London native Sam Jacobson has packed his tiny South Philly pie shop with nothing more than a sprinkling of tables, some mismatched spoons, free tea, and, oh yeah, two bakery cases brimming with flaky sausage rolls, an ever-changing roster of pastries and meat pies, and traditional beef pies with mash and parsley liquor, fresh from the bakers working in the back. It's the best thing to come from Britain since Kate Middleton's hair. 1838 East Passyunk Avenue, East Passyunk, Philadelphia, PA 19148, facebook.com/StargazyPhilly.
There's a reason all your mommy friends are obsessed with Pure Barre: The workout, done on the ballet barre and mat, entails a series of tiny, almost imperceptible movements that pack a serious total-body-toning punch. Since the power and stability come from your core (it's why you're told to "tuck" here), the 55-minute classes are especially good for getting postpartum bodies back up and running in no time. Multiple locations | , purebarre.com.
Some of us spent the pandemic honing our talents; others spent it learning the best times to access the state liquor-store website to place booze orders. (Hey, it’s a skill, too!) Miskel falls into the former category. After the New York Times announced an art contest — theme: “Coming of Age in 2021” — the teen from Bryn Mawr submitted a striking cartoon panel about loneliness during COVID that was one of just 25 winners selected from more than 4,000 submissions.
The Los Angeles Times story in January detailing the racist/sexist culture promoted by some New York-based CBS executives aired a lot of dirty laundry about Philly’s CBS affiliate, much of which involved those execs’ despicable opinions of lead evening news anchor Ukee Washington. That Washington rose above the fray, summoning the love and support of the region, comes as no surprise to those of us who’ve adored him all along.
Vernick Food and Drink
Greg Vernick has gathered ideas from places as far-flung as Qatar and Tokyo but the best thing about his restaurant is the way it makes you feel at home. While the Cherry Hill native comforts you with his stupendous toasts or lulls you into a daze with his grilled black sea bass his best pal, GM Ryan Mulholland, makes everyone who comes through the door feel not so much like an honored guest as a welcome friend. 2031 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, vernickphilly.com.
Maple Acres Farm
The first Saturday of each month during the spring, summer and early fall (and every weekend starting in late September and into November), this lovely farm in Plymouth Meeting offers a $2 hayride that doubles as a guided behind-the-scenes tour of a m-odern-day farm. After the 40-minute ride, be sure to buy some fresh produce, now that youve seen where it comes from. The pick-your-own flower fields are also a big hit. 2656 Narcissa Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462, mapleacresfarmmarket.com.
Musi’s menu ventures somewhere in between the familiar and the unknown, with dishes like kreplach stuffed with kale-purslane-cabbage kraut. The restaurant — which chef/owner Ari Miller calls “not totally Jewish, not quite Israeli” — is stretching the imagination of Philly’s fine-dining scene. Come here to be taken out of your culinary comfort zone or possibly just eat some pasta that the menu says has nothing to do with Italy. 100 Morris Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148, musiphilly.com.
Because you can’t shop for a BVI vacation at 9 p.m. the night before you leave, Pamela Caruso and Jennifer Rossi will bring the racks (and plenty of coordinating accessories) right to you. The concierge stylists have also sourced $55 black-tie gowns and held meetings in day-care parking lots — they can even arrange for a tailor to come to your home or office. bravadophilly.com.
Philadelphia Salvage Company
The only thing better than combing through 35,000 square feet of salvaged furniture, fixtures, and only-in-Philly finds (like wood from the chocolate factory that’s coming down at 21st and Washington)? Doing so on a Thursday evening, when this arch-salvage warehouse serves up free beer and bourbon. 2234 West Westmoreland Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140, philadelphiasalvage.com.
Four-Handed Massage at Nurture Spa
Just in case the thought of a simultaneous scalp and foot massage isn't enough to make your eyes roll back in your head, we'll explain it this way: It might be best to have a loved one come along to drive you home afterward, as if you are undergoing an outpatient medical procedure for which you are receiving heavy sedation. Because truth be told, after this massage, we shouldn't have been on the road. 415 South York Road, New Hope, PA 18938, nurturespa.com.
Every year, come Fat Tuesday, Haegele's Bakery in Northeast Philly feeds a long line of indulgees their fair share (and then some) of the city's best doughnuts: airy ring doughnuts, perfectly sweet cream-filled doughnuts, iced cinnamon doughnuts, powdered jelly doughnuts, and, of course, fastnachts. Thankfully, we can go every other day of the year and, except for the fastnachts, gobble them up without a wait. 4164 Barnett Street, Philadelphia, PA 19135, .
Lux Natural Teeth Whitening
It’s time to accept that we’re all so vain (cue Carly Simon) and just want to look good. And when it comes to getting pearly whites, Lux takes the gold with its plant-and-mineral-based gel that’ll lift your teeth up to 12 shades in a single visit. No irritated gums, no worn-away enamel, no waiting forever to see results — time to throw away those lame at-home strips. 1650 Market Street, suite 3600, Philadelphia, PA 19103, lux-whitening.com.
This delightfully colorful showroom boasts custom lighting and handcrafted furnishings, but it’s the smattering of home accessories, like shapely black-and-white baskets woven in Panama, textured throw pillows, and oils done by local artists, that will take you by surprise. 10 West Lancaster Avenue, Paoli, PA 19301, kingshaven.com.
Philadelphia Community Corps
Instead of filling a dumpster with all your demo refuse, hire this nonprofit org to help you “deconstruct.” They’ll identify any building materials that can be reused by others — and help you get a tax break while they’re at it. philadelphiacommunitycorps.org.
Lostine takes mundane tools — brooms, dust pans — and makes them deserving of prominent display. But it's the East Falls company's kitchen accessories that are the most eye-catching: sleek wood rolling pins, pepper mills, cutting boards, leather-handled trays and marble prep tables. lostine.com.