“Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow” – Me

mural-arts-if-you-were-here-philadelphia-8-600

Alas, all good things must come to an end, all’s well that ends well, other cliches about endings and moving on, etc. I have graduated and so must give up my throne that is this blog. Sighhhhhh.

I got to visit and write about a lot of Philly’s coolest cultural institutions over the past two years, but there are also a lot that I didn’t get to. Of course, in a city as big and versatile as this one, that’s always going to be the case, isn’t it? For those of you lucky enough to be going back to school this fall – especially freshmen coming from out of town, who may have yet to experience Philly’s hidden gems – here’s a quick rundown of the PEX Pass’s discounted opportunities, including the ones that I personally wish I had more time to take advantage of.

THEATRE

That’s right, theatre with the -re instead of -er, because we’re fancy here on the internet. Philly is lucky to host a ton of companies that cater to alternative tastes (though you can certainly find Broadway musicals and Shakespeare). Mauckingbird Theatre Company, for instance, exclusively features gay-themed shows, often shaking up traditional gender roles of well-known productions. Their 2013 season is just wrapping up with The Importance of Being Earnest, but check back in 2014 for more shows. PEX tickets are only $10. Similarly, Azuka Theatre specializes in plays that “giv[e] voice to the people whose stories go unheard.” Coming up in this fall’s Fringe Festival is Dutch Masters, about two young men whose conversation on a subway train addresses race relations in a post-Rodney King 1992. I’m excited for Azuka’s annual I Love You, I Hate You, a Valentine’s Day special featuring readings from City Paper’s ludicrous Missed Connections-esque page. Tickets are free with the PEX Pass. For fans of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” ComedySportz presents an us-versus-them improv show twice every Saturday night. Performers wear jerseys and are judged by a referee. PEX tix are $10.

MUSEUMS

Nerds unite! I’ve probably taken  advantage of these offers more than any other type, because there’s no set time or date that you have to cash in on them, and they’re fun activities to do with friends. I mean, if you have friends who are also nerds. I’d love to check out the Philadelphia History Museum, which most people seem to have never actually heard of. The museum showcases the city’s rich history that we all learned in fifth grade but have probably forgotten. There are also more modern exhibits, like their current “Face to Facebook” which examines how we Philadelphians see ourselves and have seen ourselves since the 17th century by juxtaposing standard portraits with 21st century multimedia. Temple kids get in for $5. Then there’s The National Museum of American Jewish History, which explores the impact of centuries of Jewish Americans on our country’s development. The Hall of Fame features artifacts of especially notable Jewish Americans, like Steven Spielberg’s first camera. Entry is free via the PEX Pass.

RANDOM CURIOSITIES

PEX gives love to non-traditional attractions as well. The Mural Arts Program’s Love Letters Tour stands out as being both educational and obscenely adorable. I have planned this date so many times, and it was never worked out, and my heart will be forever restless until I manage to take this tour. It follows the trail of West Philly murals spanning from 45th to 63rd on Market Street in the shade of the El. With colorful messages like “If you were here I’d be home now,” the series is meant to be a love letter to one person, and to the city as a whole. Admission is half off for Temple students.

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If you’re a freshman, I definitely recommend taking advantage of the free time allowed by your lower-level class load and exploring as much of Philadelphia as you possibly can. There’s a lot more to this city than the Liberty Bell and Citizens Bank Park, which is what I assume most people think of when they don’t come into the city often. If you’re not a freshman, I recommend it even more. By now you’ve spent enough time here to be comfortable with using public trans, and hopefully your tastes have matured a bit past thinking that Saturdays are only good for recovering from Friday nights. (Jahst keeding!)

To never be at a loss for fun and different things to do, just hit up the GenEd homepage and click on GenEd Virtual Passport. It’s super easy to explore the dozens of options according to your own interests. Check boxes like “Dance” and “Visual Arts” in the Organization Types section; look specifically for free events under “Offer Types”; search according to area under the “Neighborhoods” section if you’re looking to expand your knowledge to more than North Philly and Center City; or, if there’s a specific place you’d like to check out and want to know NOW RIGHT NOW if there’s a PEX discount for it, just type its name into the convenient Search bar.

Ah. I will miss you, little PEX blog. Farewell! Indeed, absence make the heart grow fonder.

Love and SEPTA tokens,

Julie <3

Summer Phun in Philly

Hullo! Summer is officially here, and for those sticking around, it’s absolutely necessary to make the most of this heat, the memory of which keeps us going during those harsh winter months. (Seriously, I want to move to Southern  California every time the temperature drops below 50). Philly is a multifaceted city, so if nothing seems to be going on around North Broad Street, you can be sure that there’s another neighborhood that would love to see you crack open a PBR* and chill out with it.

Free Movies at Liberty Lands Park

Break out those picnic blankets! NoLibs is celebrating the 80s with its annual free movie series, held at Liberty Lands Parks at N. 3rd Street by Poplar. July and August will show such classics as The Goonies and Lost Boys. Liberty Lands is within walking distance of North Bowl, Standard Tap and Honey’s Sit ‘n’ Eat.

Farmers Markets

Fresh produce is a blessing in the green-forsaken city streets. Clark Park at 43rd & Baltimore hosts a weekly market on Saturdays as well as every Thursday afternoon during the summertime. Take the 34 trolley west to stock up on fruits, veggies and flowers. Plus, there’s a tea cart. D’awwwww.

Rittenhouse Square Park also holds a market every Saturday on the stretch of Walnut between 18th and 19th. Grab some fresh food and have your own picnic amidst the dog walkers and lovebirds strolling through.

Dollar Stroll

Not enough Temple kids know how great West Philly is.** Explore Baltimore Ave at its spotlight event, Dollar Stroll, this September 12. For three hours in the evening, countless bars and restaurants from 43rd to 50th Streets offer items out on the street for just a dollar. Picture a neighborhood yard sale, except with tons of interesting-looking people, music, awesome food, and limited damage to funds. With the huge amount of business diversity in this area, you’re sure to find something for you. A standout for me is the Green Line Cafe’s dollar iced coffee and dollar vegan hotdogs. Nom!

2nd Street Festival

Set between Germantown Ave and Green Street in Northern Liberties, the 2nd Street Festival does for Northern Liberties what the Dollar Stroll does for West Philly. This community-driven event will be held on August 4th from noon to 10pm. Its website boasts four entertainment stages organized by the Philadelphia Folksong Society as well as dozens of food and craft vendors. Hopefully this year it won’t monsoon.

 

Still at the loss for what’s fun in the city? Well, that’s what the internet is for! There are several website to check out for more suggestions. Free newspaper City Paper has put together an entire Summer Fun Guide for your perusing. Every day of May through August is listed with one fun event to attend within city limits. For days when nothing too crazy will be going on, there are quirky recommendations – like that of July 8th, which advises readers to go out and look for corgis. uWishuNu is another goldmine of advice. You can opt to view events by a calendar, which then divides events into themes likes Nightlife, Drinks and Arts.

STILL bored? … I don’t know what to tell you. Get a bike, I guess.

 

*Obviously you, this hypothetical being, is over 21.

** Opinion. Also true.

Conquering Nature vs. Being Conquered by Nature

Ever searching for free adventure within city limits, I decided to spend a day exploring what nature spaces Philadelphia has to offer. The trip had its highs and lows.

Part I: Nature is Pretty

Adventure Pal Allison and I made the trek to Northwest Philly past LaSalle University to visit the Awbury Arboretum. Featured in the PEX Pass, these 55 acres are home to the historic Francis Cope House and tons of trees and plants. What’s the big deal about a bunch of trees? Well, I don’t know about you, but I get mad depressed when I go too long without seeing something natural. While I appreciate Temple’s attempt at creating green spaces, the manicured trees on Beury Beach just don’t cut it. Awbury’s land, in contrast, is wild and untamed.

The main point of the Arboretum is really just to preserve nature, by which I mean that the only thing to do if you’re visiting in the middle of a Tuesday is wander around and pretend that you’re home in Chester County (if you’re me, that is). That was just fine with us. We followed the beaten paths; we traipsed through Haines Field; we explored the roped off section – oops – that led to more and more trees. The visit was accented by the day’s lovely weather, and it was difficult to not feel romantic about it all.

It turns out that on some summer evenings Awbury holds workshops like Introduction to Yoga and How to Speak Dog, and community events like Picnic in the Garden, which is hosted by the East Mt. Airy Neighbors. Also, for kids, there are summer camps – like one called Camp Katniss, where 9- to 13-year-olds can learn to survive in the wilderness like their favorite Hunger Games winner. (Can I pass for a pre-teen?) Those relying on public trans can take either the 16 or the L bus north and walk for a few minutes, but the most convenient route is by car, as parking is available right on the premises.

Awbury-Map_rounded

Part II: Nature is Elusive

Inspired by the world’s beauty, Allison and I decided to continue our nature adventure by checking out Fairmount Park. I’ve driven past it many times while on the exits of 76 or lost in West Philly and have always wanted to get out and really explore.

That being said, I have never understood Fairmount Park. I know that there must be some sort of center in some stretch of it, but it is apparently hiding from (only) me. Armed with Siri and Allison’s faint recollection of swimming in a creek, somewhere, we drove along some roads until we saw horses instead of skyscrapers, and deemed ourselves as having found it what we were looking for.

We parked at the roundabout of the Chamounix Hostel and began following a very faint, very dirty, very steep path. It’s probably my fault for wearing flats on a nature adventure, but I had to move cautiously in order to avoid sliding down an extremely plant-ridden hill into possibly a creek or possibly unknown doom. It was around this time that I began to suspect that the outdoors and I were not meant for a long-term relationship.

We then got back in the car and drove a few hundred yards down the road until we saw some park benches, where we decided to sit for a bit. The thing about random, secluded benches at the edge of the city, however, is that other people will likely be sitting around them too. They may be looking to relax after a nice walk, like you, or they may be doing something sinister. Upon recognizing that I had developed a grouchiness that was bordering on paranoia, we decided that it was time to give up on Fairmount Park.

I think we were in the section of East Fairmount Park. But, like, I really don't know.

I think we were in the section of East Fairmount Park. Maybe.

Part III: Nature Doesn’t Like Me

There’s only so much tranquil greenery a girl can take. My legs were covered in little red bumps, I was hungry, and Allison wouldn’t let me drink the wine I had in my car because we were in public and that’s illegal or whatever. So, we went home, me reminded of why I moved to the city in the first place. Of course I’m grateful that places like Awbury exist, but if I’m being quite honest, I’m much happier when experiencing them in doses. Small ones, preferably.

Casually Hanging Out With Ben Franklin

When you spend all of your time on a college campus in North Philly, it can be easy to forget that you live in one of the most historically-rich cities in the United States – if not the most historically-rich, as our nation’s founding principles were scribed here. That’s what the National Constitution Center aims to remind of. Located in the aptly-named Old City, the museum is known for its themed exhibits, vast collection of Constitution-related memorabilia, and interactive educational stations all centered on that one document that so influences how we Americans live our lives.

I visited the Center in March in order to check out the Women’s History Month features, which were heavily hyped on its website. I learned pretty quickly, with great disappointment, that exhibits are not housed in one cohesive section. Instead, items and displays that relate to the theme are scattered throughout the museum and highlighted in brochures so visitors know where to find them. I also arrived at the museum so close to closing time that it didn’t make sense for me to spend much time hunting for small items, so I missed most of them. No snappin’ pics with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s judicial robe for me!

Trips to the Center begin with its original multimedia production, “Freedom Rising,” which runs every half hour. The performance itself is impressive, starring one actor who gives an oral history of America’s creation and maintenance of the Constitution and its values. The loud, sweeping orchestral music made the whole thing a little overbearingly patriotic for me, and yeah, that’s kind of the point, but there’s only so much Band of Brothers-esque trumpet a girl can take. Still, it succeeded in getting me in the mood for learning about some history.

The main section of the museum is a large circular room upstairs which features a ton of interactive stations, like a voting booth that randomly chooses two former presidents and asks you to vote as if they were running against each other this year. It seems to be geared toward children, but anyone could probably learn something by reading the fact snippets along the walls, figuratively spanning from the 1700s to today.

To me, the best part of the Center is the Signers’ Room, a space at the end of the main museum area where life-size metal statues of all of the signers of the Constitution reside. My friend Allison and I had a pretty fun time posing with the founders – shaking hands, chatting about liberty – as can be seen in embarrassing iPhone pictures that will not be posted online because I am an adult and shouldn’t enjoy this as much as I did. Ben Franklin was captivated by my charm, though, don’t doubt that.

The National Constitution Center is located at 525 Arch Street, near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Plan to visit the area on an open afternoon to take in all of Philadelphia’s most historical sites. Get there from Temple by taking the BSL south to City Hall, then the MFL east to 5th and walking north toward Arch for about three minutes. The Center is open Monday through Friday 9:30AM-5PM, Saturday 9:30AM-6PM, and Sunday 12PM-5PM.

Finally, here’s a super fun online quiz called “Which Founder Are You?” (I’m George Washington – “Self-controlled, dignified, and even-handed.” Wahoo!)

"Yo, did you hear what Jefferson said in session this morning? What an ignoble wretch!"

“Yo, did you hear what Jefferson said in session this morning? What an ignoble wretch!”

A Touch of Class[ical Music]

I have never heard an orchestra perform live. Call me pedestrian, call me a product of MTV culture, call me an average college kid. It just hasn’t happened for me yet. Can you really blame me, though? Tickets for orchestral performances tend to run for $50 and up … and, um, I don’t have a job. There’s also the fact that I really don’t know anything about classical music.

There is hope for this poor, uncultured college student, though. Philly offers a ton of discounts that specifically cater to this age group for the purpose of getting us off campus and into theaters. Our dearly beloved PEX pass, for instance, features reduced admission for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. For only $30 a season, students get unlimited access to over 60 chamber music concerts featuring world-renowned and Philadelphia-based musicians alike. It is the PCMS that allowed me to attend my first classical string quartet concert, at age 21, in March of 2013. Featuring the Artemis Quartet of Berlin, this particular event was free to all college students and was held at the Independence Seaport Museum on the waterfront.

However, I wasn’t about to face this tidal wave of culture alone, unprepared. I needed a musical spirit guide. After recruiting my friend Kazia, who studies Music Industry at Drexel and plays more instruments than years I’ve spent in college, I was set to enjoy an educated evening of Mendelssohn, Ginastera and Schubert. And I did enjoy it! Sadly, most of Kazia’s technical advice has since escaped me, but that night she taught me enough of the basics of string-based performance beforehand and during intermissions that I could recognize who of the four was leading, and know to not clap between movements. (Very gauche.)

But I also learned that it isn’t necessary to “know” anything about classical music to appreciate it. The music itself is beautiful, and the performers, at this professional level, are incredibly talented. The slower pieces put me at ease but not to sleep, while the quicker ones had me sitting upright, staring with incredulity at the speed at which the musicians moved their limbs to keep time with each other. It would be impossible for anybody to watch the first violinist jerk wildly – yet with a strange amount of composure at the same time – onstage during the rowdy “Allegro vivace assai” of Mendelssohn’s “String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 80” and not be impressed. (Now don’t I sound refined?)

Besides the PCMS’s deal, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s eZseatU program allows students free, unlimited access to over 80 orchestral performances over a full season, along with discounted guest tickets and entrance to exclusive post-show socializing events, for only $25. (Exploring the Orchestra’s page has informed me that this is a ridiculously good deal. Like, hundreds of dollars worth of a good deal.) UPenn’s Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, like many theaters in the city, also offers $10 student rush tickets for students of all colleges. Tickets can be purchased online using the promo code “STUDENT” beginning a week before performances.

Classiest rockstars I ever saw

Classiest rockstars I ever saw

Endgame at the Arden

I like to think of myself as a theatre aficionado, mostly because I did shows in high school and have seen Wicked twice. Because of this self-title, I go into most productions with confidence in my ability to, you know, figure out what’s going on.

My cockiness did not serve me well with the Arden’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. Here’s the puzzling description to give you an idea of the imagination required of the show:

“Hamm can’t stand up. Clov can’t sit down. Neither can leave the single room they’ve shared for who knows how long. For them, the end is in the beginning.”

That’s it. Cryptic, right? The point, it turns out, is just that. Beckett meant for his play to be open-ended so that the audience could interpret it as they wished. And, if I’m being quite honest, the show (almost) lost me about an hour in. Why does that guy have leg braces, and what is keeping him trapped here? Why does that other guy want a dog made out of electrical wires? Where exactly ARE they?!

Luckily, the Arden felt my pain and offered a post-show discussion with the assistant director. I learned that an “endgame” is a chess term for the third of a round of three games when there are only a few pieces and options left, yet the game must be completed. This relates to the play because the characters seem to exist in a monotonous time warp with struggles that won’t quit. (Hint: it’s a metaphor for life.) I learned that Beckett wrote it as a reaction to World War II and the question of God’s existence. I learned that other audience members also thought the characters live in some sort of purgatory, and that the ending’s ambiguity left others pining for more, too.

The story itself doesn’t stray much from the plot of two guys in a room. Don’t worry about getting bored, though. To  break up the potential monotony come theatre vets Nancy Boykin and Dan Kern, who also happen to be Temple professors, as the protagonist’s elderly parents. Their parts are slightly disconcerting because, well, they’re legless and stuck in trashcans. But they’re also melancholically hilarious, and Boykin’s character Nell offers my favorite line of the show: “Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.” The parents only show up for a few minutes, but they are heartbreaking in their helplessness.

Outside of the acting from all four performers, the play’s best quality is its set. I don’t want to spoil what the designers meant for it to represent – for that, you’ll have to either figure it out while watching or by staying after for the discussion – but it reminds of a wartime bunker, with industrial-looking ceiling fixtures and limited natural light. The theater is small enough so that the audience can feel as if they too are trapped in that dingy space, pondering the meaning of it all.

Now that I’ve had time to process its intricacies, I can better appreciate Endgame as a work of absurdist humor. If you’re willing to take this challenge, you can purchase tickets online for full price; however, student rush (only ten bucks!) is available at any performance. Just show up half an hour before the show is set to start, and bring your college ID. And this deal is also featured in the PEX Pass!

Endgame runs until March 10th. The Arden Theater is located at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City.

Playbill and ticket

Al Capone’s Ghost, and Other Adventures at Eastern State Penitentiary

Welcome to October, the spoooookiest time of the year! What better way to celebrate the very best season by creeping yourself out – historically! – at Eastern State Penitentiary?

Yes, yes, Magali already wrote about Terror Behind the Walls’s yearly spectacle of dudes in zombie makeup chasing you through the cells. But I argue that even if you miss such fun when the scarefest ends on November 10th, you could still check out the daily tours offered by Eastern State to get your fright buzz on.

Eastern State was in operation as a prison from 1829 to 1971 and is now a National Historic Landmark open to public tours, which include a peek into the former cell of famous gangster Al Capone. It’s not actually haunted, but the building’s Gothic-style architecture and well-maintained state of decrepitude (yes, that is what I mean) assign a sufficiently creepy feeling to visitors and passers-by.

The word “penitentiary” comes from “penitence” – an appropriate moniker, as this was the first jail to employ solitary confinement as a method of rehabilitation, which I imagine would make anyone pretty sorry pretty fast. Eastern State was also revolutionary for its radial design in which a person could stand at the exact center of the building and look down each of the eight halls.

Maybe visiting an old prison isn’t your idea of a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but it should be. The guided tours teach you the nuanced history of the place, but you’re also welcome to explore on your own and engage in exhibits like the restored Jewish Life memorial room and TowerCam! where you can pretend to be a tower guard monitoring your motley wards. Plus, Eastern State hosts several art installations throughout the prison to get you thinking about the concept of incarceration. My favorite is Alexa Hoyer’s “I always wanted to go to Paris, France,” a series of video montages of Hollywood’s depiction of prison life.

Eastern State is open every day from 10am to 5pm. I recommend leaving at least an hour for wandering, as the places covers 11 acres and has a seemingly infinite amount of nooks to peep into. It’s located at 22nd and Fairmount in the Fairmount neighborhood. You can take the Southbound or Route 16 to Fairmount and walk a few blocks west. Student tickets are $8, but with your elite PEX Pass status you get in for half-price! Being Temple Made has its perks.

BOO!

Stock photo from the internet! (All of the super awesome insider pics I took during my last visit are on my broken laptop. Wah.)

Cozy

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Yep, you read that correctly. Nope, it’s not a sprite-filled forest in the middle of the city.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is one the city’s best and most eccentric gems, and I don’t say that just because it’s filled with glittering pieces of glass. The “Gardens” is actually a public art piece that spreads over a block of South Street. Made entirely of random, shiny, beautiful and strange objects that, on their own, may be mistaken for trash, this created world of tiled mosaics ignites a sense of awe in the visitor as they wander through the 3,000 square feet of man-made tunnels behind the sanctuary’s gate. There is no trick or specific activity associated with the space. The public is simply invited to explore, and perhaps to consider the concept of beauty in a new way.

The artist responsible is Isaiah Zagar, who once owned a folk art store in the area and began tiling the outside of his home in 1994. The lot was at risk of being sold in 2002, so community members joined forces and turned it into a non-profit organization that was opened to the public. Zagar’s murals can now be found all over Philly but are especially concentrated between South and Bainbridge between 4th and 11th.

Just past the PMG is an alley in which the entire side of a building is tiled with the glass that’s used in the Gardens. There’s a huge portrait of the artist’s wife, Julia, here, as can be seen in one of the pictures below. References to love and other likenesses of the wife can be found elsewhere in the Gardens. Check out the site for more pictures, including some obscenely cute wedding and engagement photos. (Yes, the space can be rented for private events! Hello, perfect dinner date spot.)

Walking through the PMG, it’s hard to not feel like Harriet the Spy in the 90s movie when she finds that lady’s yard filled with the most dazzlingly random items hanging from trees and strung through fences – an imaginative kid’s paradise. That’s really the most beautiful part, that sense of youthful wonder that comes from realizing that art can be found so unexpectedly, whether in a stranger’s backyard or during an unsuspecting jaunt down South Street.

The PMG is accessible by walking East to 10th Street after taking the Southbound Broad Street Line to South Street. Visiting hours from April to October are Sunday-Thursday 11:00am-6:00pm and Friday-Saturday 11:00am-8:00pm; from November to March, they’re Sunday-Thursday 11:00am-5:00pm and Friday-Saturday 11:00am-8:00pm. General admission costs $5 for adults and  can be purchased at the door. However, you PEX holders can get in for FREE with this printable ticket and your OwlCard.

And now, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Who’s Afraid of 2012?

Are you obsessed with the coming apocalypse? Do you cringe whenever someone mentions December 21, 2012? Are you one of the few people who has heard of the movie Melancholia?

Probably not – to the first two, at least; everyone should see Melancholia – since you’re still enrolled in school and therefore do not believe that these are the last of your days, because who would spend the last of their days in school? Still, it’s hard not to get caught up in the fantastic claims made by the overabundance of end-of-the-world movies that have come out in the past few years. At the root of these claims is that the Mayan calendar, scribed hundreds of years ago, comes to an end this December, followed by mass destruction all over the earth.

Fun fact: the Mayan calendar does not actually predict the apocalypse, nor does it stop in 2012. The Mayans used a system of time called Long Count with lengthy cycles – 25,000 years or so in each – to mark great events in their history, and to give points of references for their future. 2012 is significant, but not because tornadoes and floods will sweep out human life. It is simply the turning point of the 13th Bak’tun, and is actually cause for celebration among the Mayan people, much like our New Year’s Eve.

All of this I learned at the “Maya 2012: Lords of Time” exhibit, on display now at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. This multimedia, interactive walk-through debunks common myths about the ancient Mayans and their time-telling habits as well as informs about what the modern-day people are up to. Get up close and personal with some Mayan artifacts and replicas of thousand-year-old architecture. Or, check out a breakdown of other calendar systems and how they compare to our own Gregorian one. And at the end of the tour, show support for your belief team by dropping a piece of paper into either the “Yes the world will end in 2012” or “No the world will not end in 2012” bin. (Shockingly, the “No” bin was winning by an overwhelming majority.)

Overall, the exhibit forces the visitor to question themselves, “What do you think will happen in 2012? Where did the predictions of the 2012 apocalypse originate? Is it just a modern myth or an ancient prophecy?” Such self-aware media criticism should make you wonder about the origin of other beliefs you hold.

Student admission is $16.50. The museum is located at 3260 South Street at the intersection of Spruce and 33rd; for the easiest walking route, talk the Market-Frankford Line to 34th Street and head down 34th.

The exhibit will run until January 13, 2013. With any luck, we’ll still be around to see it then.

Getting Acquanited + Campus Philly

Greetings Templonians, Templers, Templepeople, Templekidz! If you’re new here, then welcome to the City of Brotherly Love, and sorry about all of the construction around Gladfelter/Cecil B. If you’re not, then welcome back, and let’s celebrate how cool those color-changing lights look inside of McGonigle.

I’m Julie, a senior Media Studies/Psychology student at Temple. I’ve been writing for the GenEd site for a year, focusing on the cool stuff that’s featured in the PEX Pass. My job is great because I basically get paid to do what I’d do anyway … which is, explore this wonderfully diverse city and encourage people to do the same. In the past I’ve reported on such cultural events and institutions as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Laurel Hill Cemetery, multiple plays at Temple as well as Center City, and something awesome called StorySlam. Coming up this semester I’ll visit the Magic Gardens of South Street and certainly see more plays. (Theatre nerd.)

First, though, I’d like to give you an introduction to what could be your own introduction to the city’s cultural life: Campus Philly College Day. Campus Philly – “Where students meet their Philadelphia” – is an organization that hosts events and offers resources in order to help college students experience the best of Philadelphia so that they’ll want to hang out after graduating. Its website has links to internship and job openings, tips about navigating the public trans systems, and a calendar full of the best of what’s going on. It also puts out an all-encompassing booklet called “Insider Guide to Philadelphia” which you can pick up at Temple’s TECH and Welcome Centers, with breakdowns of each of Philly’s visit-friendly neighborhoods.

College Day is Campus Philly’s main event and is happening this year on September 29 from 10am to 4pm on the Ben Franklin Parkway. It will feature free museum entry to anyone with a student ID, an art village, food trucks, live music from an as-yet-unannounced band (a few years ago they had Against Me!) and tons more. Check back to its site as the day gets closer for updates.

Here’s to a great start to the school year with the funnest and Phillyest of times!