I’ve been trying to take as many Philly pictures as I can before the leaves come out. I took these pictures last month in the Bella Vista neighborhood of South Philly. If money were no issue and I could live in any neighborhood in Philly it would be Bella Vista, without a doubt. For now I couldn’t even afford to rent there. I love good food and this neighborhood is full of it and surrounded by it – so you should consider this an eating (and drinking!) tour. The boundaries of BV are: (on the north) South St. where it borders the Center City neighborhoods of Wash West and Society Hill, (on the south) Washington Ave. Where it borders Passyunk Square, (on the east) 5th St. where it borders Queen Village, and (on the west) 11th St. where it borders Hawthorne.
This was taken from Palumbo Playground in BV. The blue towers, Liberty Place, mark the center of Center City so you can get a good idea of where the neighborhood is geographically.
The infamous corner of 9th & Washington, the heart of the Italian Market.
Mexicans have made themselves at home in and around 9th St. The Vietnamese also have a presence but their niche is normally outside of the produce aspect.
The fires are cute when it is cold out but it wasn’t even close to being cold enough for a fire the day I took these pictures. The merchants burn their trash in these barrels because the city only picks up once a week, they all contribute to a trash fund so they have daily pick-up, but of course, they get charged by weight. Burning the garbage makes things cheaper for them and a nuisance for the rest of us.
I don’t understand why they bother, especially on the weekends. My brother lives on 9th St. a few blocks south of here (still the Italian Market) and everyday he has a different story about who or what the bus hit. (One day it was his car mirror). It should be pedestrian only on the weekends at least from Washington north to Christian.
A typical side street off of the market.
mmmmm . . . gnocchi!
mmmmm . . . cheeeeese!
If Mussolini had settled for mayor he too might be memorialized. Frank Rizzo couldn’t even get the trains to run on time. This mural has to be touched up more than any other in the city.
Another side street, on the right you can see the back of the Christopher Columbus Charter School. Rizzo, Columbus
Lorenzo’s Pizza – now there’s a reason to be proud!
12 Steps Down. Because it is 12 steps down to the bar. $1.50 Lager pints every day for happy hour!
Sabrina’s – always a crowd for brunch. When you serve brunch ‘til 7pm that’s guaranteed to happen in a hard drinking city like this one. Incredible food all around and a really good veggie menu too.
Poor Anastasio, the heir to the produce “empire”, ran for city council 2 years ago against Frank DiCicco. That council seat basically comprises all of the white neighborhoods (east of Broad) in South Philly, Center City, and the white ethnic neighborhoods along the river north of Center City. Anastasio, was an intelligent and energetic guy who had the support of a lot of Center City and nearly all of the Italian Market and I think he had a good shot at taking DiCicco down. DiCicco is the party man, the insider, and in my opinion, a scumbag. Long story short DiCicco took Anastasio to court and got him disqualified from the race over a technicality on Anastasio’s income declaration form. Despite submitting all of his tax returns for the last 5 years Anastasio forgot to check the box declaring that he was self-employed.
St. Paul’s – Back in the late 1800’s this part of South Philly was all Irish. When the Italians started arriving they had to fight, literally, just to get into mass. It wasn’t long before the Italians had their own churches. Gradually, almost all of South Philly became Italian. The Irish held on only in Pennsport.
Always the best cannoli.
across the street from one POS – a few more.
New construction near 9th & Catherine. It could be worse.
the problem with all of these garage doors is that they’re made for compact cars. SUVs don’t fit in the city and they certainly won’t fit in these garages. So the garages get filled with crap, or converted to rec. rooms, and the cars take up an on street space. Giving suburbanites suburban amenities in the city doesn’t urbanize the newcomers. It suburbanizes the city.
Pleasantness. Unfortunately, for me, I didn’t get to Mezza Luna before the buzz got out and the prices went up.
Chinatown has no shortage of vegetarian restaurants where everything is deep-fried. Hoa Sen cut through the grease serving everything fresh and only pan fried when necessary. I think they opened at the wrong place at the wrong time. They only lasted a year.
In and around Cianfranni Park
Vesuvio – when most restaurants say they have a “full vegetarian menu” they mean they have at least one veggie appetizer, soup, main course, etc. When Vesuvio says it they mean they have an entirely separate menu – and it lives up to the hype.