Right off the bat: These are not cheap bikes. They start at $4,500, so we’d understand if your eyes just bugged out. But hear us out: They’re gorgeous. Nearly every piece of the bike is machined in-house, and the titanium frame adds a level of durability that no off-the-rack frame can match. So maybe put this on your “someday” list. 7837 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
If you haven’t ventured far from Philly since the pandemic started, you may be out of trip-planning practice. Philly-based travel agent Alexis Rich Chami will help you pinpoint the best place to spend a long couples weekend or a winter break with extended family and plot out a personalized itinerary to make the most of each day. It’s how, on your next trip to the Yucatán Peninsula, you’ll find yourself feasting on home-cooked mole chicken and honey liqueur in a welcoming family’s front yard, far from the crowded cenotes.
Wedding Ring From Your First Marriage
You can peruse Joanna Bengoa’s delicate ready-to-wear diamond necklaces, engagement bands and stud earrings on her web shop. But the jeweler can also utterly transform your dusty old heirlooms that have been lying untouched in the bottom of your drawer for a decade. Bengoa, who has a degree in gemology, will work with you to design a new one-of-a-kind piece that feels contemporary, fresh, and totally personal.
If you’re not a professional designer, maybe you haven’t given much thought to your window treatments — i.e., the only things that help maintain your privacy in a densely populated city. While they can elevate any room in your house, they can also be daunting to choose (a million different options) and install (so much measuring!). Family-run Ambiance Design will come to your home, help you select the perfect window coverings, and return to install them. Products run the gamut from simple Roman shades to the newfangled voice-activated kind. 718 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422
Shore House on the Cheap
Unless you’re really going to make use of that palace in Avalon all summer, buying a slice of one using Pacaso will save you a bundle. A one-eighth ownership stake in an Avalon vacation home will likely run you less than a million bucks, and you get to use it for up to 44 days a year. Want more time? Buy more shares. And Pacaso handles scheduling and maintenance for you and your fellow owners.
Sure, you could click around West Elm’s website to buy an overpriced table that most of your friends also have in their kitchens. Or you could buy a table right here in Philadelphia from Paul Mencel and his team of professional woodworkers, who make each beautiful piece to order, by hand. Visit the boutique furniture company’s Old City showroom and choose your shape, size and finish. Despite the name, they make other furniture, too, including custom beds and desks. 158 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the people you love, dearly, can sometimes drive you up the wall. If you’re looking for a little more space, the folks at Third Story are for you. This team of architects, developers and builders does more than just plop another level on your house; they take the time to learn what makes your home special and incorporate that into the expansion.
to Do with That Postage-Stamp Rear Patio
True to its name, Petit Jardin en Ville will both show you really cool ways to outfit your tiny backyard with French (and Belgian, and Scandinavian and Spanish) furniture and decor, and sell you the plants and flowers you need to turn it into a little green oasis. 134 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Plaskowitz is much more than a handyman. Take, for example, the historic headquarters of the New Century Guild, which reopened as a tony little boutique inn. Plaskowitz wallpapered each room, restored fireplace mantels, and installed modified doors and hardware. He also restored the building’s original millwork, re-creating missing molding and ornamental pieces. Just think what he can do for your own century-old property.
Twenty-year roofing veteran Farson is quick to respond, shows up when he says he will — and oh yeah, he has a YouTube channel. Farson tours roofs, shining a spotlight on every major and minor problem — some from wear and tear and others that were clearly the mistake of the last dude who did the job.
This past spring, we walked down our block and noticed the most radiant flower boxes we’d ever seen, with pinks and purples and yellows all popping against a red brick facade. Did we know what any of the flowers were? Of course not! What are we, botanists? This is why you hire folks like Earthly Delights owner Carrie Borgenicht, who designed and planted those window boxes.
We’ve all pulled up to Target, resigned ourselves to spending too much money, and then wandered around the drab, cookie-cutter party decorations aisle. (Florals …. for spring …. groundbreaking.) One spin around Wallflower’s Kodachrome shop, though, will restore whatever will to decorate you’ve lost. Sift through the gift wraps, napkins and cards — and be reminded that parties are supposed to be fun. 723 South 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
You can tell Harel is a former elementary-school teacher by the way she seamlessly puts your kids at ease at the start of the photo shoot. It’s one of the things — along with her organization and sharp eye for capturing every smile and wry side-eye with a natural feel — that landed her on this list. The session is way more fun than you expect, and the well-edited collection of images you get back showcases your family in a way you haven’t seen before — and you’ll treasure forever.
Taskrabbit master Tasker Kevin Johnson can mount your kitchen shelves, the unwieldy flat-screen you bought without first measuring your wall, and a living room’s worth of framed artwork in the time it would take you to find your hammer and level. He can affix things to drywall, concrete, metal, wood, and probably other surfaces we laypeople don’t even know exist — all with a calm and assured attitude, which explains his nearly 2,000 five-star reviews.
Do you own a horse? Neither do we! But if you did, you could do worse for all your horseshoe needs than the former head farrier for the U.S. Olympic equestrian team. The Unionville resident has spent the past 40-plus years hoofing around the region, hammering and forging along the way. And while he just retired from the day-to-day horseshoe business, he’s still available for consulting.
You’ve exhausted AutoZone’s supply of Fix-a-Flat, and it’s time to admit you need a professional to repair your slowly ssssssinking tire. But you don’t have the patience to endure the tire shop’s sales pitch — or the thousand bucks it will cost you if you give in to it. We’ve brought tires into Mid-City with embarrassingly low — probably dangerously so — treads and walked out with patches, and without a sales pitch. That level of honesty brought us back when we decided, “Hey, maybe I really do need new tires.” 709 Washington Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Whenever you move to a new neighborhood, you get your bearings: grocery store, parking rules, which bar you can stumble home from. The thing you always forget to find until it’s too late is a car mechanic. That changes today. Jason Capone and the fellas at Foreign Fix will not only get you in and out in the time most shops take to get your car up on the lift; they’ll talk you through the cheapest options first. What are you going to do with all that extra money? Well, there is that bar. 822 Reed Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Tired of spending your time and money schlepping to Home Depot? There’s an alternative. City residents are entitled to 30 gallons of free organic materials every year from Fairmount Park: screened leaf compost, mulch, wood chips, and whatever “other organic materials” means. If you happen to own a chain saw (though — why do you have a chain saw in the city?), you’re welcome to break some felled trees down into firewood, too. 3850 Ford Road, Philadelphia, PA 19131
Until recently, Philly was the only major U.S. city without street sweeping. (And call us skeptical that the city’s new plan will actually work.) Because of that, most blocks have been on their own to manage the hoagie wrappers and Acme circulars that flutter down the street. Enter Glitter, an app that sends a cleaner to spruce up your block. Cost: $50 a week, which can be divvied up among however many of your neighbors you can cajole into joining you.
During the civil unrest of 2020, Walls For Justice began painting murals and messages on the plywood that covered up so many storefronts. Fast-forward two years, and the group has now expanded its footprint, pairing artists with businesses, schools, and other public spaces that are looking for a unique way to show support for their communities (and maybe spruce up a plain brick wall in the process).
The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford watershed — 30 square miles snaking from Abington in the north to Port Richmond in the south — is one of five watersheds that flow into the Delaware, so its cleanliness affects all of us. Supporting the watershed partnership’s work (creek restoration, native plantings, and a host of other things) is a way to make you feel a little bit better about your footprint. If you live in Montgomery County, you can order a rain barrel through the organization, helping it in the process.
Being photographed can induce serious anxiety, and doubly for folks who are trans. Photographer Shannon Collins set out to change that by founding Youthphoria, which provides no-cost celebratory photo sessions for trans, nonbinary and gender-expansive youth in the Philly area. Every cost — the photography, the styling, the makeup — is covered by donations.