Soul Cities: Take a Tour of Black America

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The best way to find out about a subject is to jump in and drill down, right? Travelers know that the “drill down” part is the most fun when visiting various locales. You can’t get a full taste of New York or Paris by hanging at the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower – you’ve gotta get to where the people actually live and the culture is created.

Nelson George created Soul Cities with that in mind. For the next several weeks VH1 Soul is airing a string of episodes that finds the author, screenwriter, and music critic roaming through six of a the hippest towns in the U.S., including New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago, L.A., and the Bay Area. He creates a portrait of the artistic, cultural, and political vibe that help define each location.

Philadelphia is first (the show premieres Tuesday, November 11 at 9 pm ET on VH1 Soul). George chats with Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff about classic Philly R&B, swings by Geno’s to wolf a cheese steak, drops into Ms Tootsies soul food restaurant for an interview with LaBelle, talks politics and music with ?uestlove from the Roots, browses the ultimate R&B record store, and lots more.

Check our music video playlist of R&B artists associated with Philly.

Facebookfiends should check out the photos associated to each episode that live on George’s profile page.

For another glimpse into his world head to his Web site.

Check the specific addresses of the Philly sites after the jump.

Here are places Nelson visited in PHILADELPHIA

MS. TOOTSIE?S SOUL FOOD CAFE
Philadelphia, PA

BUDDAKAN
325 Chestnut St.
hiladelphia, PA

GENO?S STEAKS
1219 South 9th St
Philadelphia, PA

UPTOWN THEATER
2240 North Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19132

SILK CITY DINER
435 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA 19123

AMTRAK 30TH STREET STATION

LIBERTY BELL CENTER

VAL SHIVELY?S R&B RECORDS
49 Garrett Road
Upper Darby, PA 19082

PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL RECORDS (where Gamble & Huff intvw takes place)
309 S Broad St
Upper Darby, PA 19107

PAUL ROBERSON MURAL (painted mural)
4502 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA

JULIUS ERVING MURAL (painted mural)
Ridge Ave
Philadelphia, PA

WILT CHAMBERLIN MURAL (painted mural)
Vine St
Philadelphia, PA

GROVER WASHINGTON MURAL (painted mural)
2032 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA