A chain music venue? In the glorified mall that’s the Fashion District, née the Gallery? With a name like City Winery? Yeah, we were skeptical. But the fact is, this place offers an intimate, high-quality experience — with pristine sound and excellent production standards — like no other in the city. Oh, and the wine is great, too. How often can you say that about a music venue? 990 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Musicians love to play for other people, but once bars and music venues closed, that wasn’t exactly possible. Enter the Facebook group Delco Quarantine Open Mic, which quickly grew to more than 14,800 members — many from Delco, but plenty from other areas, too. The page hosts several shows a week and features some seriously talented people who might make you think about pulling that old guitar of yours out of the attic.
How do you make loved ones feel special on their birthdays when they can’t have their friends and fam all around them? A Zoom party? Pfft. You send them the marvelous Dot Levine of Dottie’s Serenade Service, where the apt motto is “Give the Gift of Joy.” Prices start at $76, and Dot has a pretty vast repertoire, ranging from Willy Wonka to the Cure to traditional Yiddish ditties.
Bibliophiles flocked to this eclectic bookstore when it opened earlier this year, then again this summer when owner and activist Jeannine A. Cook began handing out books on the street to educate folks during police brutality protests. 258 East Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125
At Marc Lamont Hill’s Germantown bookstore, you’ll find a well-curated assortment of timely reads as well as classics, plus a cozy hangout space equipped with a coffee bar and eatery. 5445 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144
Looking for something for the kids? Or to reminisce over your own comic-book days? Amalgam owner Ariell Johnson became the East Coast’s first Black female comic bookstore owner in 2015 when she opened her shop, now a nationally regarded treasure. 2578 Frankford Avenue, Phiadelphia, PA 19125
Described as “more than a bookstore,” Black and Nobel goes beyond its book collection (which features children’s and health and wellness reads) to skin and hair products, educational DVDs, and superfood supplements. 411 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
You probably didn’t realize that Philly’s parks, trails and even sidewalks are home to a huge variety of mushrooms, many of them edible. But how do you begin? And how do you not, you know, die from ingesting, oh, say, a death cap? Simple: Find the Philadelphia Mycology Club on Facebook. They host mushroom hunts all over the region, and if you’re lucky, you’ll come home with some tasty hen-of-the-woods or morels for supper.
Phone: Philly Virtual Museum Tours
Philly’s Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and modernist art museum has created a comprehensive digital experience. An active social media feed includes live performances and conversations with artists. A YouTube series features Barnes curators and educators meditating on their favorite pieces. Online classes provide instruction to art lovers of all ages. And the digital collection is searchable by light, color and space, in addition to culture, year, artist, and even gallery room. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone: Philly Virtual Museum Tours
Drop by the virtual museum of this Smithsonian affiliate to browse 360-degree images of its exhibits or explore its newly added digital-only exhibitions. Zoom in on particular artifacts, such as Leonard Bernstein’s Steinway piano, a uniform worn by a Jewish nurse in WWII, and carvings from a Philadelphia synagogue’s Torah ark. 101 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia, PA 19106
In April, Comcast did a limited launch of its first-time streaming service, and Peacock became available nationwide in July. Like most streaming services, it has its pros and cons, but one clear winner is the “channel” SNL Vault, which features the best clips from Saturday Night Live’s heyday. Other things we like about Peacock: all 21 seasons of Law and Order SVU, an unusually high number of classic (as in black-and-white) movies, including some Hitchcock, and … 21 Jump Street!
We never realized we needed a dressy spot where we could drink cocktails and eat lamb ribs while watching showgirls, showboys, contortionists and jugglers do their thing until this supper club opened its doors. 1108 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125
If your relationship with the Free Library of Philadelphia has simply been one of borrowing a book and returning it, you’re really missing out. From the comfort of your couch, you can delve into the library’s digital resources. Our favorites: the vast American Music archives; the 35,000 songs in Smithsonian Global Sound; and two different movie streaming services (Hoopla and Kanopy).
Hosts Spike Eskin and Michael Levin talk Philadelphia 76ers for an hour and 20 minutes twice weekly. As the NBA (and the rest of major league sports) faces an uncertain future, listeners can depend on Eskin and Levin to reflect, analyze and theorize on where the Sixers have been and where they might be headed.
iHeartRadio picked up this weekly cast by Philadelphians John Morrison and Josh Leidy. In addition to talking newcomers, little-known artists and deep cuts in the rap and hip-hop worlds, Morrison and Leidy focus on topics such as misogyny and transphobia, partisan politics, gentrification and Black Lives Matter.
Local sex educator Timaree Schmit heads up this NSFW podcast. Schmit has spoken with nonprofit founders, actors and others about polyamory, health care for queer people and sex toy safety — and that’s just four episodes.