To help all children start the school year prepared with necessary supplies and resources, the Center for Family Services’ Operation Backpack initiative provides backpacks filled with school supplies to children ages 4–19. By alleviating students’ fears or stresses related to not having the required school supplies, the program helps to ensure that kids and teens can concentrate on their classes, thus laying a foundation for academic success and ideally propelling them toward finishing high school and attending college.
Indian cuisine made with seasonal ingredients and an American flair.
When to Go: Swing by on a Thursday night if you fancy live sitar and tabla music, but go any other night if you prefer humming your own tunes while you chew.
Inside Tip: The restaurant is BYOB, so pick up your favorite bottle of wine or six-pack of beer before dinner.
Chaat: savory Indian snack food made of potatoes, fried bread, and a spice medley that typically includes dried mango powder, cumin seeds, and black salt.
Paneer: a fresh cheese made from boiling cow's milk or water buffalo's milk and curdling it with whey—the dish dates back to at least 6,000 BC.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Test your crafting skills at All Fired Up (602 Haddon Avenue), a studio devoted to paint-your-own pottery.
After: See what's happening at the Scottish Rite Auditorium (315 White Horse Pike), a historic 1930s venue that hosts musical acts and theater performances.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: If you're in Philly for the evening, head to Indeblue's sister location (205 S. 13th Street).
The Youth Rally Committee creates a community for young people with rare medical conditions to bond over shared experiences, learn about symptom management, and find relief from the sense of alienation that accompanies these rare conditions. Kids aged 11–17 with bowel and bladder disorders such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and cancers of the bowel or bladder come together once a year for a weeklong rally on a college campus. During their stay, they take part in outdoor games and off-campus trips to local museums, and learn how to manage their conditions with activities overseen by nurses and counselors who also have similar conditions. Counselor skits and a camp dances relieve stress in the evenings, while off-campus events promote medical self-management in a public setting.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
With all the responsibilities that come with hosting an event, keeping the music on track shouldn't be one of them. The DJ crew from DP Entertainment takes over the beat with a team of mix masters who know how get a party rolling. By communicating with hosts and feeling out the crowd before them, DJs use their collective love of music to get guests at weddings, anniversaries, or office events grooving and having a good time. Several DJs are also Spanish speakers who can be called upon for bilingual emceeing or to play top hits in both English and Spanish.
The techs at PC Medics of NJ know how to save PCs from the blue screen of death and prevent Macs from melting into applesauce. They can administer technological first aid at their repair shop, at clients’ homes, or via remote access. The computer gurus run in-depth diagnoses before removing any hidden viruses or recommending necessary repairs. In addition to laptops and desktops, the experts also work on tablets and phones.
Sensory overload doesn?t begin to describe Philadelphia?s Magic Gardens. A seemingly boundless compilation of colors, textures, and shapes, the labyrinthine mosaic creation spans 3,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. The masterpiece originated in the brain of Isaiah Zagar, a Philadelphia native who grew up in New York. During his third year of art school, he stumbled upon Clarence Schmidt?s folk-art-inspired installations?assemblages of found objects and recycled materials?and the young artist?s view of the art world changed. ?I didn't know that I was looking at art,? Zagar reflects in his mission statement. Self-admittedly, Zagar has been somewhat ?copying? Schmidt?s dynamic, free-flowing style ever since.
The years after art school brought Zagar an onslaught of new opportunities. He spent time as an artist in China and India, joined the Peace Corps with his wife Julia, settled in Peru for three years, and even tried his hand at ceramics in Wisconsin. In the ?60s, he and Julia returned to his birthplace?specifically, the waning South Street neighborhood. Isaiah quickly leapt into action, renovating dilapidated buildings and often adding mosaics to formerly barren walls. Eventually, Isaiah?s imagination outgrew their projects, and in 1994 he began constructing a new piece in a vacant lot near his studio?the project would become Philadelphia?s Magic Gardens.
Isaiah spent 14 precious years, which he should have applied to Y2K preparations, scooping out tunnels, erecting multitiered walls, and splashing the entire space in colorful tile. The finished product stretches across half a block of South Street; the outside enclosure shimmering with vibrant tiles, the inside housing folk art, colored glass bottles, and countless sparkling mirrors. Now a nonprofit organization, Philadelphia?s Magic Gardens invites visitors to enjoy its visual candy with guided or self-guided tours.