas showgirl, and once appeared in a Fellini film. If that's not enough cred for you, take a good look inside your black heart and ask yourself if you care about anything. Oh, you don't? Well then, Happy Halloween.

Photo:  Meg Favreau
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The Eastern State Parking Debacle
Posted by:  Michelle Sipics

Take a look at the photo for this radar. What do you see–aside from some nifty ivy on the walls of Eastern State Pen and those goofy fake gargoyles? Parking! Except that's not what you'd see if this picture was taken after, say, 6pm on a night when Eastern State is hosting its haunted tours. Take it from someone who lives here: there is NO parking to be found in Fairmount while those blasted haunted tours are taking place. To be fair, the organizers established the "ghost bus" this year–a set of trolleys that run from the Pen to a parking lot at Broad and Spring Garden, where visitors are encouraged to park–and that seems to have helped a little (read: I only have to drive around for an hour looking for parking as opposed to the two hours I spent last year). Still, the situation sucks. So, if you're planning to visit one of Fairmount's fine establishments between now and say, the second week of November (especially on a weekend), I highly encourage you to walk, bike, take a cab, or ride the bus. You'll thank me later (and the car-owning residents of the neighborhood will thank you eternally).

Photo:  Michelle Sipics
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French Fling Weekend
Posted by:  Michelle Sipics

It's hard to think of a better way to celebrate Bastille Day than to watch one of the owners of London Grill play Marie Antoinette, being "captured" and "executed" by armed troops at Eastern State Pen, all the while yelling "Let them eat TastyKate!". (Supposedly thousands of Butterscotch Krimpets will be thrown down from the building's towers, which in my opinion is more than enough of a reason to attend.) But if that's not enough for you, there's also a bar crawl through various establishments on Thursday night, a variety of French food and wine-tasting events on Friday, music and activities for the kiddies on Saturday, and a French Champagne Brunch on Sunday morning. Our favorite event, though? The Tricycle Tour de France, for kids 4-8 years old. It's a race around the Pen at 3 pm on Saturday, with a few prizes to be had. I wish I could race myself, but I guess I'll settle for watching the young'ns have their fun. Viva la France!

Photo:  Michelle Sipics
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Average Rating: 5   (5=Amazing, 1=Just Horrible)
Submitted: 11/16/2009 9:42 AM                  
Posted By: Magda Nakassis