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Neighborhood Spotlight: Point Breeze

In some of the less glittering city intersections located between 25th and Broad Street exist a few of Philly’s hidden jewels – all of which call the up-and-coming neighborhood of Point Breeze home. Originally named for its idyllic location along the west side of the Schuylkill River, today the neighborhood has been affectionately deemed “The Breeze” by its loyal, local population. While Point Breeze may remain a vast, unexplored terrain for us Center City citizens, this rising urban ‘hood welcomes all visitors to check out its iconic murals, homey cafes, and edgy scene.

The Backstory

First settled by working-class European-Jewish immigrants, “The Breeze” experienced an influx of Italian and Irish immigrants who trickled into the developing area. Over the decades, the neighborhood has experienced a turbulent evolution, but the deep rooted history of this neighborhood has only enriched the colorful scene. Today, the town’s rustic atmosphere conveys a sense of belonging, and the community has taken huge steps to improve living standards, placing a strong emphasis on education and culture.

Must-See Spots in Point Breeze

Located at the corner of 22nd and Ellsworth is Keith Haring’s famous mural, We the Youth.” Originally completed in 1987, the project resulted from a collaboration between Haring and CityKids Foundation, a New York based youth organization.

Courtesy of The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

Courtesy of The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

Vibrant primary colors, abstract images, and the energized silhouettes of children create a compelling visual story. When intertwined with the story of the artist himself, “We the Youth” becomes a captivating attraction- impressing both local and regional visitors alike.

Haring passed away in 1990 at only 31 years of age due to AIDS-related illnesses, however, his legend lives on. After 20 years of degradation, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program saw to it that the mural was restored in 2013. Additionally, and an enclosed area in front of the mural, named “The Haring Garden,” was added.

For a more lighthearted experience in “The Breeze”, stop in for a bite to eat at Breezy’s Café – one of the neighborhood’s most popular spots. Named for its relaxed vibe paying tribute to its location, Breezy’s has become a staple since relocating to the area in 2013. Breezy’s caters to vegans and vegetarians, but they’re best known for their fresh ingredients and uncured meats and cheeses. Trust us, you’re bound to fall in love with their eclectic menu.

Courtesy of Shelly S.

Courtesy of Shelly S.

American Sardine Bar and Brew is just one of the many incredible restaurants that has been popping up in Point Breeze, paying tribute to the historic roots of the neighborhood. Beyond its catchy name, their menu literally demonstrates the variety of culinary incarnations this tiny fish can take on. Diners can enjoy their sardines sauteed, grilled, plancha, fried, or even served in sandwich form! Don’t worry; if you’re too chicken to try one of their sardine plates, you can opt for the shrimp torta or the roasted lamb flatbread.

Recently, Philly’s changed the way we play with the crop up of pop ups. Located at 1622 Point Breeze Avenue, the Point Breeze Pop-Up Garden opened in May with a converted 18-wheeler-turned-bar, lunch trucks, and beautifully landscaped gardens. Previously a bustling commercial corridor, the city’s newest beer garden is the culmination of the partnership between South Philadelphia Tap Room and American Sardine Bar, and stands as as a symbol of continuing growth for this hot and happening neighborhood.

This Saturday, these guys are hosting the Point Breeze Flea Market starting at noon. They also host other special events at the Pop-Up Garden, like their Free Community Yoga Happy Hour from 6 – 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Post workout, enjoy a $1 beer to beat the heat! Throughout the summer, you can expect generous pours of delicious craft beer and cider, awesome events, and delicious food from some of the best food trucks in town!

What’s your go-to spot in Point Breeze? What venues are you dying to check out? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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