Philadelphia 2019
#1
Intro
 
Welcome to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love…at least in name.

The city is quite big, and I’ll try to offer as much insight into its atmosphere as I can, but there is still plenty that I will not touch in the prose that I write. This is due to the consequences of having lived in this city for not terribly long (about 1 year) and not being 100% plugged into all the social scenes of this stealthily large city. Much of the information will be objective, but the rest will come from the point of view of a younger black man who is not fat and dresses well, but is not particularly muscular nor tall. Without further ado…

Transportation

Philadelphia is in the northeast US within the corridor of major cities that starts with Washington and ends with Boston. Even though Philadelphia is the 6th most populous city in the US as of this writing, it’s overshadowed because of its location between New York and DC. That being said, it’s a very easy city to get to via bus or train from those two cities, and the airport often has cheaper flights to and from other parts of the US. Flying internationally can be kind of expensive, which is why I usually just go to one of the three New York area airports if I want to leave the country.

Public transportation (SEPTA) is actually pretty decent for getting around the city and for going to the suburbs in nearby counties of Pennsylvania. NJ Transit also has buses and trains that go across the Delaware River to various towns and beaches in southern New Jersey (including Atlantic City). Having a car is not necessary if you live in certain parts of the city, but it helps immensely for getting around to some of the more distant places in and outside of the city.

Uber and Lyft are plentiful and there is a pooling option just about anywhere in the city (potentially good for girls). Taxis do exist if you’re really in a pinch.

Food and Drinks

Philadelphia may be known for its cheesesteaks but there are a ton of great dining options in various parts of the city for often surprisingly reasonable and affordable prices. This is both on the low end and the high end. The cost of drinks also won’t break your wallet, even at some of the nicer places. Goods and services aren't as cheap as they are in the southern US, but you’re not going to get New York, Boston, or DC prices thankfully.

Logistics

For a visitor, I would highly recommend staying in Center City. This is defined as the area between Vine St. and South St. between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers (a.k.a the original borders of William Penn’s Philadelphia). Rittenhouse Square and Washington Square West (around 13th St. and Chestnut St. or the “Gayborhood”) are going to be the best places for a short period of time. Both are about equal in logistical value, but if you prefer day game I would recommend Rittenhouse and if you prefer night game I would point to Washington Square West (as close to 13th and Chestnut as possible). The next best option would be Old City, which has its own set of nightlife but is still close enough to Rittenhouse and the Gayborhood for a short taxi ride or rideshare trip. Chinatown, Logan Square, and Society Hill are also close enough to the hotspots if you can’t find a place in Rittenhouse or the Gayborhood. Basically, if you’re visiting, you want to be as close to City Hall (where Broad St. and Market St. meet) as possible.

For someone moving into the city to live, the above locations are still ideal. However, I’d add areas immediately outside of Center City such as Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Fairmount, Graduate Hospital, Queen Village, and Bella Vista. These areas are a little farther away from the action and foot traffic of Center City and tend to have more families and couples, but are still within striking distance and a short vehicle trip. Fishtown in particular has its own scene and has become a trendy place in the city for hanging out during the day and night. However, I could never recommend it for a short-term visitor who wants a high exposure to women within a short period of time.

West Philadelphia is also an option, but the only neighborhoods worth mentioning there are predominantly populated by students (University City and Powelton Village) or a bit too far from Center City to be good for bringing back girls from night game consistently (Cedar Park and Spruce Hill). If you are a student or plan on predominantly targeting UPenn and Drexel students, though, those four neighborhoods are probably your best options. Anywhere else in West Philly is too distant, too dilapidated, too dangerous, or some combination of the three.

Weather

Philadelphia has all four seasons. The best time of the year is late spring and early fall. Summer can be nice but is often quite humid and many people leave the city for the Jersey Shore on the weekends, which leaves the city less populated than it would normally be. It's cold in the winter, but usually nothing too severe (lowest temperature is around -10 C/15 F). There may be a snowstorm or two throughout the season but it's not nearly as bad as in New England, the midwest US, or Canada. Wind is persistent throughout several days of the year, regardless of the season.

Girls

Locals and Suburbanites

The girls in Philadelphia range in attractiveness, and if you’re into white girls, there’s a fair mix ranging from fatties to girls as high as 9’s. There are plenty of black girls in the city, too, but not as many who are 7 or above in looks. Asian girls tend to be in Chinatown, the universities, office jobs, or specific ethnic enclaves. Unfortunately, there are very few attractive Latinas that I’ve seen around Center City and the adjacent neighborhoods. Most of the city’s Latinas are in the ethnic enclaves that exist toward the outer parts of the city (like Northeast Philadelphia).

Several girls also come into the city from New Jersey (often recognizable by their accents and potentially Italian features) or the suburbs to the west, north, and southwest of the city. The girls from the in-state suburbs tend to be white and well off, especially the ones from the “Main Line” towns (like Ardmore and Villanova). All these girls will occasionally hit up Philly for partying or random special occasions, assuming they don’t already work or attend school in the city.

There is also a significant contingent of women from other, smaller cities in central and eastern Pennsylvania who move to Philly for work after finishing school. To these girls, Philadelphia is the “big city”, but it’s not as crazy a city as NYC is.

Overall, the girls here are not especially sophisticated or open-minded. If they were, they would’ve already moved to NYC or elsewhere. Like most of the Philadelphia population, these girls have grown up in the area, went to school (probably somewhere like Penn State), and then returned without intentions of going anywhere outside of the Delaware Valley. There are actually more females than males in Philly, but if you account for the age ranges that we care about, there aren’t that many single girls here. Several women enter serious relationships or even marry fairly young (mid-20’s). This isn’t NYC where women are sleeping around as much, and this is reflected in the dating environment. That reality definitely has an impact on the difficulty of game here.

There’s nothing particularly special about the nature of the girls here, though. The white girls are often as basic as you’d expect. Use the game you would normally employ with most other American women. Expect some bad attitudes and rude rejections along the way.

In a closing note for this section, it must be noted that there are several redhead girls around the city—in greater numbers than I’ve seen in any other city that I’ve lived (including NYC). Most of them appear to be of Irish descent, which would make sense considering the high number of Irish immigrants to the city during the 1800’s.

Students

This can be a tough demographic to crack, but it’s a very wide and potentially fruitful one. Philadelphia has a lot of colleges, universities, and medical schools. Thus, there is a large population of undergraduates, graduate students, medical and nursing students, and still others. Undergraduate students are often found partying at certain bars and clubs on the weekends, working in cafes and restaurants, or hanging out on or near their campuses. The graduate and medical students are busier and not out as much, but it’s not that hard to run into them if you’re out every weekend.

Most students are local, but schools like UPenn and Drexel attract a more diverse student body. UPenn is going to have the most diversity because of its status as an Ivy League school. However, Temple also has myriad students who are in and around the city. Regardless, due to the sheer number of students, there are bound to be enough attractive ones for your liking. As with anywhere else, though, students are in a bubble and are very cliquish. They can be difficult to game if you’re not in their social circle or meet them away from the prying eyes of judgmental classmates. Use online game or be more strategic.
 
Internationals
 
Philadelphia is not a city that registers on the radar for many people from outside the US. Foreigners in the city often have a reason for being here. Thus, the international crowd the city tends to consist of students, business people, or tourists who take a side trip while visiting NYC or DC. If you want a stream of attractive foreign women, this is the wrong place. Your best bet would probably be university students, corporate networking events, or niche activities that would attract foreigners. Some ethnic enclaves may also be good for recent immigrants but I personally haven’t been to those areas much since they’re out of my way.

Tourists

Most tourists are domestic families or other kinds of groups. Rarely do I see any girls by themselves like I would in NYC. Philly isn’t a “cool” destination to visit for a young, attractive girl in this day and age.

Day Game

Direct, street day gamers will love Philadelphia. When the weather is nice, there is a lot of foot traffic in Rittenhouse Square and other parts of Center City. If one were to walk on the streets around Rittenhouse Park, one would regularly see a girl who is at least a 6. Walnut and Chestnut Streets (west of Broad St.) are the focal points of activity since those are the streets in the city with the higher-end stores.

If you want the employee and summer intern crowd, hang out around Market St. west of City Hall during lunch hours (12 PM-2 PM) or after 5 PM on a business day. That area is the “corporate corridor” where most of the city’s skyscrapers are located and many of the region’s major companies have offices in the vicinity. University City is also good if you want to target nurses, doctors, and administrative staff who are employees of the medical institutions and other businesses in that area.

I don’t do street game, but I could possibly see it being effective for some guys. It’s best to dress well in order to distinguish oneself from the canvassers and homeless and insane people that often hassle passerby throughout the city.

Passive or indirect day game is also possible in the city. Rittenhouse Park is good for this, but there are also other areas such as Love Park, Fairmount Park near Kelly Drive, and the steps of the Art Museum. If you want to target students, you could head to the UPenn, Drexel, or Temple campuses and run Giovonny-style game. And if you feel like going outside of the city, there’s also Villanova and St. Joe’s.

Of course, none of the above precludes simply talking to women as you go about your day. Perhaps do some work in a café in Fishtown, or buy groceries at the Whole Foods in Fairmount, or maybe take a trip outside the city to the massive King of Prussia mall. You get the idea.

Night Game

Philly has several different neighborhoods with multiple venues. I won’t go into detail about every specific location, but I will make some comments about things that I think are important. In general, Philly is more of a bar and pseudo-club city. You’re not going to find too many true clubs within the city. There are also so many underground and niche scenes that I’m not even aware of, so it won’t be possible for me to inform you about every little thing that may be going on within the city’s confines. Last call is 2 AM, but girls tend to start leaving venues as early as 12-12:30 AM. There are a few after hours spots, but you need to know the right people and some of them are on the sketchier side.

Do not go out alone if you can avoid it. For reasons I’ll explain later, going out solo just doesn’t work very well in this city in regard to night game.

Washington Square West/Gayborhood

This area has the most volume in Center City because of the concentration of bars and restaurants. The crowd is mostly WASPy post-college with some locations having large numbers of students (mostly from Temple) during the academic year. Tradesman, U-Bar, Bru, and McGillin’s (oldest bar in the city) are going to have more of the post-college crowd with a minority of college students. Porto, on the other hand, is almost all college students. Time is an older crowd on the 1st floor where the live jazz music is, but on the 2nd floor where there’s a DJ, it’s college students. Time also charges a $5 cover after 10 PM on weekends. Except for Bru, all of those places are on the louder side, so don’t expect easy conversation.

13th St. south of Walnut St. is where the gay bars start to appear. Woody’s is a longstanding gay club that attracts several girls who want to “dance”, but it’s not worth the effort of trying to pull those girls or ignoring the inevitable flirtations from gay men nearby.

Rittenhouse Square

Venues here are a bit dispersed, so expect to walk a little if you’re switching locations. The crowd is similar to what you would see in the Gayborhood.

Concourse and Drinker’s Tavern are both very popular with college students. The former is a club that charges a $10 cover on weekends and the latter is a two-floor bar that has DJ’s on weekend nights and does not charge a cover. Both places are about as noisy as you would expect.

Ladder 15, Howl at the Moon and, Tavern on Board are similar places that attract more of a post-college WASP crowd. Ladder 15 and Tavern on Broad charge a $5 cover on weekends.

There’s also a relatively new place called Attico, which is a rooftop lounge at the Cambria Hotel. It charges a $10 cover after 10 PM on Friday and Saturday nights but gets a good crowd of younger and older people even before that time. IMO, this is the only “fun” rooftop in the city and I’ve seen some fairly attractive women here as well as professional sports players. They won’t let people in who wear “athletic shoes” or appear too underdressed, but it’s not strict.

Rittenhouse has several high-end restaurants and bars scattered throughout its blocks, but they’re not exactly places that one would go to game. Some of them may be decent for happy hours, but that's always a crapshoot.
 
Old City

Old City is not as popular a night spot as the two areas above, but it still has some locales worth mentioning. Cuba Libre, JJ Bootlegger’s, and the Plough and the Stars are on 2nd St. Cuba Libre is one of the Latin clubs in the area (along with Lucha Cartel and Brasil’s Nightclub) and happens to be the most popular one on weekends. There’s a $5 cover and the door guys won’t allow entry for people wearing shoes that appear athletic or too casual. There are Latinas in Cuba Libre, but there are also other kinds of women who simply want to dance.

JJ Bootleggers is typically not very good aside from the occasional bar crawl that passes through there. The Plough and the Stars is regularly busy on weekends and has the standard WASP crowd that’s common in Center City. National Mechanics on 3rd St. becomes a pseudo-club on weekends that is somewhat popular with college students. It’s the kind of place where it’s so loud that it’s hard to speak.
 
Fishtown

Fishtown is a neighborhood to the northeast of Old City that has recently somewhat gentrified and become popular to a broader base of people. It’s a mix of longtime residents, hipsters, scenesters, post-college yuppies, and well-off families.

The neighborhood has its own set of bars, some of which are centered at the intersection of Frankford Ave. and Girard Ave. Garage, Frankford Hall, Johnny Brenda’s and Barcade are this area. However, if you walk further north on Frankford Ave., you can find more hangout spots that are smaller. Garage and Frankford Hall will have the most “mainstream” crowd. I wouldn’t devote a whole weekend to Fishtown, but it’s a decent place to spend a night or start out a night.
 
University City

If you cross the Schuylkill River from Center City or Graduate Hospital, you’ll find yourself in University City. This is the stomping ground of UPenn and Drexel students, so expect student cliques and the near impenetrability that they entail. If you do find yourself in this area, though, Smokey Joe’s, Copabanana, and City Tap House are adjacent to UPenn’s campus. Cavanaugh’s and New Deck Tavern are also decent spots in the neighborhood. There are plenty of fraternity houses along Walnut St. and Powelton Ave. but I have no knowledge about that scene. This is the kind of place where it’s great to be a student and suboptimal for those who aren’t.
 
South St./Headhouse Square

South St. has an…interesting mix of people during the late night hours. Hipsters, black people, WASPs, bikers, and even some students descend onto South St. on weekend nights. Pretty much all action is east of 6th St. and the area is considered an alternative experience to what one would find in Rittenhouse and the Gayborhood. Venues include Fat Tuesday, Paddywhack’s, Woolly Mammoth, Tattooed Mom, and quite a few other bars along South St. and 2nd St.

Safety can be an issue in this area on Friday and Saturday nights. There have been shootings recently and a few months ago there was a massive brawl that police had to break up. Because of events like that and the mostly troubled history of the area (up until recent gentrification), there are often some cops who hang out on South St. on weekend nights. Weekday nights and the daytime are generally fine, though. And because of the presence of trendier art galleries, restaurants, bars, and other stores, there is always some foot traffic present.

Manayunk

This is a somewhat isolated residential neighborhood in the northwest part of the city that happens to have an above-average commercial strip with bars, restaurants, and other establishments (Main St.). The night scene is somewhat confined and there is a very insular crowd of local families and post-college 20-somethings in this area. I’d recommend avoiding it.

Outdoor Drinking Establishments

When the weather is good from April to October, several outdoor bars will open. These places are in various parts of the city and can be especially busy on weekends. The crowd will be a mix of WASP 20-somethings, younger families (with their children), and sometimes students. Independence Beer Garden, Morgan’s Pier, Spruce Street Harbor Park, and Frankford Hall are some of the more popular locations, with the first being particularly good because of its location on Market St. and presence of games that permit easy meetings and conversation.

Notes on Night Game

Philadelphia has no shortage of great venues, and theoretically, it should be a fantastic place to meet and more importantly, build relationships with people. However, that’s just not the case. Philadelphia is certainly more progressive and fast-paced than the rest of Pennsylvania (or Pennsatucky as some people derisively refer to the state), but people still behave in a somewhat closed-off and insular manner—almost as in a small town. I mentioned earlier that there aren’t that many available, single women, and nowhere is this more present than in night game. Girls go out in groups and a very high number of groups are mixed, so expect to deal with other dudes more often than not. People know each other from elementary or high school, college, or work and have relative suspicion to outsiders and especially to men who are by themselves. I call it the Philly Hostility.

However, having even one other person with you can change the whole dynamic of a night out. If that other person is a somewhat attractive girl, that’s even better. The average girl that goes out here is fairly shallow and is attracted to a socially “vetted” guy like a month to a flame. I’ve been out to some bars with girls in the past and I received glances and attention that I never would have received if I were alone or with a male wingman.

Guys here don’t really approach. Then again, they don’t really need to do so since they can employ their social circles to regularly have access to decent looking women. I do think most guys here have some level of game, but I generally don’t see guys dating up. At best, it’s even.

The guys don’t dress particularly outstanding either. Common attire includes a casual shirt or dress shirt with jeans or shorts with perhaps a preppy finish. Sometimes you’ll see more of a “ratchet” look with nice sneakers, jeans, and a t-shirt. The people who dress in blazers and suits are often older men or professionals coming from their jobs. Girls seem to be fine with a toned-down attire, and often consider a well-dressed guy to be pretentious, snobby, douchey, or some combination of the three…unless that guy is with another girl. This isn’t a city where dressing up too much gets you bonus points.

In short, ONS from night game is not all that common in Philadelphia since the girls aren’t slutting it up as much (at least openly). Fortunately, NYC is nearby if you can swing it there regularly.
 
Online Game
 
Tinder, Bumble, and the usual other outlets have no shortage of girls. Most of the users appear to be students but there is decent number of medical staff and careerist girls too. The talent is pretty average and nothing to write home about.

That being said, online game here isn’t that much different than online game in most of the rest of the US. Girls are saturated with attention and the most attractive ones aren’t on apps or use them purely for validation (students are the biggest culprits here). Online game has almost certainly adversely affected night game and the dating scene too. The girls here can simply pull out their phone and have a queue of dicks lined up for them. And that’s not even considering the extensive social circles that girls here often have.
 
Events

Throughout the year, there are some notable events that bring out large volumes of people. I may not list everything there since there is so much that goes on during each year that I’m aware or unaware of.

Center City District (CCD) Sips
A few years ago, some folks at the Center City District (local business development not-for-profit organization) offices came up with the bright idea of convincing multiple (~80) bars and restaurants around the city to have drink specials on Wednesday evenings during the summer months. This idea turned into a reality, and so CCD Sips, or Sips as it’s often called, was born. Every Wednesday from 5-7 PM in June, July, and August, several bars and restaurants in Center City get flooded with people. In most places, it’s the standard professional happy hour crowd that is common in Center City on a typical weekday evening.

However, in a few locations, it’s actually a shit show of young, attractive college-aged or post-college girls, their orbiters, and a smattering of guys (all mostly WASP’s from the suburbs or students in the city for the summer). Pagano’s, Dilworth Café, and Independence Beer Garden are three such places where this is the case because they’re spacious and outdoors. And there’s nothing more appealing to basic girls in Philadelphia than getting drunk outdoors. Treat it as night game and have a wing.

Erin Express

Many moons ago, the owners of Cavanaugh’s and Smokey Joe’s envisioned a bar crawl where there would be school buses carrying drunk people between multiple bars in the city on two consecutive weekend days in March. This vision would result in Erin Express, which is the biggest shit show in Philadelphia all year (unless the Eagles win another Super Bowl). For two Saturdays in March, crowds of people dressed in green hop between bars in University City and Center City starting at 11 AM (although the pre-drinking starts before). Some of these crowds assemble onto school buses which take them between bars and still others decide to walk between locations. Regardless of the mode of transportation, there are drunk people pretty much everywhere in University City and in some parts of Rittenhouse. There is no shortage of girls here, and as with many such events, the population is mostly white and in the 20’s age range, with a majority being students. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t several non-students doing Erin Express each year. Treat this as night game and have a wing.

Halloween

Halloween is fun in many places and Philadelphia is no different. There are several bar crawls on the weekends leading up to Halloween or on the holiday itself. Signing up for one of these is definitely worth it, and Halloween is one of the few times where going out solo at night is not a huge negative. Old City is a good option since everything is in a small area and there isn’t much walking between bars, and Rittenhouse would be good too. I hesitate to say University City because of the student dynamic there that would create additional difficulty. And it’s not as if some students don’t go out in Rittenhouse and Old City for Halloween.

Festivals

Various street fairs and festivals occur during the year in multiple neighborhoods of the city. These festivals often feature food vendors and at least one area serving alcoholic drinks. Some events have a higher proportion of bars than others and those would be the ones that are better for game purposes. There are too many festivals to list, but most of them will take place in the spring and summer when the weather is nicer. Your best bet is to search online to see what is going on throughout the city on any given week.
 
Summary

From a quality of life perspective, Philadelphia is definitely an underrated and overlooked place in the northeast US. The cost of living is significantly lower than that of other large northeast US cities and there are a lot of cultural and social activities. And while the city does have serious issues with crime and poverty, it’s fairly easy to avoid that if you live in one of the several good neighborhoods.

This city is also a good place to stack up if you’re making decent money, even with the municipal income tax. However, I’m hesitant to recommend it as a long-term destination, especially for outsiders. It can be difficult to make friends and build a social circle here because of the closed-off nature of people and it’s a bit underwhelming when it comes to girls. There are more fun and vibrant cities in just the US, including one that’s a short train or bus ride away (NYC).
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#2
I live nearby Philly, and can vouch this is a very accurate datasheet. To add a couple minor things:

In summertime, Riverdeck has reggae night on Sundays, this always draws a big crowd. Non summertime Reef would be the place to go if you like this kind of music or Soca or African music or whatever.

Trilogy plays a mix of this and rap year round, it can get a bit sketchy sometimes though.

Vesper day club is kind of a douchy wannabe Vegas pool day party. To get membership they look you up on social media to make sure your cool and attractive, and they try to maintain good guy to girl ratios. If you arent a member, a member needs to let you in. If your in great shape cool and have access to drugs, you'll probably do great here.
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#3
Good datasheet I've been to Philly a couple times and had great fun each time. Its somewhere that doesn't get a huge amount of foreign tourists so girls are usually pretty interested in hearing why you're there if you're not American, in my experience.
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#4
Yeah, I imagine Brits and Aussies would have high exotic value here, especially with the younger crowd. For them, it would probably be a gold mine since not many foreign guys go out to the hot spots here.
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#5
Absolutely. Almost every early/mid 20s girl I talked to in bars responded with a wide eyed "oh my god you've got an accent, where are you from? Why are you here?". It was great, I'd thoroughly recommend the nightlife there to anyone because of it.

I was a bit surprised the city gets so few overseas tourists because there are a reasonable amount of tourist activities to do/see in the day time. And its got a big, well connected, airport. I suppose its just overshadowed by both NYC and Washington DC being so close to it on either side, as far as sightseeing tourists are concerned.
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#6
Sounds better than where I live: St. Louis, MO.
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#7
One place that needs to be mentioned is Bok Bar, which is an outdoor bar on the spacious rooftop of an old school. It's fairly deep in South Philly but it has gotten very popular because of its magnificent view of the city skyline. On Saturday evenings (as early as 7 PM), the place gets packed with people if the weather is nice. The crowd is a mix of plastic girls, locals, hipsters, and out-of-towners with a diverse age range, albeit mostly white (though not as much as some other popular venues in the city). There's no loud music, so it's a nice place to just go up to girls and talk. Unfortunately, Bok Bar is only open from late spring to early fall.
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