What Philly Women Need (By Philly Women)

Clockwise from top left: Shani Akilah, Timaree Schmit, Danielle Currica, Tracey Welson-Rossman, Lynne Abraham and Maria Quiñones-Sánchez | All photographs by Nell Hoving

Philly has been a man’s town for too long. And hey, not to point fingers or anything, but maybe that’s exactly what’s wrong with this place.

Given that women actually make up a majority in Philadelphia — 53 percent, yo — not to mention the state of the world today (you know: 50,000 women taking to the Philly streets last January in protest; your mom joining Pantsuit Nation; Wonder Woman as the superhero du jour), it felt like the right moment to talk about women. To talk to women. And so we did. We asked a wide range of females (and femmes) in this city — teachers, lawyers, activists, mothers, dancers, singers, entrepreneurs, politicians, writers, wives, sexperts — what should come next. What would make their lives, and the lives of other women, better in big and small ways? What, exactly, would they do if they were in charge?

Here, the women have their say. Read more »

10 Big Ideas to Solve Philly’s Looming Jobs Crisis

Illustration by Alex Nabaum

There is in this city a coming-of-age narrative — the Story of Philadelphia’s Rise — and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know this story well. It’s been told and retold by everyone from realtors to corporate recruiters to this magazine to the New York Times, and the basic plot goes like this: Once upon a time, Philly sucked. Laid low by the death of manufacturing and urban flight after WWII, the city by the 1970s was a pretty dismal place — a ghost town, all empty storefronts and streets. And then, a shift. Ed Rendell kicked us out of near-bankruptcy. The economy started growing; so did the city’s appeal. John Street focused on neighborhood improvement; the Center City District cleaned the place up. Now? It’s a whole new Philly. Center City booms, as does University City. We’re green, clean, walkable and bikeable, with a thriving hospitality industry and vivacious neighborhoods. There’s Comcast, the Navy Yard, the emerging start-up scene, all those millennials flooding the place. But you already know all of this.

There’s another story, too, though it’s not as well known. It’s certainly not as cheery as the first. It’s about economic growth, or the lack thereof, and it goes like this: For years — decades, actually — we’ve grown new jobs too slowly. Other major cities are attracting more companies, more talent, more money, at much faster rates. And this problem, roiling against the backdrop of revival, is more than a dark cloud in an otherwise sunny landscape: It’s a direct threat to all of Philly’s progress.

Truth is, Philly’s remarkable resurgence is less a product of innovative long-term planning and more the result of, well … happy accident. Over the past decade, especially, we’ve benefited immensely from a renewed national interest in cities (especially among millennials and boomers), a handful of major players hitting their stride (thanks, meds, eds, Comcast), and an unexpected population boom (more births than deaths, those enthusiastic millennials, and a steady flow of immigrants). Read more »

Be Well Family: 25 Best Father’s Day Gift Ideas for 2017

All images via respective retailers

PSA: Father’s Day is June 18. Do you know what you’re getting the dads in your life? We’ve polled some actual dads about what they really want this year, as well as the best things they’ve ever gotten … and we used that intel to put together the 2017 guide to excellent gift ideas for every sort of dad there is. So: No flasks, money clips or shammy cloths this year, okay?

Read more »

Be Well Family: Fun Family Getaways Near Philadelphia

Imgorthand/iStock.com

Every year, about this time — that is, after the winter’s done but before the true beach weather hits — we tend to get a little antsy, a little restless. Ready for an escape, ready to hit the road. Enter, the quickie weekend getaway: Something driveable, something fun, something simple, something that’s just not Philly. And that’s exactly what we’ve got here — four weekend getaways perfect for families who want to get the heck outta dodge (without a ton of effort or a plane ride).

Read more »

Be Well Family: The 20 Best Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for 2017

All images via respective retailers

All images via respective retailers

With Mother’s Day fast approaching (May 14!), it’s high time to start brainstorming some non-lame gift ideas for the moms in your life. (Or, moms: It’s time to start dropping hints — or just flat-out creating Amazon wishlists — for the gift-givers in yours.) Let us help. We polled real moms on the things they want for Mother’s Day, and culled that list to offer up the year’s best gift ideas — from state-of-the-art technology to family portrait mini-sessions to an Hermes dream bag. No matter what type of mom you’ve got (or what type of mom you are), there’s something here to delight. (Which means there’s no excuse for showing up with another vase.) Read more »

Be Well Family: The Best Advice for Philly Parents

AleksandarNakic/iStock.com

AleksandarNakic/iStock.com

From the moment one conceives until … well, forever, a parent gets advice. Incessant, unsolicited advice. Some of it is insane, some of it is infuriating, and some of it — a tiny percentage — is actually worth listening to. That tiny percentage? The good stuff? That’s what we have here … a round-up of the best, most helpful, most spot-on advice we got as new moms in Philly … and now give to new moms in Philly. Advice like:

Take the undies.
Every hospital gives new mom a small pile of stretchy, white (deeply unattractive) underwear to wear post-birth. Our advice? Ask for a big pile, and then ask for extras on top of that. Whether it’s a C-birth or V-birth, you will appreciate how soft and gentle and, well, disposable they are at a moment when the last thing you want to be thinking about (or being irritated by) is your undies. You’ll wear ’em for weeks. Read more »

Be Well Family: Awesome Philly Fitness Classes for New (and New-ish) Moms

newmomexercise

vgajic/iStock

For a long time around here, mom-and-me fitness classes were a somewhat limited genre: There were only a few options here and there, and they weren’t always at times that were accessible to working moms. But a lot has changed over the past couple years. Not only have some places gone out of their way to offer times that were a little friendlier to moms who work on weekdays, but there’s also come to be a pretty big variety of workouts available, too: Pilates, barre, yoga, strength-training, power-walking … something for just about every mom-and-baby duo, if you know where to look. (And hey! We are here to help you with the whole knowing-where-to-look part.)

Active Mom Fitness
The location: Northern Liberties and Washington Square West
The workout: Stronger After Pregnancy, taught by Active Mom Fitness founder Ashley Reid, offers a full-body workout as well as a little mom-bonding (both of the mom-and-baby and mom-and-mom sort) and education. The eight-week series aims to strengthen muscles weakened by pregnancy, and includes all sorts of fitness: Pilates, body-weight strength training, resistance training and more. Babies welcome, but not required. Bonus: Reid also offers baby-friendly personal and group training specially geared toward expecting, new or not-so-new moms. Read more »

Be Well Family: This Is a Mother’s Brain at Bedtime

iStock

iStock

The Scene
10:45 p.m., any given weeknight

The Ritual
1. Washes face, brushes teeth, applies moisturizing face oil and eye cream.
2. Climbs into bed. Thinks to self: I’ll just settle in here with my book club book and wind down for a bit
3. Wait, did I pack Luke’s lunch for tomorrow?
4. Yes.
5. Or is that last night that I’m remembering?
6. No, it was definitely tonight because we had that whole conversation about how I couldn’t get the smell of musty old cheese out of it.
7. Ack, I forgot to order a new lunch bag.
8. Puts Kindle down; reaches for phone.
9. Though I wonder what would happen if I bleached the old lunch bag?

Read more »

Be Well Family: 9 Awesome Drop-In Gyms for Kids in Philly

iStock

iStock

This time of year is rough: Everyone is dying to get out and run around after a long, cooped-up winter, but the seasonal rain, mud, wind, a freezing day, even — God forbid — snow can really get in the way. On more than one occasion, the city’s (and suburbs’) indoor kid gyms and active-play centers have saved us: Not only can you find spots geared toward everyone from toddlers on up through teens, but without fail, these places are always good for at least a couple of hours of hardcore energy-burning, nap-inducing activity. And while many local spots offer regular weekly classes, every indoor play place on this list also has time dedicated for drop-in open play … meaning no commitment or pre-registration necessary.

Fusion Tumbling and Fitness, Fishtown
This second-story studio is simple but awesome: A big, sun-drenched, open space with floor mats and tumbling equipment and even a small inflatable bounce house for open-play time. The bread and butter of the place are its classes (tumbling and gymnastics for babies on up through teens), but four days a week, there’s time designated for supervised open play for little ones aged one to five, as well as open gym time for kids aged 6 and up. Members pay $5 for open play time; non-members pay $10, with $5 for siblings. Read more »

The Internet Is Killing Happiness. Can We Stop It?

Illustration by Eleanor Shakespeare

Illustration by Eleanor Shakespeare

So, I’ll admit it: I was looking at my phone the moment my two-year-old fell off a stump at our little Fairmount playground and bashed his forehead on a log.

For the record, I wasn’t scanning Instagram or ordering from Amazon; I was texting my husband about dinner. I emphasize this distinction only because it’s what I repeated to myself over and over as I lifted the ice pack to watch the nickel-size lump on my son’s baby skull swell to a goose egg: At least it wasn’t People.com.

Also, I thought, as my kid chomped an ice-cream bar and the knot on his forehead turned a sickly purple, kids fall all the time. Heads get bashed. I’m no helicopter mom. Even without the phone, I wouldn’t have caught him. And so on. Eventually, I let it go. Read more »

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