This is what Michelle Obama should do while she’s in Philly

Advice for the former First Lady on where to caffeinate, work out, shop and dine.

15592488001_2b53a22718_o
Gage Skidmore/Flickr Creative Commons
monicazorrilla

Michelle Obama lands in Philly this Thursday, one of just 10 stops on a book tour promoting her memoir Becoming. The former First Lady will chat about the autobiographical work at the Wells Fargo Center, and you can still purchase tickets (if you’re willing to shell out $150+ on seats).

Not like Becoming needs any more promotion — the memoir sold 1.4 million copies in its first week and is reportedly the fastest-selling book of the year at Barnes & Noble

But what’s Mrs. 44 going to do when she’s not on a stage? She could opt to go full-on typical tourist or hide out in the comfort of her hotel room. Orrrrrr she could take the advice of locals.

Here’s our suggested itinerary for Michelle Obama when she comes to Philadelphia.

☕ Caffeinate

Wawa is a way too predictable recommendation here. Though the limited-edition winter blend at the iconic Philly convenience store is actually pretty good, we’re hoping she’ll go to a small, local business to fill her cup.

What comes to mind for something really special? Manakeesh Bakery & Grill in West Philadelphia, which serves aromatic and floral lattes, Turkish coffee and cashew baklava, among other sweet and savory Middle Eastern plates. 4420 Walnut St. 

💦 Sweat

It’s no secret that the former First Lady works out “like a gladiator” — and has the toned arms of an Amazon to prove it.

Odds are high Obama would choose Solidcore in Rittenhouse to fire up a sweat, given she’s a regular at the fitness studio chain that encourages exercising your muscles to failure. We suggest giving a Philly-based “megaformer-centric” workout at Sculpt360 a go instead. 777 S Broad St. 

🏺 Learn

Even someone as accomplished and well-traveled as Obama always has more to learn — especially from this city’s collection of museums that highlight and focus on niche histories and traditions.

The Philadelphia Doll Museum, the Center for Art in Wood, The Colored Girls Museum or the Mummers Museum are all unique. She probably won’t be able to hit all of them, but a visit to one or two would be worth it. Various locations. 

💝 Treat herself

In 2016, Obama and Oprah Winfrey encouraged women to love themselves, so it’s safe to assume that she’d practice what she preaches.

We suggest Sanctuary on 2nd — the massage therapy spa with Victorian-era vibes makes a great getaway from the stress of a cross-country book tour. 752 S 7th St. 

🥖 Cheesesteak

Sorry not sorry. It’s a cliche, but the state of cheesesteaks elsewhere makes this a must.

Which one? The “right” answer is up to interpretation, so don’t hate on us for directing Obama toward a Rocco’s Italian Sausages and Philly Cheese Steaks stand for a hearty half steak/half sausage special. It ain’t healthy, but it sure hits the spot. Various locations. 

🍂 Stroll

It’s chilly, but there are so many beautiful parks and outdoor sites in Philadelphia; it’d be a shame if Obama couldn’t find the time in her busy schedule to at least walk through one on a crisp autumn day.

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in West Fairmount Park is small enough for a brief, relaxing stroll but packed with spectacular architectural and landscaping fixtures and Nihonga murals. Lansdowne Dr. & Horticultural Dr. 

🏠 Charity

Nonprofit organizations doing good and making significant impacts in communities with need abound in the city, but one that tackles several of the issues that Philadelphia struggles most with — the opioid crisis, racial inequality, lack of affordable housing, domestic violence, poverty and homelessness — is Project HOME.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance at a social enterprise art class? Or gave leadership tips to high school youth prepping for college? All while getting to know more about and discussing economic justice pitfalls and solutions in the city? It could happen. 1515 Fairmount Ave. 

🍸 Afterparty

Okaaaaaaay we’re not about to lead a former First Lady to a night of debauchery, but even Michelle Obama needs to let her hair down every once in a while — in high-class style.

If you can afford it, Assembly Rooftop Lounge, an all-weather, indoor/outdoor bar atop The Logan is sophisticated, snazzy and boasts impressive views of the city’s skyline, which can all be taken in from cozy, warm sectional sofas centered around roasting fire pits.

We’re not saying we’re gonna crash Obama for a drink after her gig at the Wells Fargo but, we wouldn’t say no to an invite either.

 

Thanks for reading all the way

Seems you’re the kind of person who really digs in. Want more? Get an update direct to your inbox each morning, with everything you need to stay on top of Philly news.

Billy Penn runs on reader support

Like the story above, everything we publish is powered by people like you. If our work helps you learn about and enjoy Philadelphia, we’d love to count you as a member.

What’s the good word?

Our quick morning newsletter packed with info and events exists thanks to your support. Know someone who might enjoy it?

Send them an invite to subscribe now.

Spread the love

Billy Penn members like you are the reason our newsroom keeps going. Know someone who might want to support our work? Send them a note — they just might join the local journalism fight.