A couple weeks ago I was invited to Philly to experience the art scene with the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation. Much of what I knew about Philadelphia prior to this trip came from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Rocky, The Roots, Kevin Hart, and my days as an American Studies major at Skidmore College. With curiosity and slight trepidation, I accepted the invitation and took the short train ride into 30th Street Station. Philadelphia is a very different place than New York. My first point of contact with the city was the line to get a taxi, which, compared to Penn Station, was a breeze. The taxi drove me to the beautiful Le Meridien in the heart of the city (directly in front of City Hall and a few steps away from Robert Indiana's famous Love Statue) where I checked in and began my adventure.
The tour began almost immediately as our small group met in the lobby of the hotel and boarded a bus into Old City on a Friday night. The neighborhood was having what they call First Friday, a monthly open house for art galleries that filled the streets with people of all ages enjoying the 40+ galleries, street musicians, and characters of the city. That night really set the tone for a weekend of great art, interesting conversations with gallery owners and artists, and amazing food at a few of Philadelphia’s best restaurants, including Fork, FARMiCiA, and Le Virtú.
There is so much to see in Philadelphia, and after a weekend of nonstop exposure to the city's art scene (save time for food, sleep, and the mandatory visit to UBIQ), I had barely scratched the surface. For those of you that have considered making the trip but have no idea where to start, check out this list of 7 Must-See Art Destinations in Philadelphia, and go to visitphilly.com for tons more.