Cool Philadelphia Small Businesses

July 9, 2009 at 11:51 pm 4 comments

If weirdos make up the populace of a cool city, then perhaps small businesses are where weirdos go while they are being weird. Big box stores might have their purposes, but struggling independent enterprises are much more dear to my heart. Frankly, malls make me nervous and Wall-Mart depresses the hell out of me (it’s more the post-retired age employees than anything else).

Today the NYT Moment blog interviewed Dmitri Siegel, Managing Director of the Urban Outfitters (a Philly-based company) website and contributing writer for awesome blog Design Observer. He took readers on an “Insider” tour of Old City. I liked his description of it not as his neighborhood but where to go “to do things that people do when they leave the house, like walk around and spend money.”

But Siegel is only half right when he says, “Philly’s not that big; there’s basically only one good thing in each category.” It’s true that the Ritz is the only place to see independent movies, but there are three of them and they show different movies. Philadelphia may be smaller than New York, but with over 1.5 million people, it is the 6th largest city in the US and it is growing.

Coincidentally I have been developing my own Google Map of Cool Philadelphia Small Businesses. Feel free to add to it, it’s open for collaboration! I excluded museums and restaurants to make things simple. Besides being a fan of SBs in general, I also wanted a resource to prove to friends that this is a great city. If you’re the nervous type, SpotCrime’s Philadelphia crime map may be more of your thing.


Entry filed under: PA, philly, sustainability. Tags: , , , , , .

De Stijl Lego Sculpture Welcome to White River Junction!

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul Halpern  |  July 12, 2009 at 1:17 am

    I like the map of cool Philly businesses. For a city of its size, Philly certainly has a lot to do, as your map illustrates. Congratulations, by the way, about your admission into the Center for Cartoon Studies. That’s fantastic news!

  • 2. Sunshine+Design  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Nice work Josh. I’ve always been drawn to Philly because of its independently owned stores. The shopping is great and mostly affordable too. It’s hard to find that combination at privately owned shops. I will definitely remember your google map creation for my next trip to the city of brotherly love. Have you ever been to the garden center called Terrain? I just read about it today.

  • 3. Nilmini Klur  |  September 22, 2009 at 7:02 am

    This is a great idea. I’m a die-hard New Yorker who’s lived in Philly for 10 years now and this kind of list makes me really think of the best of this city – and this city has a lot to offer.

    I think adding restaurants and museums though would highlight more about the city that you’d ever imagine.

    Now if you live in VT – why do you like Philly so much?

    • 4. Josh  |  September 23, 2009 at 12:21 am

      Maybe I should add to the bio that I grew up outside of Philly. I just moved up here and hope to live in the city proper at some point.


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Shit Just Got Real

Josh Kramer is a blogger, cartoonist, journalist, etc. I'm the Editor of The Cartoon Picayune. I live in Washington, DC and I just graduated from the Center for Cartoon Studies. See work by me and my classmates.

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