People come to Philly for cheesesteaks and the liberty bell, which, don’t get me wrong, is a lovely way to spend a day. I’ve been coming to Philly pretty regularly for over a decade now — I have all the cheesy tourist pics of me with a fake wooden riffle marching outside of Independence Hall. Eight-year-old me was very proud of my initiation into the fake militia.
But twenty-year-old me doesn’t come to Philly for the history and the pictures anymore. I come now for solace, a way to get away from school, stress, and the suburbs of Villanova. Being so isolated and so uncitified (nope, that isn’t a real word) has taken a toll on my psyche. So why not make my first weekend in Philly about total relaxation and fun on third street? This was probably the most luxurious weekend that I will have all summer, so I had to make it count! I give my FULL endorsement for each place below.
Weekends in Philly 1: Third Street
Where to eat: Wedge + Fig
Do you like cheese? (Um, OF COURSE) What about fresh, yummy food? (This is the easiest questionnaire, like, ever) Welcome to Wedge + Fig, where cheese and, yes, figs are in abundance. And you will eat them in abundance. I’ve heard they’re famous for their brunch, but knowing nothing, I went their for lunch. And it was still crazy good. Their Modern Waldorf salad had creamy, soft figs, greek yogurt, blue cheese, and a freaking fig cake. The rhubarb bar I ate later had more berries than most fruit bowls. Make sure to check out their grilled cheese bar (what?!?) and their sandwiches, two of which are named after Daryl Hall and John Oates. wedgeandfig.com, 267.603.3090
What to do: get a massage at Spa Terme Di Aroma
I’m a bit spoiled when it comes to massages. I’ve had more of them than most people will ever have in a lifetime, let alone before they’re out of college. But I love them. I love hot oil; I love perfect strangers kneading my skin; and I love — LOVE — how good I smell when it’s all over. The aroma therapy massage at Spa Terme Di Aroma was one of the best massages I’ve ever had. Ever. Aroma therapy sounds deceptively unmassage-like, as if they just spray some scented oils and call it a day. Not so. I had my arms rotated and my back unkinked, all without the pain that can come from a deep-tissue massage. Plus, there were hot stones involved. Sold. www.termediaroma.com, 215.829.9769
What to buy: Rompers from The Geisha House
The Geisha House has a swe-e-et sales section and carries all sorts of cool, I’ve-never-heard-of brands. I felt trendy just palming all the netted blouses and sheer pants (that sounds really bad after I write it, but trust me, it’s cool stuff). A trip there is like a trip to Australia; I saw brands like Cameo, Maurie and Eve, and Keepsake. Thankfully, I didn’t have to pay the price of a plane ticket to check out far away brands, but I will say it was worth waiting a few months for my favorites to go on sale. They rotate brands pretty regularly, so when something’s on its way out or isn’t selling as well, back to the sales rack it goes. www.hellogeisha.com, 267.886.8110
What to gift: Pb & Jams from Philadelphia Independents
Philadelphia Independents is full of cool posters, jewelry, and, lo and behold, peanut butter! Everything comes from local Philly artists (or artisans, I guess, in the case of the awesome PB), so it’s a perfect place to go gift shopping. Or just shopping for yourself. Everyone needs peanut butter, right? www.philadelphiaindependents.com, 267.773.7316