I’ve bought two books to prepare for the YouTube Philadelphia gathering on July 12th, 2008 (aka YoTube). I don’t think this event needs a lot of preparation but I may want to visit Philadelphia more often so it seems worthwhile to do some research. I do plan to shoot a lot of video while in Philadelphia so it would be useful to know where the tourist sights are. Philadelphia is one of the cities that has been extensively photographed for the Google Streets View so I’ll be able to virtually walk the streets to familiarize myself with several downtown neighborhoods.
The first book I’m reading is “On The Make: The Hustle Of Urban Nightlife” by David Grazian. This is an ethnographic study of the Philadelphia nightlife establishments; i.e. restaurants, nightclubs, cocktail lounges, and bars. It mentions many amusingly named hotspots like Swanky Bubbles (my favorite name), Tangerine, Bleu Martini, Buddakan, etc. This is the perfect book if you want the inside dope on the Philadelphia nightlife. It also serves to make Philadelphia seem like an exciting destination and provides some context for the modern scene. I’m not sure if it covers the theaters, cabarets, and performance spaces that I’m interested in.
For the historical context I bought the book “Walking Tours Of Historic Philadelphia” by Edward Colimore of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Since the gathering will be held in Independence Park, this book will probably be more useful to me because it describes all the tourist attractions you can walk to in that area.