A Brit’s Guide to all Things Philly

I am one of many Brits that now calls Philadelphia- the city that loves you back, home. I love the multi cultural diverse neighborhoods, especially the one I reside in, Bella Vista and Queen Village where I run a chic, European hair boutique Follicle Studio http://folliclestudio.com.

Fabric Row on 4th Street full of fashion and fabrics, is a great street for a stroll. One of my fav restaurants is Le Virtu http://www.levirtu.com on E.Passyunk, because of the consistent, flavorful cuisine and the outdoor patio and garden.

Rim Cafe http://www.rimcafe.com at the Italian Market is a must if you love chocolate. 9th and Federal St, very unique experience.

Chinatown is always an intriguing experience, the air filled with the aroma of Asian fare and lots to choose from, vegan too New Harmony http://philadelphia.menupages.com/restaurants/new-harmony on 9th and Race.

We Brits love Indian food, venture to Tashan http://www.mytashan.com at 777 South Broad St. It has a great bar and gourmet cuisine. The farmers market at the Shambles (2nd, Lombard) on Sundays is a delight to try fresh, local produce and the food trucks that line the street are divine too.

I am a cyclist, so, happy to see that the city is adding more bike lanes around the city. I also love that Philly has a vast amount of green, parks and tree lined streets. Philadelphia has many neighborhoods to venture and explore by foot or bike.

Francesca Rivetti

Like Art? Visit Philadelphia!

As a former New Yorker, a long time resident of Philly, and at present, a weekday commuter between the two cities, I am often asked to justify why I live in Philadelphia. For someone who lives in Philly, but works in New York, the distance between the two cities seems impractical. Yet, for me and the thousands of other commuters, this makes perfect sense. New Yorkers love their city (as we all do), but sometimes fail to see the wealth of culture, history and sights in its southerly neighbor.

It is never a big surprise when I point out the cost and quality of living in Philadelphia. One look at my sprawling condo and low cost of living here, and most New Yorkers gasp. But when I mention the wealth of cultural activities, particularly its art world, my New Yorker friends stare at me in disbelief. Surely, Philly’s art scene can’t compete with Manhattan’s!

It can. And it does. You just have to see for yourself.

I can’t tell you how many of my out of town friends have told me they visited every dive bar and tourist trap in Philly, but have never walked down the Parkway, noticed the Rodin Museum, heard of Bucks County’s school of Pennsylvania Impressionism or The Brandywine River Museum, home to three generations of legendary American painters.

For a long time I have been complaining that Philadelphia does a poor job of marketing itself. Most New Yorkers and Washingtonians overlook us as a pit-stop on the Amtrak’s NE Corridor. It is not uncommon for a tourist to visit our town, see the requisite historic sites like Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House and the Liberty Bell, follow a guide around Old City, then end up in a tourist trap for dinner without a glance at even one of our notable art galleries.

So if you are in Philadelphia for a day, or better yet a weekend, please take a second look. I promise you’ll be impressed with our art scene. I have listed some of my favorite museums, art galleries and “treasures” that are a must for all art lovers.

A walk along the Ben Franklin Parkway:

Philadelphia Museum of Art: www.philamuseum.org OK, this one is a no-brainer, and I won’t go into detail because it is on every tourist map. Yes, this is the museum where Rocky raced up the stairs, and yes, you can get your picture taken with his statue outside. But please, GO INSIDE!

The Perelman Building: www.philamuseum.org/perelman/ A new addition to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this annex often gets overlooked. If you are a fan of modern art, textiles, and contemporary and modern furniture, this is a short walk across the parkway and well worth the side-trip. Recently it featured an exhibition by architect Zaha Hadid and it was spectacular!

The Rodin Museum: www.rodinmuseum.org It houses the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside of Paris. Its Beaux-Arts architecture and a formal French garden, make it an imposing sight on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

The Barnes Foundation: www.barnesfoundation.org/The latest addition to the Parkway, is also the America’s most controversial art collection, but still well worth the visit. The man behind this collection is as fascinating as the art itself, because his vision and foresight shaped our appreciation for impressionism and modern art today.

Parkway Sculptures: If you like to walk, I highly recommend a stroll starting at center city’s Love Park and heading west towards the PMA. Check out Robrt Indiana’s legendary LOVE sculpture, then cross the street towards Market Street to check out the hidden Jean DuBuffet sculpture. This one is tough to find, as it is suspended above the second story of an office building on the south side of Market, between 15th and 16th Streets. As you are walking down the street, don’t forget to look up! Also, near the Love Park is the Municipal Services Building that hosts Your Move, a fun sculpture garden featuring giant Monopoly pieces.

Your next stop should be the Henry Moore Sculpture which is just a block away, and then make your way up the Ben Franklin Parkway, where you’ll encounter mobiles by the legendary Philadelphia artist Alexander Calder, the imposing Iroquois Sculpture by Mark di Suvero among many others.

Gallery hopping in Old City

The Old City district of Philadelphia is also referred to as the Gallery District for obvious reasons. Visit on First Friday of every month for a fun night out touring local galleries, sipping wine and meeting visiting artists and gallery owners. However, for a more intimate view of their collections, I highly recommend avoiding this event, and strolling through the area in the daytime. This is a great area to grab brunch then check out my favorite galleries:

Pentimenti Gallery: www.pentimenti.com/ I am not just partial to Pentimenti because it has hosted numerous Eurocircle events in the past, I am also a big fan of its owner Christine Pfister, who has added Philly to the international art scene. Representing many emerging, local and mid-career artists, Christine has launched many art careers and has represented her gallery at numerous prestigious, international art fairs. Visit her gallery, and you are sure to get a personal peek into the best curated collection in the city.

Moderne Gallery: http://www.modernegallery.com/ I am a huge fan of George Nakashima furniture, and this is probably the best place to see it in person outside of his former workshop in Bucks County. In essence, a dealer in Nakashima, Art Deco and American Craft pieces, this place is definitely worth a long linger.

A half-day excursion to Bucks Country

If you have a weekend in Philly, I highly recommend renting a car and taking two, half-day excursions. The first should be to New Hope, PA, a 30 minute ride north, to the birth place of Pennsylvania Impressionism. Yes, while the great art movement was taking shape in Europe and particularly in France, our area was also seeing the emergence of such prominent artists like Fern Coppege, Edward Reddfield, Charles Rosen, and Walter Baum. And there is no more complete an art collection, than at The James Mitchener Museum in Doylestown. Incidentally, if you are a fan of George Nakashima, this is a good place to visit his workshop, see his installations and admire the furniture collection.

A half-day excursion to Brandywine River Valley

Known for its scenic countryside, this region is known for its lackluster wineries. But what the region lacks in prominent vineyards, it makes up for in its museum. The Brandywine River Museum is home to the works of three generations of Wyeths: illustrator N.C. Wyeth whose illustrations graced the covers of first edition classics like Treasure Island; Andrew Wyeth, one of America’s most famous painters known for his portraits of his lover, Helga, and Jamie Wyeth, a contemporary artist. On my last visit to the Brandywine a few years ago, I spotted Helga in person, then toured the collections with Andrew’s granddaughter who made sure we “stumbled upon” the great artist himself. Unfortunately, Andrew Wyeth passed away a few weeks after that meeting, but that was a visit that will stay in my memories forever.

This is just a small list of places that are a must on your first visit to Philadelphia. There are many more museums and impressive art galleries. I am sure that after your visit, you will be highly impressed by Philly’s art scene. And if you are hungry for more, contact me via this website. I’ll be happy to recommend many more.

Sheery Kumar

Chicago – Oct 04 2012

EuroCircle Chicago is very happy to present you “Vodka + networking = DA!!”

We are very excited to be co-hosting our upcoming networking night with Real Russian vodka! Real Russian vodka founder, Inna Feldman-Gerber (who also happens to be a real Russian!) will be joining us to introduce her award winning vodka which is produced right here in Chicago from an heirloom Russian family recipe that has been traced back to 1905!

But don’t take our word for it- we want you to taste for yourself! Enjoy a hosted Real Russian cocktail bar from 7 to 9 and use your liquid courage afterwards to use your rusty French on one of our polyglot, sophisticated EC members while grooving to the euro tunes of DJ John Curley!

This is an after work function, come early for Real Russian and stay late for more EuroCircle fun!

Free Admission if you mention EuroCircle!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Maria chicago@eurocircle.com
EuroCircle Chicago GROUP at facebook

About Premiere Distillery:
Our mission is to provide the highest quality spirits that do not cost a fortune. Enjoy the finest, most premium spirits, at an affordable price! Premiere Distillery is a company established to create premium spirits using the finest ingredients, the latest technology and, most importantly, our heirloom family recipes for Russian spirits. Our 3rd generation Real Russian Master Distiller proudly handcrafts in Illinois using ingredients only from the USA.

Atlanta – Oct 03 2012

We have finally finalized the location and date for our October EuroCircle Cocktails & Conversation.

We will meet on Wednesday, October 3rd (Not Tuesday) at Three Sheets located at 6017 Sandy Springs Circle – Atlanta 30328. We will have both the inside and upstairs patio area (pending weather) available.

$5 Sangrias and free appetizers will be served and parking is free.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next week.
Your Atlanta Eurocircle Team David / Randall

Austin – Sep 29 2012

It’s finally time for the Swedes’ annual crayfish party again. Henrik and Rasmus are extending our members the invitation to get together and celebrate this great Swedish tradition Texas style.

When: Saturday Sept, 29th at 7.00 PM
Where: Boundless Network Patio, 200 E 6th Street, Austin
Price: $35 incl. food and alcoholic beverages
$20 incl. food and non-alcoholic beverages

Contact Rasmus for questions about the event via e-mail
“Yonder comes a man with a sack on his back – Got all the crawdads he can pack”

From Russia with Love – Meet Varda & Vladimir

After a lengthy wait for The Russian House NaZdorovye to open in Austin, I was delighted to hear from fellow EuroCircle member Varda Salkey on Saturday they will open in August if all goes as planned. I think the steady following at Facebook attests the warm welcome. Co-incidentally while we sat at Annie’s Bar Varda realized they signed the lease exactly a year ago.

My first visit to The Russian House NaZdorovye was during May when we truly hoped to get the Eurovision Song Contest event with the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce held there. After numerous unexpected delays Varda suggested we better have the event somewhere else. Thankfully Henrik Johanssen decided we can use the Boundless Network space just around the corner. (Sweden won and Russia did really well too!)

The Russian House NaZdorovye is homey. It’s fashioned in Russian house style with a welcoming feeling. It is no co-incidence as Varda and her Russian chef- husband Vladimir Gribkov aimed for this. Within the walls of their Russian “home”, the guests can view the inside of a typical Russian home. They stroll through generations of Russian history, learn about some of her well-known citizens, and even have their picture taken in a traditional Russian folk costume or Soviet-era military uniform. Varda and Vladimir want to treat the diners and visitors as their “guests” who feel they are at home.

Vladimir has twenty five years under his belt in the restaurant business, says Varda, and he’s worked in Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. He is very Russian and contrary to his wife who came to the USA at the young age (17) to play basketball at Georgetown University, he does not speak fluent English. His first visit to the USA was 2 years ago when he arrived with his wife at New York City where they had originally thought about opening a restaurant. Not surprisingly Vladimir’s specialty is Russian food and he is extremely knowledgable and respectful of the Russian history and traditions.

His wife, who has spent almost years in the USA, says she has learned so much about Russia from her husband. Varda’s own work experience is in professional sports as a basketball player, sports agent, occasional modeling and as a sport director for one of the best basketball teams in Russia. She laughingly recalls being in tears when her coach once thought she did not play well and suggested she go back to modeling. It was like an insult. Her family is extremely well-educated, and considers modeling and professional sports as something “off-the-wall” – of course in Russia doctors, professors and teachers make nothing compared to national team basketball players.

So how did they end up in Austin? Varda’s friend and former Georgetown teammate Narumol Andersson (Swedish), who works for a large marketing organization, invited them for a visit to Austin. Varda and Vladimir soon realized that not only was Texas NOT all about The Wild West, the cowboys, cattle etc but Austin as a growing city offered them a better opportunity. There was no Russian restaurant even if there are approx. 6,000 Russians or Russian speakers in Austin area.

Little did they know how much longer it would take to get renovations and all necessary bureaucracy sorted out. Vladimir had an idea but Varda was more taken aback with all delays, red tape and unpleasant surprises but looks like it will all work out now!

It has been a couple years since I ate at any Russian restaurant. At length, I asked Varda what she would recommend or likes herself. Apparently Vladimir has studied quite a bit the American culture as well and added some interesting twists. The menu is very diverse from the blinis, caviars, Kulebyaka, house-made Russian pelmenis, sasliks, beef stroganoff, excellent lamb dishes, the exclusive Tsar’s Fish- Sturgeon covered in black caviar, vegetarian options, Apple baked with cottage cheese nuts and honey, éclairs, cakes, rye bread – and of course infused vodkas! It’s truly authentic Russian. I can’t wait for their housewarming party!

It is also worthwhile to mention that Varda and Vladimir plan to offer language lessons as well as screening Russian movies. They have stocked an excellent collection of Russian movies and books in their Russian House library. Oh, and if you are addicted to the latest American popmusic, you are in for a surprise. In addition of playing Russian music they have extensive plans for other types of entertainment, theme weeks and a little Russian store (a piano is waiting to be used!).

All in all, Varda’s and Vladimir’s Russian House NaZdorovye is the most interesting and diverse bar/lounge/restaurant opening in Austin. It will attract visitors from out of town during Austin City Limits and F1 as well as people who live here – not only Russians and EuroCircle members. Their location on East 5th Street just around the corner from Hilton should also entice convention and business visitors to a different lunch, brunch or dinner!

UPDATE: This interview was conducted in July, now in October 2012 we really hope they will open due to all twists and turns with the City of Austin. I want to have my Russian “thing” and have the next (October 2012) event at The Russian House NaZdorovye 307 E 5th street, Austin, TX 78701.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RussianBistro
Website: The Russian House NaZdorovye
Varda at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/varda.tamoulianis


New York – Sep 21 2012

Join us for our Style and Glamour Dance Party at Celebrity Hotspot Polar at The Marcel in Gramercy.

Trendy/stylish, jeans are ok but no sneakers.

French DJ Max Layn will be spinning great tunes for us all evening long – www.maxlayn.com
Eurotini’s will be on special throughout the evening for $10

Featured Co-Host : Milena Koste, Russia – www.nakedinjewelry.com

Best, Alexandra and the EuroCircle New York Team – aspirer(a) eurocircle.com

About Polar

POLAR is an arctic inspired lounge located beneath the Hotel Marcel at Gramercy. When guests enter they are greeted by a sexy and chic ambiance with a perimeter of luxurious banquet seating. POLAR frequently plays host to upscale clientele, VIP guests and celebrities who enjoy signature cocktails prepared by our mixologists. Discover our hidden VIP caves that offer private sound systems, bottle service, and secret access. A night at POLAR features some of NYC’s best DJs spinning a mix of Top 40, hip hop, and house.

Hope you can join us for a fun night out at the hip celebrity hotspot!

About Max Layn
Max Layn, started his career in France where he was a DJ in some of the most popular clubs. Max has an extensive unique library ranging from House to HipHop, Electro and Jazz. His knowledge and passion for hospitality has led him to work in many locations in New York City. He is known for the ability to create events, ranging from 200 to 5000 people, and offering people a magical experience. Its not about his music, it is about the crowd and what they want.

Max strives to bring the French Touch to the US and the refinement it entails. Indeed he has spun in a variety of clubs such as Lavo, Kiss and Fly, Le Souk and more. Having a wide connection with the French crowd in NYC, he can also bring a loyal clientele with him.

Houston – September 20 2012

Time for the September Mixer & Happy Hour! This month we will have a happy hour at Little Woodrow’s in Midtown. Fellow member, Natasha Costa, a senior in pre-med at St. Thomas University, is fundraising for a medical relief trip to Nicaragua this November and we thought it would be good to support her efforts. Little Woodrow’s will be donating a portion of the proceeds toward her fundraising efforts. Please see the following link for more information https://www.facebook.com/events/520156298000587/.
We look forward to seeing you!

P.S. Sorry for the late notice but I was on vacation! We are already planning the October Happy Hour and will get that invite out sooner!

Little Woodrow’s
2306 Brazos St, Houston, Texas 77006-1612

Barcelona – Sep 25 2012

Dear EuroCirclers,

Welcome back from your summer vacation!

Let’s meet again next Tuesday September 25th for after-work drinks at the beautiful Ornina terrace.

We are looking forward to see you again
Don’t forget to sign up here on the site.

Avda Diagonal, 593 Interior
08014 Barcelona
(antiguo Oliver y Hardy).

Telf.: 933 216 432


When: September 25th 2012, 20:00
Price: 10 euros (welcome drink and finger food incl.)
All the best.

Manon Delois and Alejandro Peña

You can also find us at Facebook – via EuroCircle Barcelona GROUP or fan page facebook.com/eurocircle

Austin – Sep 18 2012

Photos © Eurocircle. For privacy reasons we ask you not to copy these to Facebook or other social networks

Join City of Austin, International Association of Science Parks, Swedish American Chamber of Commerce Texas and EuroCircle for Joint Happy Hour with visiting guests from Luleå, Sweden

The City of Austin was recently named the first science city member of the International Association of Science Parks. www.iasp.ws . Visiting this week are IASP representatives from Luleå, Sweden:

– Fredrik Kalioniemi Managing Director, Aurorum Science Park
– Matz Engman CEO, Luleå Business Agency
– Anders Granberg CEO, The Node Pole
– Erik Lundgren, Head of Business Development at Luleå Energy

The Luleå delegates are exploring Austin as a center of innovation in areas of gaming industry, data centers, smart grid, and business attraction strategies.

Join us for an informal networking event giving these Swedish guests a warm welcome to Austin.

Cash Bar. No Cover.
6.30 pm

SACC TX hosts: Peter Holmertz, Henrik Johansson and Rasmus Wendt

NOTE: SACC has also invited us to join the Swedish Crayfish party on Saturday, Sept 29