Best walking street in Philly

Mar 2nd, 2010, 04:43 AM
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Best walking street in Philly

When I went to Philly many moons ago (I hopped on board one of those ubiquitous tour buses), I remembering seeing a long, winding, utterly charming street filled with small shops and little cafes that went on for blocks and blocks....and none of the stores you can see anywhere in that takes away Chestnut. I have a short 8 hour trip to the city in two weeks and have about 5 hours to kill and I wanted to do spend those 300 hrs in this street. Can anyone please help?


pinstripesboy is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 06:34 AM
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Wow. I am at a loss for what street you are talking about. Center City is a grid, so "winding" isn't something we really have here. The only "winding"-ish street I can think of with shops and restaurants is Germantown Avenue through Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy/Germantown, but I'm not sure a tour bus would have taken you there. Main Street in Manayunk might also fit the bill (though it has changed a lot in the past 10 years, not necessarily for the better).

I know the bus tours go down Pine Street, so maybe that's what you are thinking of? THere are 2 or 3 blocks around 12th with antique and furniture/home stores and some restaurants (not really "cafes"). Nearby there are a few blocks with cute stores in the Gayborhood (13th around Sansom) and an amazing new food option -- just went last night first time-- at Garces (the Iron Chef's) Trading Company. I'll also put in a plug for spending time in Northern Liberties, which isn't charming in the traditional sense but has independent stores and truly excellent food options. And I know you vetoed Chestnut Street, but the Rittenhouse Square area is always a good way to spend a few hours. Local stores are sprinkled in among the chain places, tons of food options and La Colombe's cafe, and endless people and dog watching in the Square.

Okay, so my answer doesnt answer what you actually asked. But I'll ask the other Philly Fodorites, am I overlooking someplace obvious that the OP remembers?
MLTimes is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 07:14 AM
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A tour bus that went by a "long, winding, utterly charming street filled with small shops and little cafes that went on for blocks and blocks....and none of the stores you can see anywhere in America"? Like MLTimes, I'm also puzzled. Center City has no "winding" streets at all, and I can't think of any long, winding streets I'd consider "utterly charming" for "blocks and blocks." Germantown Avenue is winding, and has some charm to it, but it also has chain stores galore. It also goes uphill, somewhat parallel to Ridge Avenue.

PinStripe, was this street in Center City, near either of the rivers, or in a neighborhood with hills?
PaulRabe is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 07:28 AM
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Hi PinStripeBoy

Yeah "winding" throws me off too, but I think you would enjoy the areas of Center City mentioned... The Gayborhood area is quite charming (a la early 13 colonies... you can almost imagine Ben Franklin walking these same streets) with some small stores and cafes (not so much chains from my recollection) but on a grid. South Street is pretty well a straight line, but certainly small stores and cafes are there (although some chains mixed in). Reading Terminal Market and Chinatown also don't feel generic...

Have fun! Daniel
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 08:28 AM
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When I said many moons ago, I actually meant like 5 years ago (more or less) so forgive me, my Fodors friends, for throwing you off a bit with my foggy recollections.

MLTimes, I think you zeroed in on the street I was looking for.....Pine Street! I remember the bus also passing by a greenmarket of sorts on Society Hill (?)with an outdoor plaza of sorts even.

Thanks everyone for helping out with my temporary bout of amnesia!!


pinstripesboy is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 11:23 AM
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To be honest, I really don't think Pine Street merits hours of time, and I've never understood why it's a tour bus stop. (Pennsylvania Hospital, maybe, for the hard core Ben Franklin tourists???). Sadly, a few stores have closed (Twist, Linu Boutique) or moved (Matthew Izzo) since you saw it. There's a new Middle Eastern sandwich place on a corner of Pine (12th maybe?) that people are liking, and if you have time for a meal, Effie's and Paul are good choices, also on Pine. But after poking around the stores, I'd head a few blocks north. For afternoon wine and nibbles, there is an outpost of Tria and also Vintage Wine Bar, or, as I already raved, GTC in the Gayberhood (aka Midtown Village). Capogiro Gelatto is at 13th and Sansom. Or, if it's summer, although I don't love the menu, it's always nice to sit outside in the afternoon sun for guac, frozen drinks and people watching at El Vez across the street.

(Also, since you mentioned it, the "greenmarket" is the Farmers Market at the Headhouse Shambles, 2d and Pine. It runs from late spring through December. The Shambles are also a stop on the doubledecker bus route because of its proximity to South Street. If you happen to be around when the market is open, lunch from the Mexican food truck is highly recommended.)
MLTimes is offline  
Mar 4th, 2010, 02:12 AM
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In the 12th-13th Street area, don't miss Naked Chocolate Cafe at 1317 Walnut, or duross and langel soaps (most definitely local!) at 117 South 13th and, as above, Capogiro Gelato! I do like that area for walking, but there are so many good walks in Philadelphia I'd be hard pressed to name the best walking street! (Even South Street is still fun, although depressingly chain-filled--of the mass store variety, not the former Zipperhead variety--these days.)
Amy is offline  
Mar 4th, 2010, 05:05 AM
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Does South Street still have the Voodoo supply stores?
bardo1 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2010, 03:42 PM
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I have very little love for South Street, but I do want to note that Zipperhead isn't "former" it's just around the corner on 4th and renamed Crash Bang Boom. Harry's Occult is farther west. There's also Garland of Letters, Gilly Jeans, a photography gallery, Eye's Gallery and a few other locally owned leftovers from the South Street of decades past to balance out all the fast food, crappy shoes and cellphone stores.
MLTimes is offline  
Mar 4th, 2010, 04:00 PM
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Thanks for the reminder on the new name--I used "former Zipperhead" because, well, that's what it was formerly named. I am not nearly cool enough to shop there on a regular basis.
Amy is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 07:07 AM
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Pine Street is perfectly straight...not a curve in it.

ssander is offline  
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