Between last-minute stuff like Jack Klugman dying, Andy Reid’s firing and the closing of that Krispy Kreme joint on South 16th Street, it looks as if we barely made it out of 2012 by the skin of our bologna. But let’s avoid the reflective navel gazing. Other than loving Moonrise Kingdom, Girls, Telegraph Avenue, Boom! and Good Kid, m.A.A.d City along with the openings of the Stratus Rooftop Lounge, Will BYOB and Fette Sau, much of 2012 is best left behind. You know sadness when you see it — so run. 2013’s looking brighter than the Luxor.
Right now, I know about three building restorations and property switcheroos that’ll curl your lips and straighten your collective hairs: one involving a big club space, another a large-scale downtown restaurant, the third a major location change for one of Rittenhouse’s most loved hot spots. The players know that I know, but like them, I know that it’s essential to get our tasty ducks all in a row. So we’ll wait a moment.
That said, what is up with Joanna Pang’s little-publicized leasing of W. Ritner Street’s legendary Asylum Arena? Once known as the New Alhambra and the ECW Arena, the space was a haven for wrestling and boxing matches, the location shoot for Mickey Rourke’s The Wrestler and the site of many a rockabilly/burlesque bash. Last winter, Pang announced plans to renovate the spot as an entirely boxing/wrestling-free zone and its walls have been stripped since April. After that, little was heard — until last week, when several wrestling and boxing pros mentioned the revival of Asylum. Is this wishful thinking on their part or is Pang rethinking her wrestling position?
Prog-rock fans and aficionados of the lost art of free-form radio, rejoice: This year’s progressive-rock ’70s marathon at WXPN (its seventh) will be Jan. 5, 1 p.m.-1 a.m., hosted, as usual, by William “Biff” Kennedy, Dan Reed, John Diliberto and Chuck Van Zyl.
Back in early December, I dropped the exclusive on how NoLibs’ quintessential old-man bar, Jerry’s (at Laurel and New Market streets, behind Standard Tap), was on Bill Proud’s fast track for early 2013 reopening with charcuterie as its food focus. Now, the Jerry Project has got ex-Estelle chef Marshall Green and new GM John McNamee (ex-El Fuego) on its side.
Cool last-minute shout to City Paper editor Josh Middleton. The lean-n-lovely web-wonk leaves here to take over Philadelphia mag’s LGBT-focused G-Philly blog in its newly reconfiguring gay-male-centric sensational site under Michael Callahan. Kisses and misses, JM.
Look for Icepack Illustrated — it’s like this, but with photos — every Thursday on Critical Mass, City Paper’s A&E blog at citypaper.net/criticalmass.