Tag Archives: philadelphia

Center City Sips is back

Center City Sips starts again on June 6th, but prices will be up slightly: $5 cocktails, $4 glasses of wine and $3 beers.

Why did I post this? I wanted to test out a new URL shorter, and I figured sharing some information is better than just a simple test 🙂

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Philadelphia: Chestnut St – 1904

( #Philly )

Image Credit: Shorpy

Check out the Root Beer stand at the bottom right corner… now I want a damn root beer float!

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Philadelphia: North American Building 1904

( #Philly, #1904 )

Credit: Shorpy

The North American and Real Estate Trust Building taken in 1904. Also in the background is a clear picture of city hall.

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Rant: Philadelphia and Generation X+

( #phillymag, #GenX )

Image Credit: Manuel Brauer

Last month, Philadelphia Magazine published a cover story demanding baby boomers to roll over and die so Generation X and the Millennials can finally take over. I was amused by the balls the magazine had to put that on the cover, until I actually read the article. It is fair to say that the cover was designed to make boomers angry because… they are probably not the target demographic of the magazine. I am on the border between Gen X and Millennials and this article managed to get my face red: my generation (whatever the hell I fall into) come across as spoiled brats.

Writer Janine White begins the article by talking about how she is on a roof deck in South Philadelphia for a New Years Eve party like it was the most impossible circumstance ever. She paints South Philadelphia as a wasteland that nobody wanted to live in before the hipsters arrived and made South Philly “cool”. She of course forgets South Philadelphia’s long tradition of community gatherings, block parties (see: Mummers Day Parade), and reputation as a family oriented section of the city. White immediately highlights my problem with her suggested youth movement: the people clamoring for it are self-centered assholes.

She then solidifies the connection to Philadelphia by stating younger professionals are moving from the suburbs into the city. I find this statement frustrating. The article echos a vibe I have been picking up in the blogging community: these people moved here as adults (or college students) and are enjoying the benefits of urban living—but they will not stay. I grew up in Philadelphia, I know the issues with schooling and the general issues of raising a family in the city. It is not impossible by any means, but I don’t think these young professionals have the stomach for it:

  • Because people are moving back, home prices are rising again, but paying 300k for a 1000 square foot row home with two kids doesn’t make much sense in Philadelphia
  • I really want to see a hipster soccer mom try to double park her mini-van on 13th St
  • How far will their love affair with the city go when their kid gets mugged by older kids on the walk to school… everyday
  • Sure taxes are cheap, but that private school tuition is pretty damn expensive
  • Want to get that cool roof deck? Good luck dealing with a South Philly contractor. They will start in the summer and you are lucky if they finish the following spring (I am exaggerating, sort of)

White continues her attack on boomers by listing all of the ills they released on society (corrupted do-nothing governments and divorces that turned Gen X into latchkey kids). She proudly claims Gen X doesn’t want to change the world, they just want to make it a nice place to live. She again highlights the fundamental problem with this generation: they don’t have the passion for a fight, even when it is the right thing to do. Lets take a look at the mortgage meltdown over the last few years. People blame old men in business suits for creating the situation, but who were the people sitting on the sales floors—making the predatory calls, telling people to re-fi, and selling mortgages to people who could not afford it? It wasn’t the boomers. Gen X and the first millennial got their hands dirty and nobody was complaining when the commission checks were coming in. I am not knocking anyone (or it is a knock on everyone). The moral compass of the youth movement can get just as fucked up in the gravitational pull of money—so don’t throw stones in glass houses.

Working around the system and creating alternate paths will only go so far; eventually you get high enough that an issues must be dealt with head on. It is in these situation Gen X/Y gets discouraged and goes home (and complains to their helicopter parents so they can make it all better). I had to write a paper three months ago about managing multi-generational teams: all of the research about Gen X/Y/Millennials points out that our generation does not communicate or negotiate well.

I don’t think you can solve the world’s problems in 140 characters or less. If the youth generation (me included) want a place at the big boys table, we need to admit that there is a whole bunch of shit that we do not know how to do well, figure out how to address that gap, and progress. We have to take on our parents issues and our own because we need to be strong enough to not only carry the burden, but to eliminate it for future generations, then we can pat ourselves on the back.

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Philly: Parking with Snow

( #snow, #philadelphia )

Found this on a few of the Philly blogs and had to repost:

I noticed quite a few blog posts the last few weeks about people putting their chairs and other crap in the street to hold parking spots. This comes a no surprise to me having grown up in the city, but I think many of the cities bloggers are transplants from other cities that can manage snow or have less cars…and now it has become a “thing”.

While I agree it is an asshole move, it certainly isn’t anything new.


Why I don’t like Fan-actics

( #Philadelphia, #Eagles )

I don’t even need to say anything, read this:

A college professor from Lower Macungie Township who wrote a book about the first 50 years of the NFL knew Philly fans had a reputation for mistreating visiting fans, but the Wisconsin native said he didn’t know how bad it could be until he went to the Eagles game Sunday. Craig Coenen and his father, Peter Coenen, left Lincoln Financial Field jubilant after watching their beloved Green Bay Packers defeat the Eagles in the NFC wild card playoff game. “We were just thinking about how nice a day it was and it was a good memory,” Peter Coenen said. “Then I looked up and said, ‘Oh my God.’ ” His son’s Toyota Camry had been stomped on, kicked and beaten (kind of like the Eagles). Fans tore out the windshield wipers and motors and used them to scratch the paint, broke off the side mirrors and left footprints and dents on the hood, trunk and roof. “It was just drunk, obnoxious Eagles fans,” Craig Coenen said Monday after getting a repair estimate of $2,163. “Philadelphia is notorious for this, but hopefully the fans who did this are the exception, not the rule.” More likely, it will go down as another example of Philadelphia sports fans at their worst and add to their reputation as out-of-control, violent, destructive drunks and all-around sore losers.

~ Phawker

Stay classy Philadelphia.

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Story: My Jerry Blavat Run-In

( #JerryBlavat, #Philadelphia )

I came across this post mentioning that Jerry Blavat now has a blog. For the lucky masses unaware of Blavat’s existence, Jerry is semi-famous Philadelphia disk jockey during the 1960s (and 70s?). The reason I am mentioning any of this is that I had a run in with this guy almost a decade ago at a charity event. Since his blog wants some stories, here is mine:

My tale takes place somewhere between 2003 or 2004. The setting was at a very nice Philadelphia hotel (near the Art Museum). The hotel was hosting a charity event that had something to do with Italian Americans and donations to Washington. Thanks to my father and his employer’s involvement in said charity, several tickets were purchased and I was offered a spot at the table. Having become newly single, I thought this would be an interesting place to meet women.

The crowd leaned towards the older side, but that was to be expected. That said, women my age were most definitely in attendance. Eventually I managed to break the ice with a girl near one of the carving stations (I remember because I made a comment that I was avoiding anything that would drip all over me). I started to notice an old man intently inspecting the carving station (the girl’s back was to the roast and to the older gentlemen).

This man then turns around and starts staring at my new friend’s ass. Right in front of me. No shame. He makes eye contact with me—then goes right back to looking at the girl’s ass. He then creeps over and asks what her name is (no “excuse me”, more like “hey, what’s your name”). Seeing this coming, I watch the girl to capture her reaction. She was definitely caught off guard. I could tell she was trying to figure out if I knew him. So I decide to get a little playful myself and cut him off and say “Sir—that wasn’t very nice to jump into our conversation, why don’t you introduce yourself first.”

Stupid me—I gave Jerry the opening he was hoping for. “I’m Jerry Blavat.” No reaction from either the young lady or myself (prior to this evening I had never heard of Jerry and I grew up in South Philadelphia). He sees that his name did not make the intended connection, so he then offers “the geator with the heator.” Zero reaction. I could sense that Mr. Blavat’s pride was wounded, but he made no attempts at retreat. He continued to pummel this young girl with standard stalker questions: “What school did you go to?” (she had graduated 2 years earlier), “where do you work?” and then starts in with “are you with this guy?”

Are you fucking kidding me?

My new friend said no, we had just met—he then turns around and tells me to go get him a drink. I respond with something along the lines of “I hope you are joking.” He wasn’t. I then said something like “I think you had too much to drink buddy, plus I think it is past your bed time.” This amped up “the geator” and he gave me some kind of jab about the younger generation having no respect to which I responded that he didn’t seem to have any respect interrupting our conversation. At this point, my would-be lady friend politely excused herself. I shot Jerry a death stare and mumbled several curses under my breath as I walked away.

As I approached the bar, my mother intercepted me and informed me that I was speaking with THE Jerry Blavat. I ask her how she knew him, and she gives me the he’s “the geator with the heater” line. I look at her at ask “what the hell does that even mean?” I don’t remember her answer, but she proceeds to ask what we talked about, and I just said, “not much, but that guy is an asshole.”

Mr. Blavat may be a respected DJ, and a member of the Philadelphia elite, but to me—he is just an old cock-blocker.

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Shorpy: Philadelphia 1900

( #Philly, #oldpictures )

Shorpy posted another cool picture of Philadelphia in the early 1900s (1900 to be exact).

Broad Street Railroad Station

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Concert Review: Chris Isaak @ Longwood Gardens (Philadelphia Area)

( #ChrisIsaak, #LongwoodGardens, #ConcertReview )

Opening Act: Marc Broussard
Main Event: Chris Isaak
Location: Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pa (Philadelphia Area)
Date: Tuesday, July 13th, 2010


I have never been to Longwood Gardens before and wasn’t sure what to expect in regards to a rock and roll show; I discovered Longwood Gardens is a great place to see a concert. The grounds are beautiful, the staff is really nice, and there wasn’t a bad seat in the house (or botanical garden in this case). The concert stage was situated right in front of a big fountain which added a nice backdrop to the show.

[Opening Act]

My friends were very happy that Marc Broussard was listed as the opening act, so that amped up my expectations of this singer. Sadly, instead of the rough and rowdy blues act (that my friends had witnessed a few years ago), Marc focused on generic ballads (yawn).

The last song was a swampy blues number which was absolutely the best of the set. It’s a shame Broussard decided to leave his nuts backstage, because the guy is talented and has a great band, just lame material this time around.

[Chris Isaak]

Chris Isaak put on a fucking show tonight. The weather was hot and sticky, but that didn’t slow down this seasoned performer. Isaak walked on stage with a neon pink sequined jump suit: that’s hell of a statement to make in this heat.

The backing band was fantastic. All of these guys can play well and fill out the sound on the stage. Music aside, they all seem to have a really good time playing to the crowd and goofing around. Chris leaned on the whole band to to dance, shake, act as a 60’s soul back-up singers, and an “olde-time” church revival… let’s just say these cats were versitile.

Isaak immediately won the crowd over with his banter and high energy. He showed no fear in knocking out his trademark high notes several times per song. All of his popular tunes sounded note perfect (“Somebody’s Crying”, “Wicked Game”, “Forever Blue”, “Bad Bad Thing”). My favorite line of the night is when he remarked on the heat by saying “I am sweating more than a whore in church.” Damn right.

For the encore, Isaak decided to take his sweating up a notch by donning a mirrored suit (it had to weigh at least 30-40 lbs). He last few tunes were very high energy including a great rendition of the Roy Orbison classic “Pretty Woman” (he sounded exactly like Orbison). A fantastic show by a great performer; other musicians should go see Isaak and take notes – this is how you do rock and roll baby!

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Movie Review: Hot Tub Time Machine

Six weeks ago, I saw a commercial for a promotional website for the movie “Hot Tub Time Machine” (Kicksomepast.com); the commercial mentioned getting a free screening of the movie for you and some friends. I quickly went to the site and I actually got the free passes. Since then, I have been doubting if these promo tickets were legit, and I was worried about asking my friends to show up on a Monday night to a theater in the city and we would get turned away. That didn’t happen. Not only did the Ritz honor the Eventful promotion – we actually got a bunch of free stuff too.

While the premise of the movie was equally ridiculous yet hilarious sounding – I had my concerns that all of the good stuff would be showing in the trailer. Didn’t happen. Without giving too much away, the movie’s self-referential mocking was outstanding (how are you going to do a movie about the 80’s and skiing and not reference Cusack?). There is also a glorified cameo that will make lovers of time travel movies wet their pants. Was the script the next “Citizen Kane”? No. But it was one of the funnier comedies in the last 18 months. While I think the movie would have benefited from an original “Army of Darkness”-style ending, the neat little bow wrapped up at the end was satisfying.

This movie comes out March 26th. Go see it. Watch out for the squirrel.

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