Let’s talk favorites. I talked in my first blog post about some of the ways in which Philadelphia has far exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations. I thought it might be nice to share some of my favorites with whoever reads this thing, with the off chance that you might be in/end up in Philly.
The place where I spend all of my time: I discovered this place in January, and the biggest draw was that the classes were all taught in a 90 degree room. This. Was. Heaven. Now that temperatures outside are starting to soar, this is less of a draw, but let me tell you- for several months, these classes were the only time I felt warm. Even though it has warmed up outside, I’m still in the studio an average of 8 hours a week, and I love it. The instructors at Philly Power Yoga and Thrive Pilates are all really friendly and knowledgeable, and the studio is welcoming to all levels. If you are looking for a relaxed stretching class, check out the Pilates studio, as the yoga classes are power vinyasa flow classes (lots of pushups and sweat). They have a free community class Wednesday mornings, and a five dollar class Monday mornings.
The place where I completed (most) of my graduate school applications: Granted, much of my graduate school essay writing/procrastinating/stressing was done late at night in my room, but Elixr Coffee was a much needed change of scenery in the time of stress and snow. It is full of terrariums and reclaimed wood, and is worth a look for the atmosphere alone. Whoever is in charge of the music is also great, as it’s pretty eclectic but always good. The location is off a side street close to St. Mark’s, and they don’t seem to mind if you nurse a cup of coffee for quite a while (it’s also possible that they took pity on my stressed state/thought I shouldn’t have any more caffeine). That being said, their food is also quite delicious.
The best place to run in the sleet and snow: Ok, so this might be a little bit of a lie. I loved running/ sliding on the ice along the Schuylkill River Trail, but that could be related to the fact that I’m a native Texan, and just recovered from an injury that kept me from running for two years. I got the all-clear from my doctor in January, and immediately started running on the trail. The trail runs through several parks, and is a great place to run/bike/rollerblade/chase goslings. In January, I would run into another person every half mile or so, but ever since the first 70-degree day, the place has been packed! There are tons of free events along the bank during the summer (like yoga), so it’s worth a stop even if you hate running.
The best happy hour: I’m not a big drinker, but I ADORE pizza, and Nomad Roman has some of the best in the city. They have a normal happy hour, and a late night happy hour on the weekends! The restaurant itself is beautiful and tiny, and the pizzas are really, really, good. The St. Mark’s house is a big fan, and when my sister came to visit I took her there purely for the joy of the Nutella pizza. Yeah, that’s right. Nutella. Pizza. You can also go outside of happy hour, but really, on a stipend, there is not much better than a five-dollar personal pizza.
This is obviously a teensy-tiny bit of what Philadelphia has to offer, and I invite you to take the time to explore and find your own favorites! There is more to Philadelphia than cheesesteaks.
Elizabeth Serves as a Case Manager at Bethesda Project.