MARAC in Philadelphia: Food and Fun near the Barnes

by Barbara Beaucar and Amanda McKnight, Local Arrangements Committee

Barnes Museum by dbaron

If you’re planning to join our tour of the Barnes Foundation on Thursday, November 7, you may want to consider spending the morning in the neighborhood, Logan Circle (or Logan Square). The square was once used for public executions in the 1700s but it has changed dramatically since then! Today, Logan Circle is home to the Academy of Natural Sciences, Moore College of Art and Design, the Franklin Institute, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. The Circle is bounded on the west by 20th Street and the Barnes Foundation’s new building is located between 20th and 21st Streets.

Why is the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University the coolest place on Logan Circle? Because they have dinosaurs! Not just old bones stuck together with glue but life-sized moving dinosaurs in the exhibition, “Dinosaurs Unearthed.” AND they have a butterfly garden. Magical. The academy is open from 10AM – 4:30. Admission is $15.00.

Diorama, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, by Nathan Rein

Moore College of Art will open two new art exhibitions this month that run through the end of the year. “Retulled: Selections from Jumpstart,” presented in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Ballet’s 50th anniversary,” features ballet tutus designed by the students, and the “2013 Triennial Faculty Exhibition.” The galleries are open from 11AM – 5PM, admission is FREE.

The Franklin Institute has a giant heart. Really. You can walk through it! When I was a kid, I loved this exhibit! The institute also has an IMAX dome theatre which spans 180 degrees across and is tilted at 30 degrees. “The special seating places the audience up in the dome completely involving them in the show.” The institute is open from 9:30AM – 5PM. Admission is $16.50, and the theatre is an additional $6.00.

Franklin Institute by InSapphoWeTrust

Our neighbor, the Free Library of Philadelphia, has two interesting offerings on November 7 when MARAC is in town. First, an exhibition presented by the Rare Book Department entitled, “Of Money and Magic: The Industry and Artistry of Early American Film,” and also a lecture by Katrina van Grouw, a natural history illustrator and author of The Unfeathered Bird. The library is open from 9AM – 6PM. The author lecture is FREE and begins at 7:30PM.

Free Library of Philadelphia by il.irenelee

The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, whose main sanctuary comfortably holds 2,000 worshippers, is the largest Roman Catholic church in Pennsylvania and the head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Don’t be deceived by its drab brownstone façade. The dome seen from its interior is really breath-taking.

Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul by PMillera4

Our other neighbor, the Rodin Museum, claims that it is “one of the most revered destinations on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.” (I guess the Barnes is still too new to be “revered” but just wait!) This beautiful building, recently restored, was created by Paul Philippe Cret, the same Beaux-Arts architect that Dr. Barnes hired in 1922 to design our original building. The museum is open from 10AM – 5PM. Suggested admission is $8.00.

And, if you get hungry after all your sightseeing…

Newly opened in September, Pizzeria Vetri offers the usual pizzeria fare of pizzas and salads. At 1939 Callowhill Street, it is just one block east of the Foundation.

McCrossen’s Tavern is a tiny gastropub, slightly north of the Foundation at 529 N 20th Street. They usually have yummy specials like brandade and bone marrow.

The Belgian Cafe is an excellent spot for craft beer and mussels. Only a short two block walk north at 21st and Green street.

The Belgian Cafe – Main Room by ZagatBuzz

Just two blocks east of the Foundation on Callowhill are several restaurants serving up a variety of cuisines:

Sabrina’s Cafe is a popular brunch spot that also serves lunch and dinner and is a favorite of the Archives, Libraries and Special Collections department at the Barnes Foundation. It has large portions of amazing diner classics as well as specials you can’t get anywhere else. 1804 Callowhill Street.

Doma is a great spot if you are craving sushi. 1822 Callowhill Street.

If you are more in the mood for Indian, King of Tandoor is one of my favorites in the city. 1824 Callowhill Street.

Kite and Key has great bar with many beers on draft or by the bottle. They serve up great flatbread pizzas and sandwiches. 1836 Callowhill Street.

Kite and Key by fixedgear


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