Available for just two weeks now, Pokémon Go is already breaking records. With more than 26 million daily users, the free smart phone app gets more play every day than Twitter’s and Facebook’s apps. Just last weekend, a group of hackers attacked the Pokémon Go servers, causing the game to lock up, deny logins, and take an unusually long time to load.
If hackers are after you, you know you’re on to something good.
Philadelphians have not been letting the overwhelmed servers stop them from stalking like sleepwalkers up and down the city’s narrow streets, one eye on their phones, the other on the sidewalk, ever alert for the next Pokémon to come along. Hopefully they are as alert to oncoming vehicles.
For those not playing along at home, the game uses a map that corresponds to the user’s real world environment. The basic idea is to walk around in the real world to discover and capture a panoply of creatures hiding in the virtual world and to use various items to strengthen and grow them. A player can gain points and prestige by battling Pokémon against each other.
Much has been written about where players can congregate to find the most or the best Pokémon. We’ve compiled a pretty good list of the best places in South Philly.
Writing for Curbed, Melissa Romero noted that IKEA (2206 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard) is a good place to play. Yes, between the Hemnes and the Godmorgon you might find lurking a Beedrill or an Ekans.
Parachute’s tip sheet for Philadelphia said that South Street was generally a good corridor for hunting. Writer Cynthia Griffith pointed out the magnetic power of Wawa, as well. Try the one at Delaware Avenue and Morris Street the next time you stop in for a 2 a.m. hoagie.
In Philly Voice, Brandon Baker noted that murals around town seem to draw a number of the beasts. He highlighted the mural at the cop shop on 11th and Wharton, but the pocket monsters also seem to congregate in places where murals no longer exist — such as the corner of Broad and Wharton, former site of the long-lamented Sinatra mural.
A number of businesses have begun to sponsor Poké-stops, hoping you’ll spend money in the real world while collecting monsters in the virtual world. Yelp! will helpfully draw your attention to Pokémon hunting grounds all over South Philly.
Of course this is not a comprehensive list. Tweet us at @PassyunkPost or leave a comment below to tell us about the Poké-stops you’ve found to be the most fruitful.
- FDR Park (Broad and Pattison)
- Pho-ladelphia (1100 Jackson Street)
- Starbucks (Broad and Jackson)
- Bok Bar (1901 S. 9th Street) — Rumor has it, rooftops are a great place to find Pokemon generally.
- East Passyunk Avenue BID office (1904 E. Passyunk Avenue)
- Dickinson Square Park (4th and Tasker)
- The dog run at Columbus Square (12th and Reed)
- Pat’s and Geno’s (9th and E. Passyunk Avenue)
- Professor Ouch’s Bizarre Bazaar & Odditorium (720 S. 5th Street)
- Los Camaradas (918 S. 22nd Street)
- Schuylkill River Park (Spruce and 25th)
- Woodrow’s Sandwich Shop (630 South Street)
- Xfinity Live! (Pattison and 11th)
If you see people between the ages of 16 and 40 at any of these locations strolling silently by with their eyes locked on their smart phones, remember: Not all who wander are lost. Some of them just really need to find a Charizard.