Old City -- Philadelphia -- Cocktails?

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Mar 11th, 2014, 07:38 AM
  #1
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Old City -- Philadelphia -- Cocktails?

Seeing a matinee at Arden Theatre this Saturday and then having dinner at Buddakan a couple hours later. How do we kill time between -- other than checking out a couple galleries in the immediate area? I know there are lots of bars in the neighborhood but any cool and relaxing place for cocktails -- maybe the Hyatt at Penn's Landing? Bleu Martini looks really cool, but it opens at 4 -- and is that strictly a nightclub sort of place that will dead and weird before 6?
Meanwhile, any recommedation for a "light" lunch in the area -- don't want to spoil our early dinner, but would like something kind of fun. Fork is closed. Cuba Libre might be nice, but it's the one place we've already been.
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Mar 11th, 2014, 10:30 AM
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> any cool and relaxing place for cocktails

The GRAND TOTAL of what I know about this place
http://www.continentalmartinibar.com/
is that is within sight of the Arden, and has been there for years. Is it any good? I have no idea!! But it might be just what you're looking for.

> any recommedation for a "light" lunch in the area
> Cuba Libre might be nice
Nick's Roast Beef
http://www.nicksroastbeefbarandgrille.com/
is right next to Cuba Libre, its food is quick and good, and its sandwiches won't leave you stuffed.

Or you might just want to walk down 2nd Street until you see a place that interests you.
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Mar 11th, 2014, 11:16 AM
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Hi Neopatrick. Go up to the rooftop bar at the Monaco at 5th and Chestnut. It will be lovely if the weather is nice or you can stay inside if it's not. There is also a nice bar at the lobby level. I like Farmicia on Third. You can eat lunch or brunch there. They also have a nice bar area.
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Mar 11th, 2014, 12:12 PM
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Thanks. Both the Continental and the rooftop at Monaco don't open till 5, but that's probably OK as we can kill an hour or so gallery hopping. But the Continental seems to be more sit at a bar within a restaurant. Birdie, I saw the rooftop listed in "rooftop" bars and it made it sound like it was only outside, but from the pictures and what you said, I guess not and it really just might be perfect -- more relaxing lounge feel. And Farmacia looks interesting and might be a nice change from Cuba Libre.
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Mar 11th, 2014, 12:41 PM
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We were out there this past Sat evening at about 5:30 and it was very nice then. They have heaters and there are fairly large indoor spaces. There is no view, unfortunately, but it's chic and cool. The drink prices aren't cheap, just to warn you. I wouldn't go later at night, it seems to be the hopping spot and, I imagine, gets pretty crowded.

Further away at 11th and Spruce is Tria Wine Bar, another possibility.
https://www.triacafe.com
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Mar 11th, 2014, 01:07 PM
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OK, but want cocktails, not wine!

Surely the drinks won't be more than at the new Hyatt rooftop in Manhattan? I think they START at $23 and go from there.
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Mar 11th, 2014, 02:09 PM
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I like Farmacia as well. Have been there several times for lunch and brunch.
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Mar 11th, 2014, 07:44 PM
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I haven't been to Farmacia, but I will definitely try it soon. As soon as I saw your request for a light lunch, I thought of Amada on Chestnut St. It is a well regarded Spanish restaurant and has great drinks and tapas.
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Mar 12th, 2014, 01:26 AM
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Suki - I have been to Amada as well and agree with you. If I remember correctly they have a nice bar area as well. We stumbled upon this when looking for lunch one day. Knew nothing about the restaurant but walked in anyway - pleasantly surprised!
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Mar 12th, 2014, 06:11 AM
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Mare, I think that i ate lunch in the bar area in a booth and it was very nice and cozy.

I just saw that USA Today did a weekend in Philadelphia feature:
10 Best Philadelphia Foodie Spots:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/experi...spots/6125697/

Place to Visit for First-Timers:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/experi...imers/6125549/

Places to Visit for Hipsters:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/experi...sters/6125787/
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Mar 14th, 2014, 02:59 AM
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Seeing this late so your decision's likely made, but...

If you haven't seen it, another way to kill time if you haven't seen it already (or maybe even if you have) is to walk over to 6th and Walnut and go see The Dream Garden mosaic at the Curtis Center. So many people miss this when they visit Philly and it's a real treasure.

I definitely don't count myself as knowing "cool", but I've enjoyed brunch before Arden on a Saturday at Continental and am pretty sure I went there just for a drink once at that hour as well. Not sure where you're seeing their hours but if it's of any interest you might want to call them.

Count me in as a fan of both Amada and Farmicia, entirely different vibes and food so depends what you like or are in the mood for.

I also enjoy lunch at one of the Afghan places on Chestnut near 2nd St., either Kabul or Ariana.

Have fun!
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Mar 14th, 2014, 04:25 AM
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go_laura, don't ask me where I got that "open at 5" for the Continental -- I went to their site -- and maybe I just saw that's when they "open for dinner", but now I see they are open on Saturday throught the afternoon.

And thanks for that about The Dream Garden. I have seen pictures of that and had totally forgotten about it. But I see on Saturday they only have hours from 10 to 1 -- but if we get there early enough before brunch, that would be great.

And I think we've decided on Farmacia for brunch. Open Table showed nothing available from 12 to 1:15, so I went ahead and did a reservation for 11:45.

We'll probably check out the rooftop of the Monaco for after the show.
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Mar 17th, 2014, 06:00 AM
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Good day in Philly with gorgeous weather. But after the 55 minute trip from Lambertville turned to almost two hours ( will we ever NOT get stuck in traffic on I-95?), we thought we'd just have enough time after parking to see the Dream Garden mosaic before lunch. We hoofed it to 6th and Walnut to find a sign on the door to use the 7th and Sansom entrance. So around the building to find another sign "this building closed for maintenance today". Rats. Had a great brunch at Farmacia. The show at Arden was well done and very interesting. Headed to The Monaco to find that the Rooftop Lounge was closed for a private event -- wedding apparently. Rats again. Drinks in the lobby bar of The Omni instead. Fantastic dinner at Buddakan! Home before 10.

But thanks for the advice all, even if most didn't work this time.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 04:08 PM
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Sorry so many of your plans didn't work out, but glad you had a great brunch, enjoyed your play, and enjoyed dinner!

Was it Three Sisters that you saw at the Arden? We just saw it yesterday, and also thought it was well done and very interesting, if a bit challenging for one of us already doing a little mid-life crisising.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 04:14 PM
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No. We saw Water by the Spoonful.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 06:54 PM
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GoLaura -- if you went to the 7pm show, we were in the Arden at the same time yesterday. When my wife and I walked to our seats, my first thought was, "Uh oh, they sent us to the room where they are working out HOW to put _Three Sisters_ on the stage!"

If you generally see Sunday night shows, check out the poster welcoming subscribers -- you'll see our names there!
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Apr 1st, 2014, 04:56 AM
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I stayed at the Monaco last year and thought its rooftop bar was highly over-rated. Service was s l o w and the regulars got all the attention. So IMO you didn't miss anything. As hotel rooftop bars go, the Monaco's is no KU DÉ TA

(Of course, I'm still mourning the loss of Frog, The Commissary and The Piano Bar)
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Apr 1st, 2014, 05:23 AM
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So, PaulRabe and go_laura, how "great" is this production of Three Sisters? I've seen it so many times -- including the brilliant production about 10 years ago in London with Kate Burton and Kristin Scott Thomas. I'll get a ticket if it's really worth it, but if it's "just another Chekhov production, I think I'll pass.

PaulRabe, I take it, you mean it's a "construction" sort of set onstage?
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Apr 1st, 2014, 10:30 AM
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Neo:
This production of _Three Sisters_ acknowledges the problems that modern audiences are going to have in following a Chekhov play, by taking the audience through the production -- sometimes almost spoon feeding us information.

The first act has the actors portraying themselves getting ready to perform this drama, wearing blue jeans and t-shirts. The stage "set" is a backstage set of desks, and the actors are literally reading their lines from sheets of paper. A video camera off to the side is displayed on a large screen on the stage, zooming onto a miniature of a stage set for the play, and moving the camera angle as the actors read their lines -- thus giving us a sense of the actors moving on the stage, even as they are in front of their desks. When the gift of a samovar appears, there is a two-minute hiatus as the "actors" become interpreters of the word "samovar."

By the third act, the actors are completely in character, wearing costumes of early 1900s Russia, with sets of a dacha in the middle of trees.

I won't deny that a purist is going to be appalled at this approach to the play; but I also have to admit that I am one of those people who would have a problem following Chekhov without aids such as those used in this production. In that sense, it's NOT "just another Chekhov production." However, if you've seen his plays performed "straight" and enjoyed them, this may not be what you're looking for.

If the latter IS the case, then you want
http://philadelphiatheatrecompany.org/
which is a witty, Tony{R}-award play with tons of in-jokes about Chekhov plays.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 12:26 PM
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Oh yea. Not really my cup of tea, as I almost know Three Sisters.

Ah, Vanya, etc. Saw the world premiere at McCarter last year then saw it twice on Broadway. And this summer will be seeing it again at Bucks County -- this time starring the playwright himself -- Christopher Durang -- as Vanya and Marilu Henner as Masha. The music for the Philadelphia production was written by a good friend of mine, who also is a friend of Christopher Durang's; in fact we all had dinner together at the composer's house recently!
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