Okay, so I didn’t grow up in Philadelphia or even Pennsylvania, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s up. When I moved here from Rochester, N.Y., I made it a point to explore the city, learn the different neighborhoods and check out events and shops that worked with my student budget.
Now, two years later, I have a true sense of what’s out there. But I’m still searching, always checking out happenings and trying something new. And every other week, I will tell you about my current top three choices. You just might find something fresh and fun to discover.
1) Most people are familiar with the up-and-coming neighborhood ,Northern Liberties. However, there is one hidden deal tucked behind the dice sign.
It is the restaurant and bar called Deuce.
With so many bars and eateries in this city, what makes this one special? The bar has been showcasing awesome deals that make it worth the trip. Since their grand opening more than two years ago, they’ve been doing a late-night Happy Hour.
The owner, Laura Vernola, understands that students and service industry workers don’t have a normal 9-to-5 schedule. Therefore, from 10 p.m. through midnight, seven days a week, guests can enjoy $3 drinks and half-priced drafts.
There are six drafts to choose from: Blue Moon, Guinness, Stella Artois, Yuengling, a seasonal Yards (currently Extra Special Ale) and a seasonal Sam Adams (currently October Fest). So, drink up and enjoy the late night eats of comfort food until 1 a.m.If you’re not a night owl they feature a 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Happy Hour special of $1 Yeunglings, Mondays through Fridays.With a comfortable and attractive atmosphere and a variety of clientele, how can you go wrong?
“It has a laid-back kind of feel to it,” Vernola said. “I think we have one of the best crowds in the neighborhood.”
Other things worth noting: they feature a popular dog menu, so bring your pooch for the outdoor seating. Deuce has free Wi-Fi access and a parking lot behind the building (but no drinking and driving).
2) It’s time to shop for accessories. This spot is your handbag and luggage headquarters. Levinthal’s may be hard to say, but it is worth a visit.This Center City store has been a family business for 67 years. All it carries are handbags, purses and luggage.
(In truth, they do have a couple little goodies like wallets, small photo frames, sunglasses and watches.) But this makes the bag selection huge, and what I really love is the variety of styles and price ranges. So, whether you like designer or you prefer fashionable and cheap (like me) – this is your place. I found myself wondering, though, why the store chose to offer
items from both sides of the spectrum.
“Because Center City is very diversified with a lot of types of people, we cater to everyone walking down the street,” said owner Barry Levinthal.
He added that the store’s clientele is a mix of students, lawyers, city folk and locals.
His 22-year-old daughter even brings her friends to shop, which leads to a final benefit: I don’t feel guilty if I leave without buying something since the staff doesn’t stare and bother you. Thank God they leave me room to breathe.
3) This event is one I attended in 2006, and I’m so thrilled about its growth to something even bigger and more exciting this year. The GreenFest Philly is happening on Sunday, Sept. 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.It blends fun activities and educational resources to develop social consciousness about preserving the environment. I remember recently seeing a Sunday advertisement with a girl wearing a T-shirt that read “Green is the new black.” As an avid environmentalist, I love that it is now trendy and positively-viewed to believe in a cause and attempt to make a difference.
This year’s free event blends a ton of green aspects together. Not only are there more than 100 exhibits, including green furniture, sweatshop-free clothing, hybrid vehicles and wind power, but there is a fashion show, a green wedding in a mosaic garden, an environmental film forum and a green poetry reading. And of course, there will be food, music and art there to sample. Also, mayoral candidate Michael Nutter will be giving a presentation on South Street.
A few final notes:You can bring old batteries and cell phones for recycling. If you ride a bicycle, they’re doing a free bike valet at the Palumbo Recreation Center (no need to bring a lock or worry about theft). And more than a dozen kid-friendly activities will be taking place – so bring the family.
Colleen Dunn can be reached at email@example.com.