Archive for March, 2014

PHILADELPHIA

March 17, 2014

GildedGetawayGuidePhilly

 

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Fresh off the heels of our Providence jaunt, we migrated south to the birthplace of Betsy Ross, cheesesteaks and Brotherly Love. This Getaway Guide is our largest to date, a hearty blend of favorite standbys and new recruits. Why so abundant curious minds might inquire? Simply stated, Philadelphia was, and forever remains, a noteworthy chapter in this golden girl’s story.

Having spent our collegiate years in this national treasure, it’s a city marked by a personal journey (albeit cliché) of self-discovery and lifelong pursuits. A destination to transcend our New England roots, spread our creative wings and learn how to fly. Like a parched palate after a morning jog, we soaked up its offerings and yearned for more. Kelly Drive was our running path, a proverbial highway to the art at its end, where our mind danced in delight to the likes of Van Gogh, Dégas and Rodin. It was the nineties, Rendell was mayor, and ‘The Vet’ was still home to the city’s own athletic birds-of-a-feather.

Fast forward to a new era and we’re still going back. In the decade-plus since we formally packed up our bags and waved goodbye, the transformation of Philadelphia has been unabashedly awesome. New blood has moved in, walls were torn down, and things are a-changin’. And while many of our long-time loves have since shuttered their doors, the city’s historic genes are far from forgotten. Modern delights are tucked between row homes and cobble-stoned streets, the quintessential tête-à-tête between past and present. Trailing our selections is a ‘B’ list miles long, far from second-class, and equally notable to those we’ve highlighted. But because our guides are perfectly pint-sized servings of that which we treasure and hold most dear, we may have no choice but to offer our readers a second helping.

There will be those who balk at our nod to a nationwide retailer, but one step through the door and we’re sure you’ll agree – it’s okay to occasionally go for the wares, but always preferred to stand in awe of a building. In the mood for classic gems and glamorous baubles? Venture slightly off course from our favorite square, to discover a bona fide jewel box, where self-indulgence is not only recommended, but downright requisite. Looking for food to calm your cravings? Local restauranteurs have risen to the ranks of Jefferson and Franklin, their menus crafted in an act of culinary declaration.

While our guide may be biased by a local standard of sorts, it’s a sheer testament to the validity of tried-and-true. So go for the history, stay for the food and fall in love with the culture.

TheDeanHotel

 

The story of The Dean is one for the ages. You know the type, each layer revealed is more gritty and juicier than the ones before. The landmark building, erected in 1912 as an Episcopal refuge for the city’s downtrodden, fell to a life less holy when strippers and hookers moved in for what some might call ‘a religious intervention’. Fast forward to recent times, when Ari Heckman, a homegrown native of the capital city, envisioned a classier chapter for this Downcity haunt.

Heckman, founder and CEO of Brooklyn design firm ASH NYC, partnered with other ‘Rhody’ investors, and set out to transform the storied facade into a 52-room getaway for Northeast hipsters, Ivy League parents and jetsetters alike. The result, a boutique hotel marked by a colorful past and upgraded with swoon-worthy accents, achieves the academically sought-after perfect score. From custom-made light fixtures by way of Vermont, to steel desks and bed frames courtesy of the local Steel Yard, The Dean’s arrival is a nod to the region’s creme-de-la-creme in interior design and artistic craftsmanship. Forever faithful to our textile roots, we’re head-over-heels for the Maine-made Brahms Mount blankets, woven exclusively to ward off deep winter chills in the heart of New England. And requisite of any establishment hosting the chicest of travelers, a signature scent crafted just for The Dean by everyone’s favorite perfumer.

As one might expect, the details are many, meticulously curated and strategically placed. Outfitted like the finest of English dandies, the hotel has tones of old-school prep, matured and evolved for life’s next step. Vintage furnishings sourced from home and abroad? Check. Antique rugs on aged wood floors? Check. Blue velvet couches for lazy lounging? Check. Ebony wainscoting and brass fixtures galore? Check and check. The list is long, and oh so sweet.

As if the property wasn’t happenin’ enough, three in-house hotspots are soon to debut: Faust – a biergarten in the grandest of German tradition, The Magdalenae – a cocktail lounge helmed by Providence’s most notable barman, and The Boombox – a private karaoke bar for wild nights and impromptu sing-offs. And for those of you who prefer to let loose in the company of pastries and pour-overs,  The Dean is home to a mean cup ‘o joe, which we dare to attest, 100% challenges the best of the west.

The Dean | 122 Fountain Street | Providence . RI | dial 401.455.DEAN

Images courtesy of The Gilded Lobster and The Dean.

TGLMarch2014

As much as we love winter, there comes a time when it’s only fitting to bid adieu. When daydreams of warm summer rays, cool ocean breezes and salty fresh air creep in to send comfort food and cashmere packing. For us, (and undoubtedly for countless others,) the arrival of March brings with it a desire for the winter heaviness to melt away into a renaissance of sights, sounds, and simple pleasures. From raffia and straw to kraft and cotton, we’re yearning for all things natural, sun-bleached and satisfyingly sweet.

A ‘tasting’ menu of what’s on our plate this month…

| inspire |

Eyes and ears open at this talk, because nothing says love like a vintage Valentine.

| dine |

A birthday month to fête the Captain offers the perfect occasion to welcome a new addition.

| wear |

In pursuit of a ‘lil ‘pep in our step’, adding not one, but two pairs to our warm weather wardrobe.

| desktop |

Watch out penpals, stalk alert your postman! We’re sending out snail mail in the cutest form.

| art |

The countdown commences, a commissioned piece to soon call our own!

 Image courtesy of The Gilded Lobster.

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