Jenni L. Walsh’s Top 5 Philly Phaves

Yes, I wrote “Phaves” instead of “Faves.” It’s what we do in Philly, and I’m about to share my Top 5 things I adore about my hometown of Philadelphia.

1. Wawa. If you’re from the area, you’re immediately nodding along. Wawa is technically a convenience store, but in reality, it’s so much more than that. When I lived in DC and NYC, I yearned for Wawa and when we’d visit family in Philly, Wawa was our first stop. Sorry, Mom. Fortunately, I’m back in the Philly ‘burbs and I have two Wawa’s within arm’s reach.

2. Manayunk. I’m no longer a 20-something. But once upon a time I was in my 20s and when you are in your 20s, you live in the neighborhood of Manayunk. The town is built along a canal, with a main street aptly named Main Street. It’s a mile-long stretch of road with boutique shops, restaurants, bars, and more bars. Then, there’s the steepest incline you’ve ever seen. Upon that hill there’s a slew of houses, all touching, and the narrowest streets known to man. The walk home at the end of the night always felt twice as long as the walk down. This is where I spent my glory days, folks.

3. The Shambles at Headhouse Square in the Society Hill neighborhood. Built in the 1800’s, this structure served as a marketplace. On my wedding day, it’s where I said “I do.”

4. Kelly Drive. This is probably one of my favorite spots in the city. Kelly Drive is a running/bike trail that winds 8+ miles in a hugeeee circle around the Schuylkill River. At one end of the loop there’s the Philadelphia art museum (wave hello to Rocky), then it winds along the Fairmount Water Works…

And Boathouse Row…

And various statues and fountains and it’s just plain pretty.

I used to live about a half mile from Kelly Drive and I’d start my day with a bike ride or run on a daily basis.

5. Bradley Cooper. Born in Philadelphia. Stud.

So there you have it, my top 5. You were probably expecting me to have cheesesteaks on this list, right? But I’ve actually only gotten a cheesesteak in Philly a handful of times. Tourists typically go to Pat’s or Geno’s, which are on opposing sides of the street…

Yuri Long

But I know this Mom and Pop shop that tops ’em both. If you’re ever in Philly, I can give you the inside scoop.


Author: Jenni L. Walsh

Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years ​chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia's countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni's passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet. BECOMING BONNIE (Tor Forge/Macmillan, 5/9/2017) is her debut novel that tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. SIDE BY SIDE, telling Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree story, will be released in the summer of 2018. Please learn more about Jenni's books at

3 Replies to “Jenni L. Walsh’s Top 5 Philly Phaves”

  1. 2013 Deb chiming in to say YO, great list! I grew up in Oxford Circle (yes, real Philly not the suburbs), moved away for 27 years and now I’m back and living in Jenkintown. By the way I’m not in my 20s either, or my 30s or my 40s and I still love the heck out of Manayunk. I was there last week. Amazing author community in the city of brotherly love. Congrats on your debut, neighbor!

    1. Hi neighbor! I love hearing about other authors in the Philly area! I was in Manayunk last summer for a luncheon and it brought back such good memories. Thank you for the congrats and congrats to you on your forthcoming (third!) novel 🙂

  2. I’ve never lived i Philly, but I was dating a woman there for several years. Wawa was visited quite often. 🙂

    One time, we needed to get a photocopy of something, so we went to 7-Eleven. There were three or four people there already, all lined up to use the copy machine. No other customers. (Wawa didn’t have copy machines.)

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