Philly Love Notes Gift Guide

Hello friends and Philly-lovers, Time for the first Philly Love Letters Gift Guide! With some help from you, I put together a completely non-comprehensive list of amazing things being done right here in the city (or right outside). This only scratches the surface of the cool stuff being made here. There are always tons of great markets and small businesses to support (like Amalgam Comics, Philadelphia Independents, Yowie, and Omoi Zakka). And of course, one of the best gifts of all -- donating money, time, Read more

Giving Back 2017

Oh this year. Time to buckle down and do what I can to give back. Like last year, I'll be donating all of the profits from the map sales to local nonprofits from Thanksgiving through Giving Tuesday. That means that your purchase of a map will help to support all of the following organizations: Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory, Marian Anderson Historical Society, SEAMAAC, Red Paw Relief and Students Run Philly Style (more about the nonprofits below). Last year we raised Read more

#whyilovephillyarts Launches

It's official, the first #whyilovephillyarts, featuring Sean Martorana, is now live! Check out the prints below and purchase one of the 30 limited edition prints online. This is the first collaboration that aims to build a body of Philly-specific art across a variety of mediums for people to purchase with 100% of the profits going to the artist (along with a full commissions and licensing Read more

Vacations

Sometimes the best part about Philly is leaving for a little bit

Shorts
Sometimes the best part about Philly is leaving for a little bit.  I took my summer vacation to Ocean City, NJ for three days this week with my lovely family. Luckily it overlapped some of the hottest days of the summer. We grilled, played in the water, attempted (note the word attempted) to paddleboard in the bay, and got sunburned.  It was my first vacation where I remained attached to my computer for some of the day as I deep into this blog and trying to look for a new job. 

 (me and my lovely cousin, Hannah)

After the beach, I spent one day back in Philly to celebrate my 30th, and finally managed to cut the computer cord. My roommate and I drove down to her family’s farm outside of Shenandoah for a huge party. We all piled into pickup trucks sitting high atop inner tubes and canoes and lazily made our way down the river cutting through the farm.  There were three beer coolers full to the brim and tons of great people. At night we sat out on the porch swatting flies, making hamburgers, playing football and enjoying the fire pit. It was indescribably beautiful, and I purposefully left my camera in the car most of the time. And now I’m back, and it’s a perfect night to sit on the porch and catch up and look forward to the week ahead.


(Soybean fields)

(My lovely roommate, Isabelle)

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Brandywine Valley

Shorts
If you’re looking for an unexpectedly amazing night post-work, head over to the Brandywine Valley region. 


First — Terrain at Styers where I could blow a year’s salary on beautiful plants, linens, balms, etc. 
Second — Chaddsford Vineyards where $10 gets you 10 wine tastings and you can stay till 8pm on Thursday. 
Third — Longwood Gardens. Wander aimlessly around Bruce Monroe’s light exhibit till 11pm on weeknights. You will come out disoriented, amazed, and feeling like you just walked through Avatar.

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Antiques Roadshow

Shorts (a digression)
I got my mom tickets for Antiques Roadshow for her birthday.  Actually, I’ll be honest, I got them mostly for myself.  The closest city hosting an event in the next six months was Boston, so we made the trek this weekend. They were filming three shows at once, so there were something like 6,000 people carrying around 12,000 antiques (books, couches, chairs, watches, baseballs, etc.). 


I couldn’t take pics inside the show’s set, only in the airplane hanger where we first lined up. We spent our time chatting with our fellow Roadshow groupies, trying to pick out the most expensive items, and watching appraisals being taped. 


No tears or screams of excitement, but I’ve watched the show enough to know that some people were carrying around items worth thousands of dollars. We learned that our book, The Anatomy of Melancholy, published in the late 1800s was worth about what my dad paid for it in 1965.  My great grandfather’s pocket watch was from 1914, had a porcelain face and was gold fill (I got excited for a second), but was still only worth $200. 


We left our post-show reaction in the video booth and traipsed around the North End for a couple of hours before climbing in the car for the long ride home. It was great to have a weekend away with mom, but it was nice to come home to Philly.

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