Instead of jetting off to a typical Spring Break with friends, I opted to go home last week to one of the greatest cities in the world (in my opinion): Los Angeles! Boy, am I glad that I did. Besides spending quality time with my family, resting, and enjoying the comforts of home, I got to reconnect with some of my favorite spots. Eating, shopping, and beautifying were on my agenda. And although I’m refreshed and rejuvenated, I’m a little sad to be back. So, to ease my sorrows, I decided to find Philadelphia equivalents to my favorite places in LA. Enjoy exploring!
1) LA – Joan’s on Third: Joan’s on Third is one of my favorite restaurants in LA. It’s a great lunch/brunch spot, with a fresh menu and tons of delicious options. I love sitting outside on a warm day and people watching over a Chinese chicken salad. On the other side of the walk-up-and-order restaurant is a market, where you can buy food ranging from cheese and meats to cupcakes and candy. You can market and pick up takeout! Joan’s is a one-stop shop for any occasion.
Philly – Picnic: Picnic is located on 32nd and Walnut, so not terribly far away from campus. Like Joan’s, Picnic has healthy and yummy menu options like salads and sandwiches, as well as baked goods and sweet treats. It’s a nice space to sit with friends and the foods definitely worth taking home for later. Though it doesn’t have a market like Joan’s does, the food and atmosphere still remind me of my good old home spot.
2) LA – Planet Blue: Planet Blue is my favorite boutique in Los Angeles. It’s not overwhelming, like a department store, but it’s not too small (rendering options limited). They carry everything from jeans to party dresses to funky jewelry and accessories. I can always count on Planet Blue to carry classic designers as well as lesser known-lines. Whether you see me in a tee-shirt on Locust Walk or a party dress downtown, I probably got it at Planet Blue.
Philly – Vagabond
Maybe I’m spoiled, but I’ve never thought Philadelphia had the best shopping. Yes, you can find Urban Outfitters and Co-Op in Rittenhouse, but where are the off-the-wall stores I crave? Well, I get my fix from Vagabond on 3rd Street in Old City. A small, cute store, Vagabond always satisfies with its clothing and accessory options. They sell a lot of cool vintage clothes as well, and the prices are totally reasonable. Love it!
3) LA – Bellacures: I love my token nail salon. This spot, Bellacures, is pretty close to my house. Great color selection, comfy armchairs, friendly manicurists, and shoulder massage included. What could be better?
Philly – Gomo’s Nails: Located at 17th and Samson, Gomo’s is the closest place to my beloved Bellacures. Great color selection, friendly manicurists, and shoulder massage included. Just wish the chairs were comfier…
4) LA – Maha Yoga: I’m big into exercise. Though I usually hit the gym or run outside, when I’m home I love to go to my favorite yoga studio. Maha has a variety of different yoga classes for all levels, and I always leave feeling strong, centered, and a little sweaty.
Philly – Power Yoga Works: I really like this spot for yoga when I’m here in Philadelphia. It’s on 36th and Lancaster, and I find the teachers very patient and helpful. Power don’t offer as many or as wide a spectrum of classes as Maha does, but I enjoy it when I go and I get my workout in just the same! Plus, it’s closer than most studios downtown.
5) LA – The Farmer’s Market: If you’re from LA, you know what a Farmer’s Market is. Usually, they’re street fairs in which vendors come sell fresh, organic produce and food. There’s the original Farmer’s Market in East LA that is open every day, with endless food stalls. My personal favorites are the nut stand (you can see peanut butter getting churned!), the crepe stand (nutella and banana, mmm), and this particular dessert stand that makes the best frozen bananas I’ve ever had. Oh, and there’s a sticker store. No big deal.
Philly – Reading Terminal Market: This has got to be on your Penn bucket list. The Reading Terminal is on 12th and Arch street, and similar to my Farmer’s Market, it is endless food stalls. Think salad bar, sushi restaurant, Amish stalls, Mediterranean food, cheesesteaks, pulled pork sandwiches. You name it, they’ve got it. My favorites there would have to be the bakery (the best fudge I’ve ever had), the Bassett’s ice cream shop, and the Jewish deli (Marathon’s matzoh ball soup has nothing on this!). Absolutely worth the trip.