Because you can’t shop for a BVI vacation at 9 p.m. the night before you leave, Pamela Caruso and Jennifer Rossi will bring the racks (and plenty of coordinating accessories) right to you. The concierge stylists have also sourced $55 black-tie gowns and held meetings in day-care parking lots — they can even arrange for a tailor to come to your home or office. bravadophilly.com.
The only thing better than combing through 35,000 square feet of salvaged furniture, fixtures, and only-in-Philly finds (like wood from the chocolate factory that’s coming down at 21st and Washington)? Doing so on a Thursday evening, when this arch-salvage warehouse serves up free beer and bourbon. 2234 West Westmoreland Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140, philadelphiasalvage.com.
Just in case the thought of a simultaneous scalp and foot massage isn't enough to make your eyes roll back in your head, we'll explain it this way: It might be best to have a loved one come along to drive you home afterward, as if you are undergoing an outpatient medical procedure for which you are receiving heavy sedation. Because truth be told, after this massage, we shouldn't have been on the road. 415 South York Road, New Hope, PA 18938, nurturespa.com.
Every year, come Fat Tuesday, Haegele's Bakery in Northeast Philly feeds a long line of indulgees their fair share (and then some) of the city's best doughnuts: airy ring doughnuts, perfectly sweet cream-filled doughnuts, iced cinnamon doughnuts, powdered jelly doughnuts, and, of course, fastnachts. Thankfully, we can go every other day of the year and, except for the fastnachts, gobble them up without a wait. 4164 Barnett Street, Philadelphia, PA 19135, .
It’s time to accept that we’re all so vain (cue Carly Simon) and just want to look good. And when it comes to getting pearly whites, Lux takes the gold with its plant-and-mineral-based gel that’ll lift your teeth up to 12 shades in a single visit. No irritated gums, no worn-away enamel, no waiting forever to see results — time to throw away those lame at-home strips. 1650 Market Street, suite 3600, Philadelphia, PA 19103, lux-whitening.com.
You’ve exhausted the playgrounds. It’s too nice to spend the day in a museum. Your kids are driving you up the wall. Head to Fort Mifflin and look skyward. The grounds of Philadelphia’s only Revolutionary War-era fort are a perfect spot to let your tykes blow off some steam while yelling “Here comes another one!” as plane after plane — seriously, every three to five minutes — lands nearby. Keep an eye out for the fort’s annual Airplane Day, held every May, which attracts professional pilots and amateur plane-spotters. 6400 Hog Island Road, Philadelphia, PA 19153, fortmifflin.us.
We've been waiting for someone to come along and give all the best parts of a sandwich good bread, melty cheese, that bitter/spicy/meaty contrast a face-lift. Which is why Paesano's stole our hearts (and stomachs). There's the Arista, for which a whole suckling pig is house-roasted, pulled, and served on Liscio's bread with broccoli rabe; the Gustaio, in which house-made lamb sausage is slathered with a sweet-cherry mostarda, gorgonzola and roasted fennel before being wrapped up in a buttery pita; and the namesake Paesano: slow-roasted beef layered on a substantial hoagie roll with gorgonzola, roasted tomatoes, pepperoncinis and house-made cole slaw. 1017 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, paesanosphillystyle.com.
If you’re not a professional designer, maybe you haven’t given much thought to your window treatments — i.e., the only things that help maintain your privacy in a densely populated city. While they can elevate any room in your house, they can also be daunting to choose (a million different options) and install (so much measuring!). Family-run Ambiance Design will come to your home, help you select the perfect window coverings, and return to install them. Products run the gamut from simple Roman shades to the newfangled voice-activated kind. 718 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422, adwindowtreatments.com.
Lansdale’s Boardroom Spirits founder Marat Mamedov says he noticed the rise of malt-based seltzers, knew canned cocktails would be the next big trend, and started canning a Moscow Mule. Made with the distillery’s Brazilian-ginger-root-infused vodka, the effervescent drink is not too sweet and totally refreshing — a tough balance to strike in a can.
“When you have a clean canvas to work with, which the vodka offers, you can let the other flavors shine through in a bigger manner without off-putting notes,” says Mamedov.
ALCO, one arm of Kensington-based New Liberty Distillery, canned classics like vodka soda and gin and tonic with the brand’s own spirits plus fresh ingredients — tonic from century-old soft-drink company Natrona Bottling Company and real lemon and lime juices.
Others in Philly didn’t go so far as to can their concoctions, but they found creative ways to get them into eager drinkers’ hands this past year (well, while to-go cocktails were still legal), including Paul MacDonald at Friday Saturday Sunday and Eddie Adams, head bartender at Bar Hygge. Drawing on the ingenuity that makes them stand-out drink-makers even when we’re not in the midst of a global pandemic, both bartenders figured out how to keep the cocktails coming.
Adams made a steady stream of seasonal punch, which he offered in single-serving pouches or large-format glass bottles. Those came with a bottle of club soda plus a special mix of raw sugar, salt, lavender and coriander so you could rim your glass at home — a fancy touch in not-so-fancy times.
At FSS, MacDonald didn’t limit himself to any specific cocktail but instead bottled (or poured into a single-serving plastic cup) pretty much everything on the menu, except, he says, for the swizzles, which rely on packed-down pellet ice, and the egg-white drinks, which depend on that freshly shaken texture. “Fulfilling off-menu or bartender’s-pick requests has always been a big part of our cocktail program, so I did my best to keep that up when possible,” MacDonald says.
A grateful, slightly tipsy city salutes these libation innovations (and hopes the politicians in Harrisburg get their heads out of the cooler long enough to sign a permanent to-go-cocktail bill).
First we loved the South Jersey ceramist and woodworker’s hand-shaped wine stoppers. Then it was her deviled-eggs platter. Now it’s her line of four ceramic vessels covered in alpaca fibers (those bowls!) sourced from the fleece of animals on local interior designer Barette Widell’s farm. Trowbridge has a way of adding whimsy to all the things we need at home — and those we don’t. stephtrowbridgeshop.com.
Since 2011, East Falls-based Lostine has risen up the ranks thanks to pieces like their newly released Elsa lighting system, which lets you choose from metal frameworks (an organic cluster, or something linear?) and pendants (we’re drawn to the leather-wrapped ones) for a room-crowning configuration. lostine.com.
Most funeral homes deal with, you know, humans. But Delco’s Lombardo Funeral Home will take good care of your furry loved one via its Ever After Pets subsidiary. It offers a convenient and highly respectful pickup service from your home or vet and will then return your pet’s ashes in a customizable urn a few days later, along with a plaster casting of its paw print. (Unlike most funeral homes, Lombardo’s boasts an on-site crematory.) Prices start at $275 for a private cremation in which only your pet will be present in the cremation chamber. 33 Baltimore Pike, Clifton Heights, PA 19018, lombardofuneralhomes.com.
This delightfully colorful showroom boasts custom lighting and handcrafted furnishings, but it’s the smattering of home accessories, like shapely black-and-white baskets woven in Panama, textured throw pillows, and oils done by local artists, that will take you by surprise. 10 West Lancaster Avenue, Paoli, PA 19301, kingshaven.com.
Instead of filling a dumpster with all your demo refuse, hire this nonprofit org to help you “deconstruct.” They’ll identify any building materials that can be reused by others — and help you get a tax break while they’re at it. philadelphiacommunitycorps.org.
Lostine takes mundane tools — brooms, dust pans — and makes them deserving of prominent display. But it's the East Falls company's kitchen accessories that are the most eye-catching: sleek wood rolling pins, pepper mills, cutting boards, leather-handled trays and marble prep tables. lostine.com.