On my way to the Barbary, which was hosting the Queens-born singer/producer Party Supplies, I passed by a packed Johnny Brenda's and a bar named Barcade, which gets its name from the scores of arcade machines inside. But by the time I got to the Barbary, an authentic shoebox of a bar, it was overflowing with people, they way it is every time I've been to Philadelphia.
While Xfinity Live embraced the worst aspects of an arcade, here they took away the loud noises and obnoxious players and kept what's enjoyable: the games. It was the first time since I was a teenager that I finished a weekend night doing battle with an arcade machine. Only this time, I had a beer in my hand.
If you go
Philadelphia Music Venues
Xfinity Live, 1100 Pattison Ave., 215-609-1600, xfinitylive.com. This bar, restaurant and music complex includes restaurants Spectrum Grill, Broad Street Bullies Pub, Victory Beer Hall, the NBC Sports Arena, PBR Bar & Grill, and an outdoor stage. It is open 11 p.m.- 2 a.m.
Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., 215-232-2100, utphilly.com. Live music venue.
Kung Fu Necktie,1248 N. Front St., 215-291-4919, kungfunecktie.com. Bar and live music venue. Open daily, 5 p.m- 2 a.m.
Barcade, 1114 Frankford Ave., 215-634-4400, barcadephiladelphia.com. Open daily, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., and open as early as noon on weekend nights.
The Comfort Inn, 100 N. Chris. Columbus Blvd., 215-627-7900, comfortinn.com. This is one of the more affordable hotels in the downtown/Old Town area, though it is separated from downtown by the Delaware Expressway. In April, rooms start at $149 per night.
Travel between Baltimore and Philadelphia is cheapest by bus and train. Megabus tickets can be as low as $11, and Amtrak tickets start at $44.
Philadelphia is part of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Authority, which includes buses, subway, and regional trail. Tokens for one-way rides cost $1.55 and can be bought at any SEPTA stations.
For other tourist destinations, check out visitphilly.com