Philadelphia magazine’s brand new Best of Philly issue has arrived, both online and on newsstands. In the issue, you’ll find the best in everything from fitness studios to brow grooming to brewpubs. Below, a little taste of this year’s issue.
It’s funny, I thought to myself as I drifted peacefully into that weird stage just before sleep, that having a dozen needles stuck in your face can actually be relaxing. I was lying on a table, a heat lamp warming my toes, in a sage-walled treatment room of the Healing Arts Center in Old City while founder Steven Mavros moved quietly around me. On the center’s website is a long list of reasons why people do acupuncture — weighty concerns like infertility (for which Steve has cultivated a loyal following), MS and migraines. Which is why I appreciated the decidedly un-hippie vibe of both the office and the man. I was here for wrinkles.
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It’s that time of year, y’all: Long, hot summer days, and kids who are dying to be outside for every single moment of them. It’s why Wee Wander’s annual list of spraygrounds is so popular and why we’ve updated it for 2017.
But first: The official, city-listed hours for most city-run spraygrounds are generally 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on weekends, “with varying schedules” — with definite emphasis on the “varying schedules” part. Hours of operation have been known to be sporadic and do vary. So here, where we could, we’ve provided the latest known hours, though some sprinklers are run simply by community volunteers and don’t necessarily have set schedules. (In short? A quick call to the park or park rec center before you go might keep things from getting tantrum-y.) Also, it’s very helpful to follow your local park or parks on Facebook: Information tends to be updated pretty regularly there.
Anyway. Without further ado …
If you’re near: Art Museum
Check out: Sister Cities, 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The water: There’s a reason people are obsessed with this place: In addition to the active, cooling water jets that are embedded in the bluestone plaza, there’s also magical, shaded little wading/boat pond, and water trail where kids can splash and play, as well as float boats and other toys that you borrow from the park or bring from home. Also: The Logan Square Cafe on-site sells ice cream, snacks, pizza, salads, sandwiches and more … plus, there’s a Rita’s stand some days on the plaza.
The hours: The pond is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; the jets generally tend to run at the same hours. All is weather-permitting.
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Illustration by Gluekit (images: iStockphoto; logo: USA250)
Salty air. Nature’s euphonious soundtrack. Spotty cell reception. One has to wonder how many great ideas start on a boat. In 2008, Andrew Hohns, a Philadelphia lifer who always has the city top of mind, was sailing — or, rather, attempting to — in Penobscot Bay in Maine with his buddy, Chris Chimicles. From their rambling discourse, a realization: America’s 250th anniversary was approaching — and Philly should play host. The other big birthdays — 100, 150, 200 — all were here. “The discussion,” recalls Hohns, “was one great outcome of an otherwise windless afternoon.” Read more »
mother and two kids walking in the airport, family travel
My husband and I have been flying with our kids since they were infants. Nothing too crazy, mostly lots (and lots) of trips to Florida, and a couple of flights out west. Now, flying with infants is basically all about a strong drink and then counting down until the wheels hit the ground. But flying with the bigger kids — aged two and up — can actually be dare, I say, pleasant. At least that’s what I discovered once I honed my flight game plan. First the rules I live by, then the plan.
Rule #1. It’s all about time management. I am very calculated in the order in which I do things, and I divide up the flight the way I would schedule a morning at home: breakfast, some play, an errand, snack, TV time, lunch and nap. That sort of thing. But more on that later.
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From left: Tim Kweeder, 35, general manager, Kensington Quarters; Jason Malumed, 30, partner, MFW Wine Co. importers; Greg Root, 39, co-owner, Root Restaurant + Wine Bar; Michele Konopi, 25, sommelier, Savona; Cristina Tessaro, 35, GM, Royal Sushi and Izakaya; Chloé Grigri, 29, co-owner, the Good King Tavern; Kate Moroney Miller, 35, wine director, Vintage and Heritage, and co-founder of Philly Wine Week. Photographed at Root Restaurant + Wine Bar. Photograph by Stuart Goldenberg
Really, it’s about time. Craft beer has been holding on longer than skinny jeans. And cocktails? Even bad chain restaurants now have drink “programs” designed by New York consultants. So the moment is right: Wine is ready for a comeback. Read more »
Dancing is encouraged at Kidchella | Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou
Farm Tour at Maple Acres. This sweet farm hosts behind-the-scenes tours on the first Saturday of every month. Feed animals and pick-your-own fruit or cut-your-own flowers. 2656 Narcissa Road, Plymouth Meeting, 610-828-7395. Read more »
Front Street Cafe | Photograph by Stuart Goldenberg
Front Street Cafe, Fishtown
The scene: Sunup to sundown noshing
Out back, this all-day eatery has a covered bar, well-placed trees, and tables large enough for all of your friends. The menu has standouts (the tostada grain bowl, the grilled cheese), and there’s kombucha on draft. But the breakfast-until-three thing is why there are regulars. 1253 North Front Street, 215-515-3073. Read more »
“Strength does not come from physical capacity.
It comes from an indomitable will.” — Gandhi
This is the quote that was staring me in the face as I attempted to deadlift 90 pounds. It graces the wall of my gym, but was actually put there by a juice company that operates inside. A juice company. My trainer pushed me through my last exhausting set, at the end of an already grueling workout, after I had rushed to get my kids to school and was anticipating rushing out after so I could get to work just a little late instead of very late. My point: People, there could not have been a more apropos time for some “you go, girl!”
And yet all this quote did was make me want to heave that barbell right through the juice company’s frosted glass window.
I didn’t immediately understand why this made me red-face-emoji mad, but it definitely had to do with the fact that by the time I read that quote, despite that it was only nine in the morning, I had already been bombarded with plenty of “inspiration” that day. There were memes on my Instagram and Facebook feeds; a “dance like nobody’s watching” in an email signature; and there was something about how “moms rule” on a coffee mug. Read more »
Babysitters — the good ones, at least — are lifesavers. But finding them — the good ones, at least — can be an arduous process. Here, some creative and productive ways to find quality help in and around Philly.
There are bunch of local listservs targeted at moms, ranging from ones that are citywide (the uber popular PennsyMoms) to ones more neighborhood-focused (Queen Village Kids, The Kids South of Washington, Fairmount Parents). Post what you are looking for and a caretaker or fellow parent might hook you up. I’ve found great sitters and even an awesome nanny this way. Find the listservs on Google or Yahoo Groups. Note: For some, you’ll need to put in a request and be “accepted”, which might take some time.
Similar to listservs, there are some hyperlocal closed Facebook groups you can turn to, like Queen Village/Bella Vista Kids and New Moms of Center City. Do a search for ones in your neighborhood. Read more »
Photograph by Charles Mostoller.
That the viaduct rail park is actually becoming a thing is, well, dumb luck. In 2015, when developers Aaron Cohen and Craig Grossman set their sights on a block just north of Chinatown, they liked what the elevated rail tracks lent to the area; they were authentic and gritty in the best possible way. Now the first phase of the park is under way, and that’s a huge bonus for their audacious plans. Read more »