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The Fried Food Window

For many weeks after I moved into my current neighborhood, the fried food window was a thing of mystery. It looked abandoned, covered with thick metal bars and a padlock. After about a week, I finally saw it open: a tiny room with two deep fryers, a cash register, and a lady. But there was another oddity. It appeared that there wasn’t any way to get in to the room. No door. I started constructing myths of a woman locked for life inside a desolate fried-food room, running like a car off of some sort of bio-diesel constructed from the old vegetable oil. Then, one day, I realized I was an idiot. I took a good look at the name on the sign (the letters had faded to the same color as the background making it difficult to read) and saw it was called the Happy Tap Kitchen. The bar it’s attached to is the Happy Tap. There’s a door between the two and the woman who works there has a loving family and social life (I think). So I bought some fries, and they were good.

• Fishtown / Port Richmond • Map it • Print it • Send to a Friend • More Info

Ben Franklin’s House Frame

For some strange reason, the frame of Benjamin Franklin’s house reminds me of a holocaust memorial, or the more contemporary pillars of light at the World Trade Center site. It represents what used to stand in both size and scale of the modest brick house of one of Olde Philadelphia’s most beloved. Unlike many of the colonial homes in Old City which have remained intact, visitors can only imagine what the house used to look like. Who knew a tourist attraction that actually requires some semblance of imagination? Of course, one could always scour a photo, but there’s little fun in that.

• Old City / Society Hill • Map it • Print it • Send to a Friend • More Info

The Other Greenline

If you’re too much of a hipster or hippie at heart, The Other Greenline is your Starbucks. A few tables and chairs sit outside the door, and there are some tables and a couch inside. They serve quite possible the best iced mocha in the entire world (or at least the Western Philadelphia one). Another perk is the location. While not sitting on pristine Walnut Street in Rittenhouse or parked in Old City, it is right next to a laundry place and almost across the street from a CVS. It sounds like this is thinly veiled sarcasm, but really, think about it. You can do all your errands at CVS, wash your clothes, and have an amazing cup of coffee all within a few steps of each other. And there’s always dog walkers strolling by, giving you ample opportunity to accost some poor sucker into letting you pet their animal while making menial conversation with them.

• WiFi • West Philly • Map it • Print it • Send to a Friend • More Info

Viv Pickle

Sure it feels great to have the “it” bag. But what about next month when the fickle fashionistas move on and declare your shoulder accessory blindingly passé? Buck the system by designing a one-of-a-kind Viv Pickle bag. First choose your size and shape—from evening clutches to diaper bags—and then move on to the fun fabrics. Customize the exterior and interior patterns and personal touches like pockets and zippers. Viv will cap off your creation with a petite pickle iron-on and your personal taste never goes out of style, so you can carry your bag season to season. Once you fall in love with Viv, you’ll want to spread the word by joining Viv’s mailing list to receive exclusive sale invitations and gift certificate opportunities. Or contact Viv directly to host a pickle party in your home and invite all your friends!

• Old City / Society Hill • Map it • Print it • Send to a Friend • More Info

The Shawmont Waterworks

Look. We all like going in old buildings. However, most old buildings are either a) terrifying, b) difficult to get into, or c) restored and cost money to enter. There is one building in Philly, however, that manages to avoid all of these things: the Shawmont Waterworks. Many years ago the building was used to pump water from the Schuylkill up to the Roxborough reservoir. These days, it’s mostly empty and easily accessible to the public off of the far end of the Manayunk towpath. The inside is gorgeous: huge arching windows, brick walls, pieces of old machinery still attached to the ceiling and floor. And if terrifying is your thing, there’s always the basement—a trash-filled creep fest with no light and archways that appear to lead off into nowhere. Me, I stay up top, where the sunlight comes in, and I suggest packing a picnic lunch.

• Extended Coverage Area • Print it • Send to a Friend • More Info