December 9, 2013
Yesterday’s snowstorm came as a (wonderful) surprise to most of us. In fact, without the full three-to-four-day, end-of-the-world style Snowpocalypse panic that comes with every other snowfall in this city’s history, yesterday’s snow felt like a cool little secret we were all a part of and it was great unless you fell down and then it was not so great. And just imagine the thoughts floating in the heads of local schoolchildren. This whole thing was like a perfect storm for school closings. Does it have a heavy accumulation? Yes. Were we prepared for it? No (SEPTA wasn’t either). Is it Sunday? You bet. But the city’s schools are filled with a bunch of miserable, window-staring children today, because as of now everything is open. No one is a fan of this decision.
According to the still-crashed School District of Philadelphia website — all the info is on a front page placeholder — when we checked it late last night:
But who crashed that site? A random tweeter told us some future Philly Geek Award winners brought school closing alerts to both the district site and the substitute teacher service, by which we assume he means AESOP, though we can’t find any evidence of that. The next reasonable thing that could have brought the site tumbling down? Anxious children and their nerve-wrecked parents, constantly clicking “refresh” and hoping for opposite outcomes.
So kids, know this: Last year, this would have probably been your best chance at a snow day, but this year? This early? It’s a good sign for you.
December 6, 2013
>>> There is a seasonal variety of the popular children’s cereal Cap’n Crunch that is known as Christmas Crunch. It features red and green “crunchberries” (though it’s more fun to refer to them as “dingleberries”) instead of the magenta ones often featured in other varieties of Cap’n Crunch products. I mention it here because I’d rather eat dingleberries all the livelong day than stand around with a bunch of dudes and their dumb Christmas ales. Nevertheless, I am also a total Christmas Turkey, I do or consume any stupid Christmas crap you put in front of me, and I am shameless in this, I just don’t care if you think I’m an old lady, because as Billy Squier once sang, “Christmastime is the time to say I love you.” And I do love you. I love that you come here and read this stuff all the time and I love that you know what we’re talking about when we talk about Places We Can’t Understand and I love that so many of you put sweet little notes in your emails when you enter ticket contests even though we don’t ask for that. These are a few of my favorite things. And so are these: Art Star Holiday Market at Winterfest. Christmas Ale Spectacular at The Victoria Freehouse, just steps away. (Have any of you gone to this place yet? It’s real deal English style, and I bet if enough of us claimed the spot as regulars, we could convince them to get rid of their TVs and play Muswell Hillbillies by The Kinks all the time and have Withnail & I-themed all-day drinking parties.) The #whyilovephillyparty, about to launch in minutes and the hottest ticket in town! And First Friday, too! When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad: I simply remember you crazy Philebritards and then I don’t feel so sad.
>>> You got big dreams, you want fame? Well, fame costs. Its price? BANANAZZZ, “a mockumentary following around delusional (and generally awful) pseudo-punk Craig Evanhalen as he creates a punk band, puts them through torturous rehearsals, and takes them to Austin for SXSW where he flames out big time.” Sounds like… EVERY ADULT MALE IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA. This Philly premiere screening at Connie’s Ric Rac also features comedians Andrew Jeffrey Wright (of Philebrity Award nominees New Dreamz) and Gregg Gethard, and the movie features music from Jef The Brotherhood and Ariel Pink.
>>> But earlier in the day, there’s other stuff going on. And as much as I just confessed to being a totally mumsy Christmas Turkey, let me also say this: Motherfuck the Running Of The Santas. Motherfuck it in its stupid suburban prick bro/ladybro off-the-rack basic bitch face. You people are the worst, and some of you even know it, which makes it even worse. Fuck you, Running of the Santas. And watch out when you walk by my place tomorrow, because I’m really into this thing called THE EGGING OF ANY AND ALL SANTAS I CATCH PEEING ON THE JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER ACROSS THE STREET, WHY DO ALL OF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO DO THIS? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?
>>> Pardon me, I believe there’s something in my nog, occifer. Do this instead: Books & Beer at Port Richmond Books! The Apiary new issue party at Underground Arts! These are both things that involve books and weird people, and they will be safe from the Running of the Douchebags and their systematic rape of the city of you and I love so much.
All John Lennon, all damned day. R.I.P. Beatle John and R.I.P. Dingo Lou. You freaks really really knew how to party and we’ll not see your like again.
Yesterday, we got an e-blast about Matt Sharp’s The Rentals signing to Polyvinyl and prepping their first album in fifteen years. The mid-90s synth-pop group cemented their legacy among the synth-rock-pop bands of the time with their first album, Return of the Rentals and Sharp’s departure from Weezer. That’s fun and all, but we really just wanted to share this awesome video of an in-store they played at the old HMV Records in February of 1996. The whole set can be seen here, and keen observers will note future SNL cast member and (not quite) Mrs. Paul Thomas Anderson, Maya Rudolph, to Sharp’s right.
Celebrate Weihnachten in a good ol’ fashioned Winter Wunderland: This weekend, now that the tree is lit, Love Park is officially a Christmas Village. And to kick it all off, starting on Saturday and carrying through Sunday, there will be German music, food, drink, goods, and more. There will be performances from (and we recommend you say as much of this out-loud as possible):
Additionally, you can eat some brats and “spicy sausage (with sauerkraut), Leberkäs, German potato salad, Landjäger,” and you can drink the festive holiday drink Gluehwein. It’s a warm mulled wine, and it’s awesome.
The bullying of adults has been in the national conversation as of late, since it unsurprisingly came out that some professional football players are racists and assholes. But none of us work in an NFL locker room, so we’re good right? Nope.
According to a poll conducted by Philadelphia Business Journal, “58 percent of respondents said that there is a supervisor at their workplace that acts like a bully.” The poll only features responses from 173 people, but that number is still alarming. Well, maybe alarming isn’t the word, because it’s not necessarily surprising. It just solidifies the fact that we’re constantly surrounded by assholes.
“Oh me? I’m just casually standing still in front of this camera for up to 15 minutes. No big deal.”
That photo above, a silver-plated daguerreotype of Robert Cornelius standing in the yard of his family’s Philadelphia lamp store in October 1839, is the world’s oldest selfie. So far, no older self-portrait photo, whether the subject be casually posed like … “whatever” … or not, has been found, and Cornelius’ snap (if you can call it that, which we’re pretty sure you can’t) currently resides in the Library of Congress. And if that just made your selfie feel less special, well that was the point.
The Bacon Brothers from I’m in Philly: Photographs by Scott Weiner
When you think of places to show off a photography exhibit, the airport doesn’t really come to mind. And when you think of great, famous Philadelphians, the Bacon Brothers don’t either. But it’s all coming together.
As part of Art in the Airport, I’m in Philly: Photographs by Scott Weiner is on display. The exhibit, which very simply shows pictures of … well, we’ll let the exhbit’s site explain it:
Well, that whole daughter angle on it is pretty nice. And Weiner’s photos include Al Gore, Bill Clinton, members of The Hooters, Gamble and Huff, and … The Bacon Brothers. So study up, people who are flying into Philly for the holidays. Your travel companions will be really impressed when you tell them that guy standing next to Kevin Bacon in that picture is Kevin Bacon’s brother. Trust us.
December 5, 2013
They put a suburb in G-Ho, long after they made acres upon acres of America as ugly as possible. Now, Toll Brothers has a big chunk of property on the 1900 block of Walnut. There’s far more unknowns than knowns at this point, but yo: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The end of 2013 is nigh, and here is your last chance to stroll the First Friday art receptions while the year is still odd. Tomorrow will be nicer outside, we promise, but it’ll be even nicer indoors.
The Great Philadelphia Christmas Present by Tug3
From back in the era when WHYY-TV actually made television programs comes the above, “The Great Philadelphia Christmas Present,” which as best we can tell is a just a heap of random Philly/holiday related video pieces. But oh how very Philly it is. For those of you who, like us, thrill at the Memorial Day In 1983 Old City video, or Philly rolling out the red carpet for the Stones in 1981, well this is a real treat. (To say nothing of a salient reminder, in these gentrifying times, of one of Philly’s most spiritually prideful moments — the late 1970s/early 1980s, when the entire city was basically Heavy Metal Parking Lot.) But do make time for this on the device of your choosing, as we suspect we’ll get a very polite email in about 16 hours from someone at WHYY asking that we take this down. By that time, however, hopefully, you will be in a Philly 1980s holiday glow, reeking of cigarettes and saurkraut just like they did in the old days. Happy Christmas, Philadelphia. We miss you.
Hello all current, past, and potential voters for the Philebrity Awards. Welcome. Today is when we kick-off our daily posts, breaking down each category and its nominees in our attempt to help you along if you don’t know which way to vote, and just letting you know more about this year’s nominees. Today’s category is Festival/Gathering Of The Year, and remember, you can vote here. So meet us after the jump as we tell you more about this year’s nominees.
We’ve written about the various projects of The Head & The Hand, Fishtown’s writing community/co-working space and publishing collective, quite a bit on this site over the last year or so. And in fact, we’ve admired what they do so much that, well, it was bound to happen: Our peanut butter got mixed with their chocolate. Or maybe that’s vice versa. In any case, after having a truly great experience working with them on this year’s 215 Festival, a new, small collaboration emerges: Our own Joey Sweeney (hey that’s me!) has a chapbook in this groovy chapbook vending machine project they’re doing, wherein eight writers have been selected to be published in small chapbook form and then sold in these little story vending machine things around town. There’s a release party for this tonight at Elixr Coffee, where the vending machine and the writers will be on hand and thank God for it: Sweeney’s been wheezing inside that glass box for weeks already.
Tom Corbett’s Pick To Run The Department of Environmental Protection Says Climate Change Exists, Is Not Harmful
Common sense party at Tom Corbett‘s house, no one is invited: Chris Abruzzo, who has been “Acting Department of Environmental Protection secretary since April,” had his nomination hearing in front of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee yesterday. He was asked about climate change. He said dumb things.
According to NPR’s State Impact, Abruzzo “told the committee he does believe climate change is occurring and that it seems to be at least partially attributable to human factors,” — HUGE STEPS — but then continued and said “he does not view it as harmful and sees no reason for Pennsylvania to adopt new policies to address it.” Yes, of course, please go on: “I’ve not read any scientific studies that would lead me to conclude there are adverse impacts to human beings, animals, or plant life at this small level of climate change.”
The only vote against Abruzzo’s nomination came from Daylin Leach (.gif), who said Abruzzo’s comments were “mind-blowing” and that this whole nomination was “a reflection of what I view to be a lack of seriousness with which the governor treats environmental issues. It’s just not a serious nomination.” He then proceeded to walk through a giant blow-up picture of Abruzzo’s face as confetti cannons shot off. Or something like that.
Fresh off of “I really think that Land Bank would be better in my hands,” City Council president Darrell Clarke has got all kinds of ideas. For example: There is a plan in place to sell off the parking garage under Love Park and use the money from that (and a budgeted $16.5 million in taxpayer money) to refurbish the park. Darrell Clarke’s plan is just like that, but instead of using any taxpayer money, we throw seven restaurants in Love Park and use their rent money to refurbish the place.
Now, if you will, please close your eyes and imagine how seven restaurants could possibly co-exist in that space. Oh, this is a fun game.
Yo, you can tell Iain Page thought this was hilarious
In fact, the only way this could be a more Philadelphian Christmas is if the whole thing was re-enacted in lights at WanaMacy’s. Who do we get in touch with to make that happen?
The Joe Frazier Statue is now one step closer to being a reality, though no one really anticipated this step being a problem. The statue, now-designed by Stephen Layne, was approved unanimously by the Philadelphia Art Commission yesterday. According to the Inquirer:
We’re so excited about this thing that anyone involved with it earned a Do-Gooder nomination this year, we just wish it was’t so close to the bro-Mecca of Xfinity. But we’ll take it.
Not even a month since finding many more bodies than they previously thought were at what is surely Philadelphia’s most haunted playground, we Philadelphians have now also discovered seven coffins behind William Dick Elementary School in North Philadelphia. Supposedly, when the school was built, those bodies — which resided in what was then Odd Fellows Cemetery est. 1849 — were supposed to be moved. But, they weren’t.
The department of L&I and the Historical Society are working on what to do now, and they should probably hurry before this whole city has a poltergeist problem.
[Image via Great Philly Schools]
December 4, 2013
John Bolaris Inexplicably Plugs Running Of The Santas In Forecast (Because It Wasn’t Douchey/Suspect Enough Already)
First funny thing: John Bolaris has a job writing about weather for Philly.com (“with sexy workplace results for Lexie!,” said the 1970s sitcom writer who also works in this office). Second funny thing: This total, non-sequitur, big ol’ plug for the Running Of The Douchebags dropped right in the middle of his forecast:
There are a bunch of jokes we could make about the phrase “Hot Santa Run,” but we know you’re grossed out already. Just wait until Saturday.
>>> Somehow, tickets are still available for the Rail Park Benefit at Union Transfer tonight, featuring what may by The Walkmen‘s final show, Sun Ra Arkestra, Sharon Van Etten, Spank Rock, and a whole bunch more. We recommend you get on that.