Archive for June, 2010

June 30th, 2010 by Campus Philly

A Picnic in the Park

As we near the big weekend—4th of July, that is—the fact that summer is upon us starts to really sink in. Philadelphia has a number of great parks and outdoor spaces that are totally free and open for public use, and there’s no better time of year to grab a few friends (or significant other) and head outside for a weekend picnic.

Check out this unofficial guide to the Philadelphia picnic, broken down by region of the city, complete with great places to find snacks and treats, as well as the best nearby parks to serve as the venue for your perfect outdoor meal.

University City / West Philadelphia

Anyone who goes to the University of Pennsylvania or the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia will immediately think of Clark Park as the ideal picnicking spot, and for good reason. The park has benches and open fields, plenty of shade but a good deal of sun, and even a large bowl—much loved in the wintertime for its great sledding, but probably best used in the summer for rolling around, acting like a kid again.

On Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings, you won’t need to go far to load up on supplies for your picnic—the year-round Clark Park Farmers’ Market takes place along 43rd Street, between Baltimore and Chester Avenues.

At other times of the week, swing by Milk and Honey at 45th and Baltimore Streets for a wide array of local and organic products, including snacks, sweets, and freshly prepared sandwiches.

Also try: Hill Field, between 33rd and 34th Streets, Walnut and Chestnut Streets; College Green at UPenn, 34th to 36th between Walnut and Spruce Streets.

Center City

When William Penn laid out his plan for Philadelphia, he intentionally included five squares—Rittenhouse, Fitler, Logan, Franklin, and Washington—for Philadelphians to enjoy some fresh air and sunlight in the midst of their bustling city. Make the state’s namesake proud, and take advantage of the pristine green spaces in Center City.

Rittenhouse and Fitler (19th & Walnut; 23rd & Pine, respectively) are easily accessible from University City (just a short walk or bike ride across the river), and are close to the downtown campuses of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Moore College of Art and Design, The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and others. Try stopping by Reading Terminal Market (especially on a Sunday, when they have their outdoor farmer’s market from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M.) for some locally produced breads, sweets, cheese, and much more.

Also try: Benjamin Franklin Parkway/Love Park; Schuykill River Park.

Further Afield

If you’re feeling like you need to get away from campus, or just feeling adventurous, try heading up to Fairmount Park or over to the Delaware River, where you’ll find Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown.

Swing by one of the many grocery stores in Fishtown or the specialty shops in Chestnut Hill if you’re headed north to Fairmount Park’s Wissahickon Recreation area, and pick up your favorite summer picnicking morsels. Fairmount Park, as the largest city park in the U.S., has plenty of great spots to lay out a blanket and enjoy the sun, and you can either ride your bike up along the river to get there, or take the R5 or R7 to get there a little faster.

You can contact Max Hass at food@campusphilly.org.

Photo: © www.raleighbridgewater.com

June 24th, 2010 by Campus Philly

A Little Perseverance Goes a Long Way

College students understand working hard. Juggling five or six classes, jobs, internships, a social life, and a family life, students persevere through it all—learning and growing as better, responsible people all the while.

The Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame competition serves to honor people like us—hard workers who never slow down, despite setbacks. Launched as a call for individuals with significantly unstoppable energy, this year’s competition began with over 1,200 potential winners. Judges gradually paired this down to 100 semifinalists, and soon, 10 finalists. And, from July 6th to August 20th, you can vote for the winner.

But, why vote?

The winner of the competition will receive $10,000 in cash, plus a $5,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice. And, frankly, these people deserve the money, for all the amazing work they do. And did I mention that each vote triggers a $1 donation to the Cal Ripkin, Sr. Foundation, an organization dedicated to inspiring disadvantaged youth through baseball? No matter who you vote for, then, you’ll be helping someone, somewhere.

Although finalists span nationwide, two of them, Anne Mahlum and Liz Scott, are Philadelphia locals. If you’re into helping local organizations, these vibrant competitors may grab your attention.

Liz Scott, from Wynnewood, is the mother of Alex, the four-year old cancer-stricken child who opened a lemonade stand to raise money for her hospital. After her daughter’s untimely death, Scott refused to shut down. Instead, she kept her child’s legacy alive, initiating Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which has raised over $30 million in the fight against pediatric cancer.

Anne Mahlum is the founder of Back on My Feet, an organization determined to enrich the lives of Philadelphia’s homeless population through running, a longtime hobby of Mahlum’s. We run a great organization, started right here in Philadelphia, said Mahlum. It would be wonderful to have the support of college students in the area; Back on My Feet benefits our whole region.

The Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame is especially relevant for students, said Sara Miller, a spokesperson for the competition. Not only do students understand firsthand the importance of perseverance when you’re trying to squeeze 40 hours of effort into a 24-hour day, but students as a group also often demonstrate a passion for changing the world.

By voting for a finalist, you would be supporting change—changes initiated by people just like you. People like Anne Mahlum don’t just begin organizations like Back on My Feet because they are bored. We’re all working toward making our community and our lives better for everyone. Let’s keep up that tradition by honoring these steadfast finalists, and, in turn, supporting our own efforts.

Starting on July 6th, visit energizerkeepgoinghalloffame.com to vote for the finalist that speaks most to you. Who knows? Maybe one day, people will be voting for you.

You can contact Elisabeth Harby at liz@campusphilly.org.

Photo: © www.energizerkeepgoinghalloffame.com

June 24th, 2010 by Campus Philly

Fit Body, Fat Wallet

Summer is officially here, and it’s time to hit the shore. If you’re a bit insecure about taking off your shirt at the beach or trying on that bikini you’ve been eyeing, then you’re probably craving for a fitness routine to get the summer body you want. However, you’d like to do so without having to empty out your wallet.

The Northeast Racquet Club & Fitness Center (NERC) is currently offering college students a pretty good option—work out for just $1.50 per day.

What’s the catch? Well, that depends on how you look at the deal.

The Center’s College Special gives students with a valid college I.D. a summer club membership that lasts through September 7. You do have to pay it all up front, and the membership is not a pay-per-visit type of deal. In other words, even if you don’t work out at the Center one day, you’ll still have to pay that daily $1.50 rate (which you already paid for up front).

It might sound confusing, but it’s really not. Ask to speak with a membership advisor at 215-671-9969 for more information about the actual deal. But you’ve got to act fast—the offer expires on Wednesday (June 30)!

If you do some calculating, you’ll probably find that other gyms and fitness centers are offering similar deals but at slightly lower rates. However, you won’t find a better variety of exercise options than the ones NERC offers. Work out on more than 100 pieces of cardio, strength, and conditioning equipment while watching one of the five flat-screen TVs on the end wall. Experienced personal trainers are available at various rates.

In addition to the state-of-the-art fitness equipment, this 125,000-square foot facility provides members with several sporting activities. While the Center is best known for its tennis and racquetball courts (6 and 8, respectively), it also includes a multi-sport arena, an indoor pool, and a brand new basketball court, among other facilities. The arena is home to indoor soccer and in-line hockey, though most games are designates for leagues exclusively for children and teenagers. The pool is open to members for various aquatic classes and “free swim” times. (During free swim, no lifeguard is on duty, so it’s swim-at-your-own-risk.) The basketball court is open for pick-up games, where the winning team stays on court.

The Center also has two studios for group exercise options. Studio A offers kickboxing, karate, Pilates, Zumba, and classes to strengthen certain areas of the body. Studio B offers beginner yoga, Vinyasa yoga, and yoga-lates. The Center’s Spinning Room lets members work out on stationary exercise bikes, while the Dance Studio offers adult classes in ballet, jazz, and tap.

When you don’t feel like working out, the Center has everything you’d need to relax. Check out the steam room, five saunas, whirlpool spa, and massage parlor specializing in hot stone and shiatsu therapy. Oh, and there’s a tanning salon, too.

The Center offers lessons (private and grouped) in tennis and swimming, and league play in several sports runs throughout the summer. The men’s basketball league has just started, and the sport of walleball (volleyball inside a racquetball court) is a popular league at the Center.

If you’re interested in the College Special, then you might want to consider becoming a full member of the Center. If for some reason you need to cancel your membership, you can end it without any penalties, as long as you give the Center 60 days notice. If you just want to check out NERC for a little while without any commitments, the Center offers a FREE one-week membership to first-time visitors. With this option, you can make up your mind as to whether or not you want to be a full member.

For $1.50 a day, you can probably buy a slice of nothing-but-trouble dessert or bound-to-regret pizza. Take that money and put it towards an investment—your summer body.

You can contact Steve Jiwanmall at sportsrec@campusphilly.org.

Photo: © http://northeastracquet.com

June 23rd, 2010 by Campus Philly

Fresh Wave: Gourmet Burgers

Summertime means it’s grilling time, and this is as true in Philadelphia as anywhere else. The hamburger, long held in low esteem as fast food or road food, has begun to make a comeback of sorts in the world of fine dining. In a city where casual fine dining is beginning to take hold, the typical offerings found on an increasing number of menus have transformed from European-inspired delicacies to fancified versions of the comfort foods of our childhood.

Take a look around the Philadelphia restaurant scene, and the first thing you may notice is that 3 of the last 5 recent restaurant openings have been gourmet burger joints. Some, like Steve Poses’ Frog Burger on the lawn of the Franklin Institute and Stephen Starr’s Square Burger in Franklin Square, are seasonal, while others are more permanent, hoping to become the anchors of Philadelphia’s next generation of upscale eateries.

Bobby Flay recently expanded his local chain, Bobby’s Burger Palace (BBP) to include his first urban location, right in the heart of University City. You may have noticed that with all of these celebrity chefs involved in the ground beef business, their selections must be pricey.

Fortunately, this is not the case. The great thing about hamburgers is that even when you make it snazzy and tout it as a bit gourmet, the fact is that it’s still not an expensive food item to produce. Far from a greasy Big Mac, the real-meat (and often locally sourced) hamburgers you’ll find at BBP, Fishtown’s Sketch Burger, Square Burger, and even Jose Garces’ Village Whiskey are satisfyingly large and will cost you between $7 and $12.

But, what makes them gourmet? That’s where the numerous restaurants like to distinguish themselves. They all still offer a classic burger—your standard lettuce, onion, and tomato—but each restaurant likes to play with the topping choices in their own unique ways. Sketch Burger, a brightly colored and fun establishment in northeastern Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood, is one of these places.

Aside from the countless crayon drawings from hundreds of happy patrons, the place has a stripped-down feel; the lighting is flourescent, the tables simple Formica, and the waitstaff doubles as cashiers and potato-slicers. But, the menu comes from the mind of a chef who thinks gourmet at every turn. The truffle butter burger—sautéed mushrooms in truffle oil on a half-pound of meat, then topped with a dollop of softened butter—isn’t exactly the healthiest option, but it sure is delicious. Sketch’s other options include a burger made with Kobe beef, and the Smashed Onion burger, made with tender grilled onions.

The fun doesn’t end there: Frog and Square Burger have a number of inventive combinations of toppings. Be sure to try 500 Degrees or Bobby’s Philadelphia location for other tasty hamburger choices, which will be sure to satisfy your summer grilled food fix.

You can contact Max Hass at food@campusphilly.org.

Photo: © http://vegasbuzz.com

June 16th, 2010 by Campus Philly

Fresh Wave: Cupcakes

Philadelphia has caught the cupcake bug. A movement spurred and epitomized by the mantra treat yourself – you deserve it, which allegedly has its roots in the Pacific Northwest, has been spreading across American metropolitan areas, leaving gourmet cupcake shops in its wake. In a city like Portland, Oregon, where it rains plenty and the beverage of choice is often something hot and caffeinated, a sweet baked good is a logical (if not a no-brainer) pairing, but Philly? It’s hot here. And we’re a pretzel-and-cheesesteak kind of city, right?

Well, recent openings may lead one to argue otherwise. Just over a week ago, on June 7th, Brown Betty’s Dessert Boutique opened its second Petite shop at the Shops at Liberty Place, selling nothing but cupcakes. And Fishtown’s Whipped Bakeshop (unfortunately only open on Saturdays, from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M., but definitely worth the trip), opened its doors for retail business in 2008.

Last year we saw the debut of two food trucks peddling sweets on the streets: Buttercream roves to a variety of locations throughout the week, selling only cupcakes during lunch and dinner shifts, and Sugar camps out at 38th and Walnut Streets, offering a variety of sweets to stressed Penn students (or anyone who decides buying a gourmet macaroon from a former Post Office truck is worth the trip to University City).

For the sake of not depriving your sweet tooth of extremely valuable information, here are some other delicious cupcake vendors: Cream & Sugar at 40th and Spruce in UC, Philly Cupcake in Midtown Village at 12th and Chestnut Streets (map here), and Brown Betty’s other locations in Northern Liberties (1030 N. 2nd St) and Rittenhouse (269 S. 20th St).

The common thread among these bakeries, as with the pizzaurants I wrote about last week, is a strong push for fresh ingredients and fresh preparation. Buttercream’s proprieters proudly state on their website that they use only fresh cream butter, dark chocolate, and whole eggs for the best possible taste. They combine all that with love, too, of course, which is inherently missing from mass-produced, over-processed sweets like (I hate to say it, for fear of eternal condemnation from the entire city of Philadelphia) Tastykake.

Brown Betty’s cupcakes (try the plain pound cake, simple but satisfying) are refrigerated, a signal that real butter, which separates when it gets warm, is used in their frosting and cake. Whether its love, or unprocessed, fresh ingredients, or some combination of both, these cupcake shops make flavor and quality a priority.

It isn’t possible to indulge in a full-length discussion about the changing socioeconomic dynamics of Philadelphia’s urban residential population, but the bottom line is that the upper middle class is growing and willing to spend $2 or $3 on a cupcake—and has the time to work out every day, so they can afford it calorically and fiscally. You can’t blame them, either; cupcakes are just plain delicious. This new generation of cupcakes, made with real butter, real sugar, real eggs, and real chocolate, don’t sit heavy in your stomach and won’t leave you feeling guilty (and perhaps a bit sick) after eating. Because unlike the cupcakes with neon-blue frosting you scarfed at a 2nd grade birthday party, these babies are real food.

Max Hass can be contacted at food@campusphilly.org.

Photo: © http://whippedbakeshop.com

June 10th, 2010 by Campus Philly

A Day at the Drives

You’re all done with finals and looking to start your summer off right. You don’t feel like headin’ down to the beach, but you definitely don’t want to stay inside. Here’s an idea: spend the day at the Kelly Drive and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

Hugging the Schuylkill River from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the neighborhoods of East Falls and Manayunk, these four-mile-long paths are split as both roadways for automobiles and uninterrupted trails for walkers, joggers, rollerbladers, and bikers.

Kelly Drive is famous for its Boathouse Row, which lights up the sky every night with bright colors. La Salle, Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania have boathouses right on the row, while Temple, Villanova and St. Joseph’s University have their houses a little farther up the drive. The Schuylkill River is home to several races, including the Dad Vail Regatta, the nation’s largest intercollegiate rowing competition.

While on the Kelly Drive, be sure to stop every now and then to admire the historical sculptures that line the pathways. From The Birth of a Nation to Stone Age in America, you’ll be sure to learn something new about our country’s history.

After exploring the Kelly Drive, cross Falls Bridge and check out Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive (also known as MLK Drive). Here, you’ll find some nice places along the side where you can rest for a picnic while enjoying a view of the Schuylkill. Though this drive is not as busy as the Kelly Drive, the view is just as breathtaking, and many people bring their cameras to capture the sights.

If you choose to walk on either Drive, look out for two things: fast-moving people and slow-moving animals. Bikers and joggers use the Drives regularly, so if you see or hear them approaching, simply give them enough space to get past you. The Schuylkill is home to wildlife of all kinds, and geese are the river’s primary resident. If you happen to be confronted by a flock, make sure to keep your distance, because the parent geese are quite protective of their young.

In addition to taking advantage of the Drives’ outdoor activities, it’s worthwhile to check out Lloyd Hall, Boathouse #1. With a Phillie Phanatic statue in front of the building, this recreation center offers everything from free-play basketball and volleyball to classes in juggling, yoga, watercolor painting, and international folk dancing.

Towards the Art Museum and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, three more places of interest await you. The Sculpture Garden features statues of historical people after whom some local places are named (ex: Girard, Pulaski, Muhlenberg, etc.). The Azalea Garden showcases some of the city’s finest flora, while the Fairmount Water Works has its own restaurant and education center.

This area of Philadelphia constantly buzzes with activity, especially during the summer. Coming up next Saturday the 19th, the American Liver Foundation will be sponsoring Liver Life Walk 2010 at Lloyd Hall. On Father’s Day, Sunday the 20th, the Gary Papa Run 4 Your Life Run/Walk will take place at MLK Drive. Next month, the Back on My Feet 20in24 Race covers the Schuylkill River Running Loop.

The river hosts several regattas over the course of the summer season. If you’re interested in the river’s history, you can take a one-hour guided tour, courtesy of the Schuylkill Banks River Tours. Tickets for students are just $10, and the tours run nearly every Saturday at 2 P.M.

Regardless of what you choose to do at the Drives, you’ll be guaranteed to have a good time. Parked along the side of Kelly Drive in his red minivan, WWII veteran Bob “Chief” Rasmussen has been selling concessions to visitors for the past 66 years. With a gleam in his eye and a smile on his face, he explains why he’s been there so long: “I love this place. It’s like a vacation for me.” See what he’s talking about, and spend a day at the Drives.

You can contact Steve Jiwanmall at sportsrec@campusphilly.org.

Photo:

June 9th, 2010 by Campus Philly

Fresh Wave: Artisan Pizza

There are two types of pizza in Philadelphia: that which you eat by the slice, and that which you eat as an entire pie. While there are—and have been—plenty of options for take-out and pizza by the slice (give Gianfranco Pizza Rustica a try for quite possibly the best slice in the city), eat-in restaurants with a specific focus on pizza are something of a new movement in the city, led by establishments such as Zavino and Dock Street Brewing Company.

Since pizza is the main feature, the level of care and focus on quality of ingredients and preparation is unmatched, and the result is fantastic. Making use of dough freshly made in-house, top-notch tomatoes, cheese, and toppings, these new-wave pizza restaurants are a sign of change across Philadelphia eating trends reflecting a taste for the fresh, healthy, and unprocessed.

Zavino, a pizza restaurant at 13th and Sansom Streets, opened its doors just this past winter, offering Neapolitan style pizza in one size, adequate for two people, though feasible for one. The crust is thin and chewy, with what pizza perfectionists would call a good snap—that is, a thin layer of crispiness enclosing the chewy dough within. Homemade sauce and locally-sourced cheese and toppings complete the menu offerings with innovative takes on Philadelphia’s signature cheesesteak and white pizza, and a straightforward but perfectly executed margherita pie.

You may see the chef, Steve Gonzales, walking among the tables and along the bar talking to patrons and asking them how they enjoy their meal; feel free to ask him a question, and he’ll be ready to talk eagerly about his choices of ingredients. Take your first bite of whatever you choose to order, and you’ll taste the passion coming through—and you’ll quickly realize that this is how food should be prepared. Chefs in Philadelphia clearly agree.

Just past the western end of University City is another pizza restaurant that’s doing it right. Dock Street Brewing Company is located on Baltimore Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets, serving up its own—you guessed it—pizza. Not just any pizza, mind you: wood-fired pizza, with the flour-dusted, slightly charred crust that you’d find at any trattoria in Naples.

Just like Zavino (though Dock Street’s been around a little longer), they use only the freshest ingredients and make every pie to order. With menu options ranging from standard (but delicious) pepperoni to the A La Greek (with olives, feta, roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, walnuts and even a mixed-green salad on top), the selection is incredible, and fortunately they offer two sizes: 10-inch individual size and 16-inch.

Despite the presence of many other items on the menus of Zavino and Dock Street, pizza is clearly the headliner. Pizza is something that can be so simple, but when done right, can also be so immensely satisfying. Neither establishment is particularly pricey, either—a testament to the simplicity of Italy’s greatest export. The wave of fresh food has begun to hit Philly, and the city is welcoming it with open arms—and mouths. Stay tuned next week for the next installment of the Fresh Wave where I’ll be tackling dessert.

Max Hass can be contacted at food@campusphilly.org.

Photo: © http://zavino.com

June 8th, 2010 by Campus Philly

The Theater in Philly

It’s a Friday night; you’ve finished your homework and are ready for some fun around Philly. The question: What to do? The City of Philadelphia is an active, dynamic place with plenty to offer students. But maybe you want a different experience, something fresh and new that you’ve never encountered before. A new option to break from the norm could be the many and varied theaters in Philadelphia.

A good place to start your Philadelphia theater experience is the Wilma Theater (265 S. Broad St), which sits at the intersection of Broad and Spruce Streets. While The Wilma is one of many theaters located in Philadelphia, this is not your parents’ theater experience; The Wilma is friendly to patrons of all ages and offers plays that are incredibly interesting and varied, from classics like Macbeth to more modern plays like the one running at the Wilma now, Leaving.

Leaving is a funny, politically-driven play written by former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel and starring Oscar-nominated actor David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck). Located at a historic villa in the Czech Republic, the play begins on the premise that the former Chancellor Dr. Vilhelm Rieger (Strathairn’s character) must leave his beloved villa; but in the process of leaving, his life drastically changes. Rife with allusions to Shakespeare’s King Lear and Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard, the scenes unfold on a beautiful set complete with special effects, such as the use of real water for rain. The show is incredibly funny and even makes a slight mockery of itself at times through an omniscient narrator who makes introspective comments on the action. But it also carries a more poignant message about change and, literally, how leaving can make a permanent mark.

Plays such as Leaving are a great gateway to the Philadelphia theater scene. Many of the actors and actresses who form the cast of Leaving are locally based or have worked extensively in Philadelphia. Some of them were even educated in Philadelphia, doing their undergraduate or graduate level work at local schools such as Temple University. Local cast members love to return to their hometown or alma maters to perform; this makes for a lively theater scene with tons of interesting performances. In addition, many of these people will arrange special performances, such as the performances of Shakespeare that took place at Clark Park, near the University of Pennsylvania.

Besides the Wilma Theater, there are numerous other venues in Philadelphia that offer incredible plays. The Philadelphia Theater Company, the Annenberg Center of University of Pennsylvania, and many others offer affordable shows, some of whom even offer special discounts for students. Most of these venues allow for relatively informal dress, are patronized by people of all ages and backgrounds, and offer an amazing array of shows. This makes it so that everyone from seasoned thespians to amateur theatergoers (like me!) can find something to enjoy. The only question left is what are you going to see first?

You can contact John DeLuca at entertainment@campusphilly.org.

Photo:

June 4th, 2010 by Campus Philly

Under the Sea with ANS

It’s difficult to believe that humans don’t know everything. With advances in technology and higher education, the 21st century could easily be called the Information Age. There is a place left largely unexplored, however: the ocean.

This may surprise you, but it shouldn’t. Over 99 percent of living space on the planet exists in our oceans—astonishing if you consider the United States to be enormous. Moreover, only three percent of this underwater living space has been explored thoroughly. This means that over a million species are likely unknown—an unimaginable amount when considering that only 1.5 million land species exist.

At the Academy of Natural Sciences, you can explore the mysterious in a hands-on exhibit, Creatures of the Abyss. Running from June 5 to September 6, 2010, this showcase will—simply put—blow your mind. With realistic models of underwater water pressure and temperature, actual preserved specimen, and a life-size model of a giant squid, who wouldn’t be intrigued?

By far, the most mind-boggling element of the Abyss can be found in the Bioluminescence Theater. In a short three-minute video, you have the opportunity to experience deep sea creatures with an interesting trait—the ability to illuminate! At thousands of feet below the water’s surface, these marine animals are able to light up parts of their bodies for protection, mating, or hunting. You are guaranteed to walk out of this mini-theater in shock.

Other videos, projected from submarine-like displays, explain everything from global warming to hydrothermal vents. These will certainly inform you, but will most likely amaze you. For instance, did you know that a certain species of octopus walks along the ocean floor, on its tentacles? At this exhibit, you could see this for yourself.

Fascinating for college students and adults, the Abyss will even hold the interest of children. Because it is so interactive, it wouldn’t be difficult for anyone—big or small—to forget their own circumstances and become immersed in a mystical, underwater world. In fact, a video game-esque feature, displaying known underwater creatures at different sea levels, looks as though it was built specifically for kids. And at $12 for adults—$10 for college students, military personnel or children under 12 years—this exciting exhibit is worth every penny.

The deep ocean contains a unique assemblage of animals and microorganisms that are fascinating and inspiring in their own right, says Dr. John Lundberg, the Curator of the Academy’s Ichthyology Department. Surely, understanding what lives in the deep ocean will enlighten us about the diversity of life, especially how life functions and evolves at the extremes.

In this way, the Academy hopes to raise global awareness of the ocean—its dilemmas, its usefuleness, and its astonishing beauty—through Creatures of the Abyss. So, don’t just visit Ocean City or Wildwood this summer. Explore the unchartered sea, far deep beneath the surface, at this must-see exhibit.

You can contact Elisabeth Harby at liz@campusphilly.org.

Photo: © http://ansp.org