Field Guide: 5 Best Shops and Sights in Princeton

The house-made goods at Brick Farm Market in Hopewell.

The house-made goods at Brick Farm Market in Hopewell.

Come summer, Princeton’s collegiate crowd clears out, making this the perfect time to enjoy the area’s quaint, brainy charm. Here’s where to go first.

Brick Farm Market
With a juice bar, a cheese­monger, house-dried sausages and polished-concrete floors, this lofty market feels more Brooklyn than Jersey. But in fact, Brick Farm Market has rather bucolic roots: It was founded last year by Robin and Jon McConaughy, owners of the nearby Double Brook Farm, as a place to sell the many sustainable products that come from their acres. The pair are somewhat new to the agro biz — they had one of those life-changing Michael Pollan moments a decade ago — and their fresh perspective is what makes this place so memorable. Just 15 minutes from downtown Princeton, it’s worthy of a stop for a snack, a meal, or ingredient-gathering on your way back to Philly.
Go here for: A hip twist on a country farm stand. 65 East Broad Street, Hopewell.

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Field Guide: 5 Best Flea Markets to Shop This Summer

Clover1

Vintage furniture and salvaged signage at Clover Market. | Photo by Jauhien Sasnou.

The 21st-century flea market has nothing to do  with junk. Need proof? These five local emporiums  offer some of the best finds in the region.

Clover Market
Calling Clover a flea market is like confusing the Rittenhouse Hotel with a Holiday Inn. The popularity of this upscale marketplace — in different locations all year long — has skyrocketed since it began five years ago. That’s all due to founder Janet Long’s discerning eye and strict standards. (Each of the 100-plus vendors is vetted by Long before securing a coveted market spot.) She aims for a nice mix, too, which means you’ll find groovy ’60s artwork and sideboards made from old farmhouse wood alongside vintage-y glass cloches and jewelry crafted from antique china.
Go Here For: Quality home goods all in one place. // Locations in Ardmore, Chestnut Hill and Center City.

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Field Guide to Philadelphia Playgrounds

Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Kids Castle, Doylestown
Soaring eight stories high, with turrets and parapets and twirling 30-foot-tall slides, this Bucks County playground feels like it belongs in a sculpture garden. The community raised the money, chose the fairy-tale theme (in homage to the castle of the nearby Mercer Museum), and hammered it together in the late ’90s. This past fall, Kids Castle added elements like swinging bridges, climbing rocks, and other ways to wear the kids out. Go Here For: A day trip — make sure to stroll through Doylestown’s adorable downtown. Central Park, 425 Wells Road.

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10 Lessons from a Broad Street Run Newbie

Ashley's view from the starting line.

Ashley’s view from the starting line.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been called a virgin, but there I was, in my corral at yesterday’s Broad Street Run, doing something for the first time ever: this race—and any race, for that matter. Now that I’ve popped my Broad Street cherry (with the help of 40,000 others), I’ve learned a few things.

Here, my 10 biggest Broad Street lessons.

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Where to Travel Spring 2014:
Waterfront Getaways in the U.S.A.

In search of… Southern Charm?

Sea Island, GA

A quiet island along our Southeastern coast
is an under-the-radar retreat.

The Spanish Mediterranean buildings that make up the Cloister resort in Georgia

The Spanish Mediterranean buildings that make up the Cloister resort in Georgia

Vibe: How Southerners do the shore—beaching on miles of mild-waved coastline dotted with wispy palmetto trees, biking through marshy paths, kayaking at sunset. This quiet Georgia island is basically one huge resort, but don’t let that turn you off—from the well-appointed buildings to the easy-access to activities, Sea Island feels like a secret beach town built just for your family.
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A Weekend Inn

Inn at Bowman's Hill Bucks County

The main house at the Inn at Bowman’s Hill, an award-winning Bucks County hideaway.

The Inn at Bowman’s Hill // New Hope

The cooked-to-order multi-course complimentary breakfast served in the inn's Euro-vibed dining room

The cooked-to-order multi-course complimentary breakfast served in the inn’s Euro-vibed dining room

Englishman Michael Amery wasn’t planning on turning his stone farmhouse into an inn, but his regular guests are glad he did. A driveway winds through five grassy acres and ends at a picturesque stone house (bonus if it’s dusted in snow) where 13 fireplaces roar, an orchid-filled conservatory is drenched in light, and tasteful rooms pair soaking tubs with pond views. The full English breakfast is a multi-course affair with eggs from the inn’s chickens. If you must leave, stroll down the hill to Bowman’s Tavern, which features live music every evening. $295 to $895 per night. go here for: The two brand-new suites, which boast fireplaces, steam showers, and plenty of space for an in-room massage. // 518 Lurgan Road, New Hope, PA. Read more »

South Philly’s Block Party

Photography by Jauhien Sasnou

Photography by Jauhien Sasnou

Garage

Shield your eyes from the fluorescent glare and touristy mobs of Pat’s and Geno’s and beeline to this dark, spacious drinkery. The owners (who are also behind Bar on Sansom Street) have rehabbed an old auto-body shop, kept the huge garage door (which is rolled up on temperate days), installed a long wooden bar (at which you can order from a list of 100-plus canned craft beers), added five TVs for game-day action, and brought in classics like Skee-ball and billiards. Hot dogs are currently the only edible offerings, but come February, a permanent on-site food cart will feature bites from a rotating slate of food-truck owners and chefs. go here for: A place to enjoy your Whiz wit’—Garage encourages patrons to bring their cheesesteaks inside. // 1231 east passyunk avenue.

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Philly’s 5 Hottest Import Shops

Photo by Jauhien Sasnou.

Photo by Jauhien Sasnou.

Morihata

Center City | 428 North 13th Street
The first thing you see in this high-design Japanese import store is a grand wall of unbelievably soft raw cotton towels in delicate stripes, color blocks and chambray polka dots. But continue looking; the shop’s museum-like setup  at Morihata was built for browsing. Tables are strewn with sculptural brass bottle openers, notebooks made of sheets of paper shaved individually from wood, and tea canisters so elegant, you won’t dream of banishing them to cabinets.
Go here for: A shopping experience that will make you feel like you’re in the chicest shop in the coolest neighborhood in Tokyo.

Hey, there’s more!

The New Family Vacation

The resort at Paws Up in Montana is a great new family vacation.

Booking five hotel rooms and making sure everyone knows what time to meet at the breakfast buffet—these are the things that suck the fun out of family vacations. Unlocking your three-bedroom cottage with ocean views? Lounging in the private pool off your mini-manse? Firing up a movie on your flat-screen? Telling the chefs what time you want dinner? Now we’re talking. Maximize bonding time by taking advantage of all the first-rate multi-room vacation accommodations that resorts are offering these days. It’s just like your easy, relaxing summers at the Jersey Shore, but with way more amenities (and much bluer water). Here, some places worth exploring … together.

Take your family to:

>>A Ranch in Montana: Paws Up
>>A Manse on Mustique: The Mustique Company
>>A Villa in California: Pelican Hill
>>A Cottage in Upstate New York: Mohonk Mountain House
>>A Village in Tuscany: Monteverdi
>>A Manor in Jamaica: Moon Dance Cliffs

The Best Bike Shops in Philadelphia

Philadelphia's Bicycle Stable Bike Shop in the July 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine

Breakaway Bikes

Rittenhouse | 1923 Chestnut Street
Breakaway co-owner Joe Wentzell has a background in exercise science, so he’ll not only sell you a bike (Fuji, Trek, Giant); he’ll make sure you’re getting the most out of it. The second floor is a clever fitness facility with daily classes—you bring your bike, clip into a computerized system, and race your classmates. Despite some fancy racing models, commuter bikes remain the top sellers, confirmation that novices are more than welcome.
Go here for: The unbeatable service plan: Every bike purchase comes with 10 years of free maintenance.

Bicycle Stable

Fishtown | 1420 Frankford Avenue
This former police department horse stable is now a hip bike shop providing urban, road and commuter bikes to the car-eschewing masses of Fishtown and beyond. Owner Chaz Vlasits spent 25 years as an auto mechanic, so maintaining bikes—from basic repairs and specific build-outs to complete overhauls—is the shop’s backbone. The rides here are as cool as the clientele; you’ll find brands like the Venice Beach-based Linus and the built-for-speed Bianchi, plus expertly retrofitted used models.
Go here: If the only way you get around is on two wheels.

Firehouse Bikes & Wolf Cycles

West Philly and Ardmore | 701 South 50th Street and 4311 Lancaster Avenue.
Here, you’ll find mostly refurbished (read: wallet-friendly) rides; owners Monica Pasquinelli and Sam Davis scoop up cycles at bike swaps all over the country, then turn them over to their expert repair crew. Two years ago they purchased Main Line mainstay Wolf Cycles, which means more room for new lines from Linus, Soul and KHS. You can scope out their impressive selection of used bikes on their website; they’ll deliver your pick to their store location closest to you.
Go here for: The ideal upcycled ride.

Keswick Cycle

Glenside, Cherry Hill, Philadelphia | Various Locations
There’s a reason Keswick is a perennial go-to: Its trio of locations allows for a vast back-stock. They carry every Specialized and Cannondale under the sun, along with rarer niche bikes, like the c hainless, designer-y $1,700 Roll 8 Rare. But don’t be intimidated: The unpretentious salespeople (many of them former customers) just want to get you on the road.
Go here for: A notable kids’ selection, with mini-versions of adult favorites. Staff members ensure that helmets fit and review the rules of the road—which are probably more likely to stick coming from a cool bike dude.

Hale Bicycle

Cape May Court House | 5 West Mechanic Street
For 38 years, Hale has been getting shoobies out of their cars and onto the Shore’s flat, rider-friendly roads and boardwalks. The shop is open year-round and jam-packed with wide-saddled beach cruisers from Sun and retro leisure options from Globe. But a quick Q&A with the staff might steer you toward a bike you can use all year, like a road, mountain or hybrid. After a few weeks of riding, bring your purchase back for a free, thorough tune-up.
Go here for: Engine-powered bikes from Currie Izip that cruise along with all the flash—and none of the effort—of standard pedal-pushers.


View Philly’s Best Bike Shops in a larger map

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