Midtown Village/Gayborhood

With the aura of a small town in the heart of a big city, Midtown Village is lively and friendly, with an abundance of quirky shops, terrific food and respected theaters. It’s also home to the Gayborhood, which contains a wide range of LGBTQI friendly shops, restaurants and resources.

Photo © J. Smith for GPTMC

Insider Tips

Midtown Village is accessible by SEPTA.Nearby on “Antiques Row” is the nation’s oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital (800 Spruce St.), founded by Benjamin Franklin.

According to the Midtown Village District’s website, Ben Franklin’s legendary key experiment took place at 12th and Chestnut Streets.


On a Budget


Rustic Music $
333 S.13th St.
rusticmusic.com
215.732.7805
Break out your inner rock star without breaking the bank. Hello $2 CD box sets! This store offers everything a music lover could dream of, from vintage electric guitars to rare vinyl records and cassettes. It’s a small space, but with used records for $2 and vintage instruments at reasonable prices, it’s worth stopping in to browse. Head downstairs to check out the record collection, and look out for on-sale CD bins.

 


The Plastic Club $
247 Camac St.
plasticclub.org
215.545.9324
Now an art gallery, studio and education center, this was originally a club for female artists. Founded in 1897 and settling into its current location in 1910, it’s a great place to experience local history. There’s something new on display nearly every week, so stop by to support emerging local artists.


Study Spots


Louis I. Kahn
Memorial Park (free)
South 11th St. and Pine St.
kahnpark.org
215.592.0481
Take a lap around this small, paved park before settling down at one of the picnic tables to tackle that final paper you’ve been neglecting.

 


Last Drop Coffee House $
1300 Pine St.
Yelp.com
215.893.9262
Be careful lest the funky paintings and hip, artsy decor distract you from your studies. The large basement is probably the better choice for studying, as it’s usually quieter and less crowded than the street-level café area. Think of it as renting a seat for a few hours of paper-writing in a vibrant environment. Free Wi-Fi!


Outside Itch


English colonial
architecture (free)
Camac Street between
Spruce and Lombard
With tiny side streets, quaint brick buildings with painted wood shutters and hole-in-the-wall restaurants and art galleries, Camac Street is a quiet haven. Many of the buildings, especially the houses, are authentic or renovated but stay true to the original, making for some interesting walks on a nice day.

 


Self-guided mural tour (free)
From “Philadelphia Muses” (1235 Locust St.) to the LGBTQI-themed “Pride and Progress” (1315 Spruce St.), the intricate art in association with the city’s Mural Arts Program captures the essence of the neighborhood. While some murals portray the area at different times of the year, other murals address important social issues relevant to this community.

 

Arts & Culture


Forrest Theatre $$$
1114 Walnut St.
forrest-theatre.com
215.923.1515
Tickets must now be purchased online, but this theatre is still an active off-Broadway venue. Since 1928, it has been a “road house,” where shows are performed before moving on to New York City. It’s the perfect spot to take your parents when they’re in town.

 


Sound of Philadelphia
Souvenir Shop $$
309A S. Broad St.
gamble-huffmusic.com
Tapping into the extraordinary musical history of Philadelphia, this shop offers vinyl and CD re-releases, merchandise featuring the legends of the Philadelphia music scene and apparel. The store has hours that are just as funky as the music: the shop is closed Sundays through Tuesdays, although that is more than enough time to browse through the celebrated collection of sounds.

 

Seriously


Broad Street Walk
of Fame (free)

S. Broad Street, near
Philadelphia Theatre Company
philadelphiamusicalliance.org
Created by the Philadelphia Music Alliance to showcase the talented artists who were Philadelphia natives or who used the city as the jumping-off point for their careers, the walk features the names of many world-famous musicians. Over 100 bronze placards pay homage to such legends as Joan Jett, Boyz II Men, Frankie Avalon and Patti LaBelle.

 


Absolute POP! $$
137 S. 13th St.
absolutepopart.com
215.733.0196
From Mickey Mouse and Captain America to Marilyn Monroe and scenic shots of the city skyline, this LGBTQI-friendly spot houses a wide variety of art blocks and vintage tins. The frameless artworks have protective UV coating to keep out humidity and prevent fading, making them perfect gifts for the art fanatic.

 

Don’t Miss


Giorgio on Pine $$
1328 Pine St.
giorgioonpine.com
215.545.6265

 


New Samosa $
1214 Walnut St.
sansamosa.com
215.546.2009

 


El Vez $$
121 S. 13th St.
elvezrestaurant.com
215.928.9800

 


Neat Stuff: Collectibles,
Toys and Memorabilia $$
341 S. 13th St.
215.545.6883