Archive: April, 2011
As-Salamu Alaykum! It’s getting close as the models book it to beautiful Marrakech with centuries-old buildings, snake charmers, street monkeys and bazaar-lined streets. Molly thinks she’s pissy because she was adopted. Girl, that does not count as issues. They all feasted on Moroccan food and toured the fashion muse city. In designer Nourredine Amir’s villa showroom, they modeled for His Eminence Andre Leon Talley.
The dresses were heavy, sculpted couture (ya know, that fashion no one really wears). Hannah wore an evening jacket-meets-cloak cocoon dress. Kasia didn’t fit into most of the dresses, but impressed Talley by being the only one who brought heels. Talley called Brittani’s walk “the closest to high fashion” and gave kudos for not putting her hands on her hips.
The models sipped tea with Talley on the rooftop of swanky guesthouse Dar Doukkala, with a gorgeous view of the city, and found out it was their Moroccan pad. The exotic interior had patterned tiles for miles, Persian rugs, indoor pool, an outdoor shower, and oodles of potted plants.
Photo shoot in the desert! Photographer Michael Woolley shot the girls in Berber meets Europe clothes. Each mounted a camel and had Bedouin porters in the background. Molly faked a good attitude and took fierce photos. Brittani went all out and was the first to stand on the camel hump. Kasia was having some negative body issues and was awkward on the camel. Alex harried Woolley about reaching photo nirvana and was too controlling in her poses.
Guest judge was Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia. Brittani’s androgynous photo impressed the panel, but Sozzani thought it looked forced. Alex looked angry in her photo, and even though Sozzani liked it, she got a lecture from Nigel and Tyra about watching how she’s perceived. Kasia frowned in most of her film and came off as uncomfortable. Hannah did alright, but Molly outshined everyone with the tension and drama in her film. She was called first, Brittani second, and Kasia and Alex were the bottom two. Predictably, Alex stayed for her stronger photos and the fiercely real model went home. Next week: bellydancing with tea trays on your head?
Worldwide, people are preparing for tomorrow’s big event, which, apparently, is the single most important thing ever to happen to humankind. Some will simply read about the royal wedding after it happens; others will get up at 5 a.m. to watch it live. But even they’re not as crazy as some people — like those who are apparently buying the following real Wills-and-Kate memorabilia:
10. William and Kate: The Movie: Enjoy the eerie experience of seeing two actors portray a made-up version of a real romance — now on DVD.
9. Kate Middleton and Prince William leaf paintings: Replace the beauty of nature with the beauty of royalty: portraits of Kate and William adorn these souvenir leaves.
8. Royal Wedding Cat Food: Yes, this chow, labeled with feline versions of William and Kate, is a deliberate joke. But still, it exists.
7. Kate and William toilet seat: When Kate set out to snag a prince, she was almost definitely hoping that one day, just maybe, her face would be on a toilet seat. Everyone’s always kissing the royals’ ass; now they’ll kiss yours.
6. Press-on fingernails: These incredibly subtle and tasteful finger decorations are handy if you forget what the royal couple looks like—for example, if you have no access to any media of any kind.
If you thought the duck and chicken liver parfait at The Dandelion was the Brit pub’s richest appetizer, meet the trout pate. Introduced by exec chef Robert Aikens during the Easter holiday weekend, the mix of fresh and smoked trout, horseradish, lemon juice, chives, dill, Crème Fraiche, mayo and Cayenne pepper is truly decadent.
Before drummer-turned-documentarian George Manney heads to NYC for April 29’s screening of his Meet Me On South Street: The Story of JC Dobbs (The Quad Cinema, 4 p.m., part of the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival), he spoke with another newly minted local documentary filmmaker, Sam Katz. Katz debuted a half hour of Philadelphia: The Great Experiment in Wheel of Fortune’s time slot on WPVI-TV 6 Wednesday night, and has been discussing his plight to get funding to complete his multi-chapter film. The two exchanged notes after Katz’s screening — Manney saying he needs something like $300,000.00 for music licensing, Katz mentioning that perhaps Manney should go to FMQB boss and local philanthropist Kal Rudman or Kenny Gamble. Good idea, Sam. You should ask Kal to chip in on your flick as well.
There is nothing like a colorful parrot shirt to announce spring. That’s the very thing you’ll see in the window of the new shop called Lucifer at 350 S. 15th, kind-of on the corner of Pine. Louis Senofonge took over the space in March 2011 for what he calls a “hybrid of men and women’s clothing boutique and art gallery.” At present, the clothes are vintage and newly handmade. The art for its opening day (Sat., April 30, 6 -10 p.m.) is provided by Jan Welch. Lucifer has a different artist opening every month; see luciferphilly.com.
Man, I was sorry to see Ro-Zo, the eclectic Japanese restaurant at Seventh and Bainbridge go. Everything there was a delight, but R-to-the-Z was always empty. The same address is now the home of Big Eyes Sushi, a slightly less costly Japanese restaurant (a la carte sashimi $2+ — not bad) with rolls that have silly names “Yo Sexy!” (California Roll with panko and yam yam sauce).
Meanwhile, uptown on Chestnut across from the CVS on 19th, neighborhood spies tell me that the space above Robin’s Bookstore is opening soon as a Japanese restaurant.
Unless you’re one of the Beckham’s, Mr. Bean (Yep, that Mr. Bean. I was surprised, too!) or Kate Middleton’s butcher, baker, and candlestick maker, chances are your name didn’t make the cut for the royal wedding guest list. It’s nothing to lose your knickers over, though. Several local venues are opening at the ass crack of dawn to allow guests the opportunity to take in the wedding of the century from this side of the pond. Sure, you’ll have to wake up a little early, but at least you won’t have to buy a gift. I doubt Will and Kate are registered at Target, anyway.
Four Seasons Hotel
The Four Seasons is your go-to if you’re looking to wine, dine and dress to the nines. Get glam with your most royal duds (especially any Kate Middleton-esque hats – the more feathers the better) and feast on an English breakfast buffet in the fancy Swann Lounge while watching the “I do’s” that come before the first lip-lock. If you aren’t pooped by the afternoon and fancy yourself a spot of tea, the hotel will host a Prince and Princess Tea from 4-5 p.m. with desserts and pastries. Fri., April 29, 5:30 a.m., $50 for breakfast and $65 for afternoon tea, 1 Logan Square, 215-963-1500, www.fourseasons.com/philadelphia.
Lacroix at the Rittenhouse Hotel
Olle Ekman of Swedish death metal bands Volturyon and Deals Death tunes his Cookie Monster voice.
Each week, Emily Apisa puts together a rundown of book-centric events that’ll keep you “lit” all week long.
Thursday: When Great Britain, China and America put your scholarly work into practice, you know you’re doing something right, but I doubt Joseph Nye needed me to tell him that. In his new book The Future of Power: Its Changing Nature and Use in the 21st Century Nye explains the concept of ‘smart power’ and how it can be used to understand and change global politics. Thu., April 28, 5:30 p.m., $10-$28, World Affairs Council, 1 S. Broad St. Suite 2M, 215-561-4700.
Friday: John Baxter Taylor, a UPenn track star who was a victim of racial tension in the early 1900s, is the subject of author Craig T. Williams’ debut novel The Olympian: An American Triumph. The book is a fictionalized account of Taylor’s struggle as he dealt with overt racism and overcame the social constructs of the time. Fri., April 29,12-3 p.m., free, UPenn Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St., 215-898-7595.
Saturday: National Poetry Month is coming to a close, so might as well fit in one last reading before the month is done. Plum Dragoness (aka Gabrielle de Burke), **natalie c felix** and Cassendre Xavier will be standing in the spotlight and sharing their audible art at this poetry reading. These Philly-based poets will offer up unique poems to enlighten and entertain. Sat., April 30, 3 p.m., free, Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Lane, 215-844-1870.
Every Wednesday, Ryan Carey tackles a different topic relating to the contemporary pop culture scene. This week, he's taking on the blogosphere.
Philadelphia (or any city, for that matter) has no shortage of blogs discussing local things. Hell, City Paper alone has three of them. Why does a newspaper available online require blogs? What value do they add? Opinion? The paper already has an opinion section. So why the superfluous voice?
I'd like to refer you to a post from last November by Lehigh Valley beer-design blogger, The Pour Curator. On his blog, which primarily displays and discusses label/ad/tap-handle design within the craft beer industry, he informs us about a snafu by one of his favorite beer writers who railed against the blogging community for spinning our wheels with unprofessional content without the promise of getting paid. The Pour Curator then shows us this block quote, a response by top-rated beer blogger Jeff Alworth:
"Although it's not easy to define "professional" anymore, blogs are not so murky. They are unfiltered personal opinion. Whether we're talking about an anonymous knitting blogger or Paul Krugman, the nature of the blog is personal. Krugman's blog is a lot different than his column. It's pricklier and funnier, shorter and more oblique, more casual and sometimes way more technical. It is a reflection of his mind. Blogs exist because humans have to talk. We talk about the things that interest us and--if there's no editor getting in our way--in the way we want to. Long ago I came to the conclusion that a "writer" had almost nothing to do with success. A writer is a person who can't help but write. Good or bad, it's a part of the way they navigate the world."
Acclaimed singer/songwriter Phoebe Snow, who you may have heard on your dad's favorite oldies station as a kid, passed away in Edison, N.J. today at the age of 58. Her multi-octave-range voice gained national attention in 1974 with the song "Poetry Man," which you can see below. And for more on the singer's story, check out this article from the Los Angeles Times.
Exactly two weeks ago, Boston couple Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan uploaded their cover of "Look At Me Now" by Chris Brown. After about a week, it got three million views, spurring Ellen to bring them on her show. If you haven't seen it by now, the vid is an alarmingly clutch rendition of high-speed rap — originally spat by Brown, Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne — by a cute (and hilariously expressive) white girl from Boston, with her fiance on keys and background vocals.
Not all of their covers are hip-hop, they do a great rendition of "Forget You" by Cee Lo Green, as well as a cover of "Misery" that, quite frankly, should embarrass Maroon 5. They even have some originals, which, I have to admit, are less interesting than their karaoke-on-steroids. But original music shows that this duo is actually serious about pop music, and going on Ellen is generally a good tipping point. I'm expecting that it won't be long before you're staring at these guys on a shelf in a mainstream music store near you.
Every week, Critical Mass pokes around the blog world so you don’t have to.
➤ Over at Geekadelphia, they’ve started a new segment on their blog called “Geek of the Week,” where they highlight they’re favorite local nerd. This time around they interviewed someone who got picked on, well, just because they're nice. Literally. Here’s the story: Melissa Morris was working as a graphic designer near Love Park and was met daily with a frustrating, “expletive-filled” commute down I-95. One day, while walking into work after the Philly traffic put her in a sour mood, a man held the elevator for her. They chatted along the way about the weather and by the time she got to her floor, Mellissa was feeling a lot better. She thought that people should do nice things for each other more often, so she started a blog devoted to reminding folks to be nicer. There are stories of local do-gooders, links to products that encourage niceness, and other little tips to breaking the perpetual grump cycle that sometimes takes over Philadelphia. It may come off as a little corny, but it seems like a pretty good idea to me. Nice people rule, anyway.
➤ We’ve got a lot of venues around these parts but, in my opinion, another one couldn't hurt. Phrequency has a little write-up about plans for a new, 3,000-person music venue in Fishtown. With a capacity that size, it would make it roughly the same size as the Electric Factory and twice the size of the TLA. While the folks over at Phrequency are pretty psyched about it, apparently some of the residents in the surrounding area are a little wary of the new addition to the neighborhood. Their fear is that patrons will walk out of the venue with plenty of rock 'n' roll in their hearts and booze in their bellies and turn the surrounding area into an embarrassing ruckus of vomit and air guitar. People are also concerned with the venue creating a parking disaster — the venue will only provide 650 paid parking spots. If it’s anything like the Electric Factory, you’ll also have those dudes yelling for people to park in their sketchy lot for $10 as well, which won’t help the disturbance factor.
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