Artists: Eric Eaton, Dave Steele (Snakeface), Braden Kendall
Walk around the streets of Philadelphia and you’ll quickly notice it’s a city that takes tattooing seri ously. “In the summer you’ll see ink all over everyone,” says Chinatown Tattoo co-owner Braden Kendall. “It crosses all genres; I’ve sleeved out two doctors recently.” The shop sees a lot of action from walk-in clients—“We do names all day,” Kendall says—and has earned a reputation as a good place for first-timers looking for a positive experience. Here the legacy of traditional tattooing is still going strong, as Chinatown Tattoo has the distinction of being the oldest consecutively operational shop in Philadelphia. And yes, it used to be a Philadelphia Eddie’s. “The history of this shop and the city in general is amazing,” muses Dave Steele, who also goes by the name Snakeface. “It’s really cool to be able to be a part of it all.”
Eat: Pho Xe Lua Viet Thai, 907 Race St., 215-627-8883. Hey, it’s Chinatown so you could eat your self into a food coma if that’s your thing. But for some good, cheap pho, there’s no better place than this much-loved no-frills eatery.
Drink: Trocadero Theatre, 1003 Arch St., 215-922-LIVE. Grab a drink and catch a show or a movie at the Troc, a 138-year-old former vaudeville and burlesque theater that has hosted a mishmash of acts including Patti Smith, The Suicide Girls, The Wu-Tang Clan, and more.
Spend: Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St., 215-922-2317. Where else but here can you find freshly caught fish, authentic Southern cuisine, and whoopie pie made by Lancaster County Amish folks? More than 80 merchants have stalls at this 115-year-old Philadelphia landmark that is easily one of the biggest tourist destinations in Philly.