Philadelphia's relationship with its rivers is… shall we say, complex. In recent years, we've done a better job connecting with the Schuylkill River, mostly thanks to the wonderful Schuylkill River Trail. We're trying to get back to the Delaware River too, but that's a much more challenging lift due to the presence of I-95 and Delaware Avenue. Still there are examples of successful forays toward the river. Race Street Pier is one of the better parks in Philadelphia. Morgan's Pier is a great place to enjoy a drink and stare at Camden. The best place we've discovered so far though, will only last through the summer.

In April, we told you about Spruce Street Harbor Park, a temporary public space created by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation where Spruce Street meets the Delaware. Though it officially opens for business today, we snuck in last night (along with like 700 other people at a whyilovephilly party) to get a taste of what this pop-up brings to the table. Needless to say after the job that DRWC did during the cold months with the Waterfront Winterfest, this park is just wonderful.

This is pretty accurate

The Oasis. Image from DRWC.

Near the Christopher Columbus statue, dozens of hammocks cry out for you to take a load off. Arts vendors are hawking their wares, and old shipping containers have concessions and games. And there's LED lights hanging everywhere, looking cool. Three barges combine to form "The Oasis," a temporary pier that includes tables for drinking or dining, nets cantilevered over the water for lounging, and sand that evokes the long-lost Sugarbeach of summers gone by. There's also a fire pit. And a mist walk. And a stage for bands. And events all summer long. It's just… really really well done.

So go check it out. Seriously. Get there. And then go back a couple times. And then the next time you want to complain about how we don't do enough on the Delaware waterfront, you'll be able to reflect on your experience and temper those complaints just a little bit.

For some more detail about the Spruce Street Harbor Park, click here. It runs through August 31st. But don't wait.