as someone who is an avid and avowed stationery addict, i have to recommend this super cute little store in philly's old town. they have beautiful sets of paper, really wonderful hand made photo albums (good ones that actually require photo corners, not the 4x6 monstrocities that dominate our world now), and diverse well-designed individual occasion cards. a great store for any paper lover.
this is a great little store to indulge the baby (or, let's face it, more like to indulge the parents). they have super soft and comfy outfits, and all the nice cool new designs from europe (why oh why are european baby clothes SO much nicer than american ones?). everything for babies is adorable of course, but this has the added benefit of actual good design, rather than just cute-because-it's-small-ness.
as someone currently at the tail end of a pregnancy that has spanned all seasons except winter, i would heartily recommend this store to expectant mom who don't want to look like pink fluffy freaks (why is it that as soon as you're pregnant you're expected to like pink flowers on your clothing?). this store has funky cool fashion that will make you less unhappy about the joint aches and swollen feet... and will actually fit and be comfortable.
one of the funniest things in this store are the demonstrations of condom use that the staff puts on - they're helpful (since safe sex is good sex) but it's still pretty funny in that middle-school kind of way. besides that, this store is a great adult gift store, with all sorts of gag gifts, as well as actual (serious?) erotic objects, outfits, and movies. good date place.
a combination of spencer's gifts and an actual adult store, this place is a date must. they have humorous items (like the world's smallest condom, a tiny pinkie finger sized thing) to actually pretty sexy getups for your partner ("bad girl starter kit" is a good one). stop by and pick up some flavored condoms and laugh at the gag gifts. just don't come with a prude, this is no place for modesty.
it's not quite erotica, it's not quite biker leather gear, but it's a sometimes hilarious combination of the two - weird crotchless leather panties, and that kind of thing. this is a pretty old store on south street, and one that used to be frequented by the biker/skinhead types that lurked there. now of course south street is all tourists, so this store is a throwback to a more subversive time.
this is the place to come to in philadelphia when you've gotten yourself all dressed up as frank n. furter and have nowhere else to go. that's right, they have midnight showings of "rocky horror picture show" with the virgin sacrifices, dressed up fans, and the whole nine yards of the entire audience acting out the movie while it's happening. a must see.
this place has a strange clothing selection - the idea seems good, since everyone needs and likes knits, but the design of the clothes leaves much to be desired. the salespeople tend to be friendly and helpful, but the way too staid and traditional clothing, colors, and patterns never seem to call out to anyone to buy them. i guess it's good for basic scarves and hats.
if i could live in the suburbs of philadelphia when i have kids, i would send them here - the same school that i myself went to. it's pre-k through 12th grade, and is one of the few schools in the area that's actually focused much much more on academics than on athletics. the teachers are incredible, and are so well selected that i had formative, important experiences with a good two thirds of the ones that taught me. the students aren't obnoxious rich private school kids, but are well-rounded and grounded in healthy values. overall, a great place to learn.
this place has pretty everything you could ever want to make a world-class garden, whether indoors or out: all kinds of plants, lots of garden statuery and decor, not to mention all the necessary tools, equipment, etc. the staff here is excellent also - everyone is very knowledgeable about what will grow where and how, and they aren't in any way too condescending to help out a novice or chat with an expert.