Favorite Hidden Gem
Chinatown
April 2021

“Upon my first visit to Chinatown with a friend, we stumbled upon K C’s Pastries, and as an egg tart lover, I had to try one. We came just in time, and left with four fresh out of the oven…”

Nostalgic Moment
Center City
2011

“This is less one moment but rather that I grew up visiting the area to see my aunt and always had such an affinity for the city and said one day I would live there. Ten years later I am…”

Rail Park Moment
Callowhill
April 30, 2021

A group of seniors pose for a photo at Elder Hour in collaboration with Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, and Callowhill Neighborhood Association.

Nostalgic Moment
Center City
2015

“Between 2015-16, I worked with Parallax to create a documentary story about The Rail Park and it’s potential positive impact on public health. This was in my former role as Assoc Dean of Design and Health at Jefferson U. The…”

Objects and Artifacts
Chinatown
1977

“To bolster spirit and unity, PCDC launched a community garden program in the late seventies on vacant land acquired for the expressway. Under the direction of Anna Ku Lau, it was met with great enthusiasm and won second prize for…”

Favorite Moment
July 30, 2021

“Hyun Jin Cha performance for the Summer Sunset Series. I love that this artist/band invited an audience member to participate in the piece, and that the person who was chosen got REALLY into it! I also love how this performance…”

Favorite Moment
Callowhill
May 15, 2021

“My fiancé and I celebrated what we called our minus one year anniversary at The Rail Park, one year before our wedding date! We had made fancy dinner plans in advance, but realized we wanted to do something special…”

Neighborly Moment
Callowhill
August 2020

“I love how the Bahay215 artists, Nicky Uy and Omar Buenaventura were able to use their Tire Swing microgrant to bring the FilipinX diaspora to our stoop in Philadelphia at Asian Arts Initiative. The planter they built is not only…”

Favorite Hidden Gem
Fairmount

“One of my favorite murals is [in Fairmount]. While I should know who it is by I have never found out. The mural depicts a steam train in black and white with the station in the background. In the foreground…”

Neighborly Moment
Chinatown
March 2021

“I just moved to Philadelphia in Feb. 2021 which was a difficult time due to weather, COVID, and also the rise in Asian hate crimes. As an Asian American who grew up in a predominantly white town, many people didn’t…”

Favorite Moment
2019

“I love this photo from the 2019 Site/Sound installation, Moon Viewing Platform, because I think it does what art and artists do best—help us imagine and visualize a future that is creative, playful, and full of possibility—without being overly prescriptive…”

Nostalgic Moment
2015

“I am the retired General Counsel of Conrail, the company that used to own the part of the viaduct that is now completed. When I first walked over to look at it, I couldn't understand why the so-called City…”

Nostalgic Moment
2020

“The Rail Park becoming my safe escape during the pandemic. During a time that was incredibly difficult, it served as a beautiful place to escape the chaos of the city and enjoy the outdoors and the stress of the pandemic…”

Favorite Moment
Chinatown

“I grew up coming to Chinatown every weekend for church, but it wasn't until I got older and moved into the neighborhood myself that I learned more about the history of Chinatown. Chinatown has had a history of unique struggles…”

Life-Changing Moment
October 2020

“Jenny Holzer’s “Your Fight is My Fight” Billboard from October 2020 was such an inspiration billboard during a very challenging and divisive time.”

Nostalgic Moment
Center City
November 1969

“I was born in 1965 into the current Lawndale/Burholme neighborhood I currently live in and who I remain a passionate steward of. My memory goes back to when I was a little boy in love with trains. It…”

Neighborly Moment
Francisville

“Everyday, "Pops" checks in at the bike shop/cafe and gives us the run-down of what's going on in the neighborhood. Anytime someone brings trouble, he'll be there to rough 'em up. Pops is our guardian.”

Nostalgic Moment
Callowhill
September 14, 2014

“In 2014, my Write Sky project finally happened! Instead of seeing all the different names for Callowhill as divisions, I sought to bring together the groups that called this place Callowhill, Chinatown North, the Eraserhood, Trestletown, or the Tenderloin. Thinking…”

Favorite Moment
Center City
1976

“The year was approximately 1976. As a child, my grandfather in Hatboro, PA watched my sister and I during the day while my mom worked as a single parent. He was a retiree of the Reading Railroad who…”

Nostalgic Moment
Spring Garden

“After classes at community college of Philadelphia I would go read at the viaduct. It was especially nice when it was hotter out and you had the cool refreshing plants around to keep you cool.”

Favorite Moment
Callowhill

“One of my favorite memories was when Callowhill first hosted the Night Market Festival. The wide streets of the neighborhood provided a comfortable environment for the heavily attended event and it was the first time, and maybe the last, that…”

Neighborly Moment
Callowhill

“Before the Rail Park (which I love) was renovated, several of us in the neighborhood used to throw large barbecues on the section of the Rail Park along the 1200 block of Noble street. Those were great moments for us…”

Favorite Moment
Chinatown
February 2011

“Lunar New Year is my favorite holiday/event in the city. I've been going to it every year since I moved to Philly. I think it's one of those events that everyone, no matter what age or background can just sit…”

Favorite Moment
Callowhill
2020

“Last summer my now-husband and I adopted our dream dog, a Corgi named Maya! She was a 10 year old grumpy lady who had very little socialization so she HATED other dogs. With the help of the kindest neighbors and…”

Favorite Hidden Gem
Fairmount

“My favorite hidden gem in the city is the Spring Gardens in Fairmount. It's a beautiful neighborhood garden in the heart of Fairmount”

Favorite Moment
January 2021

“One of my favorite memories actually takes place right at the rail park! A dear friend had travelled from out of town back in January to see me and we were exhausted from walking around center city all day when…”

Favorite Moment
Center City

All night dining. Wanamakers and Gimbel’s department stores. Rittenhouse square when it was more welcoming. Free events on the Parkway.

Hope for the Rail Park

“Inclusion. Cultural diversity represented in every area it does and will encompass. The community should come first, their thoughts ideas and concerns. Not just some cultures highlighted. All. Make it welcoming. Many people don’t know it exists or have never…”

Life-Changing Moment
North Broad
2015

“My husband and I met in 2015 at Alla Spina, Broad and Spring Garden. We were friends first, and over the course of a year, that friendship blossomed into romance. Alla Spina closed in 2018, but I was obsessed with…”

Hope for the Rail Park

“That it embodies a message and values of environmental sustainability such that it can be a forerunner for the city as a whole and that it equally represents all of what the city is made up of :)”

Favorite Moment
Callowhill
August 2021

“One of my most memorable moments in Callowhill was recently when I was able to take my 72 year old boyfriend for a romantic walk on the Rail Park after his dialysis appt...surprisingly we ran into some homeless people sleeping…”

Nostalgic Moment
Spring Garden
2020

“When the Covid19 lockdown set in, I realized the beauty of the Spring Garden neighborhood was going to ease the anxiety of getting through the pandemic, and it did.”

Nostalgic Moment
Chinatown
2017

“Growing up in Delaware just on the edge of the border with Pennsylvania, I loved going to Philly as a hangout spot with friends. It was a go to especially once I could drive myself after getting my license in…”

Nostalgic Moment
Callowhill
June 2018

“I was so excited to visit the Rail Park with my daughter in the first weeks it opened to the public. I was impressed with the transformation of the overgrown and previously unused area. All of the plantings were so…”

Favorite Hidden Gem

“I live in Earl Court - a small, private courtyard tucked in from the main street- home to 8 small houses - trinities, specifically - with a shared communal garden. It's a quiet and tranquil space to come home to…”

Favorite Moment

“I can leave the neighborhood, but I don't ever need to leave the neighborhood. Everything I could need is within a few square blocks”

Favorite Moment

“My favorite memory living in and around the Ludlow neighborhood is walking around with friends and family. During these walks, I love and appreciate the uniqueness of every house. Not just the house itself but nature and decor people incorporate…”

Nostalgic Moment
September 2015

“When the pope came to Philly, they closed the Ben Franklin Bridge to everyone but pedestrians. Walking over the bridge, I ran into at least five different unrelated friends one afternoon”

Favorite Moment
Callowhill
September 2018

“My sister and I were visiting my daughter (Northern Liberties resident) and we had quite a good time viewing the Story Wall. We tried to envision what it must have been like 50-100 years ago where we were standing. It…”

Nostalgic Moment
2015

“Biking all the way down Passyunk Ave at 2 AM on a crisp autumn night, singing to myself as I went about admiring the architecture”

Nostalgic Moment
Center City
1996

“Takes place each time I come home.. yet my very first impression was in a taxi as a child of 8 or 9 visiting from California, driving down Locust and passing Julius Scissor to see my grandparents.”

Favorite Hidden Gem
July 2021

“A few days after I moved in, I went out for a walk and found a great small bookstore which only sells (I think?) used books, each with its own history. A wonderful find. Picked up a Philly history book…”

First Impression
Center City
1996

“It’s such a walkable, personal city. Whether you agree or take issue with its founding and city planning and all of the politics and land-grab and colonizing laid atop it, its very layout and scape inarguably carries with it a…”

First Impression
Callowhill
2021

“I can already tell that I will nostalgically love this part of my life: living in Callowhill just 5 minutes walk away from my climbing gym. I had never climbed before moving here, but with the gym so close, I…”

Favorite Hidden Gem
Chinatown
2017

“For years, my friends and I would commute from our university campus to Chinatown to get legitimate bubble tea. Moving in a 5 minute walk away was life-changing! Now, I have actually had enough bubble tea to not crave it…”

Favorite Hidden Gem
2021

“My favorite hidden gem in the city is Belmont Plateau. This is a large grassy spot in Fairmount Park with lush hills that offer a view of the Philadelphia skyline. There are often people barbecuing, sunbathing, and kite-flying here.”

Favorite Moment
Center City
2020

“One of my best memories is the days I spent biking to skateboard with my best friend. We would go all over the city and make days of skating and visiting local parks. Biking the city gives you a…”

First Impression
Callowhill
2021

“Moving the Callowhill, my partner and I knew the neighborhood would be different than the developed Queen Village and Graduate Hospital neighborhoods we had grown accustomed to. Nonetheless we were excited to explore. After the chaos of the move, it…”

First Impression
Callowhill
2021

“My first impression of the neighborhood was watching my new elderly neighbors spend hours playing badminton in an empty parking lot, late at night to escape the heat. It was really sweet in a silly, innocent way.”

Favorite Hidden Gem
Fairmount

“I love the mural dedicated to Baldwin Locomotives on 20th Street. It always brings me happiness and makes me think of what the neighborhood looked like when much of it was dedicated to Baldwin’s operations.”

First Impression
Callowhill
2021

“Walking from center city to the rail park, I passed under the bridge and could glimpse trees above. This sparked my curiosity and led me to the entrance to the park. Gradually climbing above the city rewarded me with a…”

Neighborly Moment
Callowhill
2020

“In the midst of the pandemic, folks from a nearby apartment building installed bird houses high on the wall of the viaduct near the rail park.”

Nostalgic Moment
Callowhill
2021

“Unfortunately I'm relatively new to the area, but so far my most joyous memory is walking home one night and hearing music. After wandering towards it I realized there was a band playing at the rail park, and I…”

Favorite Moment
Callowhill
2021

“I moved to the city during the pandemic and did not know anyone or anything. I made friends through work and we found similar interests in archery and we went to Callowhill archery”

Favorite Moment
Callowhill
October 31, 2021

“Recently, on a Saturday morning we came to the Rail Park with breakfast sandwiches and sat on one of the swings. It was a lovely Fall day with cute dogs walking by and the weather was perfect.”

Neighborly Moment
Poplar

“Meeting neighbors at cleanups once a quarter and once a month in all 3 neighborhoods (Chinatown, Callowhill and West Poplar) allowed me to be more involved in the neighborhood and in advocating for Lemon Street playground in West Poplar. Having…”

Life-Changing Moment
Callowhill
July 2020

“I moved to Philadelphia in July 2020, the heart of the pandemic, not knowing a single person in the whole city. The first few months were the loneliest I've ever been, working virtually and having no way to connect to…”

First Impression
Poplar
2018

“It was in 2018 visiting a friend. It was one of the first times I felt that it made Philadelphia a walkable city (closer to major transits, walkable to most neighborhoods in any direction)”

First Impression
Northern Liberties
2017

“This is quite a hidden gem! I first discovered Northern Libs while visiting Philly for a weekend and was struck by how many cool bars and restaurants were in the area and how charming the homes were.”

First Impression
Callowhill
2021

“I have never lived in a city before and Callowhill has been an excellent first experience to have. I love how close the neighborhood is to everything and how it still feels residential.”

Objects and Artifacts
Callowhill
September 9, 2021

“In dark times will there also be singing? is a participatory sound installation by American composer and sound artist William Dougherty. Passers-by in a public space are invited to sing a song that brings them joy. The participant is anonymously…”

First Impression
Northern Liberties
2020

“Now I don't do it anymore, but if you go back to the undeveloped part where you can still
see the trees and the grass and the birds, that to me was the great value of that space as it
was and…”

First Impression
Callowhill
2015

“When I first moved across the street, this didn't exist. When I heard it was being built I got excited, but this end product has surpassed all expectations!”

Rail Park Moment
Callowhill

“The Rail Park Block Party had a rainy start to the day, but ended up being such a great celebration to kick off the summer! There was something for everyone to do, from art making activities to skateboarding to live…”

Neighborly Moment
Callowhill
June 24, 2022

“We were wrapping up the Final Friday Plant Swap event when a couple of women walked up to us as we packed up the remaining plants. They asked us if we were selling the plants, and we explained that we…”

Favorite Moment
Callowhill
May 29, 2022

“My dear friends from college, who recently moved to NYC, came back to Philly for the weekend and we spent an unexpected day together. We originally only planned to get brunch at Cafe Lift, but we ended up stopping by…”