Thursday, December 30, 2010


I would have walked past Made You Look (2601 Pennsylvania Ave, 215-593-0075), but the big sidewalk sign caught my attention and I noticed that this giant apartment building I was walking buy contained some retail to relish. The sign said consignment and pulled me right up the handicap accessible ramp and into the shop.

very cute vintage dress from the outside of the store

just a peek at some of the amazing things being sold in this welcoming shop crammed with fun - I wish I had a place for a chandelier!

unfortunately these amazing mirror shades are not for sale, but the couch is only a little over $500 and is so soft!

frogs, and a mini chair!

something for New Year's Eve?

a shift I was sad to leave behind

owner Lucille Merchant relaxing on a couch that is just over $200

I was warmly welcomed by owners Lucille Merchant and Joan Meranze. Their store reflects their fun and sassy personalities, and is full of clothes, shoes, accessories, furniture, nick knacks, tea sets, books and more. Next time I need something for my place I will definitely head here before Ikea as the prices are about the same and the quality proven since these articles have stood the test of time and look brand new.
I could not walk away without a $30 Ralf Lauren hounds tooth blazer that I will be wearing on my first day of my new job on Monday!
And now for some (hopefully) tongue in cheek fashion blogesque photos:
Will my new blazer help the mean middle school children take me more seriously?

check out the sweet gold lining!

(I've often mocked fashion blogs for their narcissistic seeming photo shoots, but I have to admit I had way to much fun taking these pictures all by myself)

Camo Truck Out Of Its Natural Habitat

I really like this gate, and this truck, and the two of them together...

Salt and Snow

Philly got hit by the recent snow storm too, but I liked this person's innovative way of making the city safer for pedestrians...just throw the whole salt container on the sidewalk and see what happens!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lickety Split on South Street

Where can you find the biggest slice of pizza ever and a tall boy for the not so tall price of $4? At Lickety Split on Forth and South, that's where. I spend some quality after work hours there with a few new friends. I filled up on pizza and beer and still had money left over for a cab ride home. On Saturdays they have live music upstairs and on Sunday a comedy show. I wouldn't head all the way over to South Street to experience the establishment first hand, but if you ever happen to be over there and find yourself hankering for a beer and some pizza you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fairmount Fling

Tomorrow night is the 8th annual Fairmount Fling! For $35 dollars you can taste food from over 20 local restaurants, involve yourself in some sort of auction, and drink free beer and wine. More importantly you can finally infiltrate the walls of Girard College!!! The nagging thought "What goes on in there?" will no longer need haunt you every time you drive by it!! No really, the even sounds cool. Its $35 in advance and $45 at the door. The money benifits the Fairmount CDC. It sounds like you can make dinner out of it. I am not sure if I will be attending or not, but check it out for yourself at

Out of Philly

OK, I know...not so good at the blogging while working full time thing. In my defense, as usual I haven't been spending all that much time in Philly.
I met with the masses at the Rally for Sanity in DC:

I dressed as Flapper for Halloween in DC:
And last weekend I jet-setted off to London with the family for a weekend of good English fun and a Saturday spent uniting with long lost family:
it smelled like pee in there...

The trip to DC was refreshing, despite serious stress coming from work. It was amazing to spend time with my old gang, and even to spend time with a gang in general!! Here in Philly my social life hasn't quite reached the levels I've previously achieved in life. Then again, if you are reading this you already know that. The rally was good fun and the weather was amazing. Halloween was disastrous and fun and I only got into one fight in Spanish with a drunk Puerto Rican over my use of her bathroom... I guess she'll think twice before she calls some random white girl a puta again...and I'll think twice before I use someone's bathroom before introducing myself. Lessons learned...
And then there was our glamorous trip to London. We arrived Thursday morning and took in as many sights as possible until Saturday morning when we went to Chiswick (pronounced Chisick)
to meet Raymond and his family. Raymond was my dad's dad's first cousin. When my grandfather was working on the bunkers that would eventually help keep the Nazis out of Egypt he would come stay at Raymond's house in Alexandria over the weekends. We heard many stories about that lost time and got acquainted with his wife, and his daughter and her family who hosted us. Unfortunately he didn't know very much about my grandmother or the people in her pictures that we had questions about, however, it was amazing to meet them and to know that I have family in London!!
I also fell in love with London and can't wait to one day go back. This coming weekend I will be in NYC on Sat for a birthday dinner for my sis, but Friday night promises some adventure. Also, I've got my camera charger here now, so expect pictures!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Flea Market Moves Indoors!!!!!

Spring Garden Indoor Antique & Vintage Flea Market
This Saturday, November 6th
Indoors At 9th & Spring Garden
Formally Fed Ex Service Center
(Use 820 Spring Garden St. 19123 For GPS Directions)

32,000 Sq. Ft. Indoor Heated Facility
Handicap Accessible

8AM til 4PM
Free Onsite Parking In Our Lot
Enter On Spring Garden Street

2010 - 2011 Fall / Winter Indoor Schedule
Sat, November 6, 2010
Sat, December 4, 2010
Sat, December 18, 2010
Sat, January 8, 2011
Sat, February 5, 2011
Sat, March 5, 2011
Sat, April 2, 2011

For More Information
Visit Our Web Site:
or call 215 - 625 - FLEA (3532)
Vendors: Log Onto Our Web Site Above For Our Spring Garden Application

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sassy on the SEPTA and in the Street

And now another episode of Sassy on the SEPTA brought to you by crazy white lady in her brand new Honda on the street.
I've been trying to take the bus to work in an effort to be "green"...but on Friday I took the bus because I was getting picked up from work at noon by boyfriend Josh and friend Sam. I was kinda grumpy about it, especially when I had to stand in the aisle, but more so when this happened:
We were making one of those difficult turns down a narrow street where the white line that indicates where oncoming cars should stop at the light is purposefully far back because of the trolley's turn radius. Maybe the woman in the Honda had crept up from the line in her haste to beat the next set of poorly timed/constant red lights in Philly. Or maybe our bus driver didn't take his turn at the perfect angle. Regardless, as we made the turn it became clear that only one of us was going to make it, and we were way, way, way bigger than that brand new midnight blue Honda. She tried to back up but a truck blocked the way. She tried to move over to the right, but was cornered by the curb. Our bus inched forward, closer and closer until the bus and the Honda were parallel, one inch apart, and diagonally blocking the whole street.
At this point the truck behind the Honda backed up, drove up onto the sidewalk, and drove down it until it could get back into the street and went on its merry way. But as the passengers around me pointed out, the Honda was pegged.
Crazy white lady now earned her rep as crazy white lady in our story. She had the nerve to get out of her car and start yelling at the bus driver. "You left me no room!!!" I heard her yell. One woman in the front yelled back, "He can't yell back at you but I sure as hell can!!!" The woman stomped around, went back to her car, and put her hands on her hips as she imagined her brand new car with a swath of scrape across the entire left side.
"Oh I know she is not just standing there with her hands on her hips," one woman commented. At this point people were thinking about getting off the bus, and another bus had already come up behind us. The pressure was on.
Our bus driver, with talent and grace, very slowly reversed until the woman could inexpertly, and awkwardly reverse her car, and we drove away with a cheer. I stole a seat from someone who had considered getting off and sat down with a sigh.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Philly Ultimate

I have done it!! I have started playing Ultimate again!! And now I can barely walk. This is no exaggeration. I have been limping for two days and taking steps one at a time. However, I had an amazing time on Tuesday night playing on the field at 38 and Filbert. I found the pick up at phillyultimate, a blog guessed it! Ultimate in Philly. Check it out for updated info on pick up and other ultimate related stuff. When I can walk again, I am totally going back.

Belgium Cafe

Last Sunday my wildest dreams came true. My entire family was in Philly and it was brunch time!! Finding a new brunch place is always a little stressful with the bunch because my dad keeps kosher. That means he eats like a pescatarian when he's out with a meat eater's appetite and desire. I knew I wanted to eat in Fairmont, and while it was risky I chose The Belgian Cafe. Why risky? Because they specialize in mussels, a very non-kosher item.
We walked from our apartment and by the time we got there everyone was too hungry to care that much about the menu. My dad got the veggie burger which he said was good. The only complaint was that it was drowning in bun. In the bun versus burger battle its always good when both sides are tied, but if one has to have the upper hand I prefer it to be the burger.
Josh got the mussels and was very happy. The broth was so good he ordered extra bread to sop it up. Kenny got the Eggs Benedict which came without its ham. The waitress was very apologetic and we were even compted for his meal! My mom, sister and I all ordered the garden fresh eggs which were full of delicious garden fresh items, but overcooked and a little dry. Making up for any problems were the spicy Bloody Marie's, the amazing beer selection, and great service. To top it all off there was a table for six outside and the sun was out. Would I go back? Yes, but without my dad so I can get the mussels!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Check out our Familia!!!

Check us out at: New blogging buddy La Anne interviewed me after 127 hours. Check out her post and our picture!!! Also check out her blog for great movie reviews, restaurant critics, and festival coverage.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Filmadelphia '10

Today is sadly the last day of the Philadelphia Film Festival, but luckily the Philadelphia Film Society plays movies all year round. I got to see three movies this year and wish I could have seen many more. The movies were being shown all over Philly, but the three I saw were at the Ritz 5 on 214 Walnut located right near Penn's Landing (where there are plenty of bars nearby where you can catch a drink before and or after a movie) and the Prince Music Theater.

What I saw:

The Man From Nowhere:

Where this unsuspecting mop top goes from this:

to this:

so he can fight drug lords and save her:

The movie was action packed and brilliantly acted by Won Bin who is subtly sexy as he perfectly portrays a special agent turned pawn shop owner who is stalked by a little girl (Kim Saeron) trying to hide from the all too scary world of her stripper/heroin addicted mother. All we need now is some stolen heroin, black market organ selling, funny but well dressed bad guys, and one kidnapping to reveal Bin's ex-identity and all of his amazing fighting moves. He fights his way to the head honchos attempting to rescue Saeron, and your heart will keep racing even after the movie is over. This is a must see.

El Hombre A Lado (The Man Next Door)

This guy builds a window:

The guy on the left gets pissed that someone has the audacity to invade his privacy:

Hilarity ensues including the window guy's finger boot skits:

This Argentine black comedy was such a joy to watch I was literally slapping my knee for most of the movie (I apologize to all sitting around me). I should preface this by saying that the movie is so Argentine that anyone who has spent at least a month in Argentina will enjoy being taken back to that crazy, twisted land in this epic battle between two neighbors. If you've never been it might not be as meaningful, but it will be funny anyway. The movie begins with a split screen shot showing both sides of a wall as a sledge hammer breaks a hole in it. Peace is shattered for the affluent, snobby family next door who live in a Le Corbusier house made almost entirely of glass. In typical Argentine fashion, the two neighbors dance around the issue using the most Argentine of hand gestures and slang. Any lover of Argentine culture, or anyone who digs an excellent black comedy will regret it when the credits roll on this one.

And last but not least:

127 Hours

This crazy adventurer goes off into the wild without telling anyone where he is going:

He falls and his hand literally gets stuck between a rock and a hard place down in here:

Do I smell an Oscar? James Franco depicts Aron Rolston and his true story about the time he was stuck in a canon for 127 hours. Rolston is the type of hiker who is all about speed, and beating guide book times with his head phones on. However, he is forced to a stand still when he fatally misjudges the stability of a rock as he jumps down into a canon. Franco's desperation is played so well you can practically smell it, and Danny Boyle's directing turns a movie about a guy who is alone on a canon into captivating film. I had to turn my head away at one of the more gory parts, and the music at the end was a little cheesy if you ask me, but this is one of the best performances of the year if not the past few. When it comes out in November I would recommend catching this one on the big screen so as to take in the beauty of the landscape, and the magnitude of Franco's performance.

Real life Aron Ralston still rocks out!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nam Phuong

Saturday night I opted out of seeing Jack Ass 3-D and instead enjoyed my new found power of the pocket and went out for dinner. Ok, so I only spend $10 but it felt nice to be able to spend it all on one meal!
Where did I get a delicious dinner for only $10 (including tip)? Why, Nam Phuong in South Philly of course!
I have very limited experience in Vietnamese food, but Nam Phuong has inspired me to explore this genre of food. We started with spring rolls that were steamed and tasty in that amazing peanut sauce that Lana and I kinda wanted to go swimming in. Then we each got a different soup. I wish I could remember the name but I had no notebook with me!! Regardless, I had order envy because I didn't end up with the rice noodles that Dov ended up with, but now I know what to get next time. We only did soup, but you can also get big dinner platters to share with a group. They have large tables and can accommodate big crowds. Also, our waiter was funny and attentive and the service is very fast.
It’s the perfect place to go on a very casual date, or the perfect place to bring a group. Splitting the check has never been easier as you pay at the register.
Nam Phuong is located at:
1100 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147-3802
Phone number: 2154680410

700 Club

For Josh's birthday we headed to 700 Club in Northern Liberties. 700 Club is located in an old town house. Downstairs is a divey sports bar with a great selection of beer. Upstairs is a one big space half filled with old couches and half filled with a dance floor that is actually filled with dancing people. The DJ is set up in the old, now walless bathroom and the DJ stands atop a boarded up bathtub. Some people who come to 700 Club are douchey, and some can come off as pretentious, but some people there are just there to dance and have a good time and that’s why I like it. While I danced to electronic music I tried to picture myself in an Argentine boliche bursting at the seems with dancing portenos. I opened my eyes and it certainly wasn’t the same. But it was fun. And certainly a good alternative to some of the crazy bars downtown.

I have to end with a quote from 700 Club’s My Space profile:
Who I'd like to meet:
Those people that don't judge, accept everyone, like cheap beers and no cover, dance, are 21, and love dogs~

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm Still Here!

Blogging and working full time is harder than I thought.
A: I don't do that many exciting things outside of work (maybe I should start a blog about not)
B: I don't have as much time to write about the things I do!!

The Block Party from my last post had turned into a sweaty house party by the time I arrived. Sam and I had gotten lost (Google Maps fail!!!) and ended up eating with the people we were meeting up with at the Oregon Diner where we had pretty bad cocktails and some grub. We called a cab and finally made it to the block party that had become only a dance party with a real DJ spinning real records. I kinda had a good time and it was nice to meet up with friend Dylan Hume.

The next weekend I spent in NYC exploring all the various ways one can consume alcohol on a tiny island. We sat in the early afternoon sun that streamed into the factory windows of the Brooklyn Brewery which was saved by the financial crisis. We then headed to Eataly, Manhattan’s one stop Italian paradise. It’s like a giant Italian food court, but better. There are several Italian restaurants, a butcher, a fishmonger, a cheesery, and much much more. They even make their own fresh Mozzarella. The best part? You can order a glass of wine at the Piazza and then casually walk around with it while you shop for ingredients for your dinner. Perfectly buzzed we had a hell of a time getting back to Brooklyn and decided the only thing wrong with Eataly is that it’s not in Brooklyn!!! Once we finally made it back with our fresh pasta etc., we spend a wonderful time cooking in my cousin’s cozy studio while drinking even more wine.

I spent the week recovering and literally went to bed before ten the entire week!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This Saturday: BLOCK PARTY

This Saturday is the Second Annual Block Party!!!! and this is where you will find me on Saturday night.

Location: 1600 Block St. Lawrence St.
Time: 2 pm-5:30 am
Who will be there: The Powder Kegs
Conversations with Enemies
The Shakes
Sex Maine Godboys
The Eeries
Strange Shapes
A Special Performance by Johny Hallady Scaring Young Children
More acts to be announced...
Well, not that I've heard of a single one of these bands, but doubtless there are those who have. More importantly, Pinatas filled with meat are promised as are Kegs and BBQ. Also, I quote "Last year was fun were guna be funner now." If the party is at all better than the invite's grammar its going to be a rager. See you there!!!

Flea Market Alert!!

This weekend, the Center City Flea Market will be located at 3rd and Pine.
I had the privilege to glance at the flea market while it was outside the Eastern State Penitentiary a few weekends, and wrongly assumed it would be there every Saturday. I went back two Saturdays later to find nothing. Just tons of college kids pouring into the Penitentiary for tours. I decided to do a bit of snooping and located a antique shop I remembered passing on the corner of 21st and Fairmont. The shop is closing soon (the owner is moving his store up North!) so hurry for some good deals (I still want the amazing green chairs out front!). I however, had yet to be paid (don't worry, my whining will end tomorrow) and entered only for advice. I was given a business card with the remaining Flea Market dates and the information that it only comes to Fairmont twice a year! The Flea Markets benefit charity, are massive and they are on the move. I'm going this weekend and I'm taking my mom. Unfortunately it won't be close to home, but as there are only three weekends left this year, s0 I've got to get while the getting is good. Oh, and if a Saturday happens to be rainy, then the Flea Market is held on Sunday. And if its rainy on are S.O.L!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Naturally Philadelphia

I've been getting to know my new city slowly, and my mental map and personal views have so far been very influenced by my job. My daily destination is more likely to be Bouvier and Diamond than Broad and Walnut. While downtown Philly does have some old nice trees, that possibly are old enough to have seem some serious history, its nothing compared to the nature one finds in North Philly. In our war against Nature, Nature seems to have the upper hand in this part of the city, and is slowly gaining ground. My favorite nature v. townhouse moment is when I east on Lehigh toward my office. There is this one particular abandoned house, in the middle of a row of townhouses, on one of the busiest streets in North Philly that actually has a tree growing out of one of the second story windows. Sometimes, though, when I walk down a block, its eerily quiet. One can't hear the sound of trees munching up houses but you can see it. Some blocks are around seventy five percent abandoned (a guesstimate) and when I walk by their wooden, metal, or open air windows I marvel at how such an important city can be at times so...empty and sad.
Close to my house, only a twenty minute drive from these battle scarred blocks, I discovered a very different type of nature. The area around the Art Museum astounded me as I walked/jogged around it at sunset. Gazebos overlooking the river, the city, or latticed, raised, criss-crossing highways provide a lovely nook to have a romantic moment, or an opportunity to simply take in beauty while in a city. The paths for bikers and joggers are surrounded by green grass and greener waterways covered in algae. I was taken a aback by how beautiful the skyline is, and how foreign it was to the nature I had experienced previously in the same day.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Photos of Philly

Photos by Joshua Henry Rolf

Little Brother at the Theatre for the Living Arts

Bridge over Pennsylvania Ave


Tapas for three (or more, or less) in Philly? Look no further. Tinto is the place to head for an intimate dinner of shared tapas plates and very strong sangria. Josh, Sam, and I treated ourselves to one more night of restaurant week at this dark, candle lit, restaurant/wine bar decorated with unique wine keys, wine racks full of already enjoyed bottles and their corks.
To begin with, they won major points with our table when they comped our pitcher of sangria (that I couldn't really afford anyway) to make up for our wait and for an incident in which a little bit of dessert was spilled on Josh's pants. A good manager is key to any smooth dining experience, and this guy knew what he was doing.
Then, our waiter was really patient with us, our many questions, and, well, with us in general. In typical tapas fashion, he kept the dishes coming and we were very infrequently without some sort of tasty morsel. He even brought Sam a spicy dipping sauce upon request while we waiting for the cascade of taste to begin.
What we loved:
We went crazy for the Chorizo Pamplona. I've had my fair share of chorizo in my day, but this was by far the tastiest one. It was literally bursting with flavor. We all decided that we would come back just for this juicy item. The assorted cheeses were good and served with honey. Even better though, were the various charcuterie. The jamon serrano was everything Josh could have hoped for, and the saucisson sec was perfect when piled on a crunchy piece of bread with honey and blue cheese.

The Duck was intense, topped with a black cherry that played nicely with the richness of the duck. The Pulpo (octopus) a bit rubbery for me, but this was made up for by the crisp salad of arugula, jamon serrano, mission figs, and fried goat cheese. After all this flavor packed food the bomba rice seemed a bit plain in comparison but it had a lovely texture and plenty of yummy morel mushrooms.
Dessert was a little disappointing, but the coffee and tea we ordered was all I really had room for at this point. The chocolate cake was delicious but so rich I could only eat a few morsels, and the second cake was dry and forgettable.

Would I go back? Yes! However, I would order far less that we were allowed for our $35 fixed menu next time. The food is so rich that a only few dishes would really have sufficed. Anyway, less food leaves more room for the sangria, right?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sassy and homeless on the SEPTA

Welcome to another edition of Sassy On the SEPTA.
‘Cause people still be getting sassy on the SEPTA.
I preface this story by saying that I am a case manager and that part of my job is to go to my client’s homes. Most people drive to their cars to home visits, but I had run out of gas the day before and had decided to take the bus instead of putting money into the tank. As I left someone’s home at 5:15 I immediately regretted this decision as the rain turned into torrential downpour. I ran to the closest 33 bus stop and asked a woman already waiting there if I could share her umbrella. Finally the bus came, and soaking wet I stepped up and took a seat in the front. Turns out it was kind of raining in the bus as well and I switched sides to get away from a leak. A woman got on a few stops later, reeking of homelessness. She had the grey hood of her sweatshirt up and beady little eyes. She explained to the bus driver that she didn’t have any money but that she had got beat up in an alley and needed to get away from there. No matter, the bus driver told her she couldn’t ride the bus for free. The 33 starts in North Philly and has a different crowd that the 49 bus. No one on this bus was paying her fare. She sat down and the bus driver said, “Fine, we can wait until you get off.” People started shouting at her that she didn’t even want to take this bus, that she should take a different bus, and she shouted, ”What bus should I take?” “They said you should take the 68,” I replied and every one quickly yelled at me not to talk to her. Oops…trying to blend in while being the only white person on the bus FAIL. “What bus should I take?” she kept shouting at different people. Fortunately, for my soaking wet and blushing self, this bus driver was bluffing and in about 30 seconds said, “Fine, but as soon as we run into a police officer you gettin’ off this bus.” At this point the homeless woman changed her tune. Literally. She was silent for a second, looked around, and then started to fake cry at the top of her lungs like a three year old. “Whahhhhhh” she cried. The bus driver broke the tension as he broke out into a loud guffaw. Everyone else started laughing as her wails grew louder, eyes dry as the Sahara. The bus driver said, “Anyone got a camera? Someone should be taping this!! We have got to put this on Youtube!” She kept it up for a good while and the bus driver repeated his disbelief that no one was taping this, and eventually she stopped and moved to the back. I remarked to the bus driver that I was new to Philly but that I kept having these crazy experiences on the bus. “That’s the 33!” he replied.


Restaurant week, the two weeks where people like me, who have yet to receive a pay check and are waiting desperately for the end of the month when the money starts flowing, can go out to eat like adults. Josh and I decided we could eat at one place each week and picked Zama for our first dinner out in Philly.
When I eat out I like to get something I can’t make, and swanky Japanese seemed way outside the limits of my kitchen. We were not disappointed.
It may or may not be a requirement to sport tattoos if you work at Zama, but almost everyone seemed to have a few of them peeking out of their black uniforms if not crawling all the way down their arms. The vaulted ceiling in the middle of the restaurant was decorated with a pattern of white dots that formed circles and an absence of white dots left the images of koi fish playfully hiding among the dotted design. Light colored wooden bars lined the walls and the atmosphere was swanky but not pretentious.

Jennifer, our waitress, was very helpful with my many questions even after working a double. My miso was one of the best I’ve ever had. It had mtzsuba (a Japanese parsley) instead of the normal Kame seaweed. Josh’s salad was fresh to the max and tasted like greens should taste, not genetically engineered rabbit food. The ginger dressing was tasty too.
My spicy salmon roll was the perfect proportion of spicy, crunch, and fresh salmon, and although Josh had to wait a long time for his pork dumplings he enjoyed them. They tasted spicy and fried to me and not much else.
This lapse in timing was explained to us with apologies. The restaurant has a cold and a hot kitchen, so plates come out staggered, but still tasty and my annoyance changed quickly to delight as my black cod Saikyoyaki came out. It was garnished with a pink pickled scallion (I loooove anything pickled). It was buttery and the perfect balance of fish to ginger soy glaze. Josh’s sushi plate was about as delicious as nagiri and maki rolls can be. He’ll have to tell you about it though; it was so good he was only willing to share one piece.

not actually Josh's plate (thanks Google images while my camera charger remains incognito) but you get the idea

Oh, and then there was dessert. And did I mention that this was all for only 35 dollars? I had the peach bread pudding and Josh had the banana bomb. Yes, it was an explosion of banana, and my peach bread pudding was so soft and delectable that I resolved to find a recipe and attempt a remake at home.
All in all it was a lovely evening, and with the right cash flow I would return in the click of a chop stick! If you get the chance stop by before the end of next week cause these prices won’t last much longer…

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sassy on the SEPTA

People be getting sassy on the SEPTA. What I thought was an anomaly has become a trend.
People be getting sassy on the SEPTA.


It started in my second week in Philly. I had taken the bus to Redding Terminal Market for some super fresh produce at super low prices. After navigating some construction I finally got on the 49 bus on Arch St and settled in to my seat in the front next to a couple of tired looking commuters. As we turned onto 22nd and headed north we pulled over to a stop and two young men got on. They explained in sassy tones with a stereotypically gay sounding inflection that they had just been robbed so they didn’t have their fare. The bus driver told them they could not ride the bus for free, and could they please step down? No, they informed him, they could not. The bus driver sat back and announced, “Fine, then we goin’ to sit here until you do.” A groan erupted from the already irritable passengers. Someone stepped up and paid one kid’s fare but no one else was willing to spare two dollars for sassy punk numero dos.
Great, I had to get on the one damn bus where the bus driver had decided to take a stand. My first SEPTA Mexican standoff. Being as shy as I am, I was the first of the passengers to pipe up. “Can you guys please just take a different bus?” It was all another young woman sitting across from me needed. “Yea,” she joined in. “Everyone else had their two dollars, why don’t you?” The guy that had taken a seat after someone paid his fair stood up and got in this woman’s face. “Um, because we got robbed!!” he sassed back. “We just came from the police station!” Stone faced she replied, “You know, I really don’t believe you.” And then all hell broke loose. “You don’t know anything bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch!” was all I really heard as he wagged his finger in front of her face. Then the kid in the front started to yell at the bus driver. “You so stupid! You letting all these people sit here for two dollars. You so stupid. You know why? Because you work for SEPTA. That’s right. You didn’t’ get your degree. I did, I went to Temple…blah blah blah.”
Wow, I think silently to myself, that just proved how meaningless a bachelor’s degree has become.
This was too much for most people. They started to get off the bus, walking seeming a better alternative to sitting and listen to some punk berate an honest SEPTA employee. As the crowd pushed their way off the bus a tall man followed. I thought he was getting off but instead he pushed them off with the crowd. “Who the fuck are you?” Shouted one of the punks?” “You don’t want to know,” replied the tall man.
As we started moving again a halfhearted cheer went up from the remaining passengers and we headed up 22nd. Whew, I thought, that was crazy. And then it got crazier. The guys started sprinting, uphill, after the bus, in flip flops. And these were some athletic fellows. The ran after us all the way to Fairmont, as we passed poor old ladies who didn’t understand why the bus driver stopped at the stop sign they stood in front of, but refused to open the door for them. They didn’t notice the grinning fools behind them. When we reached the traffic light at the Penitentiary they ran in front of the bus like they had been every time we stopped, but this time there was a loud bang. And a circular crack on the windshield in front of the bus driver’s face. The punks ran east and all that was left in their wake was a brick in the middle of the intersection.
“Oh hell no, I am not getting physically assaulted today!” Said that woman across from me as though today had been a tougher day than most and on other days this would have been totally ok. She got on her phone with 911, and the next thing I knew there were cop cars, and the bus driver was getting talked down by his supervisor. Even more people started to get off but the bus driver ushered them back on and we started back on our route fairly quickly. When I pulled the yellow rope at Girard I thought about what I would say to the bus driver as I got off. “Thank you sir,” I said. “I’m really sorry about all that,” he replied. “No, I’m sorry, those guys were jerks,” I said as I stepped down.
Stay tuned for more SEPTA sagas.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Main Line Crepe Co. at the Market in Northern Liberties is dericious

I have a confession to make. I love markets. I love fairs. I love any space where people put out tables, or sheets or carts or boxes with their wares. One of my favorite things to do when I get to a city is to locate a permanent market, or a weekend market and to go their immediately. As I rode down to my friend’s house in Bella Vista I looked longingly at the Fairmont flea market and swore to return next week. delicious
After a botched attempt to get into the Grounds for Sculpture on free admission day, my friend Lana suggested that we head to Northern Liberties. It was a beautiful day, I was with a great friend, and headed to a neighborhood I had never been to. Does it get any better than that? Oh yes it does! Because Northern Liberties was having an outdoor market!
There were maybe twenty tables set up. There was the standard older women selling crazy costumes and vintage stuff that looks like costumes, some tacky jewelry, some original and beautiful jewelry, some girls my friend knew were selling some of their old clothes and decorations, and then there was our featured stall for the day.

Featured stall:
Main Line Crêpe Co.
Location: Northern Liberties Main Plaza
Product: Sweet Crêpes
Price: $5 for one crêpe, $7 for two crêpes

The man behind the magic at Main Line Crêpe Co. is Matt. He stands at the ready behind his flat circular hot plate looking aloof in his stained white chef’s coat and black pants. He’s been making crêpes for eleven years, and with a practiced hand he pours the batter, uses the wooden crêpe spatula to spread the batter into a perfect circle, and flips it with an experienced flick of his wrist and his metal spatula. He’s got a lot of customers.
I’ve eaten crêpes many a times in the US and the batter is never so perfectly turned into a perfectly folded crêpe sans holes. So why does this guy who looks to be in his late twenties know how to so expertly work his crêpe magic? It’s an interesting story. Matt started making crêpes at the Renaissance Fair in Lancaster, PA. “How did you have to dress for that?” I asked. “Like a peasant” he responds as if that were perfectly normal. He eats but one crêpe per year and without hesitation he tells me that it’s a pumpkin pie crêpe. Ummm…I think…why aren’t you serving those today?
But Today he’s only making sweet crêpes out of strawberries, Nutella, chocolate, marshmallows, and a few other dessert items. As we chat he liberally doles out chocolate chips to a little boy. I go for strawberry and chocolate. The batter he uses is a little more exciting than the average French street crêpe. It’s got cinnamon and other wintery spices in it. It smells a little like the month of November.
He cooks the batter until it is crispy and light and then he is liberal with the filling. The finished product is covered in powdered sugar and I opt out of some whip cream thinking to myself that the French would sigh and shake their heads to see whipped cream on top of a street crêpe. While it is very different from a Parisian crêpe it is delicious. This one is folded over twice with either end open. In Paris they are much larger and folded four times into a triangle that is deposited into a triangular paper at eaten in your hands. Matt puts his on a paper plate and my friend Lana struggles with a fork as I pick it up and get pretty messy in the process. The ingredients are fresh though, and it tastes amazing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Junk Culture and Tobacco at The First Unitarian Church

We step down into the basement of a church with the type of ceilings that you can throw pencils up into. The walls are made of dark wood paneling from floor to ceiling, and there is a sweet red bulletin board with no announcements that I pass on the way to the bathroom. This is no ordinary church basement though. The bands we came to see, Tobacco and Junk Culture , aren’t on yet, so we step outside with our paper bags of beer for some fresh air.
The First Unitarian Church is old, and made of stone that is peppered with beautiful windows of stained glass. Parts are covered in ivy. The railings are covered in bicycles and the steps draped with young people. A passerby comments on how odd it is that a bunch of kids are standing outside a church at this hour. As we sip our beers from the steps of a church across the street I note that it is quite funny to see this mixed crown of flannel and tye dye milling around outside of a church on a Friday night but soon we all head in to see Junk Culture take the stage leaving the bikes to their own devices.

our new friend: Deepak

Junk Culture is usually a guy named Deepak with his brother on the drums, but for this tour he's brought along Harrison instead and his tour manager, Will. They are a diverse bunch of guys from Mississippi who come together to play "cosmic r&b." They played a short set and caught my attention when they not even sampled but just straight up played Mily Cyrus' "Party In the USA" We were maybe three of five people who were into it but it showed a definite sense of humor.
Turns out they not only have a sense of humor but some guts. Over breakfast they told us about their beginings and how they left whatever school or work they were doing to pursue their passion for music. One Jetta, three Mississippians, and a killer road trip = one awesome tour. Check out their website for future tour dates in your area.

And back to the show...

What makes this venue so cool is that you can bring in your own alcohol. As we wait for Tobacco to come on we make friends with the people around us after one young Temple student gets yelled at by this awesome chick who is working the event for throwing his empty bottle against the wall. “Do you know who has to clean this up?” She shouts? “You?” the kid guesses.
Knowing absolutely nothing about music and less about the two bands we are here to see, I ask my new friend Evan (a more respectful Temple student) how he discovered Tobacco. This is the first time I hear the name Black Moth Super Rainbow and I make a note to look it up. Evan tells me that he likes the band because he likes dancing. A grin spreads across his face. It’s got a beat he tells me.
And the next thing I know we are all dancing to that beat and…Pterodactyl Porn? Naïve me didn’t even know this stuff existed, but the crowd does and the gives up a shout as this very specific porn video begins behind the band and front man Tom Fec wraps his mouth around a voice modulating device (a vocoder) attached to his mic. In his black and white trucker hat his eyes aren’t visible and this adds an air of mystery to the whole thing as he rocks it on his electric guitar. A girl in a black tank top and a low ponytail is to his left and plays what I imagine to be a key board and some other electronic devices. A crazy giant basketball with a face on it sits on one of the amps.
The video is crazy to the point of distraction. After the censored pterodactyl porn there’s a non-censored penis coming out of a hole in the middle of a table, eighties work out videos with women in crazy metallic high cut leotards, some wrestling , more porn that consists only of women’s faces as they orgasm and then some over the top video of a female ET like creature giving a blow job and then performing other acts of sex with various people.
But back to the music. On Wikipedia it says “their music contains elements of psychedelia, folk, electronica and pop. My new buddy Jim Smith put it so much better. Wen I ask Jim how he would describe the music he replies without hesitation. “Animal from the muppets with 5000 distorters mixed with robot vocals from another planet,” seems descriptive enough for me so I forget about trying to describe it and dance.
Two more members of the band come on stage. A drummer with a mustache and an FBI shirt and a guitarist with a ponytail totally change the sound to a harder, less electronic type of rock music as the modulated voice wails on. And then Sam starts a mosh pit.

The next thing I know our friend Sam (who brought us to this event) gives me a shove. And I shove back. Our new friend Evan is DTF and then so is everyone else. After one song I edge my way to the outside of the fray to enjoy the rest of the show.
After the show we hang around and talk to some people who have bought the album at the show.

mmmm...maniac meat...I wonder if Trader Joe's carries a tofu version...

We talk about the band, music, and Philly and meet fellow bloggers Paul and Kelli from whohave come in all the way from New Jersey for their love of Maniac Meat. Its my first full weekend in Philly and so far I can't complain. The kids seem less pretentious here, the music is good, and the venue is b.y.o.b. Need I say more?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Moving To Philly

Ah, a new blog. Its sort of what I imagine a white Christmas morning to be like. Since I've never had a Christmas morning, I'll have to assume that this crisp, unadulterated web space is just like waking up on Christmas morning to a fresh snow fall. So much anticipation!!! So many presents to open, bars and clubs to explore. Oh wait, we aren't in BA anymore, so not sure about the club scene...but I know there are museums, parks, and parties galore to explore here in my new home: Philly.

Philly welcomed us with open, sweltering hot and sweaty arms. Our two bedroom is still sans AC unit since every time I go to buy one they are sold out, but our view of center city, and nice kitchen and very large living room are already feeling a lot like home with the help and decorating skills of Aunt Ellen. I've got a new job that I start on Tuesday, and I'm itching to start exploring as soon as I can manage to stay in Philly for a full weekend!! We'll start with the free stuff until I get my first pay check, but I hope you will come for the ride with me! The blog will be mostly exploring Philly and will be a little more (hopefully) organized than I look forward to comments!!!!! and suggestions. See you in Philly.