The Buzz

Outstanding Library Fines, Philly Gifts for Your Lover, and The 90s Fashion Resurgence

Stories Dawn Garcia, Debbie Hall, Jenny Willden and Stephanie Wilson
  • Free Library of Philadelphia axes outstanding debts on late books. Read
  • Dan Bilzerian first built his empire using social media marketing. Read
  • February is a great time to show your love for the city with these only-in-Philly gifts. Read
  • Old school becomes new again. Read
  • Our editor-in-chief’s hottest hits of the month. Read
  • The nationwide trend (finally) takes off in Philly. Read

Fewer Penalties, More Perks

Free Library of Philadelphia axes outstanding debts on late books.

Cities like Chicago, San Francisco, and now Philadelphia are ending late fees on overdue items and wiping out old library patron debts. Why? To remove barriers from those who felt the library wasn’t for them. The policy takes effect in the spring, and the Free Library hopes it encourages people to use the library’s services. But don’t think this means you can “borrow” books and keep them forever. New books can’t be checked out until overdue ones are returned (or paid for if lost). Not a bibliophile? The library also rents plenty of museum passes, string instruments, birding backpacks, streaming video devices, and board games. Plus it offers free meditation, yoga, and tai chi classes.

Ignite with Flavor

Dan Bilzerian, known as “The King of Instagram,” first built his empire using social media marketing. In 2017, he launched Ignite, a line of CBD products, which has since expanded to include vapes, drops, toothpicks, topicals, pet products, gummies, and lip balm. Flavor profiles include blood orange, lemon, cherry, lavender, and tropical fruit. Its all-natural CBD drops are blended with essential oils. Topicals are made with 100 percent plant-based ingredients. Its newest product is the 350 mg full-spectrum drops and bath bombs.
Ignite / $15–$65 /

LOVE-ly Philly Gifts

February is a great time to show your love for the city with these only-in-Philly gifts.

Rosen & Co. Philly Skyline Candles
Fill your home with fragrance with these soy wax candles housed in a Philadelphia skyline glass.
$25 /

LOVE Necklace
Based on Robert Indiana’s renowned Philadelphia LOVE sculpture, this necklace is available in real gold and silver finishes. Buy locally at Verde on 13th Street.
$74 /

Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates
Give your love a taste of Philly with this series of nine handcrafted chocolates featuring symbols of the city.
$20 /

Party Like It’s 1999

Old school becomes new again.

With the nostalgia of the ’90s revival including the comeback of scrunchies, old school hip-hop parties, cartoon reboots, grunge fashion, army pants, vinyl records, and the Friends craze ever present, why not celebrate like it’s Y2K?

The ’90s were the era when grunge was born; punk rock got a resurgence; indie music fests took off; personal style was nonconformist; music was insanely good, angsty, dance-worthy, and impactful (Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Tupac, N.W.A., Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees, Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple, and so many more); and the teens and twentysomethings finally felt like their voices were being heard.


By Stephanie Wilson, Editor in Chief

1. Primary Focus
A New Hampshire law requires the Granite State to be the first presidential primary in the nation. This election cycle, that goes down on February 11, after which my home state becomes irrelevant for another four years.

2. Leap of Faith
While the calendar year is 365 days, it takes the Earth 365.24 days to orbit the sun. Every four years, we add an extra day to the month of February because without it, the calendar would be misaligned with the seasons by 25 days after just 100 years.

3. Born This Way
The odds of being a “leapling”—a person born on a leap day—is 1 in 1,461.

4. Right On
On February 29, some places celebrate Bachelor’s Day or Sadie Hawkins Day—both a nod to the old Irish tradition that gave women the right to propose marriage to a man on leap day. If he declined, he was required by law to pay a penalty, often in the form of gloves so she could hide the shame of her bare ring finger.

5. Modern Love
Since we’re not all Irish, but we are all feminists (because we all believe in the equality of the sexes, of course), any of us can propose to whomever our heart desires whenever we want. Except Valentine’s Day. There’s no law prohibiting it but, sweetie, pay-as-you-go forced romance is anything but romantic.

6. PETA Violation
The origins of the canned-love holiday are as cruel as a red rose delivery in February is clichéd. According to NPR, V-day traces back to the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a brutal fete during which naked men sacrificed dogs and goats—and whipped women with the animal hides. Stop, in the name of love.

Food Hall Fever

The nationwide trend (finally) takes off in Philly.

Philadelphia’s arguably home to America’s first food hall, 126-year-old Reading Terminal Market, but the city has been slow to join the modern iteration of this trend. Recent years have seen the launch of three food halls in Philadelphia, bringing you bitty-sized shops from favorite local eateries and new hot spots.

The Bourse

A sad food court no more, this 1895 commodities exchange building has been reborn as an artisan food hall serving the Independence Hall area. Try globally inspired eats from 30 vendors, cocktails from Bluebird Distilling, or find your way out of the 1980s at the on-site escape room. Our can’t-miss foods are Prescription Chicken’s hearty soups, TaKorean’s Korean tacos, and Mighty Melt’s inventive grilled cheese sandwiches.
111 S. Independence Mall East /

Franklin’s Table

Feeding students, faculty, and visitors to the University of Pennsylvania’s campus, this hall has communal seating for 175 and is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Vendors include falafel favorite Goldie, DK Sushi of Double Knot fame, and a third location for hummus-centric Dizengoff. Don’t miss Dizengoff’s new sweet treat, frozen labneh. It’s an upgrade to traditional frozen yogurt topped with strawberry shortcake or chocolate peanut.
3401 Walnut St. /

Chinatown Square

Find Asian street eats in this day-to-late-night eatery in Chinatown. From Korean to Cambodian cuisine, you’ll find 12 diverse food vendors plus cocktails and upstairs karaoke rooms. Taste Kurry Korner’s unique Southeast Asian curries and rolled ice cream from Ice NY.
1016-18 Race St. /

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