Tips for Living Well in Philly
Start here, on Reddit Philadelphia’s summary of Philadelphia. It’s the best single resource to familiarize yourself with what the city has to offer – guides, beer, holidays, music, more.
If you want to know what’s happening today but don’t have an e-mail account (and so can’t subscribe to our more informative newsletter) your best bet is Facebook Events. Go to Facebook, sort by Philadelphia + Today + whatever you’re looking to do. Small businesses around here (the hosts of the city) generally post to Facebook Events more than any other platform.
+1 for our Libraries. You can rent movies, music instruments, eBooks (straight to your Kindle app) and more. The reservation and transfer systems couldn’t be simpler. Get a library card – you can register online. Speaking of libraries, if you read and haven’t visited the Friends of the Library Book shop, you should – great books for a buck, two bucks, etc.
A few years ago, when local shops weren’t as overwhelmed with internet platforms, almost all bars and restaurants were posting every day on Twitter (29 of the 30 in my neighborhood). I made Twitter lists for each neighborhood in Philly, and then closed my Twitter account because I’m dumb. I remade them for Rittenhouse, South Street-ish, Northern Liberties, Old City, and University City, but it’s worth making your own – like little bar newspapers.
Reliable Happy Hour information is hard to find because not all bars promote their HH on one platform. Some don’t promote them at all. A lot of bars pay DrinkPhilly a small fee each month and DrinkPhilly makes sure the info is up to date, so if you’re looking for Happy Hour information, start there. The Twitter Lists are a good backup and include specials that aren’t promoted elsewhere, I find. I collected a couple / few dozen each day for the Philly Special newsletter subscribers (I selected the bars by popularity, feel free to request I add any more).
If you need a space to work for free one day in Center City, I suggest Capital One’s cafe in Rittenhouse. Here is a working list of all coworking spaces in the city, if you want to spend a few bucks (can also be found embedded at the bottom fo this post). You can also work from the libraries, which have reliable wifi and good seating (especially the Central Branch) or even the back area of the Franklin Institute if you want to be surrounded by children on sugar highs. Don’t count out Hotel lobbies if you’re out of options.
The City has an Open Map to help you find things like Farmers Markets, Recreation Sites, and a long list of other fun stuff that might not be on Google Maps.
Speaking of Recreation Sites, check out your local Rec Center. The Marian Anderson Center near me has boxing, batting cages, swimming in the summer and more.
If you don’t earn a lot and can’t afford a membership at the YMCA, they will lower the price for you if you show proof of low income.
Your recycling bin was stolen. Pick up a new one here for free on weekdays during regular business hours.
Want to order food? You’re in luck, there are 700 ways to do it. Try GrubHub, Postmates, and GoPuff (for beer, ice cream, candy, chips, etc.).
FooBooz put together a Twitter List of most of the Food Trucks around the city.
Looking to expand your professional network? Here’s a working list of the associations, clubs, and groups in Philly. Make sure you go to Meetup.com and search by Career/Business – these are very active. Co-working spaces are always hosting events, especially WeWork.
Like Craft Beer? PhillyTapFinder tracks the best drafts in the city.
Philadelphia is a pretty good walking city (flat, easy to navigate, has some trees). I haven’t owned a car in my ~8 years here and love a good walk. My top recommended strolls are a) in and around Schuckyll River Park, along Delancey, end near Rittenhouse Park and b) City Hall to Art Museum along the Parkway.
Always buy your SEPTA ticket at the station, not on the train – a bit cheaper.
Museums have free days. Philly Museum of Art, Barnes Foundation, Rodin, Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences, Please Touch Museum – Philly.com listed all of the information for free days here.
Don’t forget the Apple Store doubles as a charging station if your iPhone is low.
Whole Foods delivers if you have Amazon Prime.