Philadelphia, after the capital of the United States, plays an outstanding role in the history and life of the nation. Its colonial legacy and architecture are almost unrivaled and its universities, museums, companies and laboratories are world class. The town in addition has become an increasingly important cultural and artistic center as well in the past few decades.It’s summer and a good time to make the most of being outdoors — even in a city. Philly is incredibly walkable, and the proliferation of outdoor seating at restaurants and bars has kept an extra section of summer fun to the streets — great for people watching.When it involves restaurants, there’s no shortage of incredible items to eat. Grab a container of Crémant and some Camembert and relax in the Di Bruno Bros. Plaza in the Italian Market (just be sure to save room for lunch at Esquire Best New Restaurant Kalaya just up the road). Get a desk and a Detroit-style pie at Down North Pizza. Have breakfast for lunch at South Philly mainstay Melrose Diner.
Three nights per week, Longwood Gardens illuminates its fountains in a breathtaking light show. In 2010, the gardens will honor Juneteenth with special “Freedom”programming that includes the most common light-show performances associated with music from beloved African American singers such as Nina Simone, Andra Day and Aretha Franklin. Philly’s hands-on and kid-friendly museum has established an entire day of programming that’s both educational and engaging. Children can craft their very own self-portraits, have a storytelling session about the history of Juneteenth, and become mini scientists by taking part in workshops that mimic the research of African American engineers and inventors.