For more than 30 years I have celebrated the beginning of the holiday season with a day in Philadelphia on the Friday after Thanksgiving. After a year off due, to the Covid pandemic, we returned with our good friends Jimmy and Barbara. The day is filled with food, beverages and strolling.
This Friday is absolutely gorgeous; sunny, not too breezy and comfortable. The views of the city were lovely.
We started our day at Black Sheep, a pleasant tavern on 17th Street. It’s like a little bit of Ireland right here in Philadelphia; so I started with a Tullamore Dew neat. Here is a shot of the bar.
Lunch was at the Oyster House on Sansom Street. It’s a favorite of mine and has been around for many, many years. Here is another street scene taken as we made our way. It reminds me of an artist’s print that hangs in my office.
And here are a couple of shots inside the Oyster House. The first is of JoAnn and Barbara and next is Jimmy and me, followed by a display of oyster plates.
One can still choose to sit outside if you wish. Sansom Street is closed to traffic so that restaurants can set up. Here is the Oyster House’s outside. Keep me warm with propane!
Then after a good number of oysters and a salmon burger, we were off to Moriarty’s bar on Walnut Street for a cup of brandied coffee for Barb, JoAnn and Jimmy and another Dew for me. Moriarty’s was busy with holiday traffic.
Now, you may think that all we did was eat and drink. Wrong! We were now on our way to the Philadelphia Christmas Market. It debuted in 2008 and is now located in Love Park, just catty-corner to City Hall. Here are some shots of the city as we made our way
Here is a building I’ve always enjoyed. I like all the sculpture on the facade.
And, an interesting street scene with a little bit of wall art mixed in.
As the day wore on it became increasingly colder. What started sunny and pleasant was fast becoming windy and cold so I decided to pass through the Ritz Carlton Hotel for a little bit of warmth as we made our way to city hall and the Christmas market. It was here that I discovered a Champagne vending machine. Go figure.
The Philadelphia City Hall is an interesting architectural building topped by Billy Penn. For years no building in the city could be higher that Billy Penn’s hat. Now, there are a number of taller buildings in the downtown.
City Hall looking north on Broad Street.
Here is a view of one of the tallest, if not the tallest, buildings in town.
Love Park is favorite spot in the city and the site of the Christmas market.
We spent a while at the market and were there as the sun dipped below the horizon and the lights began to twinkle in the dark. We started with a ride on a Ferris wheel. Let’s start with a picture or two from the wheel.
As we passed through city hall I took a shot of the city’s Christmas tree and then, in the court yard I took a photo of a small merry-go-round.
I really enjoy Christmas markets. A number of years ago JoAnn and I visited the markets in Germany and really enjoyed ourselves. I have a blog post about our trip if you are interested. Just search “Christmas Markets.”
The Philadelphia market is very nice. Venders are set up in little cabins which abound around the perimeter of Love Park. The lights and holiday environment made our visit great. Have a look.
Let’s start with a photo of Mr. Holiday himself, Chris Kringle.
And now the market beginning with the ice rink at Dilworth Park.
These two young entenpreneurial women were selling folding baskets made from chopsticks.
City hall and the market at night.
Time to head over to 17th and Spruce Streets for dinner. As we passed I took photos of city hall, lit up with it’s holiday light show.
The day was great; a lot of fun. I reserved a table for the four of us and my son and his family of five at a local Italian restaurant. We had never been there before but it had good reviews and, after all, who doesn’t like Italian? It was a real experience.
My son beat us to the place and texted me asking if we wanted to be inside or out. Seems like an innocuous enough question. It was getting progressively colder and inside seemed like the logical choice. Only thing, they planned to seat us in the basement, at the very back, with little room to spare. When I arrived, shortly after his text, I took a look and said, ”no way.” I’m not a basement dweller and didn’t relish dinner in a dungeon.
Our other choice was outside in a closed in spot with a propane heater. Question was, black lung disease or cold shoulders. We opted, after huddling together to decide, for outside. So we nestled in to a table, surrounded by plexiglas, in the cold. The space heater wasn’t up to the job so I requested a second. Now, it was aimed straight a Barbara’s back and mine as well. Cold on the right shoulder, sautéed on the left.
Food was good and we all had a good time. Fun end to a great day.