Old City is New Once Again, this weekend there’s a Festival To Celebrate

Old City was once once of the hot neighborhoods in Philly, but in the past few years it started to cool down as Center City’s Rittenhouse Square, East Passyunk and Northern Liberties took off.

I’m here to tell you that’s its finding it’s footing and is well on it’s way back. When I was contacted to shoot the Old City Festival this Sunday, I asked what’s happening in Old City, ie business’ and new development. 

During the 90s and 00’s I used to be a tour guide for the Philadelphia Foundation of Architectural, so I know the neighborhood well and especially the history of the buildings. I wanted to get a tour of my old stomping grounds and I did this past Tuesday.

Old City Arts – Wood Turning Center

I met with Job Itzkowitz. Executive Director, Old City at the business district headquarters 231 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 to
get a tour of the neighborhood and ask a million questions. I think he
was surprised how much I knew about the neighborhood and how curious I
was. I was excited to share my tour spiel with him too cause I don’t get
to use it much anymore. We were joined by that Kory Aversa guy, you
know him, PR extraordinaire. He’s been working hard to get the word out
about the festival this Sunday.

Above is The former Shirt Corner. The iconic Old City building on the corner of 3rd and Market streets was replaced by the Shirt Corner Apartments,
a slick new living space with 59 rental units, and a couple
street-level commercial storefronts housing a CVS Pharmacy and
healthy take-away joint Snap Kitchen. Check out the mural they have inside the lobby here. Job showed me two of the windows fronting for CVS, will be used for rotating art exhibits. They have hinges that allow the windows to swing out to change the exhibit. Pretty cool. I really like how the builders blended the building into the neighborhood buildings with it’s perfected Federal Style design.

Old City is like Philly’s Silicone Valley with it’s tech business’ and cool co-working space Indy Hall. “In recent years, the corridor from roughly Market Street in Old City through Northern Liberties has been gradually filling with tech and web-centric office buildings and shared workspaces. Many there are calling it ‘N3rd Street,’ a play on “North 3rd Street.” ( Philly)

There are a lot of new boutiques that have popped up over the past few years

As well as the standards like Roche Bobois and Dane Decor, which draws designers down from NYC to check out their furniture and home accessories.

Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shops –  302 Arch Street

I see a lot of ladies wearing clothing from Geisha House – 149 N 3rd St,
Just opened on Thursday – Blokes Barbershop & Gentleman’s Emporium. Job is saying hi to the owner Duke Dunne
Such a fun barbershop

151 N. 3rd Street, selling more than just a good hair cut
Lots of development is going on in the neighborhood too. Just recently I covered the ground breaking for The Bridge
United By Blue Coffeehouse and Clothier – 144 N 2nd St,
Bluestone Art Gallery has moved to 2nd Street. I love that place. The owners are so nice.
Watch this space

Indego Bikes. They say this is the most highly used. It’s the  only one that is located in the street.