Have you been to Philly? If not, come. A lot of changes have and are taking place. In the four years I’ve been here there are new restaurants, shops, the Barnes Museum Foundation is now in Philadelphia on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, more people are moving here, and though it’s a city, it’s small and not overwhelming. Travelers say that they actually enjoy flying into the Philly airport whether to visit, or to transfer to another flight, because it’s easy to get around. I agree; it has the easiness of being able to get one’s bearings which is not always the case at airports, and yet it’s well-organized.
With all that’s developing there’s a good feeling in the air. When I first moved to Philly, South Street between 10th and 23rd Streets was in the throes of, well, I don’t quite know of what. Truthfully, except for a few stores, it was uninspiring. Not anymore; it’s alive now. Here we can find an array of restaurants preparing delicious ethnic foods, and plenty of small speciality shops. People who are moving into this area and opening shops are excited about being a part of the neighborhood. When walking along and passing restaurants, I hear a whole lot of laughter.
What I’m saying is that when you’ve been to all the tourist sites don’t stop there cause you ain’t seen nothing yet. Uh-oh, maybe I shouldn’t write that. Well, I did. Philly is small, walk over to South Street and meander over to 10th Street where Whole Foods can be your landmark, then head west. I’m only going to name a few places, as you’ll easily discover the rest. Remember, Philly is the city of Brotherly Love so don’t hesitate to ask to be pointed in the right direction.
The Philly Magic Gardens at 1020 South Street will be waiting for you. If you have flowers and plants in mind, instead think mosaic. There are events, tours, workshops with Isaiah Zagar, celebration of special occasions, and more, more. Check it out: 215-733-0390 – www.phillymagicgardens.org
Next let’s go to Harry’s Occult Shop at 1238 South Street. Harry’s Occult Shop was started by Harry Seligman a pharmacist in 1917. He was a registered pharmacist and the business started as a pharmacy, most of his clients were people who had just arrived from the south and would ask him for occult powders and oils. His interest was aroused and he began researching the occult (Occult means hidden, unseen, unheard). Occult products are used to create positive energies to help bring about changes according to the intention. The upstairs rooms are used for treatments and readings. Harry’s Occult Shop: 215-735-8262 – www.harrysoccultshop.net
You were hungry and perhaps stopped at a restaurant. if not, you’re hungry now. Don’t be concerned as there are a lot of restaurants along the way to 22nd Street. First though I’d like to tell you about Mushmina at 1540 South Street, or because they can do it so much better than I can – you’ll feel their passion – I’ll let the first paragraph of their website do the telling:
“The story started with two sisters who wanted to make a difference in the developing world. One joined Peace Corps Morocco to help rural women develop business skills and the other traveled to Mali to research traditional weaving and metal-smithing techniques. Six years later, Mushmina was born. Our name Mushmina, is an endearing nickname that to us means ‘little sister’.
“Artisans we love
In Morocco we work with over 9 different regional artisan groups, employing over 75 artisans, both men and women. While we are a cottage industry business (where many women work in their homes) the Mushmina Workshop and atelier is coming soon!”
Katie O’Neill is one of the sisters, and you’ll find her at the Mushmina shop. Her face nicely expresses that she loves what she does, and is well-able to talk about any item in the store, and tell its story. I was there and I’ll be back to buy a birthday gift. Pictures also tell a story, and the website can show you the beautiful selection of bags, scarves, clothes, jewelry, shoes, slippers, etc., and of the interesting ways the sisters are growing their business. Check it out: 215-732-5500 – www.mushmina.com
It wasn’t easy choosing only three shops to write about. From here I hope you continue onward, and, if you’re so inclined, send a comment about an interesting shop you happened upon, or a restaurant, yoga place, bar, cafe, a great story you heard on South Street, etc. What caught your attention?
It looks like a lovely summer day. Let’s thoroughly enjoy.