“Hear my soul speak:/The very instant that I saw you, did/my heart fly to your service”- Tempest, William Shakespeare
Regardless of whether you’re a fan of February, or if you are wishing for all things warm, the month has finally arrived. While winter may have us all under its cold spell, it serves as a reminder that spring is in the not-so-distant future. So while we wait for April showers to bring May flowers, take the time to revel in all things candy hearts and shades of red, by celebrating the month with all of the special people in your life. What better way to spend the 14th than by hanging out with friends, family, or a date at some of your favorite places and spaces in and around the city; or be adventurous and uncover some places you haven’t checked out yet. Don’t know where to start? Find out some of my top picks below!
As a local college student and Philadelphia native, there is no more poetic a way to show my love for my favorite places than with an ode, so here goes:
Ode to the Most Authentic Cuisine
With tastes of Chinese culture
And faraway feasts
That dance upon ivory porcelain
It lies at the center of hallowed halls and stone ivory
Where savory and sweet co-exist
Ode to the Best Bargain Hunting
Where upon each rack lies the artifacts
Of style, days past and clothes encounters
Where dollars stretch, from end to end
To hold all that awaits
As charity and good will reaps the rewards
Ode to the Most Eclectic Movie Theater
Roxy, with its long-forgotten sign and old age
And walls that tell stories of golden ages
Where independence and film occupy one space
Only those who do not fear the outside
Long to venture within
Curious about my three picks? Here are the reasons you should check them out:
Beijing Restaurant, located in the center of the University of Pennsylvania’s campus, is tucked away along a sidewalk where you would never know that some of the most delicious and authentic Chinese cuisine was being prepared inside. Get there early, as the place tends to fill up fast, with good reason: their bubble teas, homemade juices, and crispy spring rolls are more than enough motivation to fall in love.
Philly Aids Thrift, located in the Queen Village neighborhood, just off of South Street has been responsible for my transformation from occasional thrifter to fully matured frugal fashionista. Where else in the city can you find a multi-level thrift store that houses vintage dresses, vinyl records, and a room filled with clothes that only cost a dollar? Even better, the store donates all its proceeds towards helping in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Perfect if you want to help fund a charitable organization and when you’re in the mood to sift through retro and wacky finds or if, like Macklemore, you plan on popping tags with only twenty dollars in your pocket.
The Roxy Theater, renamed the Philadelphia Film Society at the Roxy (PFS), is hidden along tiny Sansom Street in the Rittenhouse neighborhood of Philadelphia. If you didn’t know it was there, you would probably miss it. The two-screen theater was converted from two row homes in 1975, and has been showing independent movies and some mainstream flicks ever since. This tiny, nostalgic theater instantly became my favorite place to have an off-the-beaten-path movie experience after I saw The Fault in Our Stars there this past summer. Plus, the concession stand sells retro candy and snacks and the atmosphere beats the crowds and the noise of larger theaters any day. Whether you’re an indie movie buff or just looking for something new to watch, give the Roxy a visit this month.