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Summer To-Do List: 2013 PHS Pop Up Garden

PHS Pop Up Garden

I would call the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Pop Up Garden on South Broad the summer's best-kept secret, if it didn't feel like the entire city was in on it. But if you haven't yet checked out the season's most lovely surprise, now is the time.

A co-production with The University of the Arts, Groundswell Design Group and other partners, this large ramshackle space on Broad Street -- strung with lights and packed with an ecclectic mix of seating -- has become the go-to spot for everyone from arts students to business casual-clad happy hour hoppers. There's a food stand selling Jose Garces-approved fare and a half-dozen local brews on tap (all for $5).

The charming space truly is a triumph of vacant land use, placemaking and collaboration -- plus, it's just really fun to drink there. Located between Spruce and Pine, and across from the Kimmel Center, it's an easy trip from almost anywhere in the city via public transit. The garden is up through mid-October.

The temporary park has been host to a wide range or art, music and performance events throughout the summer. On August 26, noon - 1:30 p.m., the Hear Again Radio Project will reenact two classic radio dramas as they were originally broadcast -- a team of actors will perform vintage and live Foley sound effects. Sounds like the ideal late-summer lunch break.

So, yes, that is all the information about this space, but I haven't really mentioned the magic. A happy, diverse crowd, affordable drinks, a light nighttime breeze -- it's impossible not to feel simply lucky to be there. This garden is a love letter to Philadelphia and a place where time slips by like it's supposed to in late summer. Go there now.

LEE STABERT is managing editor of Flying Kite; follow her on Twitter @stabert.
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