On the Streets of Philadelphia…
Fellow Finders, last week I was at Art Basel in Miami and came upon a startling realization … there are a lot of people who really like art (or to be seen liking art).
However, for the true at heart, Philadelphia is so much more than a lesson in American history; the City of Brotherly Love is an art and food mecca that exists a quick one hour train ride from NYC. This week’s Find reminds us that it doesn’t have to be new to be Found!
Philly’s version of the Met is a world class museum, unparalleled in the breadth and depth of its collection. A perfect place to start if you have a lot of time or need to see a specific show. Of course take a selfie in front of the Rocky statue! Go here first.
Just up the Parkway from PMA, The Rodin Museum has the largest collection of Rodin’s work outside of Paris. It is a short stroll from both the PMA and Barnes Collection, and is a must go if you haven’t been there.
Housed in a new (controversial) home, the Barnes collection boasts extensive holdings of Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, including extensive works by Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso to name a few. It is the ultimate example of what a collection can be. This is a must see and make sure you get tickets in advance.
Now that you have visited the 3 majors above, it is time to see an art museum, like no other, the ICA. In full disclosure, I am a proud member of its Board of Trustees, but would recommend it either way.
The ICA at the University of Pennsylvania (go Quakers — hurrah, hurrah Pennsylvania) believes in the “power of art and artists to inform and inspire.” Founded in 1963, the ICA was established to introduce students to contemporary art and culture. As such, the ICA held Andy Warhols’s first museum show in 1965, as well as put on the 1st museum shows of several other art world rockstars. Under the leadership of Amy Sadao and Chief Curator Anthony Elms, the ICA continues to challenge visitors about what is art and how it is presented.
Everyone knows that looking at art builds up an appetite. There are always classics like the Pat’s & Geno’s cheesesteak (I prefer Pats) and Taconelli’s Pizza, but here are my finds:
5 locations through Philadelphia (including Penn’s Campus)
We’ve all tried chicken and waffles, but chicken and donuts? The donuts are served warm, and come in a unique variety of flavors including Chocolate Eclair, the Mighty Quinn, Cinnamon Sugar, Peppermint, etc. They are perfect to eat while you wait for your fried chicken to arrive. I would hit this for lunch after the Big 3 museums and before the ICA; locations open at 7AM (chicken at 11am) and close at 7PM (or at sellout).
(Also New York, LA, CT)
Another option after the Big 3 (a short cab ride to Chinatown), especially if you are gluten free, is T-Swirl which serves Japanese crepes crafted from 100% gluten free rice flour. They have created a unique menu that includes Carmel Fuji Apple to Shrimp Avocado; I had the latter which was the perfect balance of savory and sweet, and the ingredients were bursting with crispness, freshness, and flavor. This is a new spin on crepes, and definitely worth every bite. I found this in Philly BUT then realized it’s chain that will eventually take on Pinkberry or Chipolte proportions, it’s that good. If you are interested in replicating them when you get home head to one of my favorite sites Jenn Reviews for some additional crepé recipes!
Zahav is not new, opening in 2008, but it’s always a Find. This Israeli restaurant feels as if you are in the Machane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem where the produce is local & fresh, the dishes are bursting with flavor, and the atmosphere is extremely lively. Book early because it is a hard reservation to get for dinner. Fyi: Happy Hanukkah to me and some of you, Zahav and Federal Donuts are both owned by chef Michael Solomonov & Steve Cook, and word on the street is that they are circling a NYC location.