September 26th, 2011
PF&R Great Neighborhood Spotlight: South Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
Median Sales Price: $181,500*
South Philadelphia was founded as two settlements, Southwark and Moyamensing, formed outside the city’s boundaries established by William Penn. Today, however, South Philly is very much a part of Philadelphia’s thriving city life. Perhaps best known as the epicenter for the ongoing debate on whether Pat’s or Geno’s has the best Philly cheesesteaks, South Philly is an area with a variety of vibrant cultural, culinary, historical and sporting activities to offer visitors and residents.
In recent years, South Philadelphia has become one of the more popular areas for people to live, work and play because it has something for everyone. A short ride on SEPTA’s Broad Street subway line can take you from north Philadelphia to the heart of South Philly in minutes.
The southernmost stop on the Broad Street Line is the AT&T Station at the Philadelphia’s stadium district. The area is home to all of Philadelphia’s stadiums (The Wells Fargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field and Citizen’s Bank Park) and the diehard fans that worship the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, 76ers and local college teams. Concerts and other festivities (like Philly’s annual Wing Bowl, a chicken wing eating contest) are also hosted there, attracting some of the biggest names in music and entertainment. Also near the stadium district is FDR Park, known as “The Lakes” to the locals, offering outdoor activities like fishing, tennis, baseball, rugby, skateboarding (with a park underneath a bridge that runs throughout the park) and various events throughout the year.
At the northern border of South Philly is Philadelphia’s famous South Street, a stretch of several blocks packed with bars, music venues, restaurants, shops, galleries and more. On South Street, you can discover The Magic Gardens, a non-profit organization by local artist Isaiah Zagar. Founded in 1994, a once-typical house and courtyard was slowly but lovingly transformed into a corky, colorful and larger-than-life work of mosaic art. The Magic Garden offers an entertaining and mind-bending experience for those looking for an unconventional way to spend a day in South Philly. Find out more about what South Street has to offer at SouthStreet.com.
When it comes to food, no one beats South Philly. As mentioned, South Philly is home to both Geno’s Steaks and Pat’s King of Steaks, two rival steak shops that have been battling over who offers the best Philly cheesesteak for years. Located just 30 feet away from eachother, this dueling duo has been duking it out for years. Insider tip: It really comes down to personal taste, so try both before making your decision. But be sure you know what you want before you order. Indecisive patrons are usually kicked out of line, or worse, heckled by other hungry patrons.
For those looking for a taste of the old country, head around the corner to the Italian Market. This bustling traditional market specializes in authentic, gourmet Italian ingredients and fare. It’s a great place to buy a wide selection of fresh produce, meats, cheeses and pastas, made fresh each day. South Philly is teeming with other culinary wonders, boasting some of the best palate-pleasing restaurants in the whole city, including Supper, Bibou BYOB, and Famous 4th Street Deli.
South Philadelphia is also home to one of Philadelphia’s quirkiest and longest standing traditions, the Mummers. Known for its hard-working, traditional, blue-collar roots during the year, South Philly is transformed each New Year’s Day, when residents from around the city dress up in elaborate costumes and compete in the Mummers Day Parade . The parade features unique costumes, music, dancing and pageantry as it travels from South Philly straight through Center City and back again. You have to see it on January 1st to believe it!
*Data based on the Prudential Fox & Roach HomExpert Market Report for the first half of 2011. Data is deemed accurate but not guaranteed.