For a lot of people, May 5 provides a great excuse to drink margaritas and eat chips and salsa all day (not that we really need and excuse …). What is ironically less recognized, though, is that Cinco de Mayo also happens to be Climate Impacts Day, the official launch of 350.org’s “Connect the Dots” project. Led by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, 350.org is a global grassroots movement geared toward growing awareness of and creating solutions for the impacts of climate change.
“Connect the Dots is designed to empower people to highlight the connections between extreme weather and climate change. By making those connections clear and compelling, we will help communicate a call for bold climate action to communities, the media and policy makers at the local, national, and international level.”
This Saturday, Philadelphians can join people in over 100 countries around the world by participating in our hometown event, held at Rittenhouse Square. In conjunction with the weekly farmers market, local environmental groups will have booths set up. Everyone is encouraged to come with thoughts, ideas and stories that connect the dots, and to document these connections through banners and photographs. We’ve all seen firsthand what increased flooding along the Schuylkill and Delaware has done to our local communities. Now's the chance to show the world it’s not OK.
Sat., May 5, 11 a.m., free, Rittenhouse Square, 18th and Walnut streets, climatedots.org.
For 33 years, the City of Philadelphia has closed Broad Street from Somerville Avenue in Fern Rock all the way to the Navy Yard for the 10-mile Broad Street Run. The event is a chance for runners from all over the country to compete for a title and take in the sights of the diverse neighborhoods linked together by one of Philly's main thoroughfares. But 29-year-old barista Matt Fisher isn't your typical contestant. For the classical vocal major with a knack for latte art, running is something reserved for his more athletically inclined roommates. But when a friend forfeited a spot in the race, he opted to be the replacement. With one pair of running shoes and a history of bad knees, Matt proves that the best goal a runner can have is simply proving your own capability. I caught up with him at Shot Tower, where he serves up coffee and espresso to the residents of Queen Village.
City Paper: Are you prepared for the run in terms of equipment?
Matt Fisher: In February 2010 I bought some ... serious running shoes. I think I used them a total of four times. But at the time, it felt like a big-deal purchase. Anyway, a year later I was thinking “Well, I have these shoes, I should just do the Broad Street Run" ... It's a long run but it doesn't have that stigma of like “ooh this is ... a marathon” It seemed like it would be a good race for both the serious runner — somebody who wants to win — and the person who's like “I wanna get in shape. This is a cool Philadelphia experience.”
CP: So when your friend gave up the tickets, you thought "this is my calling?"
MF: Pretty much. My roommate is a runner, so I went downstairs and said “do you think it's possible for me to get up to 10 miles in five to six weeks?” She mentioned how it's slightly downhill so gravity will be working with me. And that pretty much sold me.
Chris Brown digs into our listings bin and pulls out a little something-something to do every day of the week. This week: The Sign on Rosie's Door, hanging with the falsely convicted and May the 4th be with you!
2012 marks the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens. While the dude should most certainly gets his due, the individuals he created deserve some love as well. Working through the vast bodywork, one is introduced to approximately 1000 characters. (No bullshit. The Internet sets the tally at 989). Today marks the last day for "Character Sketches," an exhibit that attempts to put them all in one place.
Wed., May 2, 9 a.m., Central Branch of the Free Library, 1901 Vine St., 215-686-5322, freelibrary.org.
Every Friday, Ryan Carey covers the people and events that are giving Philly the giggles.
The second annual F Harold Comedy Festival starts next week at Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5. It will feature six evenings of comedy from many of Philadelphia's best improv, sketch and standup artists. Compared to Philadelphia Comedy Month, which consists of three one-week mini-fests inviting both local and out-of-town talent, the F Harold is a Philly-only venture belonging entirely to members of the local scene.
In addition to many of our hometown 'prov faves like Hey Rube (Tuesday), The N Crowd (Wednesday), Beirdo (Thursday), Iron Lung (Friday), Hate Speech Committee (Saturday), and Nielson (Sunday), there will be smatterings of local standups, sketch groups and brand new Phimprovisers making their stage debut.
Chris Brown digs into our listings bin and pulls out a little something-something to do every day of the week.This time around? Take a FirstGlance at Hollywood, revel in the hub of activity at Sister Cities Park Café and learn how to be geek chic!
Frommer's travel guide recently dubbed Philly’s park scene one of the ten best in the world. Yeah, seriously. Now get outside, and take advantage.
Wed., April 18, late morning/early afternoon, you pick the spot.
Each week, Nina Willbach puts together a rundown of book-centric events. This week:tree-hugging Catholics, the history of straight people and Sonia Sanchez!
Friday, April 13
The History of Straight People
Most of the discussion surrounding queer identity has to do with creating specific words for this or that sexual leaning. What used to be the “gay” community became the “LGBT” community. After further discussion, this already long string of letters got a “Q” and sometimes an “A” tagged on to include just about everyone who's not a self-proclaimed homophobe. In the search for appropriate terminology among a minority community, there's a lot of defining in opposition to the perceived mainstream: if we're not straight, we're gay. If we're not heterosexual, then we must be some other sort of sexual. But at what point did a straight identity become synonymous with the mainstream? This is the question asked by Hanne Blank in her newest book Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality. The book chronicles the term “heterosexual”, from its invention in the 1860s, to its subsequent influence on Western laws and culture. She explores why, in a world where men and women had been procreating for years, the term surfaced as a distinct word for a lifestyle that many would come to know as “normal”. In this little-known history, Blank paints a vivid picture of the intersection between language, culture, and sexuality that continues to shape our world.
5:30 p.m., free, Giovanni's Room, 345 S. 12th St., giovannisroom.com.
- A.D. Amorosi chats with South Philly cloud rapper Lushlife in anticipation of his newest full-length, Plateau Vision. "I was a record digger from a super-early age, so I was taking in varied sounds and textures."
- Shaun Brady writes about Space 1026's latest exhibit, "Phoning It in from Yogyakarta," an Internet-aided showcase of an Indonesian DIY art scene.
- MUSIC! In Reconsider Me, M.J. dances on the ceiling over Lionel Richie's Can't Slow Down and Tuskegee. And Peter Burwasser talks about Jan Krzywicki's commissioning of 25 new variations on Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, in Suite Spot.
- GOSSIP! A.D. Amorosi talks Joltin' Joe, Bedroom Problems' and Walking Fish Theatre in Icepack.
- ART! Robin Rice Re:Views "Van Gogh Up Close" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
- BOOKS! Justin Bauer compares Mark Leyner's The Sugar Frosted Nutsack and Hari Kunzru's Gods Without Men, in Shelf Life
- SEX! Our resident sexpert, Meg Augustin, enlightens a man who gets turned on when his wife talks about getting it on with other dudes., in her monthly column, Sexy Time.
- LGBTQ! The Dumpsta Players look for 2012's Trashiest Prom Queen, The Heels on Wheels Glitter Roadshow rolls into town for a night of femme-boosting theatrics, and the Liberty City Kings Drag and Burlesque crown Mr. Philadelphia Drag King.
- FILM! International House screens George Méliès A Trip to the Moon along with Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange's The Extraordinary Voyage.
- THEATER! The Black Monk at Off-Broad Street Theater at the First Baptist Church, and Miskreant Puppets @ Keswick Theatre
- MUSIC! Tobacco/Com Truise @ First Unitarian Church, Amy Ray @ World Café Live, Mayer Hawthorne/Stepkids @ Union Transfer, Lambchop @ World Café Live, and the Race and Rock Scavenger Hunt @ St. Michael's Church.
Photo by Neal Santos
For the fourth annual Mütter Museum Ball at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the theme turned to Prohibition’s Roaring '20s and its celebration was geared to the medicine and electricity of the times. “We chose the 1920s, a banner decade for medicine, because during that time echocardiograms came into use,” says J. Nathan Bazzel, the school’s director of communication. “Penicillin was introduced and groundbreaking research and implementation in radiology took place.” That’s all well and good but the next thing you know J. Nathan was whisking me off to the floor of the Cat’s Meow dance party where cabaret chanteuse Jill Tracy was serenading the crowd in the VIP Speakeasy Lounge where Bar Mistress Meredith was whipping up healing waters from the fruits of a few flowers and pulling up bottles of Philly-made Bluecoat Gin from a tub just brimming with the stuff. Along with the gin and absinthe found in the lounge, VIPs were treated to molecular gastronomical dessert displays and large scale replicas of ancient found-in-Philly prescriptions pads for alcohol, the liquor cure once considered medicinal. Indeed, I played doctor and patient, having quite a bit of healing to do the next day.
In the last ten years, Jason Kernevich and Dustin Summers have gone from back-table gigs selling posters at the Church to doing illustrations for the pages of the New York Times. There have been stops along the way — working with Wilco led to working with R.E.M., for instance. They relocated to Brooklyn and Seattle respectively, and finally circled back to Philly two and a half years ago to set up permanent shop. They've been working the lecture series for about five years now, and as they prepare for a hometown talk tonight at 6 p.m., back at the First Unitarian Church, they took some time to speak with CP.
CP: I see your work as simultatneously clean and rustic — clean in the sense that you don't clutter a lot of shit around it, and rustic in the sense that it has a very handmade quality.
Dustin Summers: It's really important to us to keep it as elegant and simple as possible. We like for the finished product to to have a human quality to it.
Jason Kernevich: That's just the way we like our images, with that hand-done element; we definitely feel more connected to work that communicates that aspect.
Can you speak at all to your creative process?
DS: We probably spend about 75% of the time figuring out the concept. We don't really spend a lot time thinking about the image, which probably sounds weird since we're visual artists, but we're much more concerned with the concept.
JK: Basically, we just like to design rectangles. (Laughs.) Seriously, though, rectangles draw your eye in. You kind of need that boundary. When we're in the planning/sketching phase, If I have a big, blank piece of paper, it's difficult for me to begin. I need that confinement. For the most part, my sketchbook is full of words.
Do you prefer making posters or designing book covers, or would you rather just do projects like the Gatsby business cards?
JK: I get restless. If we've been doing illustrations for 18 months then I want to do a Gatsby-type project or typography type thing.
Sir Richard Branson didn’t just wake up, hit the morning show circuit (Fox’s Good Day with Mike Jerrick who got his head rubbed Three Stooges style by the British knight) and introduce his airplanes to the Philadelphia market. The first Virgin America flight from Los Angeles arrived Wednesday at Philadelphia International Airport as part of the inauguration of new daily nonstop service to the West Coast, which makes VA the first new airline in eight years to begin operations in Philly.
The shaggy-haired sun-kissed Branson was a guest of honor at Hotel Palomar’s Virgin America airlines party hailing that day’s launch. No, Overbrook-ian Will Smith wasn’t there as had been tweeted and rumored heatedly throughout the day. Nicki Minaj wasn't either (instead, she hit radio stations and FYE, see this week’s Icepack Illustrated). But Smith’s one-time DJ and buddy Jazzy Jeff spun tracks for a dancing Mayor Michael Nutter and his missus mayor Lisa at the hotel-motel-holiday-innnnn. And Smith’s After Earth collaborators were on board at the Palomar/Virgin bash — his director M. Night Shyamalan and co-star Zoe Kravitz, who was there but not posing with her beau, Penn Badgley from Gossip Girl.
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