Rescue Rittenhouse Spa
Sometime in my mid-20s, three faint but distinct lines decided to plant themselves on my brow, stretching from temple to temple across my forehead like a fence without posts. I sometimes stand under the harshest light in my bathroom, dapping on a variety of products to see if with the right combination they might plump back out, like little troughs just waiting to be filled. They never do. Well, they never did, I should say Five years ago, on the advice of a friend, I went to Rescue Rittenhouse Spa's Danuta Mieloch, a Polish-born aesthetician who worked in Paris and Manhattan before opening Rescue here nearly a decade ago. Her facials are the only thing that has ever made the lines fade to near-nothingness. I realize this sounds absurd, especially because we're not talking about injectables or lasers or anything you've seen on Real Housewives. The magic comes courtesy of a non-invasive, utterly relaxing 60 minutes filled with exfoliating, a little microdermabrasion, and lots of moisturizing. The result is Beyonce-level luminosity and smoothed-out skin. One glows no exaggeration for weeks. Chances are good that I'm not writing anything you haven't read about or experienced yourself: Danuta (or Dana, as she's known to clients) long ago became an instant Philly classic. Friends told friends, and suddenly you had to wait six months to get an appointment But Rescue the closest thing I've ever found to redemption for all those sunburns in my youth is always worth it. 225 South 17th Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103, rescuerittenhousespa.com.
Shopping here is like taking a crash course in Philly’s design scene. Owner Ethan Nguyen will alert you to colorful local finds like Alexandra Damiano silk slip dresses, Tesoro handcrafted leather bags, and West Oak Design lightweight linen shifts. Then, once you’ve outfitted your closet, he’ll point you across the street to his new home-goods store, Weekend, to do the same for the rest of your house. 1540 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146, mconceptshop.com.
Design on Demand by Widell + Boschetti
Make your pad Arch Di-worthy without the commitment of a full-service designer with the à la carte e-design option from these Philly up-and-comers. Barette Widell and Christina Boschetti will create a mood board and layout based on your room’s specs (rates start at $1,100) and choose the right products to bring both to life, for an end result that’s more inspired than those seen-that-everywhere looks. widellboschetti.com.
Party Host Helpers
It’s your party, you can cry if you want to … or you can pay some good people to handle all the laborious stuff that you don’t want to do–setting tables, tending bar, cleaning up, checking coats. This Wayne-based company, now in 30 cities nationwide, is the key to making your next shindig actually enjoyable–for you. partyhosthelper.com.
Performance Meal Prep
All the menu items from no-commitment meal-delivery service Performance Meal Prep (sweet-and-sour meatballs, jerk chicken tacos, roasted veggies) are fresh, healthy and tasty. Which is precisely why plenty of local trainers–and even some Phillies players–have standing orders. Services Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties, plus South Jersey and Delaware. eatpmp.com.
A month after he shows up at your home or office with his measuring tape and look books — plus a massive array of Italian fabric samples (the Super 180s are oh-so-divine) — 38-year-old Rob Fung will return with a blazer, suit or trousers that will make everything else in your closet look sloppy and sad. Just ask his regular customers — a whole bunch of Philadelphia Eagles. robbini.com.
We’re not saying you must go here. Because if you did, we’d no longer be able to walk in and get a table, a drink, a plate of grilled Mediterranean sardines, some langoustines and dolmades whenever we want. So no, seriously. We hear the Hard Rock Café on Market Street is super good. Go there instead. 1405 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, estiarestaurant.com/philadelphia-pa/philadelphia-pa.asp,.
The Landing Kitchen
Up in Bala Cynwyd, Nick Elmi and Fia Berisha opened a little all-day cafe overlooking the Schuylkill, totally accessible to the ribbons of hiking and biking trails in the area. When you’re done with your morning trek, there are expert coffee drinks, breakfast sandwiches and pastries. When you’re about to go mountain-biking and need some fuel, there’s a brioche grilled cheese served (if you want) with a hefty dollop of black caviar (you do). 617 Righters Ferry Road, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, thelandingkitchen.com.
Maleek Jackson Fitness Boxing Gym
Looking for a healthy way for your kid to release some of the past year’s stress? At 4 p.m. every weekday, this NoLibs fitness space gets youth ages seven to 17 practicing gloved punches. Jackson’s upcoming after-school program will serve those needing mentorship and positive community ties. 926 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123, maleekjacksonfitness.com.
Last year, JKo Beauty founder Jennifer Kochenour launched virtual personalized makeup tutorials so that those of us who wanted to offset our masks with the perfect smoky eye could learn how from the safety of our own homes. This year, as one of the region’s top bridal makeup artists, Kochenour is busy with all those rescheduled weddings. But she still makes time — and is the best in the game — for makeup how-tos. jkobeauty.com.
Bicycle Club of Philadelphia
Less injury-inducing than touch football and less awkward than dodgeball with co-workers is this band of 1,200 cyclists who offer camaraderie, a perfect way to blow off some steam after a long workday, and the chance to explore unknown corners of the city and 'burbs. Group rides are organized by skill level, and the membership fee is only $15 a year. All you have to do is show up with your bike and a helmet. Ride on. 00000, phillybikeclub.org.
When the exhibit featuring Princess Grace's wedding came to town in 2006, the Art Museum called on Martin to restore Grace's famous -cathedral-length veil. So you can go ahead and trust her to get your grandmother's gown into ready-to-wear shape or, if you'd like, have her design one from scratch. She'll sketch, do fittings in muslin, and then source fine fabrics from Europe. How delightfully retro is that? 41 Cricket Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003, janicemartin.net.
Headlong Dance Theater
In 1993, three local dancers got together to form this company, dedicated to creating groundbreaking original works that span nearly a dozen styles and offer commentary on the world we live in. In September, they make their fifth Live Arts Festival appearance with This Town is a Mystery, which takes the notion of site-specific work to the extreme-Headlong convinced four real Philadelphia families to perform original dances in their own homes. For audiences. 1170 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146, headlong.org.
The Classic Dessert Company
Pastry chef Gennaro Annunziato's Dark Side of the Moon, a study in chocolate indulgence created during one long night in the kitchen, is a perennial favorite at this South Jersey bakery. Then came the Chocolate Shadow, a lighter but just as decadent version meant to transcend Gennaro's power cake. The four-layer chocolate cake is laced with Grand Marnier, filled with chocolate mousse, then iced with a rich dark chocolate ganache. We say get both. Happy birthday to you! . 1000 Smithville Road, Eastampton, NJ 08060, .
Prodigy Pest Solutions
Owner Matt Kelley worked as a service technician with one of the big exterminator companies for many years, killing every bug in sight. But the impersonal nature of the job was killing something in him. So he started his own company, specializing in treating homes infested by the notoriously hard-to-kill bedbug. Giving his cell-phone number to customers, personally answering calls well after dinnertime, and utilizing the newest, most effective heat-technology, Kelley has built a company, Prodigy, that is both folksy and, for bedbugs, fatal. 231 Printz Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19029, prodigypestsolutions.com.