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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Soak Up the Art Scene in Philadelphia


5. Oddball Day

The Race Street Pier offers green space in the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.  

Shop your way across the city’s historic core for quirky discoveries and retail bargains. Start by queuing early at South Philly’s Federal Donuts, where lavender or chile-flavored pastries (from $1.25 each) are fried to order and usually disappear by 11 a.m. Then walk north through the old Italian neighborhood, passing the lively Headhouse Farmer’s Market on Sundays (10 a.m.–2 p.m.), where you can round out breakfast with fresh produce from more than 30 stands. Cross Market Street to browse the cluster of tasteful boutiques in Old City (one Pennsylvania perk is tax-free clothing). On 2nd Street, you’ll find racks of vinyl at AKA Music (27 N. 2nd St.; 215-922-3855) and handmade dishes at the Clay Studio. One block over, 3rd Street is jammed with smartly curated racks of designer and vintage clothing. Stop into Sugarcube to score Dunderdon waxed-canvas parkas ($199) and Pendleton wool camp blankets ($140), or Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction for unusual accessories, like local artisan Peg and Awl’s cedar desk caddy ($70). Take a break by walking out over the Delaware River on the Race Street Pier, an impressive park that opened in 2011 next to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Afterward, stroll up 2nd Street through hip Northern Liberties—ducking into eco-minded Arcadia Boutique—to Girard Avenue, for a juicy suckling-pig Italian hoagie ($8) at Paesano’s. Frankford Avenue, with its bars and shops, is five minutes away: Visit Adorn for handmade jewelry, and then spend the rest of the afternoon at Frankford Hall with outdoor ping-pong and one-liter steins of Victory Headwaters Ale ($10). You can eat there, but it’s nearby Standard Tap that has long set the standard for Philadelphia’s gastropubs, with a changing blackboard menu of oysters ($2.50) and chicken pot pie ($12). End your night by heading west to the Loft District for a concert at the new venue Underground Arts, whose upcoming lineup includes Hot Snakes, Damian Lazarus, and Vacationer.

Published on Aug 31, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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