When the folks at this Old City space claim that their gallery is Philadelphias freshest new venue for the new contemporary art scene, theyre really not lying. The one-year-old gallery exhibits some wonderful works in genres from realism to figurative to pop surrealism, and the art is priced to sell. This month, check out the newest show, Semiotic Weapons, featuring works by 11 local artists. 109 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, archenemyarts.com.
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/.
This Abruzzo-focused Italian restaurant takes the prize in a city full of Italian restaurants because weve never had a bad meal, a bad time or even a bad moment here. There's always just one more thing on the menu you have to try the next time you come in no matter how many times youve already been. Plus, the bowl of sausage and polenta is as good as tube-shaped meats get. 1927 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148, levirtu.com.
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/.
Blink and you'll miss this little shop, which from the sidewalk looks as though it vends orchids only, but then reveals itself to be unrivaled when it comes to imaginative and sophisticated arrangements incorporating all sorts of blooms. We've tried DIY here; it doesn't quite work. Let owner Kevin Kim do his thing. You'll be happy. 225 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, .
Readers' Choice: Since opening up in Fishtown nearly 10 years ago, Johnny Brenda's has clearly been the go-to Philly venue to hear up-and-coming artists. And why not? The sound is crystal clear, the beers are all local, and the room, which holds 250, is comfortable and has plenty of character. And thanks to a dedication to treating both customers and performers with respect, the indie concert hall has more than enough good karma to go around unusual in the normally dirty business of rock-and-roll. 1201 North Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125, johnnybrendas.com/.
With five county parks to choose from in this expansive 1.1-million acre region of Southern New Jersey, there are camping options for every skill level, whether youre an experienced adventurer or barely know how to pitch a tent. (And yes, some sites have flushing toilets, for those who arent ready to submit entirely to nature.) You wont be bored, thanks to plenty of biking, kayaking and canoeing options. Just be warned: This is the land of the Jersey Devil. See website for locations, 00000, njpinebarrens.com/camping-in-the-pine-barrens/.
The city's most "civilized steakhouse" may be in need of an interior decorator, but this Square stalwart keeps us coming back with half-priced cocktails, $6 clams casino, crispy potato skins, deviled eggs, and great people-watching from our vantage point at the bar. Plus: Sunday happy hour, should you need to ease into your Monday. 220 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, theprimerib.com/philadelphia-pa/.
Since its founding more than 120 years ago, the Penn Museum, as it's (thankfully) nicknamed, has showcased the results of many of the 400 expeditions by the university's archaeologists and anthropologists. Highlights include the Chinese art housed in one of the country's largest unsupported masonry domes the Egyptian art gallery, and the African artifacts, as well as the temporary exhibits throughout the year. 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, penn.museum/.
Sign up for one of the intimate classes offered by this stellar branding and design studio. (They've worked with such stylish local companies as BHLDN, Maggpie Vintage and Peg and Awl.) Expert instructors will help you master topics ranging from SEO to basic photography to digital art, and hands-on brainstorming time will get your gears turning. You'll come out on the other side with new skills and a stronger brand. 125 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, inkandmortar.com.
You'll find a handful of watches peppered throughout Ruben Luna's shop, but the real cache is his collection of 300-plus hard-to-find timepieces (a rare Jaeger-LeCoultre, perhaps?) and he's willing to part with (some of) them. After an initial consultation, Luna, a former design director for Movado, will set up a private shopping appointment at which he'll show you his finest treasures. 1544 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146, workshopunderground.com/.
With its crowded bar, multiple-choice menu and (admittedly strange) Hee-Haw-meets-Gotham aesthetic, Urban Farmer is the exception to stuffy steakhouses. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the vertical steak tasting, which offers three different New York cuts from three different producers in three different regions, playing up the massive variations in flavor and texture that can come from different feeds. 1850 Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103, urbanfarmerphiladelphia.com/.
You know the city has changed when the best Indian food is coming out of a cheery, colorful place around the corner from the Melrose Diner. The menu's not huge, but that's just fine. The namesake chaats (Indian street snacks) and chais (Indian teas) make for a perfect, well, afternoon tea. For a more substantial meal, reach for the curry bowls. 1532 Snyder Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19145, facebook.com/chaatandchai/.
It takes nothing short of superpowers for a fitness trainer to make flutter kicks fun. So fun, in fact, that you leave the workout looking forward to doing more of them the next day, like some sort of masochist. Meaning: Osayi Osunde, who leads muscle-burning, laughter-filled boot camps at the Art Museum steps, might just be ... a superhero? Fitphl.com.
The nursery at the Kensington outpost of this urban-gardening nonprofit has the easiest-ever way to add some life to your window box or curb: Just drop off your containers in late winter, and Greensgrow experts do all the planting, watering, pruning, babying and coddling until Mother's Day, when you pick them up and put them out for your neighbors to envy. 2501 East Cumberland Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125, greensgrow.org/.