March 17, 2017 by Opal Pandya
There are a lot of things you might look forward to during the weekends: going out, treating yourself to a nice dinner or even just staying in and binge watching the newest episode of “Quantico” (Priyanka Chopra, anyone?). But who would’ve thought that something like First Friday could be fun, educational and something of an adventure?
Now, what’s First Friday you may ask? Well, lemme tell you: First Friday is an event the first Friday of every month where local art galleries showcase their art and allow fellow art lovers to observe their works, free of cost. It’s held in Old City near Penn’s Landing, so not only do you get to experience the beauty of resident artists, you can also grab a delicious bite just two streets down.
But First Friday isn’t limited to just amazing art and fun food — it’s rich history. Each individual gallery is filled with art that’s representative of something different: there’s a glass gallery, filled with intricate creations of fused glass with swirled patterns as complex as the galaxy. Another one captures the extraordinary works of Mother Nature, shown off in large frames with glossy finishes.
There’s even a gallery dedicated to art in just black and white (no gray, no mess), filled with crisp lines and simple works. And just when you thought the art was too good to be true, local vendors hit you with traditional Philly foods and unique jewelry made of spoons and beautiful crystals.
The galleries also teach you something about the Philadelphians themselves; if you ever get the chance to go to a First Friday, you’ll see that the residents are friendly, outgoing, and extremely willing to answer any questions you could possibly have about the art or even the artists.
Not to mention, they are 100 percent supportive of your “I’m-artsy-and-need-this-for-Instagram” attitude (don’t even try that you’re not one of those lame people trying to get a cool hipster museum picture).
Personally, the best part of First Friday for me is getting to explore more than just the art. If you look closely, there’s dusty old antique shops hiding between the galleries, holding precious art of their own and stories of the city’s past. Towards the end of the street, you’ll find Elfreth’s Alley, filled with historical residences from the 18th century. Keep walking a couple streets down and you can enjoy a nice American meal at Continental with a nice glass of wine.
Trust me, I know most students wouldn’t think to spend their Friday nights weaving their way from gallery to gallery, but don’t just take my word for it when I tell you it’s truly awesome. Get out there and look at some art, maybe even create some of your own, and get some poppin’ pics for your Insta.