It doesn’t feel like spring in Philadelphia, but I know it’s around the corner because the Philadelphia Flower Show is back. Between the cold weather and the Holland theme, my mom didn’t have to twist my arm too much to get me to go this year. I mean, there were over 30,000 tulips in the entrance alone. Many of the exhibits also incorporated other Dutch elements like windmills, bicycles, wooden shoes and art. There was also an emphasis on Dutch sustainability, which was pretty cool. At the end of the day though, I was there for the plants and the flowers.
It was stunning, and I can’t wait to see what the PHS comes up with for next year for their “Wonders of Water” theme.
P.S. My friend Priyanka actually went to the show the same day as I did — you can read her recap here!
2017 is going to be different. It has to be different because what Americans are seeing from the executive branch is unprecedented — in a dangerous, slippery slope way.
So last Saturday, millions and I marched. The why I march is simple: women’s rights are human rights. Equality cannot exist without freedom of choice: to be with who you love, to do what you love. I will not stand for an administration that stands against equality for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community, for non-Christians. And I’m certainly not okay with a person who has admitted and bragged about sexual assault as our Commander-in-chief.
I’m not a marcher. In college, I didn’t participate in any on-campus demonstrations because I was on the newspaper staff, so this was new territory for me. I didn’t even bring a sign with me, partly because I couldn’t think of anything to write, but mostly because I didn’t know what to expect. (There were some great ones though.) There were so many different viewpoints expressed, and that was beautiful. Even people on the same side can have differences in priorities and passions and experiences, and that’s okay.
There is nothing wrong with America that can’t be cured with what is right in America.”
President Bill Clinton said that in his first inaugural address, and it rings very true today. I’m grateful to be an American because it affords me the right to say what I want and protest what I want. Protests have always been part of American history, but social media is a game changer for organizers. (It’s a double-edged sword, of course, since fake news — propaganda — spreads easier than ever.) In terms of the protests that have been springing up since November, and this last week in our cities and our airports — I have never seen anything like it before.
So what now? March. Write. Donate. Volunteer. If you don’t know where or how to get started, ask. There are a lot of resources available! I found a great local organization through Volunteer Match, and I’m excited to get more involved. You can filter by location, causes you’re passionate about, etc. I definitely recommend it as a starting point.
There’s a lot of work to do. Let’s get to it, and let us not forget to take care of ourselves and each other.
Just because the calendar says mid-September (already, somehow), doesn’t mean we have fall weather just yet. I love summer, so I don’t mind — and this means I can enjoy my favorite summer spots for a few more weeks. So for my Philly friends who haven’t checked out Monarch Philly in Northern Liberties, get on that.
Monarch is part swim club, part beer garden, all swanky (and very Miami-esque). You can buy daily swim passes or a membership, or you can just enjoy food and drinks with the ambiance. I usually stick to light bites — the chicken skewers and pork pot stickers are definitely my favorites. And of course, they pair well with cocktails — try the Saint Monarch for something light and fizzy.
Monarch is always Instagram-worthy, but it really comes alive during the weekends. This fall, there’s weekend brunch and football specials Saturdays and Sundays. Watching football poolside with with $25 pitchers of mimosas? Yes please.