March 16-22, 2006
Naked City : Icepack
Living off Washington Avenue like I do means a daily barrage of handbills. I moved from Old City for this? It's become no different than straggling out of infamous OC after-hours joint Purgatory at 7 a.m., save for the glut of strippers and the smell of booze. Then again, did I mention it's Washington Ave.? Town Watch-type ads about stuff coming to my neighborhood (14-some liquor licenses!) have truly started to prick up my civic ear. Or rather, my wife's. Because the day I turn into a Town Watch fuck is the day John Chaney retires. Oh, shit! Anyway, for my wife to come home and tell me David and Joe Grassothe Metro Development/US Realty/Axis construction dudes who hold the Grande and are developing South Philly's first million-dollar lofts (11th and Washington)are building a bigger House of Blues concert venue (bigger than the Grande's HoB/Foundation Room's restaulounge) at 16th and Washington sent my mind reeling. A House of Blues in South Philly and a Grasso-promised glut of condos and classy joints surrounding it means a first tour stop for the Four Seasons reunion; that Jerry Blavat could finally take his fab oldies shows out of that 'medigan Sidney Kimmel's hovel; that Stephen Starr could take his Italian food failure, Angelina, out of stir; and my Sopranos-inspired musical, Mothballs and Gravy, would never go homeless. "That area's an up-and-coming one that could use a boost," says David, whose chat with me was interrupted by a visit from Governor Rendell. "Plus, HoB brings positive levels of activity wherever they go. They're an anchor for future development. A magnet really." Anchors, magnetsa lotta metal. This is bigger than Lord & Wanamaker's turning Macy's, Arch-Race-13th-Broad going Convention Center, and Knight Ridder going down combined. 76ers dancers and Mimosa Sunday host Jimmy Glenn go Matthew Izzo-licious for a fashion show-a-go-go March 18 at Izzo's 1109 Walnut location. CoSTUME NATIONAL and Heatherette gear galore! Is Wax, the Chestnut Street club, meant to re-underground-ize Old City, shuttering? Several of its employees looking for work throughout restaubar-ville say so. They like tranny porn stars and serial killers. It's Rich Hillen's World Famous Crawlspace Bros. who drop their new CD True Crime Alive III at Bar Noir March 20 with the girls who put the "ho" into Scareho. Get someone to take you to Striped Bass to buy you executive pastry chef Carrie Chavenson's table-made couture banana splits. Brandied cherries, strawberry croutons: guaranteed blowjob for whoever's paying! You're excited that Mark Segal is getting roasted (but hardly enough unless they're burning him at the stakethese are the jokes!) at William Way March 16? Me, I'm overthemoon over Brini Maxwell (Guide to Gracious Living: Tips, Tricks, Recipes & Ideas to Make Your Life Bloom) coming to Phila Fish & Co. for Book and the Cook March 19. "Kevin Meeker has come up with a delicious menu based on the dishes in my book," says Maxwell. She won't be doing a rumored finger-food topiaryone of the star items in her bookas she's not fish balling. "Living graciously is an art, but one of the easy arts, not like sculpting with cross sections of animal cadavers," she says. But what about the smell of Meeker's famed poached Atlantic halibut? How will she get that out of her skin? "If you find you have fish smells on your hands you can remove them by handling stainless steel under running water. There's even 'NOnion'a lozenge of stainless steel that looks like a bar of soap. It works!" What the hell is Alfa Restaurant, that thing below Walnut Room opening (sorta) March 24 to 27 and what the hell did Joe Beckham and Giancarlo DiPasquale do to the Buttercup Bakery? "It's a mix of masochism and raw greed on our part," says Beckham of his mod-Op Walnut-looking "urban-comfort-food-pub more feminine than Black Sheep." Jon Madof celebrates six years of Masada-rocking by taking his John Zorn-y trio Rashanim to The Rotunda March 16. Mazel and tov! WHOWHATWHERE: Ask Gail Sheehyat Loew's Hotel, chatting up her new Sex and the Seasoned Woman -- literary advice and you get this: "You should have lots of sex." I'm sure sweet Ms. Sheehy was thinking about relationship advice. Either way: I'm on the right track. When Brit-soul expat James Hunter debuted stuff from his Philly GO label debut, People Gonna Talk, at World Café Live, people talked about how darned flirty he was with the ladies après gig. Honeys: He'll be back in May. Lotion up. While PR-trix Nicole Cashman, Phila Film doyenne Sharon Pinkenson and TLA's Rich Wolff ate at one table at Amada, director M. Night Shyamalan ate at another. No real communiqué between the tables, as we hear Night was spookily mimic-ing his spacey American Express ad. Want more TLA? Not only is its releasing company (and producers Wolff and Ray Murray) dropping their first in-cinema flick, Another Gay Movie (to debut at De Niro's Tribeca Film Fest and Philly's Gay Film Fest with a Tommy Boy label soundtrack featuring Philly's own Erika Schiff). Not only did its DVD company strike big at Hollywood's Gay Video Awards. But longtime TLA press flack Andy Preis is leaving TLA and the Philadelphia Film Society, amicably, after five years. "When I started, [TLA] didn't have a media list," laughs Preis of going from 300 names to 1,200. "I didn't expect us to get so retail oriented. So, I want to go back to New York and the nonprofit/performance world. Those are my roots." Preis hopes to be out of Philly by July 13 when the Gay/Les Film Fest starts. "It would be too weird to be here and not working."
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