Philadelphia, PA

The Art Star Craft Bazaar proves cool exists outside of Brooklyn-really.

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  • Art Star Craft Bazaar

  • Art Star Craft Bazaar

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Horizons (Photo by Donna Gentile Wierzbowski)

  • Art in the Age

  • Art in the Age

  • Art in the Age

  • Art in the Age

  • Art in the Age

  • Art in the Age

  • Art in the Age

  • Art in the Age

  • Art in the Age

  • Art in the Age

  • Beau Monde

  • Beau Monde

  • Beau Monde

  • Distrito

  • Distrito

  • Distrito

  • Distrito

  • Distrito

  • Distrito

  • Distrito

  • Distrito

  • Wilbur

  • Wilbur

  • Wilbur

  • Wilbur

  • Wilbur

  • Wilbur

  • Delicious Corsets

  • Delicious Corsets

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • Apothecary

  • Apothecary

  • Apothecary

  • Apothecary

  • Apothecary

  • Apothecary

  • Apothecary

  • Apple Hostel

  • Apple Hostel

  • Apple Hostel

  • Apple Hostel

  • Apple Hostel

  • Apple Hostel

  • Apple Hostel

  • Apple Hostel

  • Apple Hostel

  • Art Star

  • Art Star

  • Art Star

  • Art Star

  • Art Star

  • Bus Stop

  • Bus Stop

  • Bus Stop

  • Clay Studio

  • Clay Studio

  • Clay Studio

  • Clay Studio

  • Clay Studio

  • Clay Studio

  • Johnny Brendas

  • Johnny Brendas

  • Johnny Brendas

  • Johnny Brendas

  • Johnny Brendas

  • Johnny Brendas

  • Omoi

  • Omoi

  • Omoi

  • Omoi

  • Omoi

  • Pentimenti Gallery

  • Pentimenti Gallery

  • Pentimenti Gallery

  • The Mural and the Mint

  • The Mural and the Mint

  • The Mural and the Mint

  • The Mural and the Mint

  • The Mural and the Mint

  • The Mural and the Mint

Art Star Craft Bazaar

BEST WEEKEND TO GO: May 29-31

DISTANCE: 102 mi -- about 1 hour 51 mins

WHY GO: You've raided the Brooklyn Flea, you're on a first-name basis with the dealers at the Annex, and you practically own stock in Catbird. What next? Pump some cash money into NYC's unofficial sixth borough during the 120-vendor-strong Art Star Craft Bazaar (Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, Columbus Blvd between Chestnut and Walnut Sts; artstarcraftbazaar.com; May 30, 31 11am--6pm; free). "We look for people who do more than string beads and make candles," says festival cofounder Megan Brewster. "We go for stuff that is well made and innovative." The shindig also boasts live music (look out for Philly bands Oh! Pears and the Mural and the Mint), Sublime Stitching's Jenny Hart signing books, vegan/vegetarian food courtesy of area restos like Soy Caf and A Full Plate, and a few surprises thrown in for good measure. "Last year we had someone show up and cut people's hair for $10," says cofounder Erin Waxman. Be one of the first 250 people to arrive each day and you'll score a free screen-printed tote stuffed with vendor goodies.

WHY STAY: You can't drop cheese at the bazaar without popping into its namesake boutique/gallery, Art Star (623 N 2nd St; 215-238-1557, artstarphilly.com). Brewster and Waxman's twee tastes are reflected everywhere: Folded Pigs ceramics, one-of-a-kind Holly Hue hoodies and greeting cards crawling with woodland creatures. While you're in the Northern Liberties neighborhood, check out Psydde Delicious's Delicious Boutique and Corseterie (Liberties Walk, 1040 N American St; 215-413-0375, deliciousboutique.com) for corsets named after famous sexpots (the Anais, the Chatterly) and circus-punk jewelry; and Arcadia Boutique (819 N 2nd St; 215-667-8099, arcadiaboutique.com), which, Waxman says, "focuses on a lot of eco-friendly clothing." One of Brewster's faves is Omoi (1608 Pine St; 215-545-0963, omoionline.com), which owner Liz Sieber says specializes in "all kinds of good stuff from Japan," including bento lunch boxes, fashion mags, vinyl toys and art.

Crate diggers will heart the vinyl at A.K.A. Music (27 N 2nd St, 215-922-3855), hands down the city's best record shop. One street over, find bold bangles and summery sandals at Lost + Found (133 N 3rd St, 215-928-1311), a unisex boutique run by a hip mother-daughter team; glass decanters and avant-garde tees at Art in the Age (116 N 3rd St, artintheage.com); and hard-to-find labels like Illionaire and Gemma Degara at Reward (55 N 2nd St; 267-773-8675, rewardproject.com). Says Daily Candy's Philadelphia editor, Meredith Lindemon, "Owner Shari Roulin sells the best shoes."

Speaking of kicks, Bus Stop Boutique (750 S 4th St; 215-627-2357, busstopboutique.com) is also highly touted; you'll understand why when you see owner Elena Brennan's supercute selection by designers like Fly London, Irregular Choice and Farylrobin. Head one block north for Wilbur Vintage (716 S 4th St; 215-413-5809, wilburvintage.blogspot.com), a fab shop stuffed with '60s and '70s threads and odd jewelry (like taxidermied chicken-claw brooches).Philadelphia artist Katie Collins digs Fat Jack's Comic Crypt (2006 Sansom St, 215-963-0788) for old and new alterna-comics, as well as Jinxed (620 S 4th St; 215-978-5469, jinxedphiladelphia.com), which treads in graffiti- and tattoo-inspired art, T-shirts and books. She also likes hanging at Clark Park (Baltimore Ave between 43rd and 45th Sts; 215-552-8186, clarkpark.info) on Saturdays, when it is overrun by medieval warriors battling with Styrofoam swords. Another outdoorsy option: Franklin Square (Race and 6th Sts; 212-629-4026, onceuponanation.org; $6--$8). Word has it the 18-hole miniature-golf course is often deserted, meaning you can totally cheat while putt-putting your ball through a cracked Liberty Bell or under the Chinatown Friendship Gate.

Get it while you still can: The massive "Czanne and Beyond" retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (26th St at the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy; 215-235-7469, philamuseum.org; $14--$24, children under four free) ends May 31. Metro Philadelphia entertainment editor Monica Weymouth calls the show a "pretty first-class affair." Also on the art tip, Brewster's a big fan of The Clay Studio (139 N 2nd St; 215-925-3453, theclaystudio.org) and Pentimenti Gallery (145 N 2nd St; 215-625-9990, pentimenti.com); the former's "Small Favors IV" exhibit, which features ceramics displayed in Plexiglas cubes, closes May 31.

After dark, head to North Bowl (909 N 2nd St; 215-238-BOWL, northbowlphilly.com), a '50s-inspired bowling alley with a kick-ass arcade and kitschy bar food (Tater Tots, funnel cake). The party doesn't stop there, though: Down the block, all the cool kids dance and drink and sex one another up at hipster arena 700 Club (700 N 2nd St, 215-413-3181), which couldn't have less to do with its Christian homophone. Around the corner, Silk City Diner Bar & Lounge (435 Spring Garden St; 215-592-8838, silkcityphilly.com) rumbles with a jammed dance floor, but also serves dinner daily till 1am. In nearby Fishtown, there's the much-loved Johnny Brenda's (1201 N Frankford Ave; 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com), which Brewster says is "the place to go for live music."

WHAT TO EAT: Stop off for a scoop at Franklin Fountain (116 Market St; 215-627-1899, franklinfountain.com), an ice cream saloon where the mustachioed workers dress in 1920s soda-jerk uniforms, and flavors like teaberry gum and maple walnut are served in Chinese takeout boxes. Pay tribute to your hometown by ordering a Coney Island: chocolate ice cream buried beneath a plume of marshmallow and drizzled with orange marmalade.

Brunch options are myriad: Top of the pops is darling crperie Beau Monde (624 S 6th St; 215-592-0656, creperie-beaumonde.com), whose wooze-inducing Bloody Mary pairs excellently with a buckwheat crpe stuffed with scrambled egg, roasted poblano pepper and Swiss cheese, and topped with avocado-corn salsa. Also popular: Sabrina's Cafe (910 Christian St; 215-574-1599, sabrinascafe.com) in the Italian Market and homey Honey's Sit 'N Eat (800 N 4th St, 215-925-1150) in Northern Liberties. Brewster goes for the stuffed challah French toast at the former and the veggie latkes at the latter.

For a no-fuss lunch, pop into the Reading Terminal Market (Arch and 12th Sts; 215-922-2317, readingterminalmarket.org), where the Pennsylvania Dutch sell shoofly pies and candied jellies alongside soft pretzels and Philly cheese steaks. Weymouth also likes Swallow (1030 N American St; 215-238-1399, swallowbistro.com), a mac 'n' cheese bistro on Liberties Walk. "It's run by the most adorable Brooklyn transplants, who also collect photo booths," she says. "Most stuff is under $8 and it's BYO."

Where New York notoriously gets Mexican food wrong, Philly does everything right. For high-steppin' Mex, Jose Garces's Distrito (3945 Chestnut St; 215-222-1657, distritorestaurant.com) puts Stephen Starr's El Vez to shame. The 250-seater looks more like an amusement park than a serious restaurant: Four hundred lucha libre masks line the walls and a pimped-out VW greets you at the door. Alas, you'll shut your taco hole when you get your chompers on his tuna ceviche with lime sorbet. For real-deal Mex—the kind where servers look askance at the gringo invaders—hike south to Taqueria La Veracruzana (908 Washington Ave, 215-465-1440). Weaklings beware of the table salsas: They're hotter than they look.

Vegans and vegetarians in search of a proper meal will be treated like kings at Horizons (611 S 7th St; 215-923-6117, horizonsphiladelphia.com). Marrieds Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby grew tired of hearing Philadelphians complain that all of the great upscale veghead restaurants were in New York and decided to open their own. Try the pan-seared peppercorn tofu or seitan meat loaf Veracruz.When it comes to dive bars, former TONY intern and Philly transplant Molly Eichel recommends 12 Steps Down (831 Christian St; 215-238-0379, 12stepsdown.com), because it's "exactly opposite of every bar I went to in New York—it's not that crowded, pretty cheap and reminds me of being in someone's basement." For "wild, old-school drinks," Weymouth gives two thumbs up to the year-old Apothecary Bar + Lounge (102 S 13th St; 215-735-7500, apothecarylounge.com), which you'll recognize by the glowing cross (the location is otherwise unmarked). Truck it straight to the roof deck and demand a Baron Von Thrippleton Royal Polynesian ($52), made with aged rum, orange curaao, falernum, hibiscus and lime. Why so costly? This is the only place in Philly that serves bottled cocktails, a tippling practice that predates liquor stores. It's meant to be split among friends, but hey—to each his own.

WHERE TO STAY: Photog James Saul recommends Apple Hostels of Philadelphia (32 Bank St; 215-922-0222, applehostels.com; $31--$90 per night), and Brewster and Waxman confirm its nonsketchiness. Located in the belly of vibrant (as in, nice by day, douchey at night) Old City, the hostel regularly hosts pub crawls, open mikes and a gaggle of handsome, young travelers. Mid-range tourists should investigate the modest Alexander Inn (301 S 12th St; 215-923-3535, alexanderinn.com; $119--$169 per night). Check the website for last-minute deals: The hotel recently offered $1 rooms Thursdays through Sundays as part of a Guest Stimulus Plan. For ritzier digs, Meredith Lindemon likes Rittenhouse 1715 (1715 Rittenhouse Sq South; 215-546-6500, rittenhouse1715.com; $249--$699 per night), a boutique hotel that's all gleaming marble, cushy bathrobes and Molton Brown toiletries.

GET THERE: For years, the competing Chinatown bus companies (New Century Travel and Apex) were the best way to get from point A to point B. You can still hitch those C-Town rides, but the newer Bolt Bus (boltbus.com; averages $15 one way) offers two NYC departure locations and free onboard Wi-Fi. Though Philly's subway system leaves something to be desired, the city is extraordinarily walkable. Have at it!

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