Just Do It
Attention, slackers: Father's Day is Sunday, which means if you don't get a card in the mail today — or maaaaybe tomorrow if you're lucky — your dad is gonna feel so sad that you don't love him.
Skip the frantic trip to Target (those cards suck anyway) and head instead to Third and Bainbridge, where Tall Cow is stocked with fun, quirky Dad's Day cards with plenty of blank space inside for you to write a sappy message about how sorry you are you can't afford to buy him a paisley tie this year. (Among them: "Wise Guy" and "Here's Looking at You," pictured.)
Tall Cow, whose Queen Village shop opened in March, is the brainchild of Allison Mitchell, who tells us she's been selling her cards wholesale since 2004. "I moved to the neighborhood last year and decided it was time for a retail space," Mitchell says. "The spot on Third Street was empty for a while, and each time I walked by, I would envision it as the perfect space to start my brick-and-mortar."
After renovating (and de-odorizing, we'd guess) the former Chic Petique, Mitchell created a "warm, inviting space" — and she points out that dogs are still welcome to come sniff around.
In addition to her own line, she sells cards from Saturn and Yee-Haw Industries, as well as screenprints from Little Owl and our personal snark-tastic local favorite, Mean Cards (one of which proclaims, "I've Been a Constant Source of Disappointment," which would make for a great Father's Day card, but only if your dad has a sense of humor.)
Once you've checked Pops off your list, you may as well do some shopping for yourself — Mitchell's stocked the shop with tons of goodies both old and new, including Lucky Fish pillows, Scintilla lambswool throws and Melo hand-poured candles (a Philly local).
As for the vintage stuff? "It's composed of items my partner, Deanna, and I pick up as we see," Mitchell says — "salt-and-pepper shakers, state plates, candle sticks."
"I've also included stationery, plan books, artisanal wallets and eco-friendly baby toys," she says. "I've also incorporated some fine art from local artists to serve as a bit of a gallery on my walls."
It's about time this part of town had a small-scale, non-Hallmark-y card shop. Wander over on your lunch break, take a peek and make sure to thank Allison for saving your butt this Father's Day weekend.
Tall Cow, 616 S. Third St., 267-909-8195, tallcow.com.
Wash West hair salon American Mortals — featured in our recent Spring Style Guide — is celebrating 10 years in the snipping biz by throwing a Summer Fair that not only honors their milestone, but serves as an official unveiling for their new product line and expanded salon space. “It’s about ending the chapter and starting a new one,” says co-owner Kimberly Bond. “[To] the community, our clients, our friends, I’d say it’s a big thank you.”
The daylong bash features an 8-foot prize wheel with rewards ranging from flat irons and free haircuts to prints by local painter/printmaker Thom Lassner. Also, expect live music from The New Impressionists and grub from Little Babies Ice Cream and Cookies Confidential, just to name a few. But, Bond says, the highlight of the day lies in an amateur cake bake-off, judged by Morimoto pastry chef Thomas “Tommy” McCarthy. Following the bake off will be a cakewalk, where everyone has a chance to walk it out for one of the fabulous treats. And when you're finished, you can have stylist Tenille Grider put one of those cute feathers in your hair. It's all the rage, ladies!
Sat., June 4, 1-6 p.m., free, American Mortals, 729 Walnut St, 215-574-1234, americanmortals.com.
Here in Philadelphia we're surrounded by a number of chances to attend great sporting events — one of which is happening this weekend in Manayunk. The International Cycling Championship, the largest pro cycling tournament in America, is a monument to the sport that has featured winners such as Lance Armstrong and Davis Phinney.
The 156-mile pro-race is especially notable because it features the infamous Manayunk wall with a 17-percent-grade incline. And if that isn't obstacle enough, there's this unrelenting summer heat we've been having. But despite these area-specific issues, the race has become one of the most beloved by cyclists all over the world.
For those not pedaling to victory, race day is filled with more than just darting cyclists. Lining the streets are family fun zones, plenty of grub and entertainment such as BMX stunts. Grab a VIP ticket to get a closer look.
Sun., June 5, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., free, $95 for VIP ticket, Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Manayunk Wall, procyclingtour.com.
Well, it looks like that old preacher dude was wrong: The world didn't end on Saturday. So unless he was just off by a few days, that means we'll be able to enjoy another summer in Philadelphia. To get it started, we're releasing our jam-packed Ultimate Summer Fun guide with a bash at Woody's in the Gayborhood. To help us celebrate, five bootylicious drag queens — Navaya Shay, Omyra Lynn, The Goddess Isis, Brittany Lynn and Diana Dharling — will perform one of their signature numbers and mingle with the crowd as we sip on bevvies and talk about all the summertime fun we're about to have. Here are the deets:
Thu., May 26, 9 p.m., show at 10 p.m., free, Woody's, 202 S. 13th St., 215-545-1893, woodysbar.com.
See you there? Hope so!
For so many Philadelphians, springtime = race season, and that means on any Saturday on Kelly Drive, you're likely to be passed-on-the-left by hundreds of runners in training.
But all that personal-best pressure can take the joy out of running. Stephan Weiss, founder of Uber Endurance, wants to get back to the roots of the individual sport. Uber Endurance is a German-themed group that focuses on the fun of running and, just as important, the fun of the after-race.
Weiss teamed up with his pastry chef wife, Linda, to start a race club that embraces the calories just as much as the calorie burning. Having struggled with weight issues in the past, Weiss says, “Being married to a pastry chef leaves me only two options: having extreme willpower to resist the temptations in the kitchen or to become a hardcore runner for the rest of my life.”
In celebration of that balance, Uber Endurance has combined running and racing with food and post-race fun. Take for instance, the ½ Sauer, ½ Kraut, a half and full marathon race followed by beer and brats.
This weekend, the Philadelphia Zoo is hosting Creatues of Culture: Asia, a festival spotlighting all things Oriental. Guests can learn about and ogle unique critters like bearded pigs, tigers and wise-looking douc langurs (pictured). There will also be continent-specific foods to try, like traditional Asian pastries and themed oriental salads. As for entertainment, live performances include Hoh Daiko on the Japanese taiko drums, traditional Chinese dancers from the Greater Philadelphia Mingui Dance School, and authenic Indian dancers from Usiloquy. Bring the kids so they can enjoy crafts, calligraphy demonstrations and X• tink• shun, a wild theatrical experience featuring endangered-animal puppets explaining the fate of their species.
May 14-15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free with admission to Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Ave., 215-243-1100, philadelphiazoo.org.
On Saturday non-profit cycling organization Neighborhood Bike Works is throwing The Works: Vol. 1, a race/ride that will help fund their mission to promote the many benefits of cycling to urban youth. Besides reveling in the good karma that comes from helping a stellar cause, riders can take advantage of other awards, such as prizes for reaching various checkpoints and quickness.
Oh yeah, and there's an after party.
The Works Benefit Boogie at Danger Danger Gallery (5013 Baltimore Ave.) boasts music from five bands (The Flying Eyes, The Shakes, Skin Cells, Pinelands, Sour Mash) and two DJs (No Arms and Half-breed) to dance to after you bring your exhausted biker body across the finish line. Karaoke will be available as well. There will be a $10-15 charge at the door, but racers get in for free, so join the race and reap the benefits.
Race: Sat., May 14, 2 p.m., $10 to race, Washington Square Park, Seventh & Walnut streets, theworksphilly.wordpress.com.
I will not get that song stuck in your head. I will not get that song stuck in your head. But let's just say it's been a long week and you deserve a treat. Luckily, CP's here to help you decide where to take your cutie — in case you haven't picked up a paper copy, here's a quick roundup of who to see, what to do and where to go tonight. Now all you've gotta do is decide which seat you can take on the way there. (Sorry.)
MOVIES >> Weird array of openings this weekend, ranging from fake-scary to Tea Party-scary. Unlike every critic on earth, Sam Adams really dug Super, calling it a "genuine movie of ideas, more genuinely provocative than any of its glossy big-studio cousins." Meanwhile Scre4m is, according to Shaun Brady, samey-samey, but way more meta than its predecessors: It's "self-aware about its self-awareness, with characters calling attention not only to their equivalents in horror films, but in the Scream franchise itself." Also out this week: Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 (D- due to its Fox News-y bent), The Human Resources Manager (C), In a Better World (B-) and Potiche (B+).
MUSIC >> First and foremost: The Mountain Goats play the TLA tonight; go there and let John Darnielle make you feel better about the end of the world. For something louder and more luscious, visit Johnny Brenda's for Wye Oak. Or you could jam with Girls Rock Philly and Ghost/Light at PhilaMOCA's Sonic Textures gallery night.
CULTURE >> Get yr perf-arts on at the Pennsylvania Ballet, whose Building on Balanchine program features the one, the only Natalie-Portman-baby-daddy-dancemaker, Benjamin Millepied. If you prefer farts to arts, A Passing Wind is tooting away right down the street at the Kimmel Center. For a religious experience, head to West Philly's Calvary Center for Curio Theatre Co.'s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Having someone read David Foster Wallace to you is better than trying to do it yourself, which is why the Free Library's hosting Ken Kalfus on DFW's The Pale King. Finally, support a good cause at the Women in War Zones fundraiser party, where you're encouraged to dress loudly. (Holly Otterbein suggests hot pants.)
Say what you will about organized religion, but it doesn't take more than a brief moment inside a majestic cathedral or a cursory glance at a Michelangelo to realize that some of humanity's greatest artistic achievements have been dedicated to the glory of the divine.
My personal favorite deity-inspired artistic work, by leaps and bounds, is Handel's "Messiah." Just thinking about it — shit, just typing it — is making me well up with tears like an old man who's just watched his ten year old grandson hit a game-winning grand slam. If you grew up Christian, you may remember feeling overwhelmed with goose bumps during the enthralling "Hallelujah" chorus at the end of Christmas mass. For me, "Messiah" is so much more than nostalgia for simpler intellectual times; its very composition radiates the sheer bliss that can only be felt with soaring, untethered faith.
In honor of the Bicentennial of St. Luke's Church in Germantown (5421 Germantown Ave.), the Germantown Institute for the Vocal Arts is performing Handel's "Messiah" on Sat., March 26, at 6 p.m.. St. Luke's Bicentennial Mass Choir features: Eleanor Macchia, soprano; Donna Walters, mezzo-soprano; Tyler Lee, tenor; and William Mayer, bass-baritone, and the Rittenhouse Ensemble with Nile Weber, organist and Cailin Manson, conductor. The performance will be free, with donations optional.
For more information, call 215-844-8544.
On Sat., March 26 from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., the Japanese Mother's Association is throwing a flea market and bazaar at the Church of the Holy Trinity (1904 Walnut St.) that benefits the Japanese Red Cross, a charitable organization that supports victims of the earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region of Japan. Besides purchasable goodies, the event will feature a variety of real Japanese kimonos that attendees can try on and take photographs in, and entertainment scheduled throughout the day. Here's the line-up:
Noon-2 p.m.: The W.M.R. Trio's Wataru Niimori performs live with special guests.
2:30 p.m.: Taiwanese dance instructor Ya-Chih Chuang (pictured) performs traditional Chinese folk dance.
3 p.m.: A koto (a traditional Japanese instrument similar to a small wooden harp) performance by Mirai Yasuyama.
For more creative ways to send aid to Japan, check Kaleidoscope in last week's A&E section.
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