Some weekends just go above-and-beyond all expectations, and this past weekend was one of them. I think what made it so noteworthy was that every part of it just shouted Philadelphia, due to a strong sense of Philly-ness about it. So I give to you the “Copy Me Weekend,” a weekend that you, too, can copy and enjoy during your next trip to the city of Philadelphia.
I was very fortunate to have my older sister, Ellery, come to visit and share with me some of her favorite memories from her time here. Philadelphia runs in the family – my aunt, mom, and older sister have all taken the semester during their studies at Hope College. This place has absolutely been transforming for all four of us each in our own unique experiences.
We welcomed our weekend on Thursday night with dinner at Porta, a Neopolitan pizza spot in Center City. This late night hotspot really spoke to the liveliness of the downtown – we nearly had to shout across the table! The young people of Philadelphia definitely keep the local joints busy about every night of the week, which is something I have found keeps the week just as fun.
Following dinner, we made our way to Dilworth Park to get in on their Student Ice Skating Night in the plaza. The people-watching was just as good as the ice skating, and we laughed as a young boy wearing just a pair of sneakers was chased (not just once) off of the ice by the staff. Another man took center stage and grooved to the music in his own skating world. The joy of the holiday season was definitely there, and it (almost!) felt like winter.
Friday morning was a hole-up-in-a-coffee-shop kind of morning, and Ellery and I spent a few hours at Menagerie Coffee catching up on some work to free up the rest of the weekend. While the London Fog wasn’t near as delicious as the ones at Square One Coffee (which were enjoyed later), the homemade chocolate chip cookies were. I mean, truly, imagine tasting something homemade after missing out on your mother’s homemade meals for three months!
Philly cheesesteak time! Of course we had to indulge in the city staple. This time we tried Ishkabibble’s, right across the street from my apartment on South Street. Half a cheesesteak is more than enough to last the rest of the day… at least until Happy Hour at The Dandelion and Mission Taqueria! This place is so lively and is one of my favorite spots in Philadelphia. We met up with a coworker Ellery met while studying here four years ago, and I became so excited to think I would someday do the same with the friends I have made. Dinner was on South Street at B&B, a Vietnamese restaurant where I had my first bowl of Pho!
Saturday was saved for our adventure to Chesnuthill, PA. A half an hour car ride takes you to a town that had to be the scene for a Hallmark movie. The Christmas decorations were up and people were crowding the bars with their puffy coats and earmuffs. Spontaneously, we decided to get some sister haircuts downtown and had fun chatting with the hairdressers!
Dessert at Tria was bread pudding! Afterwards, we met up with some of the friends I made while in Philadelphia at McGuillen’s Olde Ale House, one of the oldest tavern’s in the country. This is a very popular spot loaded with lights and even more Christmas decor.
One of the favorite breakfast spots here in Philadelphia is The Green Egg. After attending Old Pine Church, a historic church built in 1768, we walked to the Northern Liberties town nearby. I had heard of their incredible french toast, so we ordered the Creme Brulee French Toast…talk about dessert first!
Earlier we had passed The Candle Studio, a small candle making studio in a little Old City townhouse. We went through all the many scents, mixed oils, and poured our candles. It is now one of my dearest memories, and was a great way to meet a couple of local students who were running the store for the day. Still waiting on the end results of which one smelled better… but, I took the liberty of giving a strong hint.
It wouldn’t be Philly without rooting for the Eagles on a Sunday game day. The Gaslight is the perfect local bar to catch the game, and we had a blast sporting some Eagles gear. Unfortunately, we lost, but it was a few hours well spent!
And that was the finale to our weekend in Philadelphia, in true Philadelphia fashion! Come and explore, and earn a little local status with the “Copy Me Weekend.”