Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
After a full week of classes, take the weekend off either inside or outside of the bubble. New students, this is your first real opportunity to go explore Philadelphia; it’d be a shame to live a twenty minute train ride away from one of the biggest and most vibrant cities in the US and never take advantage of it. (Yes, New Yorkers, there are some nice things about Philly, even though SEPTA kind of sucks.) Returners, get a little dose of non-Sharples food and non-Swarthmore atmosphere to get you through the next two pasta bars.
This is a great week to get your first impression of Philly, because the Philly Fringe festival starts this weekend. There are 185 shows in the festival, independently produced by the artists: some are theater, some standup, some art, some dance, some music. There’s a musical about zombies, a dance piece called “Urban Scuba,” a play about Julia Child (food served), and – highly recommended – three shows by Swatties. Boy Meets Tractor members and alumni are presenting a comedy show called Where Do We Go From Here. (Friday and Saturday, 7 and 9 pm both nights, right near 30th Street Station.) In a slightly more serious but no less fun vein, the Matchbox Theater Company (composed of six Swarthmore seniors) is presenting Preparations for Departure, an “immersive story and space”; more details about the group are on their site, and you can also get tickets online. And five ’08 alums, formerly the founders of “I Saw The Bloodied Snow But I Did Not See The Creature,” have a show called MEELEY or The Fun of It imagining Amelia Earhart’s final flight.
If you’re going in for the Fringe, catch dinner at one of Philly’s many great restaurants. Don’t spring for an expensive one just yet — Restaurant Week, where up-scale restaurants offer three-course dinners at the fixed price of $30, is just around the corner, and you should make reservations now.
If you’d rather not spring the $5 for SEPTA (tip: you can save $2 if you buy your ticket round-trip, only on the weekends), there’s plenty to do in Swarthmore too. The Ville is hosting its first monthly First Fridays event, which will feature a Sushi Party at the co-op, “Pinwheels for Peace” at T. Bumble’s, and many other discounts and open houses. See more details.
Bill Daley, an acclaimed artist who makes “massive and visually complex slab-built vessels,” is giving a lecture this afternoon at 4:30 in LPAC and has artwork on display in the List Gallery (attached to LPAC) through October.
Vertigo-go, the student improv group, has their first show at 8:00 in Sci 101 tonight. Saturday, check out the Good Food garden at 1pm for snacks and a little weeding (directions on their website), then cheer on the Men’s Soccer team for their opening weekend against Wesley College at 7:30pm.
Have other plans Swatties might be interested in? Let us know in the comments. Meanwhile, enjoy yourself — you’ve earned it.