Archive: August, 2012
At the Amorosi household, we grow 14, count ‘em 14 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. That’s why I was ultra-curious about my neighbor chef Kristian Leuzzi’s celebration of the red fruit fresh picked from New Jersey. At first I was insulted about the idea of the chef going outside the neighborhood for tomatoes. But Leuzzi nailed it and proved why Jersey’s such a formidable foe. His Kris’ at 11th & Federal recently restarted his longtime operation (it used to be Kristian’s) with the guys from East Passyunk’s Stogie Joe’s now in on the operation. For Kris’ first big specialty dinner (ongoing through Labor Day), Leuzzi chose a Four-Course Jersey Tomato Dinner with a simple but elegant salt cod and tomato carpaccio with pickled red onion to start, a tomato bruchetta with pan seared dry scallop, a like-mom-made baked rigatoni featuring Jersey tomato, Scamorza, local zucchini and fresh basil and a chicken cutlet Milanese with lemon aioli, Jersey tomato salad and spicy dandelion greens that was truly amazing. Next time I’m trying it with the Italian microbrew Tenute Collesi Imper Ale Rossa.
Speaking of the neighborhood, South Philly’s James Darren plays in Vineland, N.J. on Aug. 24 at the Landis Theater. It’s been a minute since he’s played here but surely the 10th & Ritner native will be up for it what with a Concord label album due for 2013.
That Travel Channel show that La Colombe Coffee owner Todd Carmichael was filming in his Rittenhouse Row salon, Dangerous Grounds, just announced its premiere (Nov. 5, 10 p.m.) with Tuesday showings after that. Luckily, he doesn’t just stick to his 19th Street café for its locations. The always-adventuresome Carmichael hits up Borneo and Bolivia amongst other exotic locales for beans.
I’m not sure why this thrills me: Philly.com reported that Spanx, Sara Blakely’s billion-dollar body shaping girdle, is planning to open its first stores in October with the King of Prussia Mall and Paramus, N.J. as its initial homes. Just saying.
I’m excited that the Cheesesteak Corridor of South Ninth is getting an Underdogs in September and Jason Evenchik’s canned-beer and food-cart Garage in November. But jusssssssst a little bit further down that block at 1309, there’s a tiny blue Mexican grocery store that’s great in a pinch. There have been rumors off-and-on that the location wanted outdoor seating, but for what? Word comes after a Passyunk Square Civic Association meeting, that there are new owners and that the restaurant they’re planning will be more sweet than savory.
Anne Frey’s 1 Tippling Place, the quiet cool toast of Chestnut at 20th, finally got its liquor licenses Wednesday night and will be officially open throughout this weekend.
WHOWHATWHERE: With just days left until they leave town until December, the stars of Paranoia are sticking near-by their lodgings with Harrison Ford hitting Rouge, Lucas Till outside Parc and Gary Oldman spied going into Del Frisco’s. Nu-R&B crooner Trey Songz was all over town on Wednesday promoting his new Chapter V joint. First Songz visited POWER 99 in Bala Cynwyd, then he hit up FYE on Broad Street for a CD signing, then he stopped by Vango to hear some cool grooves — his own. Tweens thrilled by Miley Cyrus’ Sherman’s March-like attack on Old City the other day should have been enthused by pop kid Austin Mahone’s visit with on-air jock Maxwell at Q102 FM. Also cramming into Philly’s radio stations was American Idol victor Phil Phillips at MIX 106.1, Marina and the Diamonds who played the Q102 iHeart Radio Performance Theater and Alice Cooper guitarist Ryan Roxie who visited the illustrious peackcock-ish Jacky BamBam at 93.3 WMMR.
Liam Hemsworth and Harrison Ford got arrested outside 12th and Walnut's Beasley Building late on Tuesday afternoon. No, it didn’t involve Ford having boozed it up several nights prior at Village Whiskey or Hemsworth running out on his Morimoto tabs. The two got nabbed by FBI agents as part of their characters’ storyline in Paranoia, mere yards from the Union League where Republican VP nom Paul Ryan was speaking with his own Secret Service retinue gathered 'round (yes, the streets were a mess from morning until early evening as Ford, Hemsworth and Julian McMahon were spied working the block between the Beas and Caribou Café).
Director Robert Luketic’s corporate espionage thriller will be filming in Philly until early next week when it takes a break until its December return. While Hemsworth was busy getting handcuffed repeatedly, his pop star fiancée Miley Cyrus was touring Old City's Betsy Ross House. Aw.
Every two weeks, Critical Mass will feature one Philly love note in its collaboration with blogger Emma Fried-Cassorla of phillylovenotes.com.
LOVE NOTE RECIPIENT: Disc Golf in Fairmount Park (33rd and Oxford streets)
I AM: A comedian/writer. If I could have dinner with any three people, it would be Hall, Oates and an empty seat in case Oates wanted to bring somebody with him.
MY LOVE NOTE:
Dear Fairmount Park Disc Golf Course,
Why people play regular golf is beyond me. It's expensive, boring, you have to dress
like you work at Vanguard, and you get sunburnt. But disc golf, especially at Sedgley, is a chance to play in the woods. Built in 1977, it's one of the nation's oldest functioning disc golf courses. I'm sure a lot of people don't know about it, or could find it for that matter. That's the beauty of it. You're playing in the city, but you would never know it. You're surrounded by nature, which is surrounded by a city, which is surrounded by a delicious candy-coating.
Hole #13 is my favorite because it's deep in the woods. The tee and the hole are on opposite sides of a wooded valley, so your first throw is kind of a leap of faith- you just toss it, and hope it makes it to the other side. If it doesn't, then you have to go for a bit more of a hike to find it. Which really isn't bad thing, is it? It sure beats being on a regular golf course, in a foursome with your boss, a sleazy client, and some prick from sales who won't shut up about how his dad met Jack Nichlaus in a men's room once.
Love, Chip Chantry
Have a favorite spot you'd like to submit a love note to? Contact the author at email@example.com.
This is the last week of Paranoia-filming in Philly until December when the crew returns for additional scenes and re-shoots. No more truck drivers cutting off traffic on Broad and Washington while they park their rigs in the open lot. No more taking over my neighborhood and yours with catering tents. No more paps calling Miley Cyrus mean names. The early part of this week, they'll be filming at Walnut and Sansom from 10th to 13th (Catacombs anyone?) then, poof, Paranoia is gone in a cloud of silver halide and editor-bay smoke.
So where did the film's stars spend their last few days in Philly? R2L held a dinner for most of the cast (including Liam Hemsworth’s fiancé Cyrus) on Saturday night. Hemsworth hit up Morimoto with his gal on Friday and Monday; as I reported last week, Gary Oldman had dinner at Tashan; and Harrison Ford was nearly ready to hit up Davio’s when, instead, he opted to stay closer to home and stopped at Village Whiskey (pictured right, thanks to anonymous tipster). Once there, Ford had a drink or two at the bar with the burger boite’s bartenders and managers and had a rousing good time. Yay him.
See anyone acting Paranoia-d this week? Write/tweet me.
The My Morning Jacket/Band of Horses summer tour brought some psychedelic southern rock to The Mann Center Friday night. Here are some photos from the show courtesy of Reed Reish.
In August 1982, Billboard’s R&B charts were littered with top tracks from Stephanie Mills, Zapp and Aretha Franklin. Vanity 6 just released their first Prince-produced album. That’s also around the same time Patty Jackson, the soon-to-be mid-day radio queen of Philadelphia, started her reign at WDAS-FM. She’s been a sassy lass and a community presence ever since she started talking and spinning at Philly’s classic soul-phonic station. Someone should build a statue in her funky-funky name for all that she’s accomplished. That includes being named “Communicator of the Year” by the National MBA Association and “Favorite Radio Personality” by the Philadelphia Tribune for the last four years straight. Until the day a sculptor sets chisel to marble, Sunday’s 30th-anniversary party for Jackson at the Dell Music Center will have to do. Dancing with the Stars’ queen Gladys Knight was joined by Freddie Jackson, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, The Delfonics, Glen Jones, Enchantment and Breakwater to sing for the original Ms. Jackson, and a good, grooving time was had by all. Here’s to the next 30 Lady Jackson.
Photos courtesy of Scott Weiner
This past Wednesday, Camp Woods Plus featured sketch comedy by The Feeko Brothers and NYC’s Reformed Whores (as well as, obviously, Camp Woods).
The Feekos took the stage first, bringing their usual array of absurd premises grounded in emotional, relatable characters. Some of their bits included a guy visiting a veterinarian with pointed inquiries as to what they do with the neutered canine testes, and a doctor who just found out he has cancer, trying to give his patient test results without making it all about himself.
Each Camp Woods Plus show features an out-of-town act. Taking the stage next were Reformed Whores. They’ve performed at famous NYC venues such as Caroline’s On Broadway, Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre and Gotham Comedy Club. These two young ladies — brandishing a ukulele and an accordion — sang hilarious, modern songs about drunk-dialing and douche-baggery in a very old-westerny style. Think a duo of young Dolly Parton singing Stephen Lynch tunes.
My quest to a shot of Gary Oldman snapped before anyone else ended last night when Icepack pal George Polgar caught Commissioner Gordon/Sid Vicious/Lee Harvey Oswald dining at Tashan with his Paranoid co-star Harrison Ford, a man who once threw Oldman off an airplane (in Air Force One). The two play corporate rivals in Paranoid with star Liam Hemsworth stuck in the larceny between them. Last night, the thespians were stuck between Tashan owner Munish Narula and executive chef Sylva Senat. Apparently no one was hurt during the filming or dining sequence.
ICEPACK ILLUSTRATED: ?uestlove is an Okayplayer. Meek has more tickets available. Harrison hits R2L and Parc. Brauhaus Schmitz knows what VIPs want.
I know that you know that I know how busy a man ?uestlove is. Drumming on and composing for the next Roots album. Working for Jimmy Fallon. Making a helluva fried chicken. Yet, it’s obvious that Okayplayer.com, ?uest’s ministry of information and merch since 1999, has been on his mind. It used to also be a record label that he watched over like a hawk until 2004. Okayplayer’s final offering was the True Notes Vol 1 compilation. That is until now, as ?uestlove has announced the label’s re-launch as a digital-only (for now) outlet with albums coming from Atlanta rapper/producer Danny! (another man with a punctuation mark in his name, great minds, right) and recording engineer/break beats maker Young Guru. Danny!’s Payback album comes out on Sept. 25, Young Guru’s instrumental album Essentials Vol 1 is due for Oct. 9 release. Catch some zzzs, Q.
Brauhaus Schmitz on South Street may indeed be currently busy with construction and bulging outward into its neighboring address. But that hasn’t stopped it from thinking about what’s important: Oktoberfest and what VIPs who’ll attend their German-based beer-and-brat boom really need: more bathrooms. The Schmitz is running a VIP package special for their Sept. 29 bash where $100 gets you elite usage of five private bathrooms, a VIP food list and your own beer stein with six tix to fill it. Hit up 267-909-8814 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s a live bootleg of ’80s faves Blondie making its way to market which has several tracks culled from a soundboard mix from a November 1978 show at Philly’s Walnut Street Theater that I dare tell you I attended as a yout along with other cool WST gigs such as those with Talking Heads, Undertones and The Clash. Picture This Live can be found here.
This past weekend, the Academy of Natural Sciences hosted their fifth Bugfest, a kid-filled but all-ages-welcome event filled with live critters, informational talks, insect-related crafting, beetle pining and chocolate-chip cricket cookie eating, among other activities.
This year's theme was butterflies, so cases and cages of monarchs, swallowtails and the like filled the museum's rooms. Curatorial assistant to entomology Isa Betancourt says the festival draws more vistors than other weekend events, perhaps because insects are inherently interactive and hands-on. "Being able to touch them is so much more of an experience," says Betancourt, than having patrons simply look at photographs. City Paper took some photographs on the scene.
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