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Extreme Window Shopping in Philadelphia

by Stephanie Lee Jackson
Photo Credit: Stephanie Lee Jackson

Photo Credit: Stephanie Lee Jackson

Window shopping in Philly is almost too easy, if a girl is touristically inclined: South Street, of course. You simply begin at Whole Foods on South Street and S 10th Street, and follow the tattoo parlors. Along the way, you may sample as much bondage gear, unwholesome lingerie and impractical shoes as your heart desires.

Likewise, any girl can take a stroll down Walnut between 18th and Broad and max out her hypothetical credit card with ease. Even though it’s all downhill after Anthropologie, you can have a nice time bopping into Juicy and Urban Outfitters to try on pricier outfits.

But the true shopping treasures are found North, at least as far as the Northern Liberties. Follow 2nd street nearly to Girard, and behold The Piazza, experimental Utopia of Philadelphia.

classic lighting stephanie l jackson Extreme Window Shopping in Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Stephanie Lee Jackson

First on the agenda is Millésimé, a galleryesque concept store curated by the lovely Jinous Kazemi. Visiting her is like being allowed to run amok in the design section of MoMA. One may try out a jacket from Romania, some French jewelry, German furniture and Philadelphia handbags, all in one place. Jinous, charming lady, has that elusive quality known as Taste, and she is thrilled to share her vision with you. Whether you are a clothes horse or a design junkie, there is something here to elevate your soul.

Around the corner, a romantic girl will find much to enjoy in bloom, especially if she’s sick to death of tawdry. She can try on a Free People dress in front of a massive wood-framed mirror, browse among a mountain of baroque notecards, scented candles and frivolous novelties, and generally indulge her inner princess. The lofty lady behind the desk will not pay you much attention.

Across the way, the refined South Street aficionado may find something to interest them at Jinxed, a junk shop without the junk. Here you may rummage through quirky antiques and offbeat t-shirts without fearing asphyxiation from mold allergies.

In fact, a certain bright spaciousness is characteristic of all the Piazza shops, even the street-corner psychic shop. It is as if the developer took a trendy block in Brooklyn or San Francisco, washed it, enlarged the windows and banned automobile traffic. This seems to make the locals friendly. If you have a young child, she may be spontaneously invited to join a play group on the Astroturf.

No day of window-shopping is complete without an experience of sheer bedazzlement, however. This is why you must travel a block or two down Girard for a gander at the Classic Lighting Emporium. This beauty of a barn is frequently called upon to supply one-of-a-kind chandeliers for major motion pictures; rumor has it that Angelina Jolie has swung on at least one of them. You may mentally furnish your exposed-brick loft–the one you’re going to buy when your art/book/business takes off–with the stained-glass fixtures of your dreams.

Millesime
1001 – 13 North 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(267) 455-0374
Hours: Mon to Sat 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

bloom
1001 North 2nd St.
The Piazza, Suite 20
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(267) 861-0539
Hours: Tues 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.; Wed, Thurs 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Fri, Sat 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Sun 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Jinxed
1050 N Hancock St.#86
(2nd & Girard) @ The Piazza
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(214) 978-JINX
Hours: Mon to Sat 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Sun 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Classic Lighting Emporium, Inc.
1105 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 625-9552
Hours: Mon to Fri 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sat 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Anthropologie
Rittenhouse Square
1801 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 568-2114
Hours: Mon to Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 11am-6pm

Stephanie Lee Jackson is a lapsed artist, blogger and owner of Practical Bodywork in Philadelphia. You can find her archives at http://stephart.com, and her thriving massage practice at http://practicalbodywork.com.