En Route: Visit these Spots by Riding SEPTA

I’m Miles Taylor, a sophomore at UPenn studying urban studies, and I love public transportation. I’ve made it my goal over my four years here to ride every SEPTA service and document it all on my blog, Miles in Transit. I also volunteer for the SEPTA Youth Advisory Council and play tuba in the Penn Band.

The start of school is almost upon us, and with it comes the balancing act of classes, extracurriculars, and social activities. With all that stuff to keep track of, it’s really easy to forget that there’s a whole city out there! Philadelphia is one of the most interesting and diverse places in the country, and since we’re all living here for four years, we really should go and check it out. I regularly go out to experience what Philly has to offer, and part of the reason I’m able to do that is with the power of SEPTA.

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Fishtown RiverCity Festival

With great pride and anticipation, the Fishtown Neighbors Association is pleased to announce the Eleventh Annual RiverCity Festival on Saturday October 13th, 2018 beginning at Noon until sunset at 6pm at historic Penn Treaty Park. Free and open to the public, the RiverCity Festival reinforces friendships in our community, promotes exciting local businesses, and showcases everything that makes Fishtown stand out as a neighborhood with tremendous history and vibrancy. Organized by the dedicated volunteers of the Fishtown Neighbors Association and featuring over 100 local arts and food vendors, RiverCity Festival attracts nearly 10,000 attendees to raise funds for neighborhood projects and revitalization. We also invite you and your employees to email, friend and tweet the RiverCity Festival, so all of our friends and family know that fun is to be had in Fishtown at the Penn Treaty Park.

A Piece of Philly: Kate’s Top Picks

When you find yourself in a city, you might not know which way to turn first. Philadelphia is no different—you know about the historical sightseeing spots and the popular tourist locales, but what if you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path? Well, no compilation or list will cover everything that Philly has to offer (because, if you didn’t know, there’s a ton), but we can at least start somewhere. Check out these colorful places in the city that are just some of my favorites.


World Café Live

Location: 3025 Walnut Street

You can hear everyone from well-known artists to local performers at World Cafe Live, one of the best places in Philly to enjoy good sounds. This multi-level venue, home to the renowned WXPN radio show, is a converted Art Deco factory building that hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Downstairs Live’s contemporary design and top-notch sound system make it the perfect concert hall for nationally-renowned artists. Upstairs Live is a smaller, more intimate space with an urban chic atmosphere where local acts can showcase their talent. Weekly Monday Night Jazz Jams and Philly Rising open mic nights highlight WCL’s commitment to local talent—both offer artists from the Philadelphia area an opportunity to get on stage and perform. Other awesome artists who have passed through World Cafe Live are David Cook, Melanie Martinez, and  No Good Sister. Check out their extensive full lineup here and be sure to see a show!

In the area: Both levels offer food and drinks, but for something different Koreana Food (which offers michi, bubble tea, and more) and Pizza Rustica (featuring wood-fired pizza, paninis, and charming white-and-red-checkered tablecloths) are good options. The Institute of Contemporary Art is nearby too, so check out some of the awesome art there for FREE!

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Location: 1020 South Street

Yes, odds are that you’ve heard of  Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens before or you’ve been already. But who’s to say you can’t go again? And if you haven’t already, it’s a must-see. “It’s such a unique place with so much to offer every time you go there,” says Tara More, a freshman at Villanova University. “It was awesome to see that an artist had a vision to take someone’s trash or recyclables and turn it into a beautiful piece of art.” The outdoor and indoor space, covered in glistening mosaics, was designed by local artist Isaiah Zagar. He constructed the madly imaginative space out of cement and funky pieces like bicycle spokes and shards of ceramic. The result is an inspiring creative labyrinth that can be viewed during the day or at night. In addition to tours, there are exhibitions and mosaic workshops. The admission is only $5 for students, and tours are available throughout the year!

In the area: Check out the distinctive Pan-Latin décor and delicious brunch menu at Mixto before a tour, or grab some coffee and relax at local-artwork-decorated Chapterhouse Café & Gallery.

Fishtown is a Catch
Location: Fishtown neighborhood

There’s too much in this flourishing Philly neighborhood to highlight just one space, so here are just a few must-see spots. Johnny Brenda’s is another awesome venue to enjoy good food and music; the menu, which changes so often that it’s only scrawled across chalk boards, features delicious locally-grown food and craft brews from the Philadelphia region (21+). Local bands representing the city’s extensive indie rock scene love to perform upstairs in the restored two-tier concert hall. If you’re less inclined to a music space, check out “hole-in-the-wall” Sketch , an art-themed burger joint that boasts meat and vegan options and an extensive toppings list (I personally recommend the smashed onion burger and their milkshakes). While you wait for your delicious patty, you can doodle and create your own artwork too! Or maybe Mexican is more your style—Loco Pez is another spot with character. It’s an affordable taqueria inspired by taco trucks in Los Angeles, and it features wallpapering with Mexican comics and a jukebox full of classic hits. For an even more relaxed scene, you should stop by Barcade (21+). It’s exactly what it sounds like: a bar and an arcade fused into one. You can grab a drink and enjoy over forty classic arcade games (with classic prices of only a quarter a game).