Parcin’ it in Philly

I recently made my way back to the city of brotherly love for a weekend with friends.  Phialdelphia is where I grew up and the city I knew before all others, but at this point in my life it is no longer home. So for this trip I made a point to get a few suggestions for bars and restaurants in the area.  I tend to go to the same few places since college and I was ready for something new.

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Lucky for me, my friend lives off of Rittenhouse Square so we were right in the thick of things. The first night, we got cocktails at a few places including Twenty Manning and The Pub & Kitchen. Both bars served up decent cocktails amid a fun ambiance, but Pub & Kitchen took home the pie. Mostly because I was hungry and the kitchen was closed during our stop at Twenty Manning, but also because the DJ knew the way to my heart: Notorious B.I.G. (I did mention I was from Philly, right?!).

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A smart man once said that Saturdays are meant for drinking and eating heavily before 5pm (I’m sure someone has said this….), so the next day we did just that. A long and lazy brunch was had at Steven Starr’s Parc Restaurant on the corner of the park. We left this French inspired hot-spot full and a bit tipsy, so I dare say it was a successful morning/afternoon.

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That evening, we joined forces with even more friends and traveled across the city to the “Brooklynesque” Northern Liberies area. This is a neat, up and coming area of Phialdelphia that I enjoyed experiencing a bit this past summer. This weekend we went for mexican dinner at Cantina Dos Segundos. Many spicy margaritas and tortilla chips later, we reconnected with old friends back in center city at Black Sheep Pub. A crowded bar that smelled of beer was the perfect spot to reminisce about high school memories.

A solid weekend that left me exhausted and thirsty for more Philly.

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Mornings

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I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently about getting up earlier than normal to seize the day.

Oddly enough, my New York Magazine was also featuring notes about early risers and things to do and experience in the early hours of NYC. It was a great article and inspired me to use my day to the fullest, even if it means getting out of bed earlier. I’m actually thinking that it may be the best time for me to write.

For most of my life, my days started very early. I was a competitive swimmer, which meant jumping into cold waters at 5am most mornings. So you might assume getting out of bed is a piece of cake, but let me assure you that it is not. I am not and never have been (even as a swimmer) a “morning person.”

All of that being said, there is something special, productive and peaceful about an early morning run, read or cup of jo. So this year I’ll try to capture more of the early to experience more of the peace.

Do you get up early to get certain tasks accomplished? Do you get up early for exercise? What about a simple pleasure or time alone?