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Loving Back Locally - The Philadelphia Egotist's Holiday Guide to Gifts & Grub

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Loving Back Locally - The Philadelphia Egotist's Holiday Guide to Gifts & Grub

Ok not just gifts since there's a lot of really good food/drink/coffee to be heavily yet responsibly consumed in this city that loves you back.

Here are some instagram shots from our favorite local spots. We hope you indulge after reading. Or feel free to take a hike up at the Bucktoe Creek Reserve!

Stock is small and quaint but tis the perfect season for arguably the best broth north of Washington St.

Local denim, totes, belts, etc. for the rest of the winter and beyond from these tall hardworking lads at Norman Porter

You've seen their design work up at Bufad and Kensington Quarters but check out their true passion where Truehand Society uses a more permanent ink.

Head to one of Federal Donuts 4 locations for David Lynch themed donuts and some fried chicken.

Philly based designers The Heads of State'sPilot & Captain is quite well known for their T-shirts but check out their new candles!

Buy your lady some nice crystal stuff, a candle, and cop a dope Radlands T'shirt for yourself while you're at it at Ritual on N2nd St.

South Street's finest of fine- P's &Q's has everything from swank Norse Projects shirts & caps to limited edition New Balance M530 and even Baxter and other grooming products.

Winter cycling, day trips, whatever- R.E. Load bags are sought after by bike messengers around the world and they're made, quite often custom, in Northern Liberties. We're personally huge fans of the Navy Blue waxed canvas and ballistic nylon bags but there's a lot to choose from, including new winter hats. 

Get some cheese & a sandwich at Wedge & Fig then walk down to Vagabond, Philadelphia's best women's boutique located in Old Cit 

Philly's best in eclectically classic vintage goods. Jinxed now has four locations but if you go to the one in Fishtown on Frankford, get a coffee at LaColombe and a hair cut & tattoo at Art Machine Productions all on the same block

Doodlers, artisans, crafters and furious letter-writers BEHOLD; the finest school desk to ever darken our door!!! This setup has so many bells and whistles the normal ones don't; for starters it has a great shelf to sit books, inkpots, and inspirational toys! Huge work area with a pen trough! Roomy storage with a hanging pen trough! And guess what!? There's what I'm guessing is Soviet Cipher graffiti!!! The operative, who's name was Lisa Marie had a temp of 98 degrees, the BSB is probably a location of microfilm, and NSYNC is the cell in the gulag she buried the plans for Stalin's Ape Army!!!! Bam! Figured you out! And to keep with the Catholic School disguise, there's a picture of a saint on the inside! You're not fooling us Lisa... or should I say NATASHA! Sturdy metal construction, the wood is stained and marked, but this really is an incredible desk! 30"x25"x28" (desk height) 37" (shelf height) $45. Piazza location, call to buy! 215-978-JINX 

ReAnimator Coffee. Stay awake or grab some of their Tumeric Ginger tea. Send a T-shirt to your West Coast coffee snobs cuz these beans are the best!

Keep those feet covered. In style. UBIQ on Walnut St.

Ingredients for perfect cocktails, chocolate, Warby Parker specs, socks, beard oil, books: Art in the Age in Old City is kinda what it would be like if Wes Anderson had a general store.Need a break from Center City? Head over to Cheu Noodle Bar on 10th St. Get the buns. Get a Six Point Bengali Tiger on draft and enjoy some of the most creative noodle soup creations in existence. Thank us later.

Nothing feels better than putting on a shirt or suit that was specifically made for you. The hard pard is picking out the right pocket square at Commonwealth Proper in Center City.

Stop hatin & start skatin! Grab some nice Vans or Nikes. Grab a board. Check out the gallery downstairs at Exit Skateshop on N.2nd. Same block as Ritual. Get a beer at Standard Tap before and/or after.

Sure the coffee is awesome but the buttered ham sandwich is the perfect treat at LaColombe on Frankford Ave. Also try their rum.

If you're not into shopping and just wanna play some mini golf, head over to Keystone in Kensington

We missed a lot of epic spots but all of these have awesome shops within blocks of each other. You'll be more than set if you visit around Third St. in Old City, East Girard and Frankford Ave in Fishtown, 2nd St. in Northern Liberties, South St. and Passyunk Ave area.

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Comic Book Cocktails with ROOT and SNAP

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A few weeks ago, a local restaurant held a ComicCon-themed industry night, closing dinner service down early to serve comics-themed drinks and snacks. The staff were in full costume (but I neglected to get a photo of the guy with the Bat-symbol goatee), and there were entertainments that included a Batman ice luge and vintage video games (yes, we’re at a point in time at which video games can be vintage). The restaurant in question, Alden and Harlow, is a current area hotspot with an innovative menu and cocktail list, so Tiny Doom and I, together with The Goog, decided to check it out.

The evening was fun, and very crowded, and it got me thinking about other comic-book themed cocktails. Too often, the ones you’ll find online are sticky sweet, lazy, or both, putting garish color before mixology. Alden and Harlow’s did not fall into this trap, but they did make use of some Hawaiian Punch and Mountain Dew. Is it possible to make a tasty, well-crafted cocktail that evokes your favorite heroes but avoids sticky-sweet additives? I decided to give it a whirl, and I press-ganged Tiny Doom and The Goog into helping! So here for your imbibing pleasure are three superhero cocktails that do not involve fruit punch, Pucker, or anything else with atomic food coloring. They do include somewhat obscure cocktail-nerd ingredients, so you might need to make a trip to the store before you make them.

In keeping with most of my posts, I stuck to a DC theme for this first attempt. If people like this concept though, we can do it again with Marvel and other properties. To be fair, I also picked heroes I felt I could do justice to with the ingredients I did have to hand.

First up is Superman!
For him, I wanted something strong, all-American, and with a bit of something unexpected, something alien, if you will. I started with a rye whiskey base, rye being the quintessential American liquor (yes, even more so than its cousin bourbon!). In my travels, I’d picked up some boiled cider syrup, so I thought that would be a good addition – what’s more American than apples? For the “alien” note I toyed with the idea of throwing in Cardamaro, a digestif from Italy that’s made with cardoons and blessed thistle, but at the last minute I spied my tiki gear and thought that might be a more suitable direction, so in went some cinnamon syrup and the ‘Elemakule Tikibitters from Bittermens.

The result was tasty and would actually make a great Thanksgiving cocktail – it tasted like apple pie in a glass, but without the cloying sweetness and with a bit of heat from the rye. If it didn’t go against my “strong” mandate, I’d say it would be good with some seltzer, as well.

I couldn’t do Superman, of course, without Batman. The cocktail would need to be both dark and bitter. Tiny Doom pointed out that something that evoked childhood innocence lost would not be remiss, and suggested that I add some Root, a lovelyconcoction from Art in the Age that tastes like the very best root beer. I heeded her advice and added that to some cold brew coffee concentrate and Gosling’s rum. The first sip was okay, but weirdly flat. We decided to add a touch of Kahlua for sweetness, and it was vastly improved. This ended up being dark and complex, like its namesake, and it looks fantastic in the glass.

Finally, how could I not do an homage to my beloved Flash? This one I did base on its looks to a significant degree, but it’s also basically a highball and thus, pretty fast. (And yes, I know a shot is faster, but not to prepare if it’s a mixed shot, and since I just don’t shoot things on principle, you get this.)

My version may also be a bit redder than what you would get a home, because the base I used, Cherry Heering, is usually a bit darker – this is a homemade version using sour cherries, which are more vibrant. I threw in a bit of Snap, another Art in the Age gem that tastes of ginger, since Wally West is my favorite Flash, and Tiny Doom came to the rescue once again by pointing out that a lemon twist would be just the right garnish to evoke the lightning bolt symbol. The result was light and refreshing, with a bit of zing from the Snap, and how gorgeous is that red?


If you try any of these cocktails at home, let me know what you think! If you want to suggest other heroes or villains to get this treatment, tell me in the comments! Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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"Art in the Age is a Philadelphia staple."

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Local holiday gift guide

Layla A. Jones,


Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 3:00 AM

For the jewelry aficionado: Check out ViVi G. Shoes (503 W. Lancaster Ave. Suite 640, Wayne) and their new, handmade private label jewelry pieces. The collection included unique, versatile jewelry like one link bracelet that can be worn in four different ways. Prices range from $100 to $395.

For the proud Philadelphian: Look to small business owner Jennifer Hill of JHillDesign for a colorful city map of the City of Brotherly Love. The print, which ranges in size from five inches by seven inches to 13 inches by 19 inches, features each Philadelphia neighborhood with a custom pattern drawing. Prices range from $12 to $80.

For a personalized touch: Philadelphia design firm Replica Creative (33 South 18th Street) is creating life-size images of anything you can imagine.  From a wall-size logo of your favorite sports team to a life-size princess for you daughter’s bedroom, Replica Creative allows purchasers to customize wall décor in time for the holidays.

For the gardener: Art in the Age (116 North 3rd Street) is a Philadelphia staple. Support two Philadelphia businesses at once by purchasing the gardener on your list an Art in the Age Lombards Rope Planter. The hand woven planter is made from nautical and climbing ropes from Lombards Equipage.

For the soccer fan: Started by a former Temple University student, Live Breathe Futbol is brand for serious soccer stans. Whether you have a favorite team or just live and breathe futbol, there’s a special piece on the Philly-based site for you.

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Art in the Age Store is a Small Business Saturday Pick at Uwishunu

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Philadelphia goes big for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with a spectacular citywide celebration.

After soaking up Philly’s nightlife on Thanksgiving Eve, officially kick-off the holiday season with the 95th Annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade — the oldest parade of its kind in the nation. The 1.4-mile parade down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway features gigantic balloons, celebrity appearances, local performers and festive floats.

You’ll give thanks for Philadelphia’s fantastic restaurants as many are offering delicious Thanksgiving dinners to help you avoid the stress of cooking and cleaning for the holiday.

The day after Thanksgiving means the official start of the holidays. Stay in the city with the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package to explore the city’s holiday lights, pop-up shops and traditional family-friendly holiday attractions throughout the weekend.

Read on for our official guide to Thanksgiving weekend fun in Philadelphia.


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29 — Small Business Saturday

• Small Business Saturday in Old City

A wealth of independent businesses are housed in the charming storefronts of Old City, and there are tons of deals to be had on Small Business Saturday. From great gifts at Art in the Age and Scarlett Alley to cool clothing at United by Blue and Charlie’s Jeans, there’s sure to be a buy for someone on your shopping list. MORE INFO

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ROOT and SAGE Cocktails at the Free People Blog

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Many of us here at the home office have a favorite brand of spirits we swear by: Art In The Age. Head to any employee’s holiday party, and you can bet they’ll have a bottle sitting atop the mini bar.

The spirits have a full depth of flavor, melded together with clear craftsmanship and inspired by traditional – although sometimes forgotten – recipes. Especially in the colder months, it’s hard to resist the spiced flavors of SNAP or ROOT in your cocktail. So do your mini bar a favor, and get it stocked.

We were fortunate to work with the spirits brand at our Holiday Nights event earlier this month. Their team crafted two very special cocktails that are perfect to serve for any upcoming holiday festivities. The first is a rosemary and cranberry spritzer made withSAGE, and the second, a ginger beer and ROOT cocktail with lime. Sound delicious? Your guests will think so too!


Rosemary + Cranberry Spritzer with SAGE:

Mix together:
1 part (oz) SAGE
3 parts cranberry juice
1 part club soda


Ginger Beer + ROOT Cocktail:

Mix together:
1 part (oz) ROOT
4 parts ginger beer
Garnish with a lime wedge/wheel


Follow Naomi on Instagram @NumieAbbot


Check out Naomi’s blog Numie Abbot

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Thanksgiving Cocktails with Art in the Age SAGE at Lark & Lace

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Ah yes, Thanksgiving is almost upon us once again. It's that time of year when elastic waistbands become our best friends, mere hours after we join hands around the table and recite our thanks we nearly strange each other while waiting in line for the best deal, and our aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents all join forces in order to pester us about our current relationship statuses. (Or, lack thereof.) I'm kidding. (Kind of.) I love the holidays and Thanksgiving is a particularly cozy one. What's a good get-together without some high-quality spirits? Booze not for you? No worries, I'll let you know how you can also make these drinks alcohol-free.

Sage & Cranberry Cocktail

I fought the whole "cranberry drink" thing for a while. I mean, what right does cranberry have getting into all the other juices? I'm still not sold on combinations such as "cran-grape" but I do love me some sparkling cranberry juice. This drink is tart, earthy, and very light-- exactly what you need when you're stuffing your face with Thanksgiving dinner.

What you'll need:

 - Sparkling Cranberry juice

 - Lemonade

 - Art in the Age SAGE

 -  Sage and cranberries to garnish

Begin by filling a glass halfway with ice. Pour one part SAGE and two parts sparking cranberry over the ice. Add a splash of lemonade and stir. Garnish with fresh cranberries and sage leaves. You can make this large-scale by simply making in a pitcher and letting guests serve themselves. For an alcohol-free version, muddle some sage in the bottom of a shaker and mix with lemonade. Pour one part sage lemonade over ice along with one part sparking cranberry.


Boozy Apple Pie Float

This drink is a childhood favorite all grown up. Who doesn't like apple pie? Who doesn't like ice cream?  Thought so. This drink is spicy, rich, and perfect for dessert. It may seem somewhat innocuous but it packs a big punch.

What you'll need:

 - Apple Pie Moonshine (I like Ole Smoky but there are a lot of others.)

 - Spiced whiskey

 - Ginger beer

 - Ice cream (I used Amy's dairy-free Coconut ice cream)

 - A sprig of rosemary to garnish

Scoop 2-4 large spoonfuls of ice cream into a glass. Add two shots of moonshine, a splash of spiced whiskey, and fill the rest of the glass with ginger beer. Add a sprig of rosemary to garnish. For an alcohol-free version, simply substitute the booze with sparking apple cider and add a dash of cinnamon on top. 

Need some more Thanksgiving cocktail ideas? Try the Hot Ginger & Rhubarb Tea, Gingersnap Cocktail, or, if you can't wait until Christmas, this Minty Candy Cane Cocktail. Remember to sip responsibly!



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