The Northern Liberties neighborhood was long a run-down afterthought in Philadelphia, its only highlight the nightlife throwback Ortlieb's Jazz Haus (847 N. Third St.; 215/922-1035) and the beerhouse Standard Tap (901 N. Second St.; 215/238-0630). Recently, the area 10 blocks northeast of Center City has become the Williamsburg of Philly, with artists and designers moving into its former breweries.

EAT Local filmmakers' work is screened in the lounge of North Third (801 N. Third St.; 215/413-3666; dinner for two $45), which also serves fish-and-chips and baby back ribs. Get a taste of the Caribbean with rum-and-pepper tilapia and mango mojitos at Azure (931 N. Second St.; 215/629-0500; dinner for two $40). SHOP Wild West and urban chic are fused at Very Bad Horse (606 N. Second St.; 215/627-6989). Wannabe rock stars love the low-rider jeans by Philadelphia-based Motor Montenegro. Nearby, Closet Fever (707 N. Second St.; 866/693-3837) doubles as a salon and hipster boutique run by hairstyling diva J. C. Mazza. While you're waiting for your curls to set, browse the shelves stocked with silver jewelry and printed T-shirts. SEE Work by the area's emerging artists (portrait painter Anthony Palumbo, sculptor Ed Raffel) are on display at Ashley Gallery (718 N. Third St., second floor; 215/627-3590; by reservation only), whether they practice Post-Impressionism or in-your-face Philadelphia bravado.
—Sam Lubell