Throughout the past week, chances are that your Facebook feed has been full of friends who suddenly became huge fans of Pokemon. This sudden interest in Nintendo’s most popular property this side of Super Mario Bros. is due to the fact that “Pokemon Go” was released on July 6 for iOS and Android platforms.
In case you personally have yet to be sucked into the phenomenon, “Pokemon Go” is a free “augmented reality” game developed by Niantic exclusively for mobile devices. Your immediate physical location is transformed into your own little corner of the Pokemon universe, complete with streets, rivers and other geographic features. Acting as a Pokemon trainer, your goal is to physically walk around and catch the adorable Pokemon monsters. Thanks to the game’s unique layout, it is entirely possible to catch Bulbasaur, Zubat or even Pikachu in your own driveway or at the park.
In addition to the cute monsters, other landmarks in your neighborhood have also been designated as “Poke Stops,” where, if you are physically close enough, you can fill your virtual bag with Poke Balls, revival potions, etc. So far, most Poke Stops tend to be located at churches, post offices, parks and other similar areas, effectively reviving interest in these places by “Pokemon Go” players — if only for an instant.
Philadelphia itself has no shortage of Poke Stops — and they aren’t just limited to its historical markers and places of worship. Let’s visit 10 of the many Philadelphia sights that have unexpectedly become item stashes.
Smack in the heart of Center City, City Hall is a Second Empire-style structure that is the nucleus of local government — and also a place to stock up on Poke Balls. Other Poke Stops on the site include the plaque commemorating the founding of Mother’s Day in Philadelphia.
Washington Square Park fountain
“Pokemon Go” tends to fill parks with players eager to capture and collect Pokemon. The tranquil Washington Square Park is no exception, which is why its fountain and other areas serve as Poke Stops.
Many Poke Stops are located at murals around the city, allowing players to appreciate them in a whole new way. This Spring Garden area shrine to cult filmmaker David Lynch is just one of the stops where you can collect potions, Poke Balls and other items. Needless to say, the surrealism of this would definitely be something that the “Eraserhead” and “Twin Peaks” creator would approve of.
The plaque commemorating Philly’s own Chinatown neighborhood is a treasure trove of items for “Pokemon Go” players. After they have restocked their virtual arsenals, they can then go to real-life gift shops throughout the neighborhood for actual, physical Pokemon merchandise like games and plush figures.
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The Inquirer Building
Maybe the massive clock tower on North Broad Street was vacated by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News to make extra room for Poke Balls and revival jewels.
The Gallery—While the Gallery at Market East is all but gone, “Pokemon Go” players can still stock up on precious items here.
Reading Terminal Market clock
The unique timepiece located outside of the Reading Terminal Market now does more than tell time — if you are a “Pokemon Go” player in search of items, that is. The plaque commemorating the market is also a Poke Stop. No wonder Reading Terminal Market is always crowded!
“It’s rare that a major tourist destination is also embraced by the locals, but that’s exactly what Reading Terminal Market is. There’s no better place to immerse yourself in Philly #food, and its past, present and future,” says @drewlazor, Philly Food/Drink writer. The Reading Terminal Market has been providing local quality meats, cheeses, produce, spices, seafood, Amish specialties, famous sandwiches, sweet treats and more since 1893. Home to dozens of good eats, the @rdgterminalmkt is to many locals and tourists alike, Philly’s most iconic. This is my last post as a guest instagrammer. Thanks to #VisitPhilly for letting me share Philly’s iconic restaurants. Thanks also to @dpalmer, friend and photographer for his help in creating this light painting. XOXO. Photo by Guest Instagrammer @LaurieSatran #readingterminalmarket #philadelphia #philly #whyilovephilly #phillygram #lightpainting #igers_philly #travelgram #streetphotography
Track 4 of 30th Street Station
It is totally unclear why one specific track of Philadelphia’s main railroad station is a designated Poke Stop, but then again, we are looking for sense in a game where you can use your phone to capture a wild Magikarp on the banks of the Schuylkill River.
Philly AIDS Thrift
Arguably the city’s most popular thrift store, this off-South Street staple of bargain finds can now count Poke Balls and potions among its assortment of bric-a-brac and discount attire. Knowing the store’s penchant for uniqueness, it is only a matter of time before they embrace their stance as a Poke Stop.
This amazing group of Suffolk University volunteers came all the way from BOSTON!! They joined us for their Alternative Spring Break, not one, but two days. We can’t thank them enough for all the help they gave to our clothing department! We love Suffolk!! #suffolkuniversity #alternativespringbreak #volunteers #kickass
Art Institute of Philadelphia
It makes perfect sense that the Art Institute is a Poke Stop, as some of its students are no doubt hard at work each semester creating the next great video game craze.