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September 2015

There are 19 blog entries for September 2015.

Now that you've been inspired by the creative muse, it's time to let it run free. These places offer classes and workshops that let you do just that:

University City Arts League

University City Arts League, University City
From drop-in classes to a summer arts camp to workshops and adult programs, this venerable University City institution offers education for all. It also offers inspiration through an active exhibition program featuring local artists and craftsfolk.

Fleisher Art Memorial entrance

Fleisher Art Memorial, Queen Village
One of Philadelphia's oldest community arts institutions, the Fleisher has as its mission "to make art accessible to everyone, regardless of means, background or artistic experience." That means there's room for you in the Fleisher's jam-packed calendar of workshops,

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Stuck in your routine? Want to express your creative side, but don't know how?

Maybe you might want to gain some inspiration from other creative artists of all stripes. From Old Masters to folk art masterpieces, Philadelphia offers many opportunities to commune with creative artists and learn their insights. Here are three of the best:

Philadelphia Museum of Art gallery

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
The city's premiere art museum is a treasure trove of art from across the centuries and around the world.  Its Asian art collection is one of the world's finest, and when you've had enough of the main museum, there are two other galleries to visit: the Rodin Museum, devoted to the French sculptor of "The Thinker," and the Perelman Gallery, with its changing

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Lego scale model of the VaticanThe art of the brick meets the splendor of the Roman Catholic Church in this meticulously assembled Lego scale model of the Vatican and St. Peter's Square. The actual Vatican artifacts on display with it at the Franklin Institute are even more impressive. Photo by D. Moran for the Franklin Institute.

Maybe you aren't jumping for joy at the prospect of seeing Pope Francis but just a little curious about the church (and the state) he runs and the interplay between religious liberty and American liberty.These exhibits, on display through the remainder of the World Meeting of Families and Francis Festival weekend, should satisfy your curiosity. If you can't make it out to see them this weekend, don't worry - most of these will remain around after the

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Offices may be closing early and the government may be shut down, but Philly's restaurants are bringing their A-game to the Francis Festival Weekend.

And why not? With more than a million pilgrims likely to descend on the city, there will be plenty of mouths to feed, and those pilgrims will find plenty of great dining options to choose from. Here are some of our picks for outstanding value and quality:

Bun thuit nhong cha gio

Vietnam Restaurant, 221 North 11th Street, Chinatown
There are now scores of places to enjoy Vietnamese cuisine in Philadelphia, and in some parts of town, it seems there's a pho shop on every corner. But none of them match the quality, ambience and value of the grande dame of Vietnamese eateries here. From the day it opened in 1983, Vietnam

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Francis Festival Zone mapDriving will be allowed between the green and black lines within the Francis Festival Zone while the traffic restrictions are in effect. This means that those without cars will have a transportation option other than a long slog if they have a certain app installed on their smartphones.

Yesterday, we reported that if your travel plans have you either leaving the Francis Festival Zone after the traffic restrictions go into effect or coming back before they're lifted, your options for getting home from the few rail transit stations that are open within the zone consisted of walks or longer walks.

We forgot about one option that will be available within the zone: Uber, the ride-sharing service.

As car owners will be allowed to drive around within

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SEPTA Regional Rail trainTrains and planes are fine if you're getting out of town this weekend, though getting to and from the airport or 30th Street Station will mean clearing some hurdles. Buses and cars, on the other hand, aren't. Ideally, you should plan your travel so that you leave Friday and return Monday for minimum hassle.

Maybe you are one of those people who, after hearing all the scare talk and all the hype, have come to the conclusion that you'd rather get out of town than hang around while the Pope is here.

Some people we know have already taken off on a vacation that coincides with the World Meeting of Families this week. Many more will likely make a long weekend of it in New York, or Washington, or Boston or LA or anywhere but here.

To those of you

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Grocery Stores, Hospitals and Houses of WorshipThis map shows the grocery and convenience stores (in green), hospitals (in blue) and houses of worship (in red) within the Francis Festival Zone. Most of them will be open over the Papal Visit Weekend. Want to see this map in more detail? Here's a zoomable version.

If you live within the Francis Festival Zone, you will find many things closed or restricted on Papal Visit Weekend,

Nonessential city services, for instance, will be closed from Thursday through Monday. School's out from Wednesday to Friday as well. The courts will be closed from Wednesday through Monday, and there will be no mail delivery or pickup in the Center City, University City and Fairmount ZIP codes on Saturday.

What won't be closed are most of the restaurants and

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A charming corner home that you'll adore! 

Enter through the front door, or the convenient side door, and discover all of the desirable features inside, including oak hardwood flooring, plenty of storage space, and large windows on three sides for abundant natural light.

On the main level, check out the comfy living area before moving into the elegant dining room showcasing the staircase's wooden banister. Just beyond, admire the open kitchen with tiled floor, gorgeous wood cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances.

Head upstairs to the three lovely bedrooms with ample closet space, served by a delightful hall bath where you can unwind in the Jacuzzi tub while enjoying the beautiful retro tiled floor, wainscoting, and pedestal sink.

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Pope FrancisHello, Holy Father! We're glad you're here! Lots of people from all over the world will be in Philly next weekend to see and celebrate Mass with the Pope. You can join them, even if only vicariously. Read on for details.

It's now one week before Pope Francis arrives and the papal festival begins.

You know how to get there—and how not to get there. 

Presumably, the reason you want to get there is to see His Holiness.

Even though the tickets that get you into the secure area at Independence Mall, where the Pope will speak Saturday morning, and on the Ben Franklin Parkway west of 20th Street, where he will celebrate the Festival of Families Saturday night and Mass Sunday morning, are all spoken for, you can still get up close and personal with

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Festival zone map showing secure perimetersDrive your car outside the green box above after Thursday, Sept. 24, and you can't drive it back in until sometime Monday, Sept. 28. If your car is parked either within the area outlined in black above or on any of the streets highlighted in yellow, you will have to move it either to a parking space outside the area or to a garage or lot where you can store it for the duration of the papal visit. Read on for details.

First off, it's no longer the "traffic box" - it's the Francis Festival Zone.

And if you live within it. there are some things you may need to take care of in the days leading up to the papal visit.

The most important thing, if you own a car, is getting that car out of the "secure vehicle perimeter" or off the "authorized vehicle

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