Robin Raskin, Bewellphilly.com weight-loss blogger: Dr. Charlie has helped me completely rethink my approach to healthy eating. He got me away from the scale, focusing instead on how my clothes fit. The best part: When I couldnt get to his Center City office, we set up Skype meetings so we could touch base no matter where I was. 1601 Walnut Street, suite 810, Philadelphia, PA 19102, .
From Front and Callowhill to 7th and Lombard, there are more than 20 historic churches, synagogues and Quaker meetinghouses. (For a complete list, visit ushistory.org.) And unless your prospective mate is an avowed atheist, touring them is a beautiful, quiet, even romantic (just not too romantic, people these are houses of worship) way to kill a few hours before contemplating life's meaning over cheap drinks and a cheese plate at Farmicia's weekend happy hour (15 South 3rd Street, 215-627-6274, farmiciarestaurant.com). 00000,
For socially conscious menswear, look to Ikiré Jones (Ikirejones.com), a Philly brand inspired by founder Walé Oyéjidé’s Nigerian roots. The colorful collection – from silk scarves to suiting – illustrates stories of marginalized cultures, and sales benefit Peek Vision, a foundation that works to give vision-care access to low-income countries. (Fun fact: Ikiré Jones pieces were featured in the blockbuster hit Black Panther.) ikirejones.com/.
Moira Rubino understands that sometimes your schedule has you at its mercy. So she shows up at your door with her handy pop-up tent and organic golden-glow formula whenever you have a minute to get hosed down. Bring your friends: There are discounted group rates when she sprays a bunch of you at once. Service areas include the Main Line and select South Jersey towns; [email protected] 303 East Church Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406, moiraanne.com/services.html.
The found poetry of true-crime writing, Phillyrapsheet.com posts the latest arrests, from all over the city, every half hour. While the content is, on its face, "Just the facts, ma'am" reporting, the overall effect of seeing the daily arrest tally climb every 30 minutes, like HAMBURGERS SERVED, is an unsettling glimpse into just what our police and courts are drowning in. In fact, in the time it took to write this, the number of the day's arrests kicked up from 69 to 87. Fire up the Bat-Signal! 00000, phillyrapsheet.com/.
Escape frat-boy "Freebird" karaoke hell with this friendly, tattooed, pixie-haired gal of 40, who does actually have "Freebird" in her vast songbook, but also lots of B-sides, rare cuts and other music-nerd tracks. Venues include Tabu, P.O.P.E. and 12 Steps Down; connect with Sara Sherr via facebook.com/singyourlifekaraoke. 00000, facebook.com/singyourlifekaraoke.
Sometimes, a new chef will arrive in Philly and bring an unmistakable energy — a sort of hyper-focused intentionality, a sense of I’ve got big plans for this city. Omar Tate was born and raised in Philly, and he worked in some of the city’s most ambitious kitchens before leaving for NYC to hone his culinary career. As he wove his way through kitchens, following the well-trodden career path of the modern professional chef, he began to explore and amplify Black American foodways — their tragic history, their uncertain future, their cultural complexities, and their constant erasure from the culinary pantheon. Honeysuckle — his NYC pop-up restaurant-turned-takeout operation — was the physical manifestation of his particular brand of culinary activism. Meals began with a glass of “Honeysuckle Red Drink” (his take on Kool-Aid, a staple of his childhood), and the to-go bags included samples of his own poetry. The coronavirus crisis brought him (and Honeysuckle) back to Philly, and he has big plans for this city — particularly in West Philly, where he’s envisioning a community center for which food will, of course, be the anchor. Follow @honeysuckle_projects on Instagram for information on future dinners and pop-ups. instagram.com/honeysuckle_projects/.
In the past two years or so, we saw an influx of independently owned wine shops open all around Philly — many of them run by restaurant owners and bar managers who take their wine programs very seriously, sourcing and stocking only the natural, or the local, or the hard-to-find stuff. We also saw Acme and Whole Foods get into the wine game here in Pennsylvania — though their selections are, um, heavy on the Sutter Home. And then there’s the IGA, a pretty generic grocery store in a pretty blah strip mall on Aramingo Avenue, not particularly boutique-y or high-end. Just a plain ol’ grocery store. Unlike Acme and Whole Foods, though, its wine selection is vast and fairly priced and downright thoughtful. There are traditional bottles — the chianti classicos, the Châteauneuf-du-Papes — but there are orange wines from Georgia, too, and pecorinos from Abruzzo, and natural and biodynamic wines everywhere you look. You’ll leave and wonder a lot about this place: Who’s running this shop? How do they keep the prices so low? And how the hell is it still such a secret? 2497 Aramingo Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125, therichmondshops.com/bottle-shop.html.