It’s not just the nationally recognized restaurants, buzz-worthy boutiques, and seemingly endless blockbuster events that make Philadelphia such an amazing place to live—it’s also the people who call the City of Brotherly Love home. Here, six notable tastemakers contribute to our annual guide of living the good life for your best summer yet.
Proudest moment: Surviving a constant 20-hour broadcast in celebration of Good Day Philadelphia’s 20th anniversary. Viewers, friends, and colleagues stopped by the station, even in the middle of the night, to drop off food and say hello.
Philadelphia is so…: Philadelphians are so passionate about everything that is important to them, from sports to music to favorite TV personalities!
Famous Philadelphian you most want to have dinner with: Patti LaBelle, because hopefully she would cook. Patti, if you’re reading this I’m ready for my invite! I’ll bring a salad.
Summer in the city: After surviving the winter months here, this Southern girl loves to be outside: The Dell Summer Music Series, Smooth Jazz Summer Nights Series, Wawa Welcome America July 4th, Made in America.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you: I wear sweatpants under my dress when I’m anchoring the news, because it’s so cold. Oh, the things they can’t see when you’re sitting at the anchor desk!
Favorite Philly hangouts: Bok Bar, One Liberty Observation Deck—any rooftop or elevated place where I can clearly catch a glimpse of the Philly skyline.
SENATOR ANTHONY H. WILLIAMS
Proudest moment: Celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary. Family is very important in our household. I’m very proud of what my wife, Shari, and I have accomplished.
Philadelphia is so…: Much more than cheesesteaks and Rocky.
Famous Philadelphian you most want to have dinner with: My dad, Senator Hardy Williams.
Summer in the city: Outdoor cafes on a Friday night listening to jazz/live bands, enjoying the sights. Also, Odunde Festival and neighborhood block parties.
Top tables: Booker’s Restaurant (the best brunch in Philly), Cedar Park Café, and Ristorante Pesto.
How you’re making Philadelphia better: My focus is to create equality across all settings... regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability everyone deserves a chance to learn and achieve.
Tourist tips: Philly has so many hidden treasures like Bartram’s Garden and the Italian Market. My suggestion would be to find someone that can show you more than the usual tourist attractions.
Favorite Philadelphia athlete: Julius Erving.
What’s next: I’m currently working on our Neighborhood to Neighborhood Festival [in October].
Proudest moment: A tie between being able to come to the great city of Philadelphia with the best fans in football and beating the Cowboys in the last game of the year.
Philadelphia is so…: Tightly knit. Philadelphians take great pride in their city and sports teams—along with things that are native to Philly.
Famous Philadelphian you most want to have dinner with: Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone Group.
Summer in the city: I usually spend my summer interning. This year I’m an equity options intern for Susquehanna. And I’ll be down the Shore in Sea Isle at my favorite place, the OD.
Favorite Philadelphia music act: Boyz II Men and Will Smith.
Favorite local hangouts: Ladder 15, U-Bahn, Rouge, Scarpetta, Parc, Noto.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you: I’m really a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of guy.
Local landmarks: Liberty Bell or Art Museum steps.
Favorite Philadelphia athlete: It’s a tie between Brian Dawkins and Allen Iverson because of the passion and intensity they both put into their game.
Most-asked question from fans: Have you been to any weddings lately and will you come to mine?
Proudest moment: Whether it is a unique event such as the visit of Pope Francis, or a standing ovation after a subscription concert at the Kimmel, or a side-by-side with young musicians from our city, I am always very proud to be at the helm of this incredible Orchestra, and to be an adopted Philadelphian!
Philadelphia is so…: Welcoming! It is actually not too big or too small and a bit like my native city of Montreal, which is one of the reasons why I immediately felt good here.
Summer in the city: Jogging along the Schuylkill River Trail. There’s no better way to see the city, get some sun, and stay fit.
Performance rituals: Before concerts hold the ring I inherited from Marcel Nézet, my beloved grandfather who passed away in 1997. He protects me always.
Style essentials: My favorite store is Barney’s. I always go to The Rittenhouse Spa & Club—Hair by Paul Labrecque for haircuts with Roxy Brennan or Ettore Mastroddi. I like to get massages here, too.
Top tables: I go to Parc after concerts; Helm for creative food and cozy atmosphere; and Barclay Prime for the best steak. I also like Wm. Mulherin’s Sons.
What’s next: My sixth season (already!) with the Orchestra might be our most exciting.
Proudest moment: May 12, 2016. It was the day I became Isabella’s mom.
Philadelphia is so…: My style. Our city is built on hard work and I love the energy.
Summer in the city: My ultimate summer would be spent reporting deep into the NBA Playoffs. Beyond that, whether it’s with family or a day trip with friends, I always look forward to going down the Shore. And few things are better than going for a run in the heart of the city during the summer.
Favorite Philadelphia athlete: I have two: Dr. J and Allen Iverson. They were actually my first two interviews for Comcast SportsNet in April 2012.
What makes Philly great: Best sports fans in the world. They’re loyal, passionate, and have the knowledge to back it all up. The Sixers have also referenced “Philly hard” as their style of basketball, which reflects the city’s toughness.
Top tables: My starting five would be Parc, Barclay Prime, Rouge, the lounge section of Aqimero, and Talula’s Garden, with Scarpetta as Rookie of the Year, El Vez as the sixth man, and Assembly to wrap it all up.
Local landmark: The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. It’s where Father Dennis Gill blessed my marriage to Tommy French, our daughter was baptized, and it continues to be our church.
How Drexel is leading the way in education: We’re taking our experiential learning to the next level, leveraging the Drexel co-op to give students the opportunity to start their own companies and work overseas in 50 countries.
Proudest moment: Drexel’s 125th anniversary celebration this academic year. We’ve embraced founder Anthony J. Drexel’s principles of innovation, inclusion, and civic engagement like never before.
Famous Philadelphian you most want to have dinner with: Grace Kelly, and I’d shamelessly ask her to donate her entire wardrobe to the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection at Drexel, which owns the stunning coral-encrusted dress she wore as Princess Grace of Monaco in the 1960’s.
Top tables: EAT Café, the pay-what-you-can restaurant at 38th and Lancaster Streets with a mission to “nourish the community through good food and fellowship.” And anywhere else that Marc Vetri cooks.
One thing that people would be surprised to know about you: I hate public speaking.
Favorite Philadelphia movie: The Philadelphia Story—“My, she was yar.”
Local landmark: Bachelors Barge Club, where Drexel’s crew teams row.