The enthusiasm and joyfulness of 24-year-old Black identical triplet brothers Malik, Ahmad and Khalil Jones is infectious — they just love working out and helping you work out. (They’re also steeped in Philly’s boutique workout scene: In addition to running their own fledgling fitness company, Malik teaches at Unite Fitness, Ahmad teaches at Barry’s, and Khalil is an instructor at Rumble.) Their classes are some of the hardest in the city, and in the wake of Philly’s Black Lives Matter protests, the three seamlessly shifted their Instagram feed from playful synchronized dance videos to serious snippets on practicing meaningful allyship and becoming anti-racist. triyofitness.com/.
She’s the chef Philly needed before we even knew we needed someone like her. In the Before Times, she opened Kalaya, a heartfelt Thai BYOB where the kitchen scratch-made everything on an unapologetically authentic menu. In the dining room, she was an undeniable presence, seeming to know everyone who’d ever eaten a meal there and exactly what they needed most. And then, when the plague came, rather than retreating or folding, she kept Kalaya open to serve local industry workers for free. In a moment that sometimes seems woefully short on heroes, she is ours.
After weeks of protests, a new group founded by Germantown activist and artist Sudan Green sought to heal the Black community through yoga and meditation events in poignant locations, like where the Frank Rizzo statue once stood in front of the Municipal Services Building and, on Juneteenth, in West Philly’s Malcolm X Park. The events were free, came with gratis yoga mats, and were taught by notable local instructors, including Jean-Jacques Gabriel and Adriana Adelé. Future plans include a brick-and-mortar location and sponsored teacher training for Black yogis. spiritsup.life/.
Thanks to the moxie of Heidi Grunwald, an avid biker and a deputy director at Temple, a corner of Fairmount Park (near the Mann) is now a BMX-style course with more hills, bumps, turns and dirt than any kid could wish for. But there's more to this year-old spot than just good biking: It's a free place for kids to get some fresh air, make new friends and accomplish goals. You'll find a fleet of high-quality bikes and helmets for the borrowing, knowledgeable staffers, and programming like the "Ladies Only" Sundays, when girls and women can ride without the boys. Phillypumptrack.org.
State Rep Josephs accused her primary challenger, Kravitz, of only pretending to be bisexual so he could pick up some, uh, swing votes. "I outed him as a straight person," she boasted, forcing Kravitz to insist on his bi bona fides. The twist on "Don't ask, don't tell" (nobody asked, nobody cared) drew bipartisan mixed reactions, with Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal noting, "We've hit a new high point when candidates are accused of pretending to be gay to win a seat." Whatever Josephs crushed Kravitz in the primary. 00000,
Close your eyes, take a deep whiff of your favorite lavender-scented sachet, and multiply that smell by about a million. That's what you get at this organic lavender farm in Bucks County, home to more than 15,000 plants. Visitors can take free self-guided strolls through the garden every Saturday from March through December, or guided tours ($10 per person) from June through September. Either way, the intoxicating scent of thousands of live lavender plants is guaranteed to help you find your Zen. 5966 Mechanicsville Road, Mechanicsville, PA 18902, carouselfarmlavender.com/.
If you haven't had success losing weight, kicking the cancer sticks or getting over your fear of flying, it may be time to try psychotherapist Rosenberg, who will hypnotize you on your first visit and send you home with a CD recording of your session that speaks to your subconscious, upping your willpower while you snooze. "I lost 65 pounds in six months," says one Bucks County devotee. "I went in with the mind-set I couldn't be hypnotized, but after three sessions, it really worked." 8080 Old York Road, Suite 206, Elkins Park, PA 19027, .
It's just so freakin'cute. Seriously like,How could I swing moving here? cute. But besides the ridiculously charming, friendly, bucolic atmosphere along Kings Highway East, the shopping is simply divine. There's everything from kid stuff (Pipsqueak) to women's wear (Maxwell James) to sporting equipment (Haddonfield Running Company) to jewelry (McNelis and Sherry) to art galleries (Accent Studio) to gifts (Serendipity) to home furnishings (The Upholstery Shop) to lingerie (Georgie Girl Boutique) to music (Siren's Song) to spas and salons (Salon M Design) to ... Oh, we're tired. Just go, already. 00000, shophaddonfieldnj.com/.
Bright white marble surfaces, lollipop-red Saarinen stools and pristine Florence Knoll armchairs make this medi-center feel more like a medi-spa. It's not. At year-old Deme, you can meet with co-owning dental gurus Thomas and Cheryl George, have your face-lift fixed with fresh-from-the-Upper-East-Side surgeon Kevin Cross, get the best clinical facial in town from beloved former HUP aesthetician Betsy Rubenstone, and sign up for some serious massage therapy. If that's not spa-like, we don't know what is. 2200 Arch Street, #102, Philadelphia, PA 19103, demeonline.com/.
Anyone who knows anything about watches already has this on his home screen: Govberg’s year-old app, a global trading platform for pre-owned luxury timepieces and a virtual database for your personal collection. It’s centered in the company’s 20,000-square-foot Bala Cynwyd location, which recently got an $8.5 million reno and now functions as an appointment-only hub for buying and selling pre-owned pieces (like a $595,000 Patek Philippe or a Greubel Forsey for $695,000), complete with a Wall Street-esque trading floor. govbergwatches.com/watchbox/watchbox-by-govberg/.
This cool, new and very popular addition to the East Passyunk restaurant scene offers excellent Malaysian food and a killer coffee service. The one thing it doesn't have? A bar. So the pro move here is to bring a bottle of vodka, ask for a tall glass of ice and a shot of Ribena (a black-currant cordial that, when drunk straight, tastes like the decorative soaps in your grandmother's bathroom), and then just thank us later. Because nothing goes better with a plate of goat satay and some coconut-sweet chicken kurma than this DIY cocktail. 1837 East Passyunk Avenue, East Passyunk, Philadelphia, PA 19148, facebook.com/SateKampar/.
Though this Lehigh County property bills itself as a country inn, Glasbern is far more luxurious and refined than any you've probably been to. Opt for the two-level, $200-per-night-and-up Garden Cottage Suite, which offers all the comforts and amenities you could possibly want plus cathedral ceilings, two wood-burning fireplaces, and a private deck with pastoral views. It doesn't hurt that the on-site restaurant is producing some of the most sought-after food in the Lehigh Valley. (Score: breakfast is complimentary.) 2141 Pack House Road, Fogelsville, PA 18051, glasbern.com/.
This 38-year-old Northeast native's debut work, a memoir called The Removers, is dark and bleak and funny and utterly Philly. The down-on-his-luck narrator joins his sad dad, a disgraced former La Salle prof, in the business of making house calls to pick up corpses for local funeral homes. Between encounters with the dead and those they leave behind, he meanders in and out of love affairs, observes the dissolution of his parents' marriage, and ponders why he can't seem to gain any traction. A tour de force that should be the hands-down choice for the next One Book, One Philadelphia campaign. andrewmeredith.net/.
When it's time to say "Happy birthday" or most importantly "I was a big jerk and I'm so, so sorry," sit down with Peter and Mark (respectively) at their relaxed upstairs jewelry salon in Haverford Square. This is no standard retail space; it's like shopping in your friend's living room (with proffered beverages and all). And if you don't see something you like amid their stunning inventory, they'll find it or have it made. (That includes creating a mate for that one lost earring.) There's also a beautifully curated array of gifts for home, men, women and children. 379 West Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041, cookeandberlinger.com/.
Given the vast amount of horse country Chester County boasts (and boasts, and boasts), its actually surprisingly difficult to find places that allow non-horse-owning amateurs to hop in a saddle and fulfill their John Wayne/Tracy Lord equestrian fantasies. Enter Gateway Stables: The Kennett Square riding center provides everything you might need for a nice leisurely ride the horse (generally quite docile), the beautiful countryside, a short pre-ride briefing, a guide, helmets, and handlers who can hand-lead small children, should you own some. You bring the boots. 949 Merrybell Lane, Kennett Square, PA 19348, gatewaystables.com.