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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
WHEN YOU’RE HERE, YOU’RE FAMILY.
EDITOR IN CHIEF
This publication by the Philadelphia City Paper staff is our way of offering welcome to all new transplants as well as those in search of a richer Philadelphia experience. And to all the Philly newbies out there, I say: I am one of you! Sort of. After growing up an hour away, I moved to Philly for college (go Hawks!), then left for a long stretch of nomadic wanderings before returning two-plus years ago. So twice I’ve had the pleasure of getting acquainted with this metropolis, the sixth-biggest city in the U.S., home to clichés about cheesesteaks (yes, try one) and the founding spot of, well, the nation itself. As a way to introduce you to Philly and encourage you to discover its riches, City Guide has laid it all out for you in two distinct sections. “The Basics” provides a primer — a cheat sheet, if you will. In these short articles we provide some background on the Philly experience (for example, why the liquor laws here are so weird), get you up to speed on some of its characters and events (enterprising restaurateurs, interesting festivals), and provide some outing suggestions (for finding fresh produce, or getting exercise on the Schuylkill River Trail). “The Hoods” introduces all 17-plus Philly neighborhoods, comprising a motley variety of styles, people and architecture. For each we offer an introduction (complete with rough borders, so you don’t accidentally call Fishtown Kensington or vice versa), a list of quick-hit hot spots you can’t miss if you’re in town, information on neighborhood associations and City Council representation, plus carefully curated listings on all sorts of establishments and organizations worth checking out. Explore the landscape. Enjoy the idiosyncrasies. We hope you’ll stay a while. Theresa Everline Editor in Chief, Philadelphia City Paper
BAJ Design, bajdesign.com
MANAGING EDITOR Carolyn Huckabay
PHOTOGRAPHER Neal Santos
Darren Ankrom, Meg Augustin, Diana Campeggio, Felicia D’Ambrosio, Clare Foran, Drew Lazor, Kelsey McGlynn, Khoury Johnson, Josh Middleton, Grace Ortelere, Holly Otterbein, Cassie Owens, Patrick Rapa, Eric Schuman, Christopher Seybert, Isaiah Thompson, Brian Wilensky, Dylan Williams
PRODUCTION MANAGER Michael Polimeno
ADVERTISING ART DIRECTOR Reseca Peskin
CONTRIBUTING DESIGNERS Alyssa Grenning, Evan M. Lopez, Irving Navarro, Alicia Solsman
ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Eileen Pursley
SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGERS Nick Cavanaugh, Kevin Gallagher, Sharon MacWilliams, Stephan Sitzai
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Nicholas Forte
Sara Carano, Chris Scartelli, Donald Snyder
OFFICE COORDINATOR Alexis Pierce
CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Mark Burkert
cover illustration by Alyssa Nassner
CITY GUIDE 2011 - 2012
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TABLE OF CONTENTS OPENER
The Complete Hoods Map
Old City/Washington Square West
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Graduate Hospital/Grays Ferry/
Letter from the Editor: When you’re here, you’re family.
THE BASICS 10 PHILADELPHIA
The story so far (or: How we got over).
12 HALL MONITOR
Watch the melodrama unfold in the weird world of Philly politics.
14 BEER AND LOATHING
What do you mean I can’t buy beer at the grocery store?
16 TWO WHEELS GOOD
The unspoken dos and don’ts of biking in Philly.
18 TAKING IT TO THE STREETS
Forget independence — Philly’s festivals make a declaration of fun.
20 OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO (TO EAT!)
A tour of some of the best meal tickets in town.
22 STAGE WHISPERS
photo by Neal Santos
A quick survey of Philly’s most trusted music venues.
24 SEPTA/REGIONAL RAIL MAP
The inside track on our trains, buses and trolleys.
26 OUTWARD BOUND
From downtown to upriver along the banks of the mighty Schuylkill.
27 VEGGING OUT
Your guide to produce-hunting in the 215.
28 THE EXHIBITIONISTS
Tips on getting the most out of Philly’s arts-centered First Fridays.
30 THE GETAWAYS
A triptych of quick trips on a tank of gas or less.
33 OUT ON THE TOWN
You’re here. You’re queer. Let’s do this.
34 FIELDERS’ CHOICE
Philly’s full of good sports and boisterous fans.
South Street West
East Passyunk/Italian Market
Germantown/Mount Airy/Chestnut Hill
West Philly/University City/Southwest Philly
North Philly/Olney/Oak Lane
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G A M B L I N G P R O B L E M ? C A L L 1- 8 0 0 - G A M B L E R .
THE BASICS WELCOME TO PHILLY
location Vine Street Expressway photo by Neal Santos
words by Patrick Rapa & Brian Howard illustrations by Alyssa Nassner
1854 The Meat Up Up till this point, Philadelphia proper was simply the area between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers and Vine and South streets. During the act of consolidation, 28 surrounding townships, boroughs and districts were carefully selected and cobbled together to form the precise shape of a pork chop.
THE STORY SO FAR (OR: HOW WE GOT OVER) 6,000 years ago: Saga Genesis In the beginning, Adam and Eve galloped bareback around Pangaea on their Model T-Rexes, doing doughnuts and dropping babies.
1682 Monarchy from the U.K. Step aside, Lenapeeps, Finnzies, Dutchwives and Swedeypies — Penn scored a permission slip from Charles II to found the city and state for the glory of Mum England. The charter called for a “greene country towne” full of parks and trees. Philadelphians instead subdivided their lots and began gathering in unsanitary crowds in Old City, a tradition that continues to this day.
Pre-Colonial: Shackamaxed Out Before there was a Philadelphia, there was a Shackamaxon. A Lenni Lenape Indian village stood in the place we now call Kensington, and the residents hunted, gathered, farmed and buried souvenir arrowheads. They never heard of Jesus or white people until William Penn showed up with a treaty and a quill. Blah blah blah. You can visit the Lenape today in Oklahoma. 1706-1790 Ben Franklin, Founding Philanderer Philly’s patron saint started the New World’s first newspaper, hospital and library, invented the lightning rod, the iron furnace stove, odometer and bifocals. A renowned carouser, he also invented the pickup line: Well done is better than well said, now get thee wench into my bed.
1799-1848 Follow the Leader Competition wasn’t exactly stiff for famous firsts back in the post-Independence days. And that’s the way Philly liked it. We had the nation’s first water works, fine arts promotion society, daily newspaper, art institution, carbonated water, insurance company, public bank, abolition act, penny newspaper, use of gas as an illuminant, regular comics paper and more. Philadelphia also created America’s first laurels, then sat on them.
1793 And It Was All Yellow Fever Already wildly unpopular, mosquitoes suffered a PR nightmare after a few people they landed on, like only 5,000, allegedly got a touch of yellow fever, barfed up a couple blood clots and died a little bit. Retaliatory swatting claimed untold millions.
1774-1781 Down with the King After years of unrepped taxes and flavorless food — not to mention the emotional toll — we were ready to just delete Britain from Friendster and move on, but of course there had to be drama. The Revolutionary War happened and it was this whole big thing. Philly was the epicenter for colonial dissent, hosting two Continental Congresses (a record!) and vanity-pressing Common Sense, the Declaration and the Constitution. After the war, we were the capital of the United States, until we got bored of it.
1981 and 1985 A Series of Unfortunate Events The moments that continue to define and haunt modern Philadelphia are two instances of violence involving AfricanAmericans and the police. On a December day in 1981, fate’s crossroads were at 13th and Locust; so were Mumia Abu-Jamal and officer Daniel Faulkner. In 1985, Mayor Wilson Goode and the PPD made the curious decision to drop a bomb on the Osage Avenue compound of anarchoprimitivist organization MOVE. Since then, race relations have been great and our cops are like big cuddly teddy bears with guns.
Today: Tomorrow’s Child The Phillies are awesome. The Flyers and Eagles are always good. The Sixers are still around, probably. People seem to like the soccer team. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the best show on TV. The Roots are the best band on TV. Everybody just runs down the street at top speed, high-fiving each other and saying, “You are a beautiful human being and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you.”
Early 1900s Keystone Cops Once the most important city in the universe, Philadelphia started getting a rep for political corruption and resistance to change. The mob was everywhere, Prohibition was openly mocked and our cops were crookeder than our hockey players’ noses. A real live brigadier general, one Smedley Butler was brought in to clean up the town by militarizing the police force and declaring war on speakeasies and hookers. Dude lasted about a week.
1876 New Century Schoolbook Like some overcompensating nouveauriche douchebag, the U.S. threw itself a massive 100th birthday rager — the Centennial International Exposition! The first World’s Fair! — in Fairmount Park. We all gazed at modern marvels and, when everyone finally went home, we left some of the buildings standing cuz everybody loves a party but nobody wants to clean up.
2008 Ballers Once More Concluding a 25-year sports championship drought that had steadily eroded the city’s self-esteem, the Phillies won the World Series. Only a few cars got flipped over and the fires were few and manageable. 1973-83 You Mad? Philadelphia was the toast of the sports world. The Sixers and Flyers were champs twice, the Phillies, Eagles and Rocky all took home hardware. Around the same time, Gamble and Huff were putting Philly soul and funk on the national stage. It was a good time to be alive.
Post-WWII Boom and Gloom Philly’s population peaked at more than 2 million in 1950 and everybody was polite and had polio. Then came white flight: Caucasians flocked to the suburbs, led by Connie Mack’s Philadelphia A’s, who ran all the way to Kansas City.
1992 Mayor Ed In 1991, Ed Rendell, a nondescript former DA, made his second run for mayor, this time defeating Frank “billy club in my cummerbund” Rizzo, who by that time was deceased. Ed’s infamous appetite is considered the driving factor behind Philadelphia’s economic turnaround, which saw once-decrepit Center City blossom into one huge restaurant district. He went on to become governor, chairman of the DNC and a recurring figure on Neanderthal sports talk shows.
words by Holly Otterbein photo by Neal Santos
WATCH THE MELODRAMA UNFOLD IN THE WEIRD WORLD OF PHILLY POLITICS. Tuning in to city politics for the first time is a bit like jumping into a soap opera. At first, the decadesin-the-making storylines seem uninteresting and impossible to grasp — but keep watching, and suddenly, themes emerge! Stories twist and turn and collapse in on themselves! Characters die, and then come back from the grave! Seriously. And this November’s election, which you’re lucky to be just in time for, is a microcosm of this city’s dramatic — and just plain weird — political scene. Take, for instance, the abundance of wacky characters. Karen Brown, who just ran for Democratic Councilperson at the beginning of this year, is now running for mayor as a Republican in November’s election. She somehow won the party’s support, and beat a longtime Republican in this year’s primary race. Fun, right? Then there’s the fact that, for a while, former Democratic Mayor John Street — whose office was bugged by the FBI during his eight-year 12
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tenure — was toying with idea of running as an Independent against Democratic Mayor Michael Nutter. Funner yet: During this year’s primary, Street’s brother Milton — who was fresh out of jail for tax evasion — ran against Nutter. He lost, but somehow managed to get 24 percent of the vote. Speaking of jailbirds, famous homeless activist Cheri Honkala is running for sheriff on the Green Party ticket in November. She has been arrested dozens of times, and has a radical plan to suspend all sheriff’s sales if elected. Another thing to know about November’s election: It won’t matter nearly as much as the one in May 2011 did. That’s because Democrats outnumber Republicans seven to one in Philadelphia, so the real elections are the primaries. Still, a few races will be competitive this fall: In particular, watch the bout for city commissioner and councilperson at-large (on the Republican side). You should also keep tabs on city politicians because they have a hand in everything — from
how much of your paycheck goes to taxes to how many sick days you can take each year to whether you can open a business on that sweet plot of land you just bought. Plus, they’re surprisingly accessible. For better or worse, Philly politicians have been known to respond to small, but vocal, minorities. City Paper’s news blog, The Naked City, keeps our leaders accountable. Join the conversation at citypaper.net/nakedcity.
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words by Isaiah Thompson photo by Neal Santos
BEER AND LOATHING WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN’T BUY BEER AT THE GROCERY STORE?
“Are you ready to take part in a civil disobedience demonstration against the un-American Pennsylvania booze sale monopoly law that could get you fined or even taken to jail?” So asked Lew Bryson recently on his blog, noplcb. blogspot.com, in reference to a push by some state Republicans to privatize Pennsylvania’s liquor industry, which is now a monopoly controlled by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Who are these wise men and women in whom the power to decide what and for how much we can drink has been vested? Ph.D.s in alcoholic economics, perhaps? No, they’re mostly a bunch of politically connected patronage hacks, and for that very reason unlikely to be ousted anytime soon from their boozy thrones. (Note: So inspired were these patronage princes that the PLCB recently introduced “wine kiosks” at a few supermarkets. The kiosks broke down, and the system was put into indefinite suspension. Go PA!) 14
CITY GUIDE 2011 - 2012
There might be some kind of alcohol access revolution coming our way, but until then you’re stuck with the present state of things: Wine and liquor can be purchased only in state stores, widely noted for their crappy hours, unsurprising selections and surprisingly not-cheaper-thanJersey prices. And beer may be purchased only from licensed distributors and only by the case — unless you buy it second-hand, at a deli or bar, for about double the distributors’ prices. Is there a way to beat the system? Yes, but it’s illegal and difficult to pull off without a car. One way or another, you’re gonna pay the price of living in Pennsylvania, so you might as well strategize. Center City-wise, there are plenty of delis that sell beer, but for the best selection, head to boutique suds shops like Beer Heaven (1100 S. Columbus Blvd., Suite 23, 215-271-5248) or The Foodery (837 N. Second St., 215-238-6077;
324 S. 10th St., 215-928-1111, fooderybeer.com), which let you mix-a-six from tons of individually sold beers, local and otherwise. Hawthornes (738 S. 11th St., 215-627-3012, hawthornecafe.com) even has a growler list. But be forewarned: The prices ain’t low. For the individual clever enough to figure out a way to transport a case of beer, Bella Vista Beer Distributors (755 S. 11th St., 215-627-6465, bellavistabeverage.com) boasts an unusually wide selection, including plenty of Belgians and an entire room full of seasonals. Wine-lovers will do well to visit the Reading Terminal Market’s Blue Mountain Wine (51 N. 12th St., 215-238-9022, bluemountainwine. com) or the back room of Garces Trading Co. (1111 Locust St., 215-574-1099, garcestradingcompany. com), which the noted chef is, for some reason, allowed to operate independently. For those less interested in décor, Wine & Spirits state stores (finewineandgoodspirits.com) might do the trick.
words by Patrick Rapa photo by Neal Santos
TWO WHEELS GOOD THE UNSPOKEN DOS AND DON’TS OF BIKING IN PHILLY. Like swimming and French kissing, you can’t really be taught how to bike the streets of Philadelphia. You just gotta muster the courage, limber up and go for it. That said, you could pick up a few pointers from an elder bikesman like myself, somebody who’s loved and lost (teeth) on the half-mean streets of this city.
looking mountain bike. You want a road bike, something lightweight and maneuverable. You’ll thank me when you’re scaling Manayunk or lugging it up three flights of stairs. You might also be interested in a low-maintenance fixed-gear biked. See if you can be the first person with a fixie who shuts up about it.
Relax: More designated lanes and paths pop up every day, and you only have to share most of them with unchecked cabbies, entitled cheapskate churchgoers, kneeling buses, smug joggers taking their pulse every 10 feet and your fellow two-wheeled friends who rarely make eye contact.
Get smart: Don’t hang anything from your handlebars, unless it’s super secure. I had a bag swing into my front spokes at Eighth and Market and I flipped forward, hard, breaking an arm and a tooth. Somebody came running out of the Burger King with napkins to for my bleeding face. They smelled delicious.
Lock up: There are plenty of racks, signs and headless parking meters to which you can (double) U-lock your bike. Just give it a tug first. If you can lift the lamppost right out of the pavement, move on. And, seriously, secure both tires.
Beware of ghosts: Philly’s streets are haunted by ancient terrors. Trolley tracks should be crossed only at right-ish angles and avoided in slippery conditions. Cobblestones can warp your wheels. Horse-drawn carriages like to drop poop speed bumps throughout Old City.
Lighten up: Don’t get a mountain bike, or a hybrid, which is really just a less ridiculous-
Protect yourself: Wear a helmet. Tuck in your pant cuffs. Avoid storm drains, high curbs and
CITY GUIDE 2011 - 2012
low potholes — they’re murder on your spokes and genitals. Pay attention: Until you’ve learned how to interpret the vehicular body language of SEPTA buses, delivery trucks and lost tourists in rental SUVs, consider stopping at stop signs and red lights. Crazy, right? Also, avoid riding against traffic or between things that might suddenly move and squish you. And don’t bike with your headphones on. You make me nervous when you do that. Don’t trust cars: They fail to signal, they swing open doors in your path, they honk, they think bikes don’t belong on the road. Drivers are horrible monsters. Don’t trust pedestrians: They don’t trust you. And for good reason. For information on biking in Philadelphia, visit bicyclecoalition.org.
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words by Holly Otterbein photos by Neal Santos
the big events
TAKING IT TO THE STREETS
FORGET INDEPENDENCE — PHILLY’S FESTIVALS MAKE A DECLARATION OF FUN. Mummers Parade One of the weirdest things about Philadelphia is the way it celebrates New Year’s Day. Hundreds of men — many of them blue-collared workers from South Philly and Fishtown — dress up in feathered, beaded and bedazzled costumes so flamboyant, Cher would blush to look at them. They then prance up Broad Street, sing, show off their floats and perform elaborate skits, all with their proud kids and wives in tow. So much for sauerkraut. Jan. 1, phillymummers.com. Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby Don’t confuse the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby for a race. It’s not the team that finishes first that wins, but the one that gets there looking the best. That can mean anything from cruising on a Ghostbusters-themed tricycle to riding a metallic dragon on wheels while donning Amish zombie costumes. Also, the derby usually coincides with the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival, the biggest arts 18
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sale in Kenzo. So, if you can’t make your own piece of human-powered folk art, you can probably buy someone else’s. Mid-May, kinetickensington.com. Art Star Craft Bazaar In 2003, Erin Waxman and Megan Brewster, owners of the Art Star Gallery & Boutique, founded what is now one of the country’s most beloved crafting events (take that, Brooklyn). The Art Star Craft Bazaar features more than 140 vendors, live music and food over two days. And now all those hip New Yorkers drive two hours down I-95 just to get to it. Late May, artstarcraftbazaar.com. Philly Beer Week Its name may sound like an ill-conceived frat game, but Philly Beer Week is a race to develop wet brain only if you want it to be. The festival crams hundreds of beer tastings, boozy brunches, lectures and meet-the-brewer events into 10 serious days. It can be a challenge to get through
them. Here’s some advice: Don’t drink every heady brew you meet, take a day off, and drink lots of water. Early June, phillybeerweek.org. Odunde Festival Celebrating the new year once every 12 months isn’t enough for Philly. Each June, we party for the second time around, just like Nigeria’s Yoruba population does. (“Odunde” means “Happy New Year” in Yoruba.) A crowd of people saunters down South Street, throws flowers and fruit into the Schuylkill River, and then heads back to the main base for dance, theater and live music. This African festival also features great eats from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Guinea — places you likely won’t be visiting soon, so get your fill now. Mid-June, odundeinc.org. West Oak Lane Jazz & Arts Festival For three sparkling days in June, North Philly feels an awful lot like N’awlins. A Mardi Grasthemed parade, a Grand Marshal, more than 40
big bands, jazz trios, jazz duos and jazz solos, plus a craft marketplace to tie it all up into a pretty bow — the West Oak Lane Jazz & Arts Festival is an honorable tribute to the Big Easy. Best of all, there’s a free citywide shuttle service schlepping people to and fro the fest — so let the good times roll. Late June, westoaklanefestival.com. Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe Think of the Live Arts Festival as your exceedingly picky friend and Philly Fringe as the co-worker who’ll date anyone. The metaphor isn’t intended to disrespect the concurrent, 16-day performing arts bonanzas — it just means that Live Arts presents a dozen-ish curated, cream-of-the-crop, take-home-to Mom shows from around the world, and Philly Fringe features nearly 200 new, local artists who don’t go through a selection process. The latter is still jammed with talent, and it’s proof that our city doesn’t only love you when you’re hot. Sept. 2-17, livearts-fringe.org.
Philly Naked Bike Ride Some argue that Naked Bike Rides do more harm than good, further alienating bike moderates and making a worthy transportation method look like a liberals-only, wackadoodle throw-down. We at City Paper respectfully disagree. Last year’s Naked Bike Ride not only succeeded in shredding body image expectations and displaying how vulnerable bikers are, but perhaps more importantly, it was also a blast. Like a modernday Feast of Fools, its joy was in briefly, safely suspending that most sacred social norm and, just for once, doing what our inner primate would. Sept. 4, phillynakedbikeride.org. Bloktoberfest You’d think that by the end of summer, Philly would be sick of block parties. Turns out that food, beer, neighbors and music are just too simple and sweet a formula to give up. In early October, this block-party-on-steroids goes down in the GradHo
neighborhood, with autumnal craft brews, the city’s best food trucks, a 5K run and plenty of bands to keep you entertained. The weather is usually perfect, so enjoy it. Early October, bloktoberfestphilly.com. Philadelphia Film Festival The Philadelphia Film Festival was one of the first places anyone saw The Sixth Sense. And Food, Inc. And Old Partner. Never heard of the last one? That’s how a lot of films at the fest end up, but it doesn’t mean they’re not heart-wrenching, hilarious and well worth your time (like Old Partner turned out to be). Go to find the unappreciated treasures as well as the next big thing. And say happy birthday when you’re there: The Philadelphia Film Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Mid-October, filmadelphia.org.
words by Felicia D’Ambrosio photos by Neal Santos
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO (TO EAT!) A TOUR OF SOME OF THE BEST MEAL TICKETS IN TOWN. In a perfect world, people would be able to eat out as often as they pleased. A neatly set table, smiling service, music to set the mood — dining out is a little luxury few want to resist. Over the last 20 years, Philly has been swept along on a wave of restaurant innovation, encompassing everything from elegant fine-dining palaces to humble holesin-the-wall, creating thousands of well-calibrated meals every day.
and glorious pancakes mark Café Estelle (444 N. Fourth St., 215- 925-5080, cafeestelle.com) as a daytime staple. Speaking of scrapple, Amish breakfasts aren’t complete without it at the Dutch Eating Place (Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch streets, readingterminalmarket.com), where a lack of buttons doesn’t stop the bearded ringmaster from keeping the counter seated and the fresh-squeezed juice flowing.
Brunch could be considered the axis upon which the whole planet of dining out turns. It’s the only meal where any class of food or beverage is fair game — the more, the better. Since cooks and servers hate it, worthy operations that don’t phone it in distinguish themselves. The years haven’t dimmed the shine of Sabrina’s (910 Christian St., 215- 574-1599, sabrinascafe.com), where the crowds wait with saintly patience for lofty, stuffed French toast. On the northern side of town, housemade scrapple, bacon, flatbreads
If you’re looking for something higher-end, nothing short of true love will do for a visit to Lacroix (210 W. Rittenhouse Square, 215-790-2533, lacroixrestaurant.com), a day-tonight destination hosting a legendarily lavish, $100-a-head Sunday brunch culminating in a chocolate fountain. Decadent evenings equally lush in décor (vegetable chic) and hyperlocal ingredients start at Talula’s Garden (210 W. Washington Square, 215-592-7787, talulasgarden. com), a new entry from farm-to-table queen Aimee
CITY GUIDE 2011 - 2012
Olexy and king-daddy restaurateur Stephen Starr, master of the grub cartel that spawned Philadelphia’s other starry son, Jose Garces. The Iron Chef’s intimate Basque-inspired Tinto (114 S. 20th St., 215-665-9150, tintorestaurant. com) is the best of a portfolio of exciting restaurants; the same goes for Marc Vetri’s Amís (412 S. 13th St., 215-732-2647, amisphilly.com), the celebrated chef’s most affordable and rustic venture. Adventuresome palates are rewarded by the exotic flavor vocabulary of chef Mike Solomonov, who turns pristine ingredients into precise, modern Isreali plates at Zahav (237 St. James Pl., 215-625-8800, zahavrestaurant.com). Corkage? What’s that? Philadelphia boasts an entire category of fine-ish dining unknown in other cities: the BYOB, which welcome guests to tote their own Kendall-Jackson, Chateau Chichi, beer, or even hard liquor to spike house-provided mixers. There are too many great BYOs to list here;
but of the dozens, the fresh octopus, creamy baba ganouj and whole fish at the original Dmitri’s (795 S. Third St., 215-625-0556) and the gutsy Italian of Peter McAndrew’s Modo Mio (161 W. Girard Ave., 215-203-8707) stand out. Indian, Thai, Korean and Szechuan cuisines have seen an explosion of popularity in recent years. Creamy makhani chicken and fiery lamb vindaloo star at Ekta (250 E. Girard Ave., 215-426-2277, ektaindianrestaurant.com), a BYO that also delivers all over the city. Similarly, Circles (1514 Tasker St., 267-687-1778, circlesnewbold.com), home of luscious crab fried rice and pad see eew, has just added a modest dining room. Shatteringly crisp Korean fried chicken wings are worth the trip to Olney and Café Soho (468 W. Cheltenham Ave., 215-224-6800); you can order them almost as hot as Han Chiang’s face-melting fare at Han Dynasty (108 Chestnut St., 215-922-1888, handynasty.net). The sharp-tongued Chiang’s
dan dan noodles, dumplings in chili oil and crispy pork intestines have founded an obsessive, addicted following. Hate the word gastropub if you must, but there’s no denying NoLibs stalwart Standard Tap (901 N. Second St., 215- 238-0630, standardtap. com) started it all. In fine weather, their upstairs deck remains the prime spot to devour seasonal, ever-changing classics paired with all-local draft beer. Stack their burger up against the Royal Tavern’s (937 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-389-6694, royaltavern.com) brioche-wrapped beauty, but watch out for that long hot, ’cause she’s a sparker. Capturing the same warm vibe is relative newcomer Kennett (848 S. Second St., 267-687-1426, kennettrestaurant.com), which adds a fierce cocktail selection to the expected superlative draft list, to accompany chef Brian Ricci’s adept, veg-centric dishes. Just around the corner is Catahoula (775 S. Front St.,
215- 271-9300, catahoularestaurant.com), home of the most authentic oyster po’boys, gumbo and hushpuppies Philly has seen in years, as well as a steal-of-a-deal Saturday kegs ’n’ eggs special: $9 for an entrée, side and draft brew, which bring us back to where we began, with brunch. Felicia D’Ambrosio contributes to City Paper’s Meal Ticket food blog at citypaper.net/mealticket.
words and photo by Patrick Rapa
the sound of philadelphia
STAGE WHISPERS A QUICK SURVEY OF PHILLY’S MOST TRUSTED MUSIC VENUES. Johnny Brenda’s 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com Telltale bookings: BC Camplight, Kurt Vile, Cults, Laura Marling. Beer: Good selection, several bars. Sound: Very good. Sightlines: Very good. Notes: JB’s is the go-to 21+ indie-pop bar. You can dance if you want to. Plenty of places to escape the music and hang out, too. Danger Danger Gallery 5013 Baltimore Ave., dangerdangergallery.com Telltale bookings: Tickley Feather, Lost in the Trees, U.S. Girls. Beer: BYO, be cool about it. Sound: Surprisingly good, always loud. Sightlines: Good luck. Notes: This is basically a house-show venue gone legit. Some great punk, indie and experimental acts come through here before you hear about them. Lots of bands you’ll never hear from again, too. The sound of West Philly. Trocadero 1003 Arch St., 215-922-6888, thetroc.com Telltale bookings: Man Man, Peter Bjorn and John, Yo La Tengo. Beer: In plastic cups, bars upstairs and down. Sound: Very good. Sightlines: Mostly good. Notes: The Troc’s a lovely old burlesque theater retrofitted for bigger 22
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all-ages general admission rock/punk/hip-hop shows. They pat you down at the door. TLA 334 South St., 215-922-1011, livenation.com Telltale bookings: The Mountain Goats, Childish Gambino, Gomez, They Might Be Giants. Beer: In plastic cups. Sound: Very good (although the pigpen bar area can get loud). Sightlines: Very good. Notes: A fine all-ages general-admission venue with a wide stage and calf-strengthening slanted floors. They pat you down at the door and chase you off the sidewalk after the show like raccoons. First Unitarian Church 2125 Chestnut St., 877-435-9849, r5productions.com Telltale bookings: Fucked Up, Toro Y Moi, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Thermals. Beer: Nope. Sound: Good. Sightlines: Be tall (or be pushy). Notes: The finest dirty, sweaty, all-ages rock shows get booked in the basement. Smaller and quieter stuff gets booked upstairs in the Sanctuary and Chapel. The crowd skews young. World Café Live 3025 Walnut St., 215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com Telltale bookings: Alo Brasil, Jolie Holland, Bilal,
Melissa Ferrick, Eels. Beer: In a glass. Sound: Very good. Sightlines: Great. Notes: Stages upstairs and downstairs put on shows by indie/ rock/folk/funk/world music/blues acts. The place is clean and friendly, and sometimes skews older/upscale. A satellite venue opened down in Wilmington, Del. Electric Factory 421 N. Seventh St., 215-627-1332, electricfactory.info Telltale bookings: Dinosaur Jr., Nas, Flogging Molly, The National Beer: Yeah, there’s a big ol’ balcony area for drinking. Sound: Not bad for a big, giant rock ’n’ roll hangar. Sightlines: Very good. Notes: This is Philly’s general-admission warehouse venue. Kung Fu Necktie 1250 N. Front St., kungfunecktie.com Telltale bookings: Bardo Pond, Japandroids, Crooked Fingers, Mr. Lif. Beer: Good. Sound: Good. Sightlines: You’ll be fine. Notes: Tiny, friendly indie-rock bar in NoLibs. North Star 2639 Poplar St., 215-787-0488, northstarbar.com Telltale bookings: Black Landlord, Eugene Mirman, Ida Maria, Alien Architect. Beer: Always good, so meet up at the bar before the show. Sound: Good. Sightlines: Stake out a spot early, shorties. Notes: The last of the ’90s indie-rock clubs, the North Star does the basics well: good beer, good music and a working-class décor that’s half-spit, half-polish. The only rock club in Fairmount.
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CITY GUIDE 2011 - 2012
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words by Theresa Everline photo by Neal Santos
OUTWARD BOUND FROM DOWNTOWN TO UPRIVER ALONG THE BANKS OF THE MIGHTY SCHUYLKILL. Want to feel both in the city and somehow not in it? Want to get a sense for how the Schuylkill River functions as Philly’s backbone? Then walk, jog or cycle the section of the Schuylkill River Trail that runs from downtown to the neighborhood of East Falls, the whole path hugging the river’s east side.
215-685-0723, fairmountwaterworks.org), where in the early 19th century steam engines and water wheels pumped the river’s water into reservoirs. The stately building now houses an interpretive center and a fancy restaurant (215-236-9000, waterworksrestaurant.com).
To pick up the trail’s southernmost point, go to 25th and Locust streets and cross the railroad tracks. Shortly after you turn north onto the trail you’ll encounter the Schuylkill Banks Center (215-222-6030, schuylkillbanks.org), which offers information and activities such as guided kayak tours. As you cross beneath Walnut and Market streets (which have access ramps to the trail), you can see beautiful views of 30th Street Station across the river and the Philadelphia Museum of Art perched on its hill ahead.
A short ways on sits Lloyd Hall, where you’ll find the breakfast-and-lunch spot Cosmic Café (1 Boathouse Row, 215-978-0900, cosmicfoods. com), along with bathrooms, drinking fountains and most likely skaters with boom boxes. Next you can get a close look at the not-lit-up side of famed Boathouse Row.
After a brief ascent, you’ll circle around the base of the hill that holds lovely, steep paths to the museum. Here on the trail’s left side is the Water Works (640 Waterworks Drive, 26
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From this point, with Kelly Drive now on your right, you begin to leave the city behind. The Schuylkill Expressway’s traffic jams across the river recede behind trees. Things become very, very green. Public artworks dot this stretch of the trail, including sculpture terraces with monumental-
looking representations of the laborers of Philly’s past. Up ahead, notice the high arches and iron latticework of the Strawberry Mansion Bridge, originally built to carry trolley cars. Then, as you approach Kelly Drive’s intersection with Hunting Park Avenue, you’ll see a sampling of Laurel Hill Cemetery’s amazing mausoleums perched high on the bluff on your right (3822 Ridge Ave., 215-228-8200, thelaurelhillcemetery.org). Well worth a visit in itself, Laurel Hill is the final resting place of many prominent Philadelphians (David Rittenhouse, anyone?). You’ve made it about five miles so far, and East Falls is just ahead. Stop at the intersection with Ferry Road and check out the little metal cutout signs depicting fish that populate the river. Looming above, the twin bridges carry Route 1’s traffic. Just ahead on the trail is the Falls Bridge, where you can cross the Schuylkill and head back to the city on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. But you’ve just had a pretty good workout, right? A stone’s throw away in a century-old building, the Trolley Car Café (3269 S. Ferry Road, 267-385-6703, trolleycardiner.com/cafe) offers good food, a sunny patio, bathrooms and a wall map of the area — where you’ll see more trails to explore.
words by Felicia D’Ambrosio photo by Neal Santos
VEGGING OUT YOUR GUIDE TO PRODUCE-HUNTING IN THE 215. Expensive to make and highly prized throughout history, meat has occupied the center of our plates since Americans surmounted the privations of the Depression and World War II. It is only recently that research has indicated heavy consumption of animal protein is detrimental to one’s health — not to mention the health of the animal — and that we should instead fill our plates with plant matter. Fortunately for Philadelphia vegivores, produce has hit prime time and dozens of shopkeepers across the city are ready for their closeups. Stretching dollars comes naturally in the Italian Market (South Ninth Street between Washington and Christian), where dozens of vendors offer conventionally grown produce along the historic curb market. Scott & Judy’s (911 S. Ninth St., 215-922-1396) is the best of the lot; otherwise, be discerning and use everything right away. Better quality and a wildly diverse selection of vendors characterize the bustling Reading Terminal Market (12th and Arch streets, readingterminalmarket.org), where juggernaut Iovine Brothers Produce (215-928-4366, iovine. com) stocks everything the green earth grows. Hung Vuong Super Market (1122 Washington Ave., 215-336-2803) has great prices and
interesting Asian offerings, while Sue’s Produce (114 S. 18th St., 215-241-0102) boasts a devoted Center City following and a mix of tropical, local and conventional goods. If local and organic are your plant priority, you can shake the hands that grew the food at yearround farmers markets at Rittenhouse Square (18th and Walnut streets, Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) and Clark Park (43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.). Through the growing season, the finest organic vegetables a celebrity chef can command are on sale at swanky, cult-y Headhouse Farmers Market (Second and Lombard streets, Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., MayDecember). Visit farmtocity.org and thefoodtrust. org for seasonal schedules and the locations of dozens more markets all over the city. The Fair Food Farmstand (Reading Terminal Market, fairfoodphilly.org) carries the local-est of locally grown goods year-round right in the center of town; Green Aisle Grocery (1618 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-465-1411, greenaislegrocery.com) and Milk & Honey Market (4425 Baltimore Ave., 215387-6455, milkandhoneymarket.com) hold down the role in the north, south and west, respectively.
Committed produce hounds should consider joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) in April; the model provides small, sustainable farms with much-needed capital in the beginning of the season in exchange for a weekly share of its production. Some of the best include Lancaster Farm Fresh (lancasterfarmfresh.com), Culton Organics (3683 Marietta Ave., Silver Spring, Pa., 717-285-4064) and Greensgrow Farms (2501 E. Cumberland St., 215- 427-2702, greensgrow.org), an urban farm operating both summer and winter CSAs as well as a Saturday farmers market during the growing season. Visit localharvest.org and enter your ZIP code to find dozens more CSAs in the area. Got outdoor space and at least six hours of sunshine? Grow your own edibles with help from indie nurseries far and wide: Greensgrow has seeds, plants, good advice and weekly workshops, while Urban Jungle (1526 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-952-0811, urbanjunglephila.com) and City Planter (814 N. Fourth St., 215-627-6169, cityplanter.com) are equipped with everything you’ll need to get going.
words by Holly Otterbein photo by Neal Santos
THE EXHIBITIONISTS TIPS ON GETTING THE MOST OUT OF PHILLY’S ARTS-CENTERED FIRST FRIDAYS. On First Fridays, which occur each month exactly when you think they do, arts spaces extend their hours and often offer special programs. The list of participating venues is long and can vary each time, but here are some starting points for negotiating the festivities. Gallery Joe It’s like your English teacher always said: Before you break the rules, learn them. In the case of First Friday, that means heading to Old City, where Philadelphia’s monthly arts event was born in the ’90s. Here you’ll find wine, cheese and a thriving, surprisingly weird community of vendors, firebreathers and other street performers — and, in the case of Gallery Joe, a solid lineup of abstract, subtle, still art. First Fridays, 6-8 p.m., free, 302 Arch St., 215-592-7752, galleryjoe.com. Institute of Contemporary Art Sounds obvious, but the Institute of Contemporary Art is the best place to find contemporary work in the city. Recent exhibitions have featured Sheila Hicks’ satisfyingly odd fiber pieces, an Andy Warhol retrospective, native son Anthony Campuzano’s word art, and an otherworldly Sun Ra celebration. While you’re at it, don’t miss the contemporary art you’re literally inside of: The museum’s building is a 1960s beauty with big windows and even bigger views. Usually first Thursdays, 6-8 p.m., free, 118 S. 36th Street, 215-898-7108, icaphilly.org. 28
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Philadelphia Museum of Art Especially for beginners, the Philadelphia Museum of Art — one of the largest museums in the country, and one of the city’s greatest accomplishments to this day — can be a lot to take in. A good place to start is Art After 5, where you’ll catch jazz, world music, cocktails and snacks on the magnificent stairwell inside. Usually, only a few of the museum’s galleries are open at this hour — all the better for avoiding visual-art overload. First Fridays, 5-8:45 p.m., free with admission ($12-$16), 2600 Ben Franklin Parkway, 215-7638100, philamuseum.org. Crane Arts Building Kill lots of birds with one stone at the Crane Arts Building. This beautifully restored Kensington warehouse is home to several galleries: the Ice Box, InLiquid, Indigo Arts, NEXUS, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center and UD. On any given Friday, you’ll find folk art, the city’s best photography, puppet shows and mind-bending videos here — something for everyone. Usually First Fridays, 6-9 p.m., free, 1400 N. American St., 215-232-3203, cranearts.com. Fleisher-Ollman Gallery Fleisher-Ollman Gallery won its laurels in ’60s, ’70s and ’80s for exhibiting the world’s best selftaught artists. Since then, the space has loosened its mission and embraced conventionally educated folks, too, but it hasn’t lost a bit of its
individualism. The imaginative themes that curators impose on the art here — “useless” art, photographs re-imagined into other mediums, “I Don’t Watch the Internet” — are often just as pleasing as the works themselves. Usually Fridays, 6-9 p.m., free, 1616 Walnut St., Suite 100, 215-545-7562, fleisher-ollmangallery.com. FLUXspace The FLUXspace is an unconventional gallery. For one thing, it’s in North Philly. For another, the building was once a textile mill warehouse — which, compared to a place like the Crane Arts Building, hasn’t been all that fixed up. Plus, it floods sometimes and doesn’t have air conditioning. Embrace these flaws. They are more than worth it given the thought-provoking and often hilarious art that’s exhibited here. A recent event, for example, was called the North Philadelphia Puberty Survivors Support Forum. Usually Fridays and Saturdays, 5-7 p.m., free, 1000 N. Hope St., 914-806-4889, thefluxspace.org. Look for First Friday coverage in City Paper’s A&E section, citypaper.net/arts.
Welcome to Philadelphia! Visit the Annenberg Center to enjoy dance, theatre, jazz and world music performances by renowned artists and companies from across the globe. Save 20% on the performance of your choice in the 11/12 season with promo code â€˜WELCOME20â€™!
TICKETS START AT $20! Only $10-$15 for students!
words by Carolyn Huckabay photo by lucytheelephant.org
on the road
THE GETAWAYS A TRIPTYCH OF QUICK TRIPS ON A TANK OF GAS OR LESS. Itinerary 1: Take a tour of the Jersey Shore. You’re not a true Philadelphian till you do what all residents of this city do on summer weekends: leave. Join the masses and go down the shore — from historic Cape May (capemay.com) and family-friendly (read: alcohol-free) Ocean City (ocnj.us) to the wild, wild Wildwoods (wildwoodsnj.com) and casino-riffic Atlantic City (atlanticcitynj.com). Don’t miss strange tourist attractions like Lucy the Elephant in Margate (lucytheelephant.org, margate-nj.com) and the Jersey Shore house in Seaside Heights (seaside-heightsnj.org); and be sure to grab a giant slice of pizza at Mack & Manco in the O.C. (mackandmancos.com) and a Kohr Bros. frozen custard (kohrbros.com) for dessert. If you’re looking for a taste of new-school Atlantic City nightlife, head to the brand-new Diving Horse Cabaret and Steakhouse (divinghorseclub. com); for a taste of home, make reservations at — no relation — Avalon’s The Diving Horse (thedivinghorseavalon.com, avalonbeach.com), owned by the folks behind acclaimed Philly gastropub Pub & Kitchen. 30
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Itinerary 2: Nobody knows snow like the Poconos. In the winter months, drive two hours northwest into the heart of the Pocono Mountains (800poconos.com), where snowboarding, skiing and nice, warm mugs of hot cocoa await. If you’re looking for a little history with your winter sports, visit Jim Thorpe ( jimthorpe.org); hamlets like Stroudsburg (stroudsburg.net) and Delaware Water Gap (nps.gov/dewa) are more rustic. Should you seek a shady summertime escape, the Poconos are chock-full of hiking and biking trails (poconobiking.com), kayaking and rafting waters (poconowhitewater.com), plus shopping, B&Bs and plenty of restaurants — including the Water Gap’s Village Farmer (villagefarmer.com), where hot dogs and pie are always on special. Itinerary 3: Get your shop on in New Hope. An easy 45-minute ride up I-95, New Hope (newhopepa.com) is known for its quaint rows of shops and restaurants, ranging from art galleries to homemade ice cream to antiques. But don’t let the old-fashioned charm fool you: This little
town’s got plenty of quirk, too, from Mystical Times’ selection of Wiccan greeting cards (mysticaltimes.com) to Le Chateau Exotique’s vast array of S&M accoutrements (fetishwear. com). Looking for something tamer? Load the kids onto the old-timey New Hope & Ivyland Railroad (newhoperailroad.com), which hosts song and story-hour rides, or hit up New Hope Winery (newhopewinery.com) with the grownups for tastings, tours and live music. If the weather’s nice, take a stroll along the Delaware Canal towpath, which extends 60 miles from Easton to Bristol; if it rains, stick to Main Street for optimal awning-protected window shopping. One the way home, swing by Yardley for a hypermodern dinner at Charcoal (charcoalbyob.com) — but remember, it’s a BYOB, so you’ll have to come armed with alcohol. Good thing you stopped at that winery.
Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania
Easy LEhigh gORgE RaiL-TRaiL 90 mins fROm PhiLLy
One of the 50 Best Rides in the Country
Known as â€œBig Bellyâ€? by the Lenape Indians, Johan Printz was the royal governor of the New Sweden Colony in the 1640s. Discover more of the fascinating history of the Delaware Valley at the American Swedish Historical Museum.
We also do:
Whitewater Rafting & Skirmish Paintball
Want to know more about Sweden and Swedes in America? From the Vikings to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, weâ€™ve got the answers.
Phone 215.389.1776 americanswedish.org 1900 Pattison Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19145
words by Josh Middleton photo by Neal Santos
the lgbt queue
OUT ON THE TOWN YOU’RE HERE. YOU’RE QUEER. LET’S DO THIS. Don’t fret, young gay transient! Philadelphia isn’t entirely made up of macho sports fans and figurebusting cheesesteaks. Here thrives an LGBTQ community that’s just as embraced by city dwellers as the lost-its-ding-dong Liberty Bell. I mean, come on, we have a whole neighborhood named after us. Nightlife The Gayborhood is your safest bet for a wellrounded gay night on the town. If you like your drinks strong and your men well-aged, start at Uncles (1220 Locust St., 215-546-6660, unclesupstairsinn.com) for cocktails that are stiff and cheap. For the next stop, it’s all about what (or who) you’re looking for. Get your dance on with guy-next-door types at hood mainstay Woody’s (202 S. 13th St., 215-545-1893, woodysbar.com), sing a ditty with artsier queens in the piano lounge at Tavern on Camac (243 S. Camac St., 215-545-0900, tavernoncamac.com), or brush hairy elbows with leather-bound daddy bears in the dungeonesque Bike Stop (206 S. Quince St., 215-627-1662, thebikestop.com). If you think dudes are icky, Sisters (1320 Chancellor St., 215-735-0735, sistersnightclub.com) overflows with enough lesbians to make your head spin. Festivals Sure, we have a summertime Pride Parade and Festival (phillypride.org) with marches and parties out the ying-yang, but our LGBTQ-
honoring festivities don’t stop there. Every spring, the weeklong Equality Forum (equalityforum. com) hosts a responsible itinerary of discussions, film screenings and get-togethers geared toward propelling the national gay rights movement. When fall rolls around, OutFest (phillypride. org) celebrates National Coming Out Day with a massive street party in the Gayborhood. And Queers of the Avenue is a popular monthly happy hour along one of Philly’s newest gay corridors, East Passyunk Avenue, which in the warmer months spills out into the streets — block-party style. Shopping A multitude of gay-owned businesses keep Philly’s commerce community booming. Lesbian couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran run six businesses in Midtown Village, including upscale noshery Grocery (101 S. 13th St., 215-922-5252, grocery13.com); modern home goods shop Open House (107 S. 13th St., 215-922-1415, openhouseliving.com); and Verde (108 S. 13th St., 215-546-8700, verdephiladelphia. com), an earthy purveyor of accessories and artisanal chocolates. Keep your closet fresh with up-to-date threads from Matthew Izzo’s unisex fashion boutique (111 S. 12th St., 215-829-0606, matthewizzo.com) and Metro Men’s Clothing (1615 E. Passyunk Ave., 267-324-5172, metromensclothing.com). And your queer lit collection will look a lot sexier
with a few purchases from Ed Hermance’s Giovanni’s Room (345 S. 12th St., 215-9232960, giovannisroom.com). His cozy, two-level book nook is the oldest LGBTQ bookstore in the country. Community Outreach Whether you’re volunteering or utilizing their services, getting involved with any of Philly’s gay-oriented nonprofits is your key to becoming a vital member of the local queer scene. The William Way Community Center (1315 Spruce St., 215-732-2220, waygay.org) provides educational resources meant to bridge societal gaps between the different groups that comprise the LGBTQ spectrum. Spring chickens between the ages of 18 and 23 can take advantage of a variety of gay-youth-empowering activities offered at the Attic Youth Center (255 S. 16th St., 215-545-4331, atticyouthcenter.org). And the Mazzoni Center (21 S. 12th St., 215-5630652, mazzonicenter.org) is an abundant medical resource agency — providing everything from free HIV testing to health care for those without coverage. Tip: Remember these places when you’re feeling charitable. Look for Josh Middleton’s column, “Queer Bait,” every other week in the Agenda section of City Paper.
words by Patrick Rapa
photo by Neal Santos
FIELDERS’ CHOICE PHILLY’S FULL OF GOOD SPORTS AND BOISTEROUS FANS. Flyers Sport: Hockey. Colors: Orange, black, white. Venue: Wells Fargo Center. Unofficial Motto: Everybody Hurts. Defining Fan Moment: The time that drunk dude fell in the penalty box and fought Tie Domi. Notes: The Flyers have a reputation for tough play, annual playoff appearances and season-ending disappointment. The franchise won its two (only) Stanley Cups in ’74 and ’75, back when Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent and the Broad Street Bullies were punching the entire NHL (and the Russian Red Army) in the face. Since then, the Flyers have come close a few times and almost come close a lot. But this could be their year. I say that every year. Eagles Sport: Football. Colors: Green, silver, white. Venue: Lincoln Financial Field. Unofficial Motto: E-A-G-, etc. Defining Fan Moment: Throwing snowballs at Santa in 1968. We’ve never lived it down. Notes: The Eagles have never won the Super Bowl, but their fans are insufferably cocky anyway, always chanting, strategizing and basically strutting around like temporarily embarrassed champions. That said, the team is usually pretty fun to watch and the tailgating scene is the best in the country. 34
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Sixers Sport: Basketball. Colors: Red, white, blue. Venue: Wells Fargo Center. Unofficial Motto: We miss you. Defining Fan Moment: It’s been a while since this team has had fans or moments. Notes: Long gone are the days of Dr. J, Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson. These days the once-proud 76ers have stars you never heard of, like the tall dude, the old guy and the kid with the weird voice. Plenty of good seats still available.
not to use our hands. Defining Fan Moment: The Union’s fan club, The Sons of Ben, predates the team by three years and sets a high standard for enthusiasm and creative/crude chanting. There’s nothing like thousands of voices uniting to say “Fuck you asshole!” Many times a game. Notes: The surprise hit of the Philly sports world: Games are well attended and people are buying the jerseys (even though they advertise Bimbo baking company right on the front).
Phillies Sport: Baseball. Colors: Red, white, a little blue. Venue: Citizens Bank Park. Unofficial Motto: World Fucking Champions! Defining Fan Moment: Is it the Tasing at centerfield or that dude who barfed on a kid on purpose? Notes: The bad news is that the 128-year-old Phillies are, arguably, the losingest pro franchise ever, having reached 10,000 losses in 2007. The good news: They won their second World Series in 2008 (the other one coming in 1980), and thanks to a killer starting rotation will probably always win from now on.
See Also: Wings: Home games for our long-standing indoor lacrosse team have a strange, family-friendly/ Roman Colosseum vibe. Roller Girls/Penn Jersey Roller Derby: Yes, Philly has two indie all-girl roller derby leagues. Soul: Our on-again/off-again indoor football team, formerly owned by Bon Jovi. Liberty Belles: This women’s tackle football team plays in Ambler. Independence: A women’s pro-soccer team based in Chester. Kixx: Our indoor men’s soccer team still exists. Philadelphia Freedoms: Wow, we have a tennis team?
Union Sport: Soccer. Colors: Blue, gold. Venue: PPL Park (in Chester). Motto: We always remember
THE HOODS IT’S WHERE WE LIVE
location Grays Ferry Avenue and Pemberton Street
photo by Neal Santos
CITY OF NEIGHBORLY LOVE
mount airy /chestnut hill /germantown oak lane /olney
Yeah, yeah, the “Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods” claim is a bit of a cliché; after all, aren’t all major metropolises made up of tinier parts? But in Philly, it’s true. Partially because the city itself was, once upon a time, cobbled together from a collection of self-governing municipalities. Which could be why many retain distinct flavors. When you step back, zoom out and take Philly for all that it is — bike-friendly, boutique-heavy, foodie-centric, diverse and much greener than you might think — you start to realize that this particular cliché is one to be proud of.
roxborough manayunk east falls north philly west philly
The following pages contain a selective listing of things to do and places to be. Is there more to discover? Absolutely. But we can only hold your hand for so long.
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CITY GUIDE 2011 - 2012
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photos by Neal Santos
OLD CITY/WASHINGTON SQUARE WEST HOBBLE HOME ON THE COBBLESTONES.
22 S. Third St., 215-701-4883, nationalmechanics.com
Maintains a buzzy mystique thanks to lush decor and a rich wooden bar. The Plough & the Stars
123 Chestnut St., 215-733-0300
Occupying the commercial riverside streets between Chestnut and Vine, Front and Fifth, Old City is undoubtedly the cityâ€™s most beautiful and historic neighborhood, home to Independence Hall, Christ Church and the cobblestoned side streets where Founding Fathers lived. That said, on weekend nights itâ€™s a roadkill fiesta of the drunken and the clueless. Stick to weeknights for bar-hopping â€” or prepare accordingly. From its namesake park at Sixth and Walnut, Washington Square West fans out from Lombard to Chestnut and extends westward to 10th Street; think of it as a quieter, refined sister to mouthy Old City.
YOU SHOULD KNOW â€Ś The Old City District (oldcitydistrict.org) is a great go-to website for resident and visitor info â€” plus, it coined the phrase â€œHipstoric.â€? Until January 2012, Councilman Frank DiCicco (215686-3458) runs the First District.
WHILE YOUâ€™RE HERE â€Ś ÄŠĹ—))*Ĺ—."Ĺ—)&Äš -"#)(Ĺ—-.3&Ĺ—(Ĺ—&),.Ĺ— sundaes at Franklin Fountain ÄŠĹ— ,(Ĺ—Ĺ—."#(!Ĺ—),Ĺ—.1)Ĺ—.Ĺ—."Ĺ—(1Ĺ—National Museum of American Jewish History ÄŠĹ—,0&Ĺ—."Ĺ—!&&,3Ĺ—#,/#.Ĺ—.Ĺ—First Friday, but go easy on that free wine, â€™kay? ÄŠĹ—*Ĺ—,-.Ĺ—) Ĺ— -"#)(Ĺ—1#."Ĺ—Reward Boutique, Sugarcube and Third Street Habit ÄŠĹ— .Ä“-Ĺ—'-#"Ĺ—ÄĄ*,.3Ĺ—.#'Ä˘Ĺ—1#."Ĺ—."Ĺ—'),(Ĺ— Israeli cuisine at Zahav
Eulogy Belgian Tavern
A go-to Old City spot for brews, cocktails and Irish fare. Race Street CafĂŠ
208 Race St., 215-627-6181
This gastropubby oasis has a beer-snob-friendly tap selection and upper-middle-class sandwiches.
EXPLORE â€Ś BARS + CLUBS Beneluxx Tasting Room
Sheer (Swanky Bubbles)
Each table is outfitted with a tiny glass-rinser. It comes in handy, as this is a place where virtually everything is available by the taste.
33 S. Third St., 215-413-1918, beneluxx.com
136 Chestnut St., 215-413-1918, eulogybar.com
Skeletons always look like theyâ€™re smiling, and at Eulogy, you get the feeling itâ€™s because theyâ€™re actually enjoying themselves. Khyber Pass Pub
56 S. Second St., 215-238-5888, thekhyber.com
This storied music venue/craft beer havenâ€™s reinvented itself as a Southern-styled comfortfoodery, still keeping a strong focus on the brews. Macâ€™s Tavern
226 Market St., 215-922-0522, macsphilly.com
For the record, this bar does not serve milk steak.
10 S. Front St., 215-928-1200, swankybubbles.com
This Old City spot recently got a makeover from the folks behind the TV series Bar Rescue. 225 Church St., 215-925-8219, myspace.com/sugarmoms
Drink prices here are a practice in fairness, as is the dirt-cheap bar menu. Triumph Brewing Co.
117-121 Chestnut St., 215-625-0855, triumphbrewing.com
The beers here are quaffable crowd-pleasers. Varga Bar
941 Spruce St., 215-627-5200, vargabar.com
A neighborhood pub in Washington Square West with all-American food and drink. Amada
217 Chestnut St., 215-625-2450, amadarestaurant.com
Iron Chef Jose Garcesâ€™ knockout Spanish eatery does tapas with a touch of style.
147 N. Third St., 215-627-2140
Perfect spot to stop and relax while sipping on an herb-infused iced tea. Chifa
707 Chestnut St., 215-925-5555, chifarestaurant.com
Jose Garces celebrates the one-of-a-kind amalgam of Peruvian and Cantonese cooking at this popular Chestnut Street hot spot. Chloe
232 Arch St., 215-629-2337, chloebyob.com
Delicious food, great service and — for the first time in its 10-year history — a credit card machine. The Continental
138 Market St., 215-923-6069, continentalmartinibar.com
The original star in the Stephen Starr empire. Cooperage
Curtis Center, 601 Walnut St., 215-226-COOP, cooperagephilly.com
Tucked inside the western edge of the Curtis Center, Cooperage specializes in wine, whiskey and Southern-inflected food. Delicatessen
703 Chestnut St., 215-923-4560, delicatessenphilly.com
Their slogan: “You eat, and then 72 hours later, you’re hungry.” The Foodery
324 S. 10th St., 215-928-1111, fooderybeer.com
When Philadelphians crave good beer, they crave this vast menu of imports and microbrews, available for takeout by the bottle or six-pack. Fork
306 Market St., 215-625-9425, forkrestaurant.com
Fork has pioneered a farm-to-table mentality, adding an artisanal edge with hand-crafted pasta, bread, charcuterie and smoked fish. Franklin Fountain
116 Market St., 215-627-1899, franklinfountain.com
A throwback corner ice cream saloon in Old City. Han Dynasty
108 Chestnut St., 215-922-1888, handynasty.net
Han Dynasty serves Sichuan food and considers proper spicing (read: all the way up to napalm level) its raison d’être. Kanella
266 S. 10th St., 215-922-1773
The Cypriot menu is based around gimmick-free simplicity — chef/owner Konstantinos Pitsillides works with organic free-range meats, from quail and rabbit to baby lamb and goat; he also offers locally sourced fish daily. Maru Global Takoyaki
255 S. 10th St., 267-273-0567, maruphilly.com
This modest, mostly takeout restaurant ]specializes in takoyaki, the snacky little dough balls ubiquitous on the streets of Ryo’s hometown of Tokyo. Morimoto
723 Chestnut St., 215-413-9070, morimotorestaurant.com
This is what happens when famed Iron Chef
Masaharu Morimoto collaborates with famed restaurant mogul Stephen Starr. Old City Coffee
221 Church St., 215-629-9292
A hot spot for Old City denizens who like to linger on the outdoor tables along Church Street. Revolution House
200 Market St., 215-625-4566
The transformation from corner diner to swanky roof-decked restaurant is nothing short of incredible. Talula’s Garden
210 W. Washington Square, 215-592-7787, talulasgarden.com
From the bread service to the dessert, this Stephen Starr collabo hits consistent high notes. Wedge + Fig
160 N. Third St., 215-238-1716, wedgeandfig.com
A newcomer to Third Street, Wedge + Fig features an extensive cheese case, delightfully light lunch items and sweet treats to ruin that healthy lunch you just ate. Zahav
247 St. James Place, 215-625-8800, zahavrestaurant.com
Small plates include raw ground lamb and a flavorful Moroccan-style fish stew; a tasting menu is available on Thursday evenings. Zento
138 Chestnut St., 215-925-9998, zentocontemporary.com
Sushi’s 15 minutes of fame may be over in Old City, but Zento remains a classy spot to grab tasty, thoughtfully prepared maki. LIVE MUSIC Tin Angel
20 S. Second St., 215-928-0978, tinangel.com
Situated above Serrano restaurant, this cozy Old City hideaway is home to mellow rock acts. ARTS + CULTURE Arden Theatre Co.
40 N. Second St., 215-922-1122, ardentheatre.org
The Arden offers a little bit of everything — from well-known musicals to world premières. AxD Gallery
265 S. 10th St., 215-627-6250, a-x-d.com/gallery
National Museum of American Jewish History
55 N. Fifth St., 215-923-3811, nmajh.org
The newest addition to Independence Mall celebrates the history and influence of Jews in America. Olde City Tattoos
44 S. Second St., 215-627-6271, oldecitytattoo.com
Painted Bride Art Center
230 Vine St., 215-925-9914, paintedbride.org
With its tiled mosaic exterior, the 250-seat theater is all about art, inside and out. The Bride hosts theater, dance, music, poetry and art shows. Ritz East
125 S. Second St., 215-925-7900, landmarktheatres.com
One of three neighborhood cinemas in the ’hood showing strictly indie fare. St. Stephen’s Theatre
923 Ludlow St., 215-829-9002, lanterntheater.org
This venue houses the Lantern Theater Co., which has been nominated for dozens of Barrymore awards during its 13-year residence in Philadelphia. Temple Gallery
259 N. Third St., 215-782-2776, temple.edu/tyler
Ven and Vaida Gallery
18 S. Third St., 215-592-4099, venandvaida.com
This Old City gallery is committed to bringing their clients the edgiest jewelry on the market, both modern and period pieces. Walnut Street Theatre
825 Walnut St., 215-574-3550, walnutstreettheatre.org
The oldest theater in the country celebrates its 202nd birthday this year. Wexler Gallery
205 N. Third St., 215-923-7030, wexlergallery.com
SHOPPING AKA Music
27 N. Second St., 215-922-3855
New and used CDs and vinyl, plus hard-to-find items and friendly, knowledgeable staff. Art in the Age
116 N. Third St., 215-922-2600, artintheage.com
315 Chestnut St., 215-925-2222, chemheritage.org
Artist-made T-shirts, playful dresses and Old World-inspired bags abound at this old-school boutique/gallery space. It’s even got its own brands of liquor — the root beer-inspired ROOT and the gingery SNAP.
The Clay Studio
A cozy used-books hub worth spending an afternoon or a lifetime wandering through.
Betsy Ross House
239 Arch St., 215-686-1252, betsyrosshouse.org
Chemical Heritage Foundation
139 N. Second St., 215-925-3453, theclaystudio.org 304 Arch St., 215-592-7752, galleryjoe.com
7 N. Second St., 215-925-0517
Brave New Worlds
600 Washington Sq., 215-629-1000, locksgallery.com
45 N. Second St., 215-925-6525, bravenewworldscomics.com
National Constitution Center
This comics shop doubles as a gallery showcasing local graphic artists.
525 Arch St., 215-409-6600, constitutioncenter.org
HAPPY HOUR PROMO Monday – Friday 5pm – 7pm $6 Svedka Cocktails $6 House Wines $6 Champagne Cocktails $3 Domestics $5 Food Menu Chicken Dumplings Chicken Spring Rolls Calamari Spicy Tuna Maki California Maki
SUPER SAKE SUNDAYS $7 Can Sapporo $5 House Sake
22 N. Third St., 267-324-5408, detourstouring.com
See Philly from a whole new perspective with
10 South Front St, Philadelphia. 215-928-1200
THE HOODS: OLD CITY/WASHINGTON SQUARE WEST
DeTours, offering Segway, running and bike excursions for small groups. Hana & Posy
35 N. Third St., 215-733-0505, hanaposy.com
Go green with this organic eco-friendly florist and one-stop gift shop featuring everything from baby to beauty. Jonathan Adler
33 N. Third St., 215-574-1999, jonathanadler.com
Transform your home with chic accessories and furniture from this acclaimed interior designer with an eye for quirky elegance. Lost + Found
133 N. Third St., 215-928-1311
This Old City nook features new and vintage clothing, accessories, shoes and jewelry for men and women. Reward Boutique
55 N. Second St., 267-773-8675, rewardproject.com
Carefully curated brands for guys and gals, includ#(!Ĺ—(#'Ĺ—3Ĺ—Ĺ—(Ĺ—$1&,3Ĺ—3Ĺ—"# Ĺ—Ä‹Ĺ—(#.Ä„ Sazz Vintage
38 N. Third St., 215-923-SAZZ, sazzvintage.com
Except for one â€œgirlfriend rack,â€? Philly native Amanda Saslowâ€™s vintage boutique is entirely devoted to guys who can rock a powder-blue tux. Scarlett Alley
237 Race St., 215-592-7898, scarlettalley.com
This boutique has great service and an even greater inventory featuring jewelry, homeware, spa essentials and gifts for everyone from newborns to brides-to-be.
CITY GUIDE 2011 - 2012
Sioux Zanne Messix
Wolf of Walnut Street
This lovely boutique is filled with one-of-a-kind vintage items and brand-new brands â€” and plenty of pink.
A full-service retail jewelry store for when you need to buy your sweetie something sweet â€” and shiny.
PARKS + REC Christ Church
54 1/2 N. Third St., 215-928-9250
219 Market St., 215-625-4551, smakparlour.com
Phillyâ€™s pinkest building features handmade piec-Ĺ— 3Ĺ— +/&&3Ĺ— -*,%&3Ĺ— )1(,-Ĺ— 3Ĺ— --&,Ĺ— (Ĺ— .#Ĺ— ) ./-Ä„Ĺ— Spirit of Philadelphia
123 Chestnut St., Fourth Floor, 215-627-3331, spiritofphiladelphia.com
Book a dinner or lunch cruise on the newly renovated Spirit of Philadelphia, complete with an under-lit dancefloor, LED lighting and more. Sugarcube
124 N. Third St., 215-238-0825, sugarcube.us
The reigning Old City pretty girl with all the cool, expensive clothes, Sugarcube will satisfy your SoHo shopping craving and then some. Three Sirens Boutique
134 N. Third St., 215-925-3548, threesirens.com
Trendy and reasonably priced with great service, this boutique is a girlâ€™s best friend. Third Street Habit Boutique
153 N. Third St., 215-925-5455, thirdstreethabit.com
This chic designer shop just launched an online store â€” get out that credit card. Vagabond Boutique
37 N. Third St., 267-671-0737, vagabondboutique.com
The definitive little-black-dress-with-a-twist stop features vintage, designer and organic pieces.
737 Walnut St., 215-925-3025
20 N. American St., 215-922-1695, christchurchphila.org
200 N. Sixth St., historicphiladelphia.org
Independence National Historical Park Sixth and Market streets, 800-537-7676, independencevisitorcenter.com
45 N. Third St., 215-923-8763, sweatfitness.com
Washington Square Park 210 W. Washington Square, 215-592-7787
photos by Neal Santos
RITTENHOUSE/CENTER CITY WEST MEET ME ON THE QUAD. Center City West â€” with Rittenhouse at its center â€” encompasses everything from Broad Street to the hard-to-pronounce Schuylkill (say it: SKOO-kul) River, Lombard Street to Market. Walnut Street serves as our Rodeo Drive, lined with retail opportunities from M.A.C. to Barneyâ€™s Co-op. Resident bluenoses rub shoulders with the masses enjoying the greenery of Rittenhouse Square, making it the cityâ€™s top people-watching spot. If Barneyâ€™s isnâ€™t in your budget, head north toward majorly discounted shopping at Daffyâ€™s, Second Time Around consignment and the funky, trashy shops of Chestnut Street.
YOU SHOULD KNOW â€Ś Visit Rittenhouse Row (rittenhouserow.org) for info on shopping, dining and real estate. If you live in the Second District, Anna Verna (215-686-3412) is your City Councilwoman through 2011.
WHILE YOUâ€™RE HERE â€Ś ÄŠ)(Ĺ—3)/,Ĺ—-"-Ĺ—.)Ĺ—.%Ĺ—#(Ĺ—."Ĺ—-(Ĺ—.Ĺ—,#.43Ĺ— Parc Restaurant on the square ÄŠ).Ĺ— &#(!Ĺ—-1(%3ÄŽĹ—%Ĺ—Ĺ—*#(#Ĺ—.)Ĺ— Rittenhouse Square itself ÄŠ%Ĺ—#(Ĺ—Ĺ— ,Ĺ—&/(".#'Ĺ—")#,Ĺ—*, ),'(Ĺ—.Ĺ— the Church of the Holy Trinity ÄŠ.Ĺ—/.Ĺ—)(Ĺ—,)1(Ĺ—&#+/),-Ĺ—1"#&Ĺ—!..#(!Ĺ— spirited at Village Whiskey ÄŠ�Ĺ—3)/,Ĺ—Ăł'#(!Ĺ—3)/."Ĺ—1#."Ĺ—(Ĺ—&&Äš!-Ĺ—#(#Ĺ— concert at First Unitarian Church
224 S. 15th St., 215-985-9600, gooddogbar.com
EXPLORE â€Ś BARS + CLUBS Doobieâ€™s
2201 Lombard St., 215-546-0316
A cozy, cheap neighborhood tavern, Doobieâ€™s offers a late-night respite with dark wine-colored walls and a brightly lit bar. Good Dog
Some of the best bar food in town, and the beer ainâ€™t bad, either. Jollyâ€™s Restaurant & Rocking Dueling Piano Bar
1420 Locust St., 267-687-1161, jollyspianobar.com
Jollyâ€™s recently relocated to the Academy House, where regular performers play all the classics. Ladder 15
1528 Sansom St., 215-964-9755, ladder15philly.com
Decked out in dark wood and industrial steel, Lad-
der 15â€™s den-like space features a fireplace, cozy booths and a 30-seat bar. Locust Rendezvous Bar & Grill 1415 Locust St., 215-985-1163
The â€™Vous serves breakfast all day on weekends and reasonable bar fare at night. Misconduct Tavern
1511 Locust St., 215-732-5797, misconduct-tavern.com
A solid craft beer selection and TVs galore characterize this maritime-themed bar, a slightly quieter respite from the packed pubs of Center City. Monkâ€™s CafĂŠ
264 S. 16th St., 215-545-7005, monkscafe.com
A dark, crowded Belgian joint that offers a staggering selection of international beers. Nodding Head
1516 Sansom St., 2nd Fl., 215-569-9525, noddinghead.com
A laid-back feel encourages the hordes to sidle up to the bar for a glass of house-brewed hooch. Stir
1705 Chancellor St., 215-732-2700, stirphilly.com
Stir is a sleek, multibar gay lounge hidden on Chancellor Street, accessible via two-second duck off Rittenhouse Square. RESTAURANTS + MARKETS 10 Arts The Ritz-Carlton, 10 S. Broad St., 215-523-8221, 10arts.com
Jennifer Carroll, a Philly native and former sous chef at Eric Ripertâ€™s Le Bernardin, designed 10 Artsâ€™ menus around goodies from local purveyors.
THE HOODS: RITTENHOUSE/CENTER CITY WEST Audrey Claire
â€œFreshâ€? is a key word here; the ingredients seem remarkably unpolluted and undiluted.
Fine dining with a view of Rittenhouse Square.
276 S. 20th St., 215-731-1222, audreyclaire.com
Butcher & Singer
A Mad Men aesthetic creates a toasty backdrop for this manly meat menu, centered around cuts like Delmonicos, dry-aged porterhouses, pork chops and more.
This corner sit-down might be the most aesthetically pleasing pizzeria in Center City; theyâ€™re all about wood-fired toasty tastes and gourmet ingredients.
A member of the Philadelphia culinary scene for more than 15 years, CafĂŠ LutĂŠcia serves up its own ,(Ĺ— ) Ĺ— &&#Ĺ— **,#.#)(Ĺ— ÄœĹ— (Ĺ— #.-Ĺ— ,)1(#(!Ĺ— glory just might be its glorious tomato bisque.
Melograno stands out among the crop of Phillyâ€™s Italian BYOs for its quality and consistency.
Chef/owner David Katzâ€™s cuisine is often char.,#4Ĺ— -Ĺ— Ä?,/-.#Ä…Ä‘Ĺ— '%#(!Ĺ— &--#Ĺ—Ăł0),-Ĺ—.-.Ĺ— even better than you remember.
1500 Walnut St., 215-732-4444, butcherandsinger.com
2301 Lombard St., 215-790-9557
2104 Chestnut St., 215-751-1435, elfuegoburritos.com
In the second rendition of their assembly-line burrito palace, El Fuego has thrown caution to the wind and stocked the place with a full bar. Elixr Coffee
207 S. 15th St., 215-475-8221, elixrcoffee.com
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Bean fiend Evan Inatome offers some serious coffee along with Au Fournil pastries and Marathon ,#&&Ĺ—-(1#"-Ä„ El Rey
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2013 Chestnut St., 215-563-3330, elreyrestaurant.com
The walls are filled with trippy Mexican prison art (Ĺ—0,#)/-Ĺ—%#.-"Äš.-.#Ĺ—ĂłÄš',%.Ĺ—Ă°(-Ä‡Ĺ—#(Ĺ—."Ĺ— back of the restaurant sits the Ranstead Room, a covert cocktail bar that opens at 7 p.m. nightly. Erawan 123 S. 23rd St., 215-567-2542
What pushes this cuisine over the edge is the presence of crispy rice in entrĂŠes, which gives a texture that may send your mind away to the Laotian side of the Mekong River.
!UTHORIZED &ACTORY /UTLET
Fish 1708 Lombard St., 215-545-9600, fishphilly.com
Chef Mike Stollenwerk has a talent for imbuing simpler preparations with enough complexity to engage your attention without fragmenting it. Good Karma Cafe
331 S. 22nd St., 215-546-1479, thegoodkarmacafe.com
All coffees and teas are fair-trade and organic; eats options include breakfast prerequisites like bagels and pastries as well as locally produced soups, salads and sandwiches. Jose Pistolaâ€™s
263 S. 15th St., 215-545-4101, josepistolas.com
A burrito bar for the fancy-beer-swilling crowd â€” or for anyone who wants to watch a game without being surrounded by hoarse-voiced Iggles fans.