October 14, 2013

Citizens Bank Park Could Possibly Become TD Bank Park

In a move that will remind you of the Wachovia/Wells Fargo/CoreStates/First Union Center situation, the Cherry Hill-based TD Bank is considering purchasing Citizens Bank, according to NBC, a move which would undoubtedly effect the name of the Phillies ballpark. Also, the bid TD Bank is considering making is for $13 billion, which is really too much money for anything.

We Bet You Didn’t Know There Was An Election On Nov. 5

LOGO_Committee_Of_SeventyWith all of this shutdown stuff going on, it’s hard to remember that there’s still a government at all, let alone one that has local elections coming up in a few weeks. But hey, that’s what Committee of Seventy is here for, to make sure you know about those elections and the candidates running in them.

On November 5th there will be an election, one that does not fall under the effect of the Voter ID law, for offices on the state and city level. Two justices on the State Supreme Court are up for retention (meaning you can vote “yes” or “no” to keeping them on the court), and there is one vacancy to be filled on the State Superior Court. Additionally, the incumbents Alan Butkovitz and Seth Williams face Republican opponents who want their jobs as City Controller and District Attorney respectively, openings for judges in the Court of Common Pleas need to be filled, and we gotta select a Judge of Elections and Inspector of Elections. It might have the panache of a Mayoral campaign or a Governor’s race, but it’s still a chance for you to flex your Democracy muscles. All the info you need to know on the races and candidates can be found over at the Committee of Seventy page.

Captain Freeshit: Win A Pair Of Tickets To See Noah And The Whale At The TLA This Thursday Night!

English indie-folk-poppers Noah and the Whale, who had an indie-hit (if that’s such a thing) with “5 Years Time” roughly five years ago, are back with Heart of Nowhere, their first album since 2011. As bands do, they’re touring around the world to support the album, which was released in May, and are coming to the TLA this Thursday, with support from LP and The Soviet. As we roll on deeper into fall, the slightly-jangly jams of Heart of Nowhere soundtrack the drop in temperature pretty well, and we’d like you to experience them in person. And hey, we’d love to make that happen for you. To enter to win tickets, email ihopeiwin[at]philebrity[dot]com with “HEART OF NOWHERE” in the subject header. You’ll automatically be subscribed to the forthcoming new Philebrity Reader weekly newsletter and win chances for other exclusive free stuff. We’ll pick winners on Wednesday, so clear your Thursday night plans and get those emails in.


Noontime Nuggetz: Nico’s Gun, “Diamond In The Rough”

Friends, we present you with the premiere of the new Nico’s Gun video, for “Diamond in the Rough,” which is just what you need if you’re at work on this Monday and have already decided, “You know what, I’m not working hard today.” Headphones up, as some moaning (and visuals) in the beginning of the video are decidedly NSFW. Come for the new Nico’s Gun track, and stay for Brian Langan doing karate. Trust us, it’s worth it.

New York Times On Philly Papers: Man, You Guys Are Screwed Up

nytlogo152x23 (1)In today’s edition of the New York Times, the paper’s recent obsession with Philadelphia continues, but this time, they’re taking on actual news: On the Hyperspace Clusterfuck that is the Interstate General Media/Bill Marimow/Robert Hall insanity, the Times says:

Mr. Katz said it was ludicrous to suggest that his and Mr. Lenfest’s backing of Mr. Marimow was anything more than a fight for journalistic independence and integrity.

“I don’t want to live in the mud, so I won’t respond or throw mud at George,” he said in a phone interview. “The court will decide whether the partnership agreements have been violated or not and make whatever decision is appropriate.”

So now it has come to this: Rich guys warring over an asset that shrinks every day.”

There’s no real new info spilled here — other than Marimow’s “standing ovation” when he left the building after being let go and Norcross’ claim that this whole uproar is because Lewis Katz’s “girlfriend” is friends with Marimow, which just lends even more to the clusterfuckiness of it all — but as the Times lays out, what we have here is a bunch of really rich dudes, “who have ample resources and no history of backing down,” and who are making this whole thing personal. This should be fun.


Recommended Viewing: Philly Photographer Turns Her Camera On Her Street Harassers

We live in a city that is increasingly aware of street harassment. And thanks to SEPTA ads from Hollaback and a number of street artists, that awareness continues to grow. But that doesn’t mean street harassment is necessarily going away, and one photographer is fighting back in her own way.

Hannah Price, during her time in Philadelphia, shot a series of portraits of the men who had just harassed her on the street, called City of Brotherly Love. Of the photographs, Price told The Morning News:

The Morning News: How did the series begin?

Hannah Price: I grew up in Fort Collins, Colo., and never experienced men publicly expressing their sexual interest in me till I moved to Philadelphia. At the time it was an unusual experience and threw me off guard.

TMN: Describe the moment when you turn your camera on the guy.

HP: Once a guy catcalls me, depending on the situation, I would either candidly take their photograph or walk up to them and ask if I can take their photograph. They usually agree and we talk about our lives as I make their portrait.”

You can see a small collection of those photographs here, and see more of Price’s work over here.

Runners Actually Do Run As Protest In Valley Forge, Are Not Chased By Park Rangers

xlargeWhen we suggested running through the closed Valley Forge National Park and outrunning the park rangers for an extra workout, we had no idea so many people out there would read that (only here) and get that exact idea (just from reading our one post). A whole group of runners/protesters, inspired by our post and our post alone, took to Valley Forge National Park yesterday to run on still open roads that are only feet away from off-limits running paths.

According to NBC10, the protest was called a “Patriot Run,” of course. In addition, “several other groups, including the Citizens for Liberty and local tea party organizations held a rally at the park in protest of both the closure as well as the government shutdown,” because you just can’t have nice things without the tea party getting involved.

Dept. Of Meaningless Lists: The Reasons You Already Live Here

logo.png.pagespeed.ce.RmruSrDbqQYa know, when it comes to meaningless lists here, they’ve certainly come more meaningless: Bloomberg — via Zillow – has run a list of Ten Good Reasons to Move to Philadelphia. There are a few actually solid reasons here, including relatively cheap homes, relatively cheap rent, the fact that you can go car-less, and a growing food scene. However, the list wholeheartedly earns the “meaningless” tag and then some with two list items: “You can channel your inner boxer” and “You can’t go wrong with a classic cheesesteak.”

We know we really shouldn’t be surprised, but in 2013, on a relatively solid list, do we really, really still have to include cheesesteaks and Rocky? No one in the world has ever thought to themselves “You know, I wasn’t going to move to Philadelphia, but Rocky was a movie that existed so count me in.” And really, if someone did, we would very kindly suggest that maybe they don’t move here.

October 12, 2013

Less Than A Week Until The 215 Festival Brings Some Of America’s Greatest Living Writers To A Neighborhood Near You!

Just as we were last year, Philebrity is proud to be the home office for the mighty 215 Festival, Philly’s roving, rambunctious literary festival. Starting next Thursday, join us all over town as we celebrate the written word. Full schedule up now at 215festival.org.

October 11, 2013

This Weekend: Down In The Valley


>>> Weather-permitting, do drop by the PHS Pop-Up Garden on Broad; it’s their last night open for the season, and none of us spent nearly enough time there. (By the way, PHS, fantastic job on this! You guys created a city space like no other; please bring it back next year!)

>>> Elsewhere: The ghost of chillwave is alive in you, we can tell. Let it visit upon Chad Valley at The Boot & Saddle. If you do not understand anything in the previous sentence, you are old. Report to: Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes at World Cafe Live. In the end, things have a way of turning out alright.


>>> Despite a terrible name made up in a sleepy Monday morning meeting down at the Urbn Compound, Wolf People are a group that many people seem to be excited about. They make their Philly debut with Ex-Reverie and others at Ortlieb’s.

>>> If you’re sad that grunge is dead and wish you could still smoke indoors wherever you wanted, you may be into this: Mark Lanegan, the former Screaming Trees singer with the most gravelly voice this side of Tom Waits, takes to Underground Arts.

>>> Elsewhere: People from the 1990s and the people who love them will be pleased to take in Quasi at The Boot & Saddle; people who remember the Oughties will delight in It’s The Year 2003, a dance party drawing upon the music of that fateful year, at Johnny Brenda’s; and finally, my younger sister will probably check out Broadzilla Presents: Horse Meat Disco at The Dolphin and come away with the same conclusions I have: We’re gonna give this new season of SNL a shot.


>>> Some of you are off on Monday because of that Italian fellow who stuck a feather in his cap and called it “The Beginnings of Genocide.” So hey, why not: Janelle Monae at Electric Factory.

>>> But during the day: Do Ol’ Columbus right for once, and hit up South Philly Fest on Passyunk up near Lucky 13 Pub, where there will be vendors, rock and roll bands, plenty of daytime drinking, and, I dunno, belts. You need a belt!

>>> And finally, punk rockers, where you come from shouldn’t be a mystery. Go see Filmage: The Story Of The Descendents/ALL at Underground Arts.

Film Sweat: What Do You Expect?

RECOMMENDED: Here is what you should go into Machete Kills expecting: Explosions, guns, blood, death, destruction, silliness, Danny Trejo inexplicably portrayed as a ladies’ man, Charlie Sheen (credited as Carlos Estévez) as the President, Mel Gibson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lady Gaga, race jokes, someone probably getting shot in the junk, the word “gringo” said a lot, more blood, more explosions, more guns. What you shouldn’t expect: Great filmmaking. Robert Rodriguez is, by all accounts, a competent filmmaker (we don’t necessarily like a bunch of his stuff, but still), but most reviews mention he’s kind of on cruise control here. But really, is it even necessary that he’s not on cruise control here? And if you’ve already seen Gravity and aren’t into two-plus-hours of a Tom Hanks story we all know the ending to, maybe this is how you spend your weekend in the theater. And hey, maybe you have a few drinks before, we’re not judging.

ALSO NEW IN THEATERS: Captain Phillips, the aforementioned Tom Hanks true-story Oscar-bait Somali pirate film; Romeo & Juliet, because we really need another one; We Are What We Are, a critically-acclaimed horror remake of a 2010 Mexican film, at Ritz Bourse; and The Summit, a doc about K2, a mountain that claims the life of one in four climbers, and one particular climb that saw 11 of 22 climbers die or disappear, at Ritz Five.

For more recommendations on films currently in theaters, visit Philebrity’s Film Sweat archive. And click here for movie times. Need repertory film? Try Cinedelphia.

The PPD Continues To Be The PPD’s Worst Enemy When Cameras Are Around

At least this time the whole thing wasn’t about recording to begin with: The PPD has issues with cameras (see here, and here, and here), but this time, the trouble is what was caught on the camera when it was allowed to continue filming. According to 6ABC, a Youtube video was uploaded documenting a stop-and-frisk in North Philly about a week ago that is laced with questionable policing and racism. 6ABC says:

In the video, two Philadelphia police officers pull up to two men on a street. The two startled men wonder what they’ve done.

“I was walking,” one of the men said. “That’s not what I saw,” one officer said. “You going to be a violation if you keep running your mouth when I split your wig open.” One of the men provides his identification. Another refuses for at least 10 minutes and protests the treatment from officers. “Why don’t you shut up? Everybody thinks they are a —–lawyer and they don’t know jack-,” an officer can be heard on the video.”

The video continues on for a number of minutes, which consists of a man who 6ABC identified as Philip Nace of the 25th district and another officer accusing the men of “weakening our country,” selling weed, and telling them you shouldn’t say hi to strangers. When pressed for a reason they were being stopped, one officer points out that they were jaywalking. The unidentified officer also breaks down the problem of crime in neighborhoods very simply, saying that in good neighborhoods, they like the police, in bad neighborhoods, they don’t. Well, we’re glad that’s settled.

Noontime Nuggetz: Please Just Watch This Gordon Phillips Beauty School Commercial With Us And Remember A Simpler Time

Long ago, the whole of this city was like if they made a never-ending TV series out of Moonstruck. It was… beautiful.

Civil Rights Leaders Get All Up In Corbett’s Business About Philly Schools Funding

TOM-CORBETT-FISTS-UP-207x300Dukes up, Tommy Boy: According to Huffington Post, “ten high-profile civil rights leaders are pressuring Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett to intervene in the sorry state of school funding in Philadelphia.” Among the civil rights leaders are the NAACP’s Ben Jealous, the Leadership Conference’s Wade Henderson, Rhonda Brownstein of the Education Law Center, and more.

The leaders want Corbett to release the already-promised $45 million in federal grant money unconditionally to the district, for Corbett “to negotiate with the legislature an appropriations bill that would allow Philadelphia to restore its laid-off librarians, teachers, counselors and more,” and in the long term, broad reform to Pennsylvania’s school-funding formula. The group is also concerned “the cuts to Philadelphia’s school funding could set a precedent for governors around the country.” And yes, while that is a legitimate concern, we’d guess that any governor who wants to keep his job or get re-elected is going to do exactly the opposite of whatever Tom Corbett does.

And, since it’s the Huffington Post, the whole thing is capped off with a slideshow of politician look-a-likes. Hint: Fred Thompson does, in fact, look like Vigo the Carpathian

From The Desk Of Conor Corcoran: A Working Class Hero Is Something We Need

conorI was catapulting my way towards an overseas wedding in July, perusing what passes for a social register these days, at 35,000 feet (Philly Mag? Philly Chit Chat? What’s the difference? Nails in the coffin of public literacy, the both of them.) A reminder of the poor girl who shellacked herself to death in a Delancey Street bathtub, Julia Law, was foisted upon me. Her body was cold not so much as a month, and yet there was her surviving suitor, Chuck Peruto, bereaving behind his blinding veneers amidst a bevy of pneumatic blondes and carnivorous brunettes. He started that facetious dance the day she died.

I’d had enough. Philadelphia’s schools, like the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, were collapsing with all the grace of a slumlord’s vacant hoagie shop. My father was in and out of the hospital with complications from heart failure and Irish Catholicism. A week long jury trial closed a tortured medical malpractice case, and I survived running for judge in the May primary, with the peculiar pride that comes from landing in last place. A break from Philadelphia would do.

And yet there it popped up, as Philadelphia so often does, well on my way around the world. “Philadelphia?” croaked the woman behind the car rental counter in Malaga, with an aura of Winston Salem about her station. I passed over my license. “How do you like it?” She had a mug that could have landed a daytime shift at the Aramingo Diner, littered with nicotine canyons.

“It’s the most genuinely American city you can find,” I said. “It might not be the most cosmopolitan place in the world, but I love it. It’s home.”

“Huh,” she scoffed. “I don’t think that’s the case at all.” It was a very Philadelphian thing to say. And as it turned out, she lived here in the 70s. Girlfriend knew.

And when I saw that article on Julia Law last month in Philadelphia Magazine, it occurred to me that the Philadelphia of the 1970s – that brutal, soot ridden city, pulsing with racial and class subjugation, fiscal entropy, and ethnic violence – is precisely the sort of haunting specter that could engender the demise of a beautiful young girl, some forty years later. I’m not sure the past ever left.

Hop after the jump to read more (more…)

PA Finally Releases Climate Report 18 Months Late, And Surprise, It’s Not Good

DEPBack in August, we found out about a legally-mandated report on how climate change will impact Pennsylvania that was, at the time, 16 months late. Well, only two months later, and a full year-and-a-half after its required publishing, it’s out. And all of those delays didn’t add up to good news.

The report, authored by a team of Penn State scientists, says “the evidence is ‘very, very strong’ that Pennsylvania’s climate is going to change significantly.” According to the report, as relayed by the AP, “by 2100 the climate here will probably be more like what Georgia is now.” So if you really love the summers here, but wish they had more of that “Oh god I can’t even breathe” humidity, your grandchildren are in luck.

Forget Pukemon, The Worst Phillies Fan In History Was Heisenberg

The above picture, of Bryan Cranston as Walter White as Heisenberg as a Phillies fan, was tweeted out last night by Breaking Bad writer Thomas Schnauz, now of #JoyceEvansTweets fame. Supposedly, Cranston was joking around on set, trying to stick it to the Yankees while the Phils were facing them in the 2009 World Series. And with that, and the murder and drug dealing and drug manufacturing and poisoning and kidnapping and more, Heisenberg jumps to the top of the list of … actually, you know what? Pukemon is still worse.

October 10, 2013

This Evening: Oh, Me

>>> Alt-icons Meat Puppets take the stage at Underground Arts tonight with support from Enemy Planes and Birds of Maya. We don’t want to tell you what to do — thought, isn’t that kind of what this is? — but you should really, really go to this.
>>> The made-for-TV-terrors series continues at PhilaMOCA, with screenings of 1974′s Bad Ronald and 1972′s Crawlspace.
>>> And the aforementioned record release show for the new Buried Beds record is going on at Boot and Saddle.

3rd Ward Is Closed, And It’s Probably All Our Fault

3rdward-220x200Say goodbye to 3rd Ward, Philadelphia and otherwise: We’d heard some rumors and rumblings over the past week or so that 3rd Ward Philadelphia was no more. We received a few “become an owner of 3rd Ward today” emails, looking for an investment for a chance to “own a piece of 3rd Ward.” We tried calling them a few times only to get one of the most generic voice-mail messages you’ll ever hear, we kept an eye on their website as we noticed small things changing or being removed, and then, yesterday, we found out it was done for.

According to The New York Observer, “3rd Ward, the class-offering haven for Brooklyn’s artistic set, closed last night without any warning, according to tipsters.” Yes, the original Brooklyn location, along with the Philadelphia outpost (and with it, the company as a whole) shut down with little warning.

According to a now-shuttered fundraising page to fund 3rd Ward, the financial difficulties they were facing came down to three factors:

>>> Our revenue at the Brooklyn location fell as a result of a change we made to one of our membership products earlier this year.
>>> The new location in Philadelphia is requiring more capital than expected to achieve profitability or reach cash flow break-even.
>>> The development of the Culinary project required advance spending.”

Or, if you read it a certain way, means Philadelphia killed 3rd Ward. So what now? According to Technically Philly, “One student, who had only completed one class out of the series he paid for, said he was told he would receive “credit” so he could take another 3rd Ward class but said that 3rd Ward has not returned his phone calls since then.” Technically Philly also obtained a letter from 3rd Ward founder Jason Goodman to instructors, which reads in part:

With the costs of running and operating our two locations in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, we are sadly no longer able to remain in business.

We will cancel all sections in progress and future sections by the end of today. Students will receive a cancellation message from help@3rdward.com, and they can respond to that same email if they have any questions.

We want make sure that our instructors are able to collect their belongings before our doors officially close on October 11th, 2013. We will have open hours from 10am-6pm on this Thursday and Friday, and next week on Monday andTuesday for you to pick up any of your materials. Additionally, we will be open from 9am-1pm this coming Saturday, and 12pm-4pm this coming Sunday.”

This probably isn’t the last we’ve heard of this, but at least now we’ll stop getting so many of those emails.

Readers Cameraphone: Down In Elvis’ Basement

Gentlemen – in today’s episode of “Philadelphia: You Can Never Escape,” look what I found in Elvis’ record collection in the basement of Graceland. Seems he dug on the Philly Sound too.

lanza elvis

That’s a stack of records, positioned to display a record from Elvis’ phone-buddy, South Philly’s own Mario Lanza. Man, we guess The King would’ve been really into that TCM marathon.

Seeing something around town of note? Cameraphone it to: tips[at]philebrity[dot]com.