Now in its jet-setting FIFTH week, our globetrotting My City, My Story campaign has touched down on the tarmac at this week’s location: Philadelphia! Not only home to our second stateside store, Philly is also the place Ian Michael Crumm – aka this week’s stylish tour guide – sets his fashionable hat down. Self-confessed ‘life connoisseur’ and city-flitting writer, Ian Michael Crumm is the founder, writer, and face of his eponymous fashion and lifestyle blog. Come and explore his favourite haunts, and get some insider tips on shopping at one of the first Primark stores in America...
If you had to describe your city in three words what would they be?
Historic. Welcoming. Diverse!
What is the best thing about your city?
I’m a sucker for a great meal. The food scene in Philadelphia is the best! Grab a quick cheesesteak on South Street or enjoy 5-star dining near Rittenhouse Square.
What is the one thing you always tell people about where you come from?
Philadelphia is real. People here LOVE this city and take pride in living here.
How would you describe the fashion style of your city?
Diverse. Yes, very diverse. Every neighbourhood has its own flare. Rittenhouse is more reserved - suit and tie - while Fishtown is relaxed.
What is your secret favourite place in your city?
It’s not a secret to residents, however, behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, there is the Azalea Garden, a scenic spot with blooms and room to lay out. In the summer I often bring a towel and read on the grass in the garden. It’s very peaceful!
Tell us one fun fact about your city not many people know?
The Spruce Street Harbor Park is an urban beach located at Penn’s Landing. Over the summer there are outdoor hammocks, food vendors and neon lights in the trees. It’s a cool place for people of all ages to hangout. In winter, there's an ice skating rink with a pop-up arcade and other activities. It’s one of my favourite destinations for all seasons!
What are your top tips for a successful shopping trip at your local Primark?
Always grab a cart with wheels or a hand basket when you arrive - there is A LOT to look at and you don’t want to be distracted by keeping hold of the first few items you pick up. Keep in mind that styles don’t hang around for long, so don’t hesitate to buy something you like the first time you see it first! For the guys, definitely get some no-show socks. They are incredible value... I probably have 30 pairs!
What is one city you would love to travel to but have never been?
Reykjavik, Iceland. The Blue Lagoon spa looks magical… Thankfully I’m heading there in March 2017!
Describe the perfect day in your city.
Start the morning grabbing coffee and a light breakfast at one of the many La Colombe coffee shop locations. I LOVE the draft latte. After fuelling up on caffeine, I’d walk around town. soak up the atmosphere, look at the buildings, relax and do whatever I want!
Next stop would be the Barnes Foundation or the Philadelphia Museum of Art. After a couple hours enjoying the new exhibit on display I'd grab lunch. Depending on my mood I might go super casual by heading to the Reading Terminal Market, where there are a TON of different food stands and vendors. If the mood strikes me to sit down for a more formal lunch then I'd go to 13th Street, in the Gayborhood, and eat at Lolita or Zavino (I love Italian food).
Following lunch I would head to Old City and to browse cool furniture and vintage stores. I have a tendency to stay on the move so after Old City I would head to Northern Liberties and Fishtown for more shopping and sightseeing. There is so much cool street art in Fishtown - idea for Instagram!
The hours spent walking will surely make me hungry again, so then I would swing into Sancho Pistola’s for Mexican eats. I’d conclude the day with more exploring in Center City stopping in Rittenhouse Square and seeing the cool tree lights before crashing in bed. So much walking! But that’s ok… I love to walk.
Love this? If you've got the travel bug, check out the other global destinations that make up the chapters of our My City, My Story campaign. From London to Paris (quite literally), to Dublin, Edinburgh, and Milan - the Primark prowess knows no bounds!