deVivre Concierge Travel Itinerary: The Intellectual
While we could get lost for years in the museums of Florence, the libraries in Oxford, or the ruins of Ephesus, sometimes you just need a quick jaunt to get your intellectual juices flowing. Even though we live in NYC (home to some of the best culture the world has to offer) we love taking an easy long weekend to someplace unexpected. For this, we love Philadelphia—it’s only two hours away and yet it actually feels like another world. Here’s a deVivre Dream Weekend in the City of Brotherly Love.
Spend the morning at Philadelphia Museum of Art. The special exhibits are always beautifully curated or you can spend the time in the museum’s permanent collection which is just as interesting. Grab lunch at the new Frank Gehry designed Stir Restaurant.
Next head to the Barnes Foundation which controversially moved to its current site in 2012. The collection is arranged exactly as it was in its original home which is absolutely crammed with art! Every inch of the walls are covered with gem after gem from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Early Modern periods, interspersed with some wonderful decorative art.
Dinner at top chef Amis Tratoria.
Grab a soft Philly pretzel from one of the many street vendors, jump on the Market/Frankfort El and ride it to the end of the line and back to see Love Letter For You, commissioned in 2012 by local Philly artist Steven Powers to show the complexities and rewards of relationships or you can join a Mural Arts guided tour to appreciate it in more detail.
Lunch at Brauhaus Schmitz where you can grab a sausage or a schnitzel.
The Magic Gardens are the life work and obsession of local Philadelphia artist Isaiah Zagar. The house and gardens are covered in wall-to-wall mosaics, which visitors can explore at their leisure. I would recommend seeing this at night however as once lit up its a sight to behold. I would also suggest completing the experience by watching Isaiah's son Jeremiah's documentary In A Dream about what it's like growing up with an OCD artist as a parent.
Head over to Fabric Workshop and Museum. It's free and you have to go in with a guide. They will take you to whichever floors have exhibitions on display and give you a bit of background about the artists. You never know what you're gonna get, but there's always something good. The focus here is to allow Contemporary artists room to experiment.
Finally feast on a delicious bowl of Pho at Vietnam Restaurant before grabbing a bus or train back to NYC.