United by Blue, left, and Erdon, right. | Photos by Courtney Apple.
The Market Street divide is perhaps never so stark as in Old City. Head south and find a desert of fading bars and restaurants, but wander north and discover one of the best clusters of boutiques in the entire city.
Old City packs in some of the best shopping in the city. From indie boutiques to local designers to a hidden stash of specs, here are 10 reasons to make this your next shopping jaunt.
Click here for your Old City shopping guide!
Chips with charred eggplant salsa | Photo by Courtney Apple
If you’re comfortable looking a bartender straight in the eye and asking for a Sex Panther, then girl, does Jason Cichonski have the bar for you.
That Granny Smith-and-cranberry cosmo isn’t the only cocktail on offer, of course. You could also order a Red Hot Mama (black cherry margarita) or a Mr. Muffin (gin and tonic with strawberry and sage) — though, as with the Pirate Hooker (red currant Bellini), propriety would seem to dictate tacking a “for my friend” onto such requests.
But then, hitting Old City for the propriety is like going to Thailand for the cheese.
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We recommend doing each and every one of these things this week:
From Foobooz: Sip N Glo is celebrating its first birthday by giving away 12 ounce juices today. ... Sip N Glo’s giveaway goes to 4 p.m., which is convenient because that’s when Häagen-Dazs’ free cone day kicks off. So it would be possible to pardon the pun, double-dip on free stuff on South Street today. Get to Sip N Glo at 932 South Street and then stroll down to Häagen-Dazs at 242 South Street before 8 p.m. for your free ice cream.
Get ready to figure out whodunit in a murder mystery at the Franklin Institute. Complete with staff members dressed as characters from the classic board game Clue, visitors will have to use their wits to quickly cross off weapons and rooms from their sheets to find the killer. Along the way participants will learn how real detectives use footprints, fingerprints, and analyze blood splatter to solve crimes. Tuesday, May 13th, 6:30 p.m., The Franklin Institute, 222 North 20th Street.
From Foobooz: This Wednesday, May 14th, La Calaca Feliz in Fairmount will be hosting its next whole animal barbecue. It will be a whole lamb being cooked in the back courtyard in La Calaca’ Caja China. The barbecue is $29 per person and includes Lima beans, esquites (Mexican street corn) salsa verde and corn tortillas. See the menu here.
From Be Well Philly: City Sports Philly is teaming up with Flywheel Wednesday night for a free indoor cycling class at the Center City studio. The 60-minute class is at 7:45 p.m. and space is limited, because there are a limited number of bikes (duh). Cycling shoes and water are provided, and City Sports will be handing out discount coupons for swag at its store, too. Sign up is happening over at Eventbrite. Have at it.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art may be trying to bring back an old-timey tradition with its’ free snuff box designing day. Inspired by artifacts in the Museum, these boxes were originally used as ornate containers for tobacco. Free with regular admission, you and your family can create your own tobacco transporters. Wednesday, May 14th, 5:50 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Historic Philadelphia (HP) is hosting its sixth annual day of fundraising in Franklin Square this Thursday. All donations will be going to HP’s efforts to promote Franklin Square as a “welcoming green space” in the heart of Philly. At $200 a ticket, donors will be treated to cocktails, auctions, a dinner and dancing in a festival-like atmosphere. Thursday, May 15th, 5:30 p.m., Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street.
Bring your appetite this Thursday for a street food festival of epic proportions. Over 85 local food trucks and vendors will make this the biggest Night Market yet, along with ticket raffles and a photo booth put on by the Arden Theater Company. Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Cabaret will perform all night as you discover new and exciting foodsAmerica’s most historic square mile has to offer. Thursday, May 15th, 6 p.m., 3rd and Arch streets.
The Barefoot Artist is a locally produced documentary concerning Chinese-born Philadelphia-raised artist Lily Yeh. The film will focus on Yeh’s passionate work with poverty stricken and at-risk communities across the globe, and how she blurs the line between social work and art. Both Lily and the Philadelphia-born directors will be in the audience for a Q&A session after the show. Thursday, May 15th, 7:30 p.m., Pereleman Theater, 300 South Broad Street.
Winter is dead. We’re all drinking outside now and wearing open-toed shoes and counting down until we get to this place so we can lay in hammocks adjacent to the Delaware and forget that snow ever happened.
The blush of spring is when bright, fresh places like this modern Old City townhome look especially appealing. Yes, the appeal of living in Philadelphia is often found in period details and cobblestone streets. But sometimes we just want a brand new bathtub.
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Photo via Search + Rescue.
Just when we thought we thought we reached repurposed denim and salvaged goods capacity, Old City fave Art in the Age teamed up with Philly-based collective Search + Rescue to prove us wrong.
Click here for party details! And beer!
Brunch is an all day affair on Sundays. But there is this burger, the best in Old City.
Brunch is typically the most fun meal of the week. Friends get together, tell stories of the weekend and, hopefully, laugh a lot. At the Gaslight, the new bar from Jason Cichonski, brunch is an especially good time, and on Sundays it’s an all-day affair, as he and sous-chef James Fujioka whip up eggs, waffles and sides of bacon even after night falls. It all manages to be satisfying without taking itself too seriously — which is a good thing, because who wants to think too hard on a Sunday? If birthday cake waffles are just a bit too silly, the ones stuffed with savory sausage and herb butter are worth ordering, if only for the smoked whiskey syrup that comes with them — provided that’s not too painful a reminder of your Saturday night. Another must-order: buttermilk fried chicken that can be served as a main course or as an inspired side. Refuse to get behind the late-night brunch? Then order the GSLT Burger. It’s the best burger in Old City. And like all those brunch plates, it’s a lot of fun, too.
The Gaslight [Foobooz]
Originally published in the May 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
Adam Erace has some problems with the food at the Gaslight, but that’s nothing compared to what he had to say about the drinks.
The Gaslight, the new bar/restaurant from Jason Cichonski, a chef whose reputation is built — fairly or unfairly — on equal parts scallop noodles and sex appeal. When he and Nick Elmi first encountered each other on the last season of Top Chef, Elmi looked at Cichonski’s pastel pink shorts and quipped, “You look like you just got off a yacht.”
I felt like I was on one at The Gaslight, that’s about how rocky the food was, but the cocktails were even weirder. This list appears to have been curated by a Cherry Hill bachelorette party, with confections bearing names like Pirate Hooker (a red currant Bellini, because who doesn’t want that at 9:30 p.m.?) and Hello Kitty, a martini whose fruity flavors (green tea, lychee, strawberry) make more sense together at Old City Frozen Yogurt down the street.
Tragically named cocktails aren’t the only missteps at The Gaslight [City Paper]
The Gaslight [Foobooz]
Mark your calendars, the Food Trust has announced its 2014 Night Market dates and locations. Night Markets are a celebration of food, drink and neighborhood. The first night market for 2014 will be on Thursday, May 15th, in Old City. Subsequent Night Markets will be held in June, August and October.
Mark your calendar »
Questlove of the Roots lists his ten favorite restaurants across the world for Vanity Fair. And the globe-trotting drummer gives a shoutout to his hometown and Zahav. It joins the likes of Chicago’s Next, Paris’s Le P’tit Bercy and Tokyo’s Sukiyabashi Jiro.
Questlove’s Top 10 Restaurants [Vanity Fair]
Philly.com’s Emily Babay notes that many streets in Old City remain closed after yesterday’s two-alarm blaze that destroyed the Suit Corner. Market is closed to cars between 2nd and 4th, and 3rd Street is closed between Chestnut and Arch. Pedestrians can still walk on those streets.
Meanwhile, the Inquirer‘s Alfred Lubrano, Aubrey Whelan, and Mark Fazlollah have a story on the “end of an era” at 3rd and Market.
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