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Special spots in a special town..

The Dream Garden
When you are visiting Philadelphia for ANG this August, you might find yourself wanting to branch out from the Convention Center neighborhood and get to a few gems that are tucked away, hidden from tourists eyes! So I've put together a few wonderful and unusual spots that might whet your appetite for all things Philly!

The first one is the unbelievable mosaic Dream Garden. It was created by Louis Comfort Tiffany in 1916 to grace the lobby of The Saturday Evening Post at 601 Walnut Street.  At 15 x 49 feet this enormous rendition of a Maxfield Parrish painting was created entirely with pieces of Favrile glass, an iridescent glass that was a patented look for Tiffany Lamp Co. The piece was bought by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in 1998 when casino mogul Steve Wynn attempted to scoop it up and cart it off to Vegas!

Tria Cafe

In the eats department, if you love your wine and cheese, you may want to head over to Tria, the wine, beer and cheese restaurant in Rittenhouse Square. Whatever you like -- a Pinot with a beautiful Maytag Bleu, or a Gerwurtztraminer with a lovely Queso Gallego -- this place has what you are looking for.  While not a Cheap eats destination, it's great for a snack and a rest! Located on the corner of 18th and Sansom, it's a treat for any visiting cheesophile!

In addition to discovering electricity, forming the first public library, and the first fire department, did you know Ben Franklin was a Freemason? The Masons are a mysterious secret fraternity, and much has been written and hypothesized about who they are and what they do. Well, wonder no more--the Masons here in Philadelphia have opened their doors to the world, with guided, $8 tours of 8 of their largest halls. Visit the "Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons", and grand halls done in eclectic and, sometimes bizarre style, from Asian to Egyptian and everything in between. 

What We Do

And then there is the amazing world of bahdeebahdu.  If you are in the market for a chandelier, and wanted something "a little different" have I got a chandelier for you! The showroom for this company is located in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. They do all sorts of interior work, but their signature sculpture chandeliers, made entirely of, well, junk, are a sight to behold!  The artist Warren Muller creates these amazing bits of bright confusion out of recycled and salvaged objects. His commissions include The Westin Hotel for it's recent makeover, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.  If you have a chance to check out his unusual showroom, it is well worth the trouble!

Just when you had us pegged for a cobblestone colonial town! I will be doing more great spots in Philly, so be sure and check back!

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©Orna Willis
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