The running world is rife with high-tech gear, logos and marketing flash, but sometimes, don't you just want to focus on the basics of your feet hitting the pavement? That's why buying shoes (and browsing through a manageable selection of accessories like water bottles, and some shorts and tees) is so refreshing at this low-key shop, where the owner is a runner herself and totally gets it. 1729 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, rittenhousesports.com/.
For years, New York and L.A. had Pinkberry and Red Mango and Yolato, while we had, well, Rita's custard. Then last summer came Phileo, the shiny green-and-pink fro-yo mecca on South Street, with 16 creamy and often tangy pay-by-the-ounce flavors, and a do-it-yourself toppings bar that houses everything from Cap'n Crunch and Oreo pieces to fresh-cut kiwi and mango. Take that, L.A. 416 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, .
It turns out that shad used to be hugely important to the Delaware River economy, a fact our quirky friends in Fishtown (where else?) exploit with their annual Alosa sapidissima-feteing festival at Penn Treaty Park. It's true that Lambertville has been doing a shad festival for decades, but the city's is cooler: We've got shad la Johnny Brenda's and some of the best bands around, lots of local crafts (love the bottle-cap cuff links!) and craft beers, and perhaps our favorite part valet bike parking. Penn Treaty Park, Delaware Avenue and Columbia Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125, fishtownshadfest.net/.
When the folks at this Old City space claim that their gallery is Philadelphias freshest new venue for the new contemporary art scene, theyre really not lying. The one-year-old gallery exhibits some wonderful works in genres from realism to figurative to pop surrealism, and the art is priced to sell. This month, check out the newest show, Semiotic Weapons, featuring works by 11 local artists. 109 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, archenemyarts.com.
Funk meets hip-hop meets punk in this Philly octet composed of time-tested veterans of the local music scene, most prominently pimped-out-large-and-in-charge front man Maxx Stoyanoff-Williams, who leads his tight entourage through edgy, fierce horn stacks and beat breakdowns like James Brown on steroids. Buy the band's first full-length album, Addicted to Distraction, which came out earlier this year, or better yet, check out one of its energetic live performances. 00000, blacklandlord.com/.
Parents rave about dad Jay Sand's internationally themed music classes, taught weekly from his West Philadelphia home. Kids eight and under are a captive audience for what one mom describes as Sand's "wonderful songs, great singing and guitar playing, ridiculous wit, crazy dance moves, and understanding of what it means to be a child." 00000, allaroundthisworld.com/.
Tongue-in-cheek Treehouse claims to grow all its produce and coffee and espresso beans on its roof and milk its own cows up there! It also includes this warning on its website: "Caution, we have lost a couple cows over the edge of the building. So heads up when you park out front." The most laid-back, kid-friendly, Bible-studying, guitar-picking mom-and-pop place to nurse a cuppa joe with some homemade pastry in the entire Philly 'burbs. 120 West Merchant Street, Audubon, NJ 08106, treehousecoffee.net.
When she’s not churning out vegetarian versions of Chilean classics at Kampar Kitchen’s Bok pop-ups, Cote Tapia-Marmugi moonlights as the city’s most in-demand custom cake designer. Towering bat mitzvah cakes topped with feathers, pink-frosted confections that you’d swear were real flamingos — there’s nothing Tapia-Marmugi can’t do. instagram.com/mole.street.baker.
Len Davidson has been finding and restoring neon signs since the 1970s, and his massive collection finally has a proper and permanent home. You’ll find original neon from places like Pat’s King of Steaks, the Horn & Hardart’s 30th Street Station shop (talk about a throwback!), McGillin’s Olde Ale House and Levis Hot Dogs. 1800 North American Street unit E, Philadelphia, PA 19122, neonmuseumofphiladelphia.com.
Lewes, Delaware — a.k.a. “that town on the other end of the Cape May ferry” — is actually a charming beach resort that boasts the beer-centric Dogfish Inn. From there, you can pedal (on free Dogfish Head loaner bikes) to the Dogfish Head Brewery, where you’ll try exclusive Dogfish Head beers, and to Dogfish Head’s nearby restaurant, Chesapeake & Maine. Be sure to head home with Dogfish Head’s Compelling Gin, which has become an essential bottle in our bar. 105 Savannah Road, Lewes, DE 19958, dogfish.com/inn.
If being at home with your kids 24/7 has changed your attitude toward screen time, it’s okay. Allay your guilt (if you still have any) by registering for one of the many local kids’ classes that have popped up on YouTube and across social media. See the full write up at Virtual Classes. facebook.com/philadelphiazoo/videos/?ref=page_internal.
The supplies here are often ingenious (pen holders that clip onto notebooks, an ergonomic package cutter), clearly high-quality (Blackwing pencils, a goat-leather all-purpose carrying sleeve), and always display-worthy (brass rulers, soft leather journals). But mostly, they’re fun (see: cat-shaped paper clips, Pac-Man sticky notes). Because if you haven’t embraced the fact that your home office is possibly your permanent office, it’s time. 41 South 3rd Street; 1608 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106; 19103, omoionline.com/.
If you only know Erik Honesty because of the choice vintage finds (hi, 1980s Gucci loafers) at his Cultured Couture shop in Brewerytown, you’re missing half the story. His true talent lies in his creative vision, which includes a line of museum-worthy whimsical-but-throwback capes and coats, all of which are hand-sewn from historic fabrics (some a century old) and feature cornucopias of color. Find the full collection online. 2639 Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131, culturedcouturegallery.com/.
What happens to the gorgeous original finishes that are ripped out of historic Philly homes when they undergo renovations? They wind up in this two-story salvage warehouse, which is teeming with ornate crystal light fixtures, glass doorknobs, boxes of real subway tiles, carved wooden mantels and porcelain sinks and tubs. (Do with them what you will!) 3016 East Thompson Street, Philadelphia, PA 19134, re-store-online.com/.
When Yards moved its flagship from Delaware Avenue to Spring Garden, we were all a little shook. We just didn’t know what to expect, and change is scary. But the new Yards feels like it always has – a beer-nerd paradise where friends and family flock to throw down on crispy pale ales, Love stouts, and wings tossed in long hot pepper sauce. You know, home. 500 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123, yardsbrewing.com/.