November 29, 2013
From our homes to yours, here’s wishing everyone a lovely weekend and kickoff to the holiday season. Philebrity will resume posting on Monday, but do please join us as we take part on Saturday night in the above, an all-Philly recreation of The Band’s The Last Waltz, to benefit Philly schools. Tickets are still available, though not for long.
November 26, 2013
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Eve a.k.a. the busiest bar night of the year a.k.a. when you’ll go out and see all those people you haven’t seen in years for good reason. There’s gonna be people filling up nearly every bar, but here are some notable things going on:
>>> Jerry’s Bar, that great neighborhood spot that you’re doing a real disservice to yourself by not going to, is throwing together their own version of the Citywide Special for the night, with a 16oz Natty Boh and a shot of house made rock n’ rye for $5.
>>> Waterfront Winterfest kicks off with a special preview night where you can dance yourself clean to tunes spun by James Murphy and Dave P.
>>> Don’t forget that this year’s Thanksgiving Eve is also the beginning of Chanukah. Don’t worry though, because Zahav … and the Trestle Inn, have you covered. At Michael Solomonov’s Zahav, the menu will be a combo affair, as Green Bean and Lentil Salad share the table with Honey Baked Lamb, Cornbread and Cranberry Stuffing, and Turey Shisklik. You’ll need reservations.
And over at the Trestle, you can join in on the Jive Turkey Dance Party and Thanks-A-Latke. The former features dancing, discounted Wild Turkey, and an all around good time starting at 9PM. Thanks-A-Latke precceds that, from 7PM to 9PM, with potato vodka shot specials and The Hebrew Hammer projected on the wall. Naturally.
>>> Not shaking their live music all-the-time stance, even on a special night, Ortlieb’s will play host to a Thanksgiving Eve Happy Hour with live music from Oh! Pears and a DJ set from DJ Davideotape.
>>> American Sardine Bar is doubling up their celebration since it’s also their second anniversary. Night of the Sardine II, which runs all day, features DJs, guest sardines (from Vernick, Cheu Noodle Bar, Le Virtu, Southwork, and more), and some seriously rare beers on tap.
>>> And other than all of this, all of your favorite local (and not so local) bars will be packed, so just get out there and enjoy yourselves.
RAY’S CELEBRATES 75 YEARS AS AMERICA’S HAPPY BIRTHDAY BAR
* Celebrate on Sunday, December 1 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm with roll back prices to 1938 *
Philadelphia, PA – Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, 1200 East Passyunk Avenue, celebrates 75 years of birthday wishes, cheap drinks, familiar faces and jokes of the day. Ray’s, celebrated as one of America’s top dive bars, will host its 75th Anniversary Party on Sunday, December 1, 2013, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.
Turn back the clock to the late 1930s, where you can celebrate the end of Prohibition, gas at ten cents a gallon, and Ella Fitzgerald serving up “A Tisket A Tasket.” Owners Lou and Rose Capozolli will offer drinks at “throw back” 1938 prices (SELECT drafts, whiskeys, more). Lite up your free pack of (candy) cigs as you say hubba-hubba to our Ray’s authentic cigarette girl. Get flapping to live music and jukebox sing-a-longs. Blow out the candles on our special anniversary cake. Chow down on candy and snacks inspired by and originating from 1938. Dress in 30s costume for a chance to win best dressed.
The party will go all day, but throw back drink prices and complimentary food will only be offered between 2:00pm and 4:00pm. For more information, liking Ray’s brand new Facebook page by searching “Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar,” or visit www.thehappybirthdaybar.com.
Happy Birthday, Ray’s Happy Birthday! But it is here that we must admit: We didn’t hear anything you just said. Because all we could focus on were the questions “This is a press release from Ray’s?” and “Ray’s has a publicist?”
SODA / POP / COKE from Atlantic Video on Vimeo.
From the work of Joshua Katz — which we have dealt with on two occasions — comes a video (and more importantly, audio) breakdown of how we Americans differ in our pronunciations and diction. It’s worth checking out to remind you of a few things. First, that America is a large and varied place, where simple changes in language effect entire regions. And second, it’s called a “hoagie” and don’t you dare say different.
“Hey! Put on that melon faming hard hat you monkey fighting aardvark!” If cable TV has taught us anything, that’s how people speak when they can’t curse. So that’s how it probably sounds at the construction site for that new Mormon Temple, where workers are disparaged from cursing, drinking caffiene, and and smoking. We imagine it just sounds like this around there all day, kind of like their version of “Whistle While You Work.”
According to Philly.com:
Though Philadelphia has plenty of experience handling large construction projects, when it comes to building sacred spaces, local building officials must bow to church leadership headquartered in Salt Lake City. The international LDS temple department is responsible for both commissioning and funding the project, as well as drawing up contractor agreements that contain some unusual requirements … Workers must go to a break area across the street if they want a fix of caffeine or nicotine.”
Ideally, the project would be complete with only Mormon union members. But, as is often the case, there is only one. There was a “hiring preference to union-affiliated Mormon workers in the Philadelphia region. But none could be found, aside from one carpenter [Ed. note: Natch] who may join the team when his skills are needed during the project’s later stages.”
Also, the building’s tallest point, the east spire, “has been meticulously measured so to be level with the tops of the adjacent Free Library of Philadelphia and family court buildings.” If Liberty Place had only done that with Billy Penn, we’d be neck deep in sports championships right now. Like Boston. Though on second thought, that sounds pretty terrible.
[Image via Smosh]
So there is no debate, let’s name names, shall we? PhillyMag. Philly.com. Fox29 and pretty much all local TV news. These are the fearmongering, click-baiting, desperate Philly media, a strata of the so-called liberal media that are so casually, intuitively xenophobic, racist and sensationalist that sometimes they even forget that this is not a good thing. All last week, and even still, all of the above worked themselves (and their foolish, low-information marks) into a lather about “The Knockout Game,” a terrifying trend which does not exist.
The more grotesque denizens of the Pen & Pencil Club here were hardly alone, though. Over the last week, reporters who don’t deserve jobs from coast to coast engaged in this charade, ultimately resulting in one of the quickest Snopes turnarounds ever. So why should Philly be different, you ask? Well, because this is Philly, where even your father’s father’s father once got his kicks on these streets punching random strangers in the face. It is a tradition probably as old as us. So what’s the big deal, and what’s racist about this? Well, it’s the inflection, really. See, when reporters gin up this language about “flash mobs” or the knockout game, it’s a deeply codified game that has been happening for years now in this city. It’s a dog whistle for “BLACK TEENAGERS WOULD LIKE TO HARM YOU ON THE STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA.” Which, if you have lived here for any amount of time, you will recognize that this is a misnomer: The fact is, all teenagers would like to harm you on the streets of Philadelphia. Since forever. (The irony here is that, while everybody was tripping over themselves to find the dumb sod who punched that lady before she took his picture, a truly juicy story of white teenagers declaring class war in Fishtown was pretty much completely overlooked.)
So where does that leave us? Other than a permanent swirling toilet bowl cycle of incompetent news? Nowhere really. Same place we’ve always been, with the same results: Philly’s shitbag media can’t make teenagers punch random strangers any more than we can make teenagers punch Philly’s shitbag media. But oh, to dream.
Brought my lil hockey Player back home for the holidays from Arizona….glad she brought her skates. Now if we could just score some cheap flyers tickets for Friday.”
Everyone say it together … “awwwww.” Oh wait, did some of you say “that’s dangerous”? Have a little spirit, and give that kid credit for being outside in that unbelievable cold last night. But yeah, we mean there’s not even a ring of boards around that thing to hold on to so you don’t fall. Totally unsafe.
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Just in time for your turkey slide, Philebrity Salon is back at the 700 tonight, kicking off at 9pm, with a little group of featured writers reading, including Bob Hill of I Fear Brooklyn. And after the reading hour, we’ve got Jared Styles and Joey Sweeney spinning 45s all night. You’re not going to work tomorrow, are you? Why would you do that?
In addition to your Winterfest and Franklin Flea and all of the other Christmas-y stuff that’s been ramping up, don’t forget: The Christmas Village at LOVE Park will be back, too:
Starting on Thanksgiving Day (November 28) and ending – this year for the first time – on New Years Day (January 1), the Christmas Village in Philadelphia will transform LOVE Park (15th and JFK Boulevard) in Center City Philadelphia into a traditional German Christmas Market. The Christmas Village will feature more than 60 vendors in wooden, festive decorated booths and two large tents offering a range of international holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry, high-quality arts and crafts as well as European and American food, sweets and drinks.
On top of the great shopping experience, the visitors of Christmas Village will be
enjoying numerous attractions, such as the Face-In-A-Hole Wall, the traditional Advent-Calendar as well as the Wish Wall. Beginning on December 7, the Christmas Village in Philadelphia will introduce a new kid’s zone to the market, offering different kinds of activities for children on the weekends.
Meanwhile, the LOVE Park Christmas tree will be lit on Wednesday, December 4th at 5 p.m.
Previously: Rumblings: Santa, Baby!
Just in over the transom (click to enlarge flyer image):
The Office of Mayor Nutter, Hip-Hop Superstar Meek Mill and Unity in the CommunityHost Holiday Coat and Turkey Giveaway
Philadelphia, Pa (November 25, 2013) – Philadelphia families in need can give thanks to rapper Meek Mill, the office of Mayor Michael Nutter and non-profit organization Unity in the Community as they join forces for a holiday coat-drive and turkey giveaway on Wednesday, November 27 at Vare Recreation Center in South Philadelphia. Turkeys and coats will be provided to 200 families.
“Unity in the Community is excited to partner with Meek Mill and the Mayor’s office for an opportunity to give back to needy families,” says Anton Moore, president, Unity in the Community. “It is sure to be an exciting day for the residents of our community and the generosity of Meek Mill and our Mayor is greatly appreciated.”
The festivities taking place at Vare Recreation Center, 2600 Morris Street from 4pm – 6pm will fuse community leaders such as State Representative Jordan Harris and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson with hip-hop and R&B station Hot 107.9 and a host of local music acts.
Because this ain’t your father’s turkey giveaway.
November 25, 2013
Does the face on this billboard on I-95 look familiar to you? It may. That’s actress Stacey Ann Shevlin, a longtime Philadelphian who relocated to Los Angeles a few years back to pursue The Dream. And she was surprised to see it, too. In this blog post, Shevlin relates how, when she was just getting started out, she posed for a number of stock photo agencies (who then license their photos as creative to any old ad agency who might like the look of a particular photo, whether it’s a human face or a kitchen table). After posing, for the longest time, she thought nothing of it, and never saw her pictures surface anywhere — until recently, when she’s inexplicably been popping up in numerous campaigns. A friend sent her the above photo; it was the first she’d heard of it. “It’s just funny that a Philly company chose the shot out of thousands of others,” she told us.
There is a place, way down yonder in the minor key of Delaware Avenue, where even the most resistant Philadelphia lifer can agree that, yes, this area is so stupid that it’s actually okay to call it Columbus Avenue. This is where the United Artists Metaphor-For-The-Failing-Film-Industry Sadplex is, and this is also where the Comcast Get-Out-Of-TV-Jail Center is.
If you have ever had to return your cable boxes or pay your shut-off cable bill in cash because there’s a big pay-per-view wrestling event you need to see that night, you know this place. We know you know. And we know you feel hot shame for ever even knowing what this place is, or standing in its soul-sucking lines on the other side of the bulletproof glass, and we know that you don’t want anyone to know you’ve been there. So we’ll talk about it for you. To know the Comcast Get-Out-Of-TV-Jail Center is to know failure up close, to be on intimate speaking terms with failure, and to know that the conversation with failure is always mostly in the bitter parlance of popular t-shirts from the 1980s: Life’s a bitch and then you die. Shit happens. Don’t ask me 4 shit.
The line moves slow. The person you meet at the end of the line may be polite and helpful, or they may very clearly be wanting, with their eyes and hair and soul and teeth, for you to die. None of it matters, because the feel is always the same: Governmental. Soviet. If you are in this line, you are on TV welfare, a cog in the entertainment-industrial complex, part of a system that neither wants nor needs you, but is not legally allowed to kill you yet. This is the emergency room of modern malaise.
And for as much lip service as has been paid to the corporate person known as Comcast around here in recent years — that they’re a massive job provider and will only grow, that they could have gone anywhere but they chose Philly, that they may actually help finally plug the brain drain — when many of us here in Philly think about Comcast, this is what we think of. Not the gleaming tower, nor the endless fun of Xfinity, but this place. This sad awful place. Because this is the place that says, “This is really what we think of you. We know you are worthless. Look at you, with your cardboard box of outdated remotes and modems, and your folded up twenties, hauling our sad shit back to us like a doting animal with a dead rodent between its teeth. Just look at you. You’re disgusting. You must really, really, really love watching fucking TV. Thank you and have a nice day.”
Is there a Place You Can’t Understand in Philly? Some nook or cranny that makes no sense whatsoever? Let us know about it at tips[at]philebrity[dot]com.
In case you’re feeling a little cold today, which is to say you’re a human person, just take a look at that amazing picture of that frozen fountain over on the Parkway, and remind yourself IT’S GOING TO GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER. Or, look at this one (not as impressive but just as frozen). Yeah, you’re going to need to go ahead and fully commit to this whole winter thing.
Oh and also, we’ll take any and all frozen fountain (and frozen things in general) pictures over at tips[at]philebrity[dot]com.
We can’t seem to find out for sure if the Crutchfield sisters (Allison of Swearin’, Katie of Waxahatchee) are still based in West Philly. We know we read somewhere that Swearin’ packed up and moved on up to NYC. It that might have been in NME (never mind, it was EMusic). Either way, we’re still pretty sure they’re both great, and we’re also pretty sure this wonderful cover of Guided by Voices’ “Game of Pricks” — recorded at Vince Lombardi High School in Pomona, CA last year — happened while Katie was based here. And we’ll take that tenuous connection, because we really just want to share this video with you.
Whether rightfully or not, Foxconn – the Taiwanese manufacturing company responsible for iPhones, iPads, PS4s and more — is constantly surrounded by controversy. And the company, who already has 30 employees doing … something in Harrisburg, is expanding. Foxconn is reportedly “expanding its manufacturing presence in [the U.S.] with a new$40 million investment to tap research and talent in Pennsylvania.” Around 500 employees will be hired in Harrisburg, and Foxconn is also investing $10 million in Carnegie Mellon University, reportedly for robotics research. Isn’t this how Skynet gets started?
According to CFO World, “The company has … been eyeing automation technologies, with the hopes of using a “robot army” at its facilities one day.” So yes, this is how Skynet gets started.
With new technology comes new law. No one knows that better than Lars Ulrich. But with 3-D printers becoming more and more available (and less expensive), using them to print weapons becomes a problem. Keeping that in mind, the members of City Council are on top of something for once, and they have passed the first ban on 3-D printed guns for a U.S. city.
According to Gizmodo, the preemptive bill was passed unanimously, and Kenyatta Johnson’s director of legislation told Philadelphia Magazine that it’s based on “internet stuff out there.” Enforcement of the law could be problematic, since 3-D printers themselves are totally legal and a 3-D printed weapon would have to be found or perhaps used in a crime to even bring it to light. As The Verge points out, “3D-printed guns are still highly experimental, unreliable, and expensive. At the moment, it’s still much easier to buy a small handgun on the street or even build an undetectable AK-47 with the right plans.” Those are both terrifying facts.
Yeah, that’s reassuring
The Waze GPS app — recently purchased by Google — which became popular because it “crowdsources traffic and navigation data,” has got a new voice. As part of a partnership with Universal Pictures, Waze will be bringing its users celebrity voice navigation, beginning with Philly’s own Kevin Hart. It already seemed like the dude was everywhere, and now the dude is literally everywhere.
Back in October, Borgata was awarded the first of what we assume is quite a few internet gaming licenses, and that license became active at the end of last week. Kinda.
Even though the Borgata online gaming site is live and ready to roll, it is currently in a soft roll-out phase that some users are finding glitchy. According to the AP, one man “traveled 30 miles and three hours to different locations but still wasn’t able to part with any of his money,” and “the technology locked out users who were 10 to 15 miles from the border.” And in addition to the people in New Jersey who couldn’t throw their money away, people from 23 other states couldn’t either, as they tried to game the system by seeing if they could gamble online with Borgata. They can’t. There is currently no word on if Philadelphians can get past that “virtual fence” around the border since Facebook always thinks we’re posting from Camden anyway.
But in good news, maybe instead of people leaving their kids in the car, they’ll just leave them in the kitchen or something. That’s a positive. Right?
Santa and Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus ©Ed Wheeler
>>> Oh the radio dials are frightful, and B101 is full of … uh … Wham!: As we come closer and closer to the holidays — and it’s only a few days before people have to stop pretending they’re not all-in on this Christmas deal — you’re going to start seeing more and more of that guy with the cap on head, suit that’s red, etc., including all up in your art.
In a series of self-portraits, Santa (photographer Ed Wheeler) stepped into history and into some of the masterworks of art, Bill and Ted style. The images, some of which can be seen over here, have been published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a series of holiday cards, which are perfect for that person you know that somehow possesses both an undying love of art and a sense of humor. And if you wanna see these untouchable classics in person, you can check out the opening of Wheeler’s “Santa Classics” photography exhibition at bahdeebahdu on December’s First Friday. The exhibit will be on display from December 6th to the 21st. [Santa Classics]
>>> New York’s annual Santacon, the big brother of sorts to our own intolerable Running of the Santas, may be on its way out. The head of the NYPD’s Midtown North Precinct’s Special Operations division sent a letter to bar and club owners, saying “Having thousands of intoxicated partygoers roam the streets urinating, littering, vomiting and vandalizing will not be tolerated in our neighborhood … It is my recommendation that you do not sponsor this event in any way.” Those are the same sentiments we would like to express to all of those involved in the Running of the Santas. We don’t think Finnigan’s is going to listen though. [DNA Info]
>>> And finally, in completely less harmful and bro-tastic bar crawls, there is the East Passyunk Spirits & Suds with Santa Bar Crawl. On Wednesday, December 11th, $5 will get you reduced-price drinks and snacks at 14 EPA establishments,. It’ll certainly be a much more refined affair. Well, as refined as craft beers and Santa hats can be. No Miller Lite though. [EPA]