Bernie Robbins Jewelers
It’s only fitting that the Year of the Wedding have a worthy engagement ring. Now celebrating its 60th anniversary, this jeweler is home to a ring so stunning that it may draw attention away from your partner walking down the aisle. A nearly five-carat center diamond from the namesake collection is accented by colorless step-cut trapezoid diamonds on either side and set in a handmade platinum mounting. To have and to hold, indeed. Multiple locations, bernierobbins.com.
Baldwin’s Book Barn
This place has the location (an 1822 dairy barn built by a local Quaker family), volume (almost 300,000 books for sale), and quirky, creaky charm (it’s a Hobbit-like warren of rooms and corridors), but on top of that, it also has first editions from Hemingway and a $1,400 leather-bound set of Jane Austen tomes. 865 Lenape Road, West Chester , PA 19382, bookbarn.com.
Yards Brewing Company
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.
Philly Zoo at 2
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.
Pioneering composer Ellen Reid pushes the definition of public art with this GPS-enabled immersive exhibition. An app sends location-based musical compositions featuring musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra, sound effects and soundscapes into your earbuds as you walk through some of your favorite outdoor spaces in Fairmount Park. The exhibit ends on September 30th. manncenter.org/soundwalk.
On family trips to the Middle East, Sarah Naji’s father spent hours scouring the souks for the perfect rug. The Point Breeze-based entrepreneur is following in his footsteps with her pandemic-born business. Naji sources hand-knotted works from Turkey and at local antique shops, prizing age (some are 100 years old) and clever colors. She even walks the walk: Her shoes are made from salvaged kilim rugs. minimalchaos.pink.
Omoi Zakka Shop
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.
Cultured Couture’s Honesty Collection
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.
Picture an of-the-moment art gallery: minimalist white walls, colorful sculptures, a painfully cool curator. Now, imagine everything is for sale. That’s Yowie—except the sculptures are eclectic homewares (Felt + Fat ceramics, Dusen Dusen throw pillows) and the curator is owner Shannon Maldonado, who opened the tiny home and lifestyle boutique after a year of buzzy pop-ups all over the city. 716 South 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, shopyowie.com.
Imagine if Terrain and Restoration Hardware had a European baby and you've got Life's Patina,a 19th-century barn that's packed with a jaw-dropping spread of salvaged and restored furniture and home goods. While the barn is open by appointment year-round, the seasonal sales are what you really should go for, with ticketed, catered preview parties the night before so you can get first dibs. (Psst: There's one next month!). 1750 North Valley Road, Malvern, PA 19355, lifespatina.com.
The whimsical moniker -- also the name, you may recall, of Pippi Longstocking's house -- sets the tone for the magical goods you'll find inside this new(ish) Chestnut Hill children's boutique: paisley bloomer short sets, nautical sleepers, baubles and bangles for your girly-girl, and hand-sewn superhero capes we wish came in adult sizes. 8135 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118, pippisvillavillekula.com.
ReStore of Philadelphia
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.
There are bad locations, and then theres JG Domestics location on the first floor of the Cira Centre, directly across the street from the train station cab stand. The place has virtually no visibility from more than 10 feet away. Its hard to find, and difficult to get to. And yet, the facts that 1) people who know good food still go there, and 2) some of us go out of our way to go there a lot, really speak to the amazing things the kitchen at JG Domestic is capable of. 2929 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, jgdomestic.com.
Honest to Jesus, we just don't comprehend how anyone can get any work done or deals made over the massive plates of red meat offered up at so many of this town's supposed power-lunch spots. Chasing a lobster roll with a couple of cold beers at Oyster House, on the other hand, leaves us with the energy and inspiration to do something other than sleep off a beef coma beneath our desks. 1516 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, oysterhousephilly.com.
Townsends Inlet, Sea Isle
Some of the Shore's best surf-fishing is at Townsends Inlet on the southern tip of Sea Isle, where you'll find plenty of good-sized stripers and flounder. Because this is saltwater fishing, you don't need a license and you can actually eat what you catch, though you'll have to draw straws to see who gets to do the cleaning. See website for tackle shops, 00000, hookandbullet.com/fishing-townsends-inlet-avalon-nj.