Tag Archives: Philadelphia

Interactive Map of Old City Bar Crawl

Here I have a map I created of my outing last evening. I’m new to the world of Google Maps, so I hope this will suffice. I took the PATCO train to the 8th and Market stop. From there, I walked to Old City, right by Chestnut Street and chose several bars that I thought seemed interesting. Follow my journey virtually, but also give it a shot one night. I had a great time. And feel free to leave me comments on other bars around the area that I should have checked out. There were definitely a lot of options. I think it will take me a while to hit them all.

Sushi!

I recently visited a fantastic little sushi place in Philadelphia. Usually I’m hesitant to go out to get sushi simply because I’m very picky with it and I don’t have the money to throw away on rolled up fish and rice. A friend of mine asked me to join him in Bensalem for some sushi, so I decided to give it a try.

Sakura Japanese Restaurant was a surprising delight. From the outside, it looked like any typical Asian restaurant. Once you walk in however, the atmosphere is very serene and interesting. You can watch the chef’s prepare the rolls and sashimi artistically on your plate, which is always my favorite. It is very quaint, but with the feel of a high end restaurant. The selection is great and the prices are even better. There are lunch specials everyday, with a great dinner menu as well. 

For two, we got a soup, salad, dinner entrée, beverages and a roll for under 25 dollars. I highly recommend the Godzilla roll, it is filling and flavorful beyond description. Here is a complete list of their menu.  

I hope to make it back soon now that I know I can get quality sushi without breaking the bank.

Q&A with Travel Editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Bill Reed

Mr. Reed, travel editor of Philadelphia Inquirer

Bill Reed is the travel editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is responsible for deciding which stories go into the publication, as well as handling photos, editing stories and occasionally writing stories. Reeds schedule is extremely busy, but I was able to get him on the phone for 15 minutes and ask a few questions on his opinions on journalism, as well as some other tidbits concerning his experience in this field.

Q: What got you into travel writing?

Reed: “It was both personal interest and preference. There are always new places worth visiting, but people may not know about them and they might want to know. I also used to work nights and when the opportunity opened up, I wanted to spend more time with my kids and work days.”

Q: Biggest challenge faced thus far?

Reed: “Well I can’t just go anywhere and write about it. There just aren’t enough resources like time and money. There’s also the issue of finding new places, with fresh angles. We have tons of stories about Tuscany and Italy, and the angles might be slightly different, but we don’t want the readers to see the same story multiple times.”

Q: What’s the best place you’ve been to?

Reed: “I enjoy every place I go. My trips are personal, so they’re always with family. We like to make it special. We make it a point not to go back to the same place twice. As much as we may like a certain place, there are so many other places we have to see. We have a time share that we use for skiing every year, but we really like to explore new places.”

Q: Any advice for aspiring writers?

Reed: “First keep an open mind. You might hear about a place and think I don’t want to go there, but you might find it more interesting than you thought. Second, look for unique aspects of your trips. Always look for what’s unique, new and different. Also, when organizing your stories, try and think of it as a story you’re telling your friends. Start with what you would tell your friends, like “So I almost got run over by an elephant.” You wouldn’t go in chronological order. You have to paint a picture for readers. And take photos. Give specifics, find what is unique and interesting and paint a picture.”

Q: What direction do you feel journalism is heading, and is it a good or bad thing?

Reed: “This is a general question. There will always be a need for communicators to keep people informed. The medium will change however. Newspapers are endangered from people getting information from the internet. But most of the information from the internet comes from newspapers. So if newspapers dry up, the internet would suffer. There will always be a need for journalists, it’s just a matter of how the news is put out.”

Mr. Reed gave some great insight into an ever evolving career that many are blindly entering into. His advice to be prepared and open-minded is definitely something that many young journalists continue to hear today, so hopefully these words will resonate and help create better writers for the future.

Philadelphia vs. New Jersey

People tend to gravitate more towards the city OR the suburbs. Budget Travel has a great little list of the 25 reasons we love Philadelphia. Ok, so maybe it’s easier to find reasons to visit the city because there is always something going on and there is always something to please every type of personality. But New Jersey is highly underrated when it comes to entertainment. This week I will be visiting a random town to take some photos and explore to see what hidden treasures are around South Jersey. But until then, Fun New Jersey is a great resource for tons of fun things to do and they’re organized by what kind of activity they would satisfy, like romantic, night life and weekend getaways.

In the mood for… a good laugh.

About two weeks ago I was in New Brunswick at the Stress Factory Comedy Club. It was my first time at a comedy show, so I was really excited to see what it was all about. The headliner was Dave Attell, who is best known for being on the show “Insomniac”on Comedy Central. I was definitely not ready. It was the coolest atmosphere. I walked in, the lights dimmed, with brick walls and a small platform stage in the center of the room, with a payphone randomly hanging above a stool in front of a microphone. We were seated and watched clips of random comedies like “Happy Gilmore” and “Old School” as we waited for the opening act.

There were two opening acts before Attell even came on stage. It was very entertaining. The audience was mostly college students, afterall Rutgers is right down the street. It was a packed house. I laughed the entire time, almost to the point of tears. And ever since, I’ve been looking for clubs like that, around my area, to go relax and have a good laugh, without breaking the bank of course! During my search, I found some random sites of comedy clubs, until I finally came across “This week in Philly” which is a great tool for all the hot events going on in Philly. They have links to their favorite restaurants, bars and parks all categorized by the audience you’re looking to satisfy (families, children, singles). They have a complete list of comedy clubs to check out, ranging from improv to stand-up, from unknowns to the big names in comedy. And believe it or not, comedy clubs don’t cost too much either. With an average cost of about 20 dollars per ticket, some places have a mandatory drink minimum, which is fairly reasonable considering the entertainment and the fact that you’re in the city.

There’s also a list of clubs all over New Jersey at the leisure guide site for New Jersey. I definitely think it’s a worthwhile activity, and it’s something fun and different to do. It sure beats another night wasted at a mall or the movies!

Coffee anyone?

Chances are if you’re from South Jersey, you’re familiar with the coffeehouse scene. I have three top picks that I think are great for several different reasons.

Take The Barrington Coffee House. This place has fantastic food, coffee and other great treats. Another great thing about this place is their live music. Every weekend they offer great local talent. There is usually a small cover, but with that comes all-you-can-drink coffee! Just check out their music calendar.

Another great find is The Treehouse Coffee House in Audubon. They have a variety of drinks and food to enjoy, and it’s very reasonably priced. They have events for the entire week  listed on their site as well. It’s on a main street, so if exploring is your thing, you should check it out.

If you’re looking for something outside of the South Jersey area, there are plenty of great places in Philadelphia. My pick is The Last Drop right by the Art Institute on Pine Street. Their menu is full of the essential beverages that a true independent coffee house should have to offer.

So there you have it! Next time you’re in one of these areas, make it a point to check out one or all of these great spots and support the local business. Who needs a Starbucks anyway.

Hello World

Welcome to my blog! I started this as an assignment for my online journalism class. I’ll be covering some very cool, fun and affordable things for college students to do on a budget. I’m pretty excited to get exploring!! Stay tuned!