Archive for November, 2006

Philly’s 3rd Gift to the World: Cultural Institutions, City Traditions

Another night, another gift from Philadelphia to the rest of the blogosphere. Tonight is an abbreviated celebration* of some of the city’s cultural heritage and, well, culture.

You might have heard recently that Philadelphia has the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year, my org gots its own tacky production number, which was a proud proud moment for this kitsch-loving culture hound. My favorite bears—one and two—also came by for a visit. (“Thank you, Bear!”)

Between Ormandy and Muti, the Orchestra has a long and storied history. (And a somewhat embattled present, but I’ll post more about that in a couple of days.) Their new home in the Kimmel Center has had some mixed reviews along the way, but I gotta say that the Perelman Theater has become one of my favorite concert rooms in the city.
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Let the Festivities Begin!

As tomorrow is the first day of December, it can only mean one thing: Though it is 70 degrees, the holidays are upon us. And that means that you will you will need to cram in lots of social holiday drinking. I have already received emails about 2 holiday-themed drinking events on Saturday. One you may be interested in checking out is being held this Saturday at my old favorite, the Yards Brewery. Their holding their annual holiday party and open house. Stop by if you have a chance–you have plenty of time to work on the holiday shopping before and afterwards.

Philly’s 4th Gift to the World: Philadelphia Sounds

Tonight’s gift from the 215 to the outside world is our unique legacy of music and musical events.*

First off in our whirlwind tour is a hat tip to the famous Philly Soul or Philadelphia Sound. Some sources talk about the style as so producer-driven as to obscure the artists who helped make this distictively smooth soulful music, but I don’t think Philadelphia will ever neglect to remember the O’Jays, Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, and certainly not our (and Soul Train’s) special theme song, “TSOP.” Hey, folks, it’s not a coincidence that the Rhythm and Blues Foundation is based down on south Broad Street.
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Pad Thai Shack Disappointment

I have been a fan of the Pad Thai Shack since they were located on 20th Street, just off Ludlow. In those days they closed at 6 pm and I rarely got home from work in time to get over there. Their tofu pad thai became a “call out sick from work” treat and I was jubilant when they moved over to 18th Street and added evening hours.

Tonight I was walking home from a meditation group that I attend on occasion, and thought how good Pho sounded. Food and I are still on tricky ground after my recent bout with the stomach flu and so I thought that some Pho Ga might be safe. Normally it’s just a yummy broth with pieces of chicken and noodles. You add in the veggies and things that make it spicy.

I detoured over there, and placed my order. I played peekaboo with a cuter-than-legal toddler and made friendly small-talk with the clerk. I was so excited to get home and eat my soup, but when I opened it, it was SO greasy. I’m talking a half inch of grease on top of the broth. There were big chunks of half-cooked onion and despite the wonderful smell, it didn’t taste like much. All that fat didn’t play nice with my still-tender belly. So, I picked the chunks of chicken out (which were yummy pieces of white meat) and stashed the container in the fridge. I’ll probably just throw it out later.

Thanks for sharing, I think?

I think we all have moments where it seems like we’re trapped in our own private episode of Overheard in Philly. My latest moment for unintentional eavesdropping occured late this evening, walking down Walnut street after an epic-long day at work.

Out of the open window of a white car barrelling down the road, I heard a disembodied voice* announce:

I don’t do anal!

Thanks, dear. I’ll sleep better knowing that.

(For another such moment—this time by someone who actually saw the speaker–check out this morning’s entry from Mac at Pesky Apostrophe.)
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Miran

Last week my husband’s sister was in town, which gave me the chance to explore Philly once again more as a tourist and less as someone permanently locked in her apartment while she tries desperately to finish her dissertation. (I’m getting there, really I am!) Because I’ve had so much work on my hands, I really haven’t seen as much of Philly as I would like. But every time we have guests, it becomes the perfect excuse to get out of the house.

While our guests were here we walked all over Center City until our feet were sore and our tummies hungry. One of my favorite things to do, anywhere, is eat, and Philadelphia certainly does not disappoint. On their last night in town, we suggested to our guests that we try Korean. My husband and I are pretty familiar with Korean barbeque, not from personal heritage, but from a trip in 2002 to Korea (World Cup!) and several visits to Baltimore’s Korean restaurants (where we lived before coming to Philadelphia). (If you are ever in Baltimore and craving Korean, I recommend Joung Kak.)

So we walked (in the rain) to Miran (see reviews here, here, and here). It was the evening before Thanksgiving so the restaurant was virtually empty, which gave me the opportunity to take pictures without bothering anyone but the people I was with. Anyway, about the food? Delish. Amazing. I take back my recommendation about Joung Kak in Baltimore. If you are ever in Baltimore and craving Korean, you really should just keep driving until you hit Philly so that you can try Miran. We had the bulgogi which I thought was rather good, until I tried the kalbi and was blown away by how fantastic it was.

I did take pictures of the bulgogi and kalbi, but I am choosing not to post them because as tasty as the meat was, the before closeup photos of the raw meat and the after photos of the grilled meat are a little… scary. But trust me, it was really good.

So instead I’m sharing these two pictures, one of the kimchee and other little dishes that they serve before the meal, and one of the modern vents that hang from the ceiling over your table’s grill.

kimchee


Camera:     Canon EOS 350D Digital Rebel XT, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
EXIF:     Aperture Priority, Pattern Metering, EV 0, 1/25 sec, F/5, ISO-1600, 39 mm (62 mm equivalent)

Miran


Camera:     Canon EOS 350D Digital Rebel XT, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
EXIF:     Aperture Priority, Pattern Metering, EV 0, 1/15 sec, F/5.6, ISO-1600, 55 mm (88 mm equivalent)


Please add your Philadelphia photos to the Metroblogging Philadelphia Flickr group. Readers’ photos will be featured here on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Kariya in Philly to Face the Flyers

Paul Kariya and the Nashville Predators are facing off against the “red hot”, two wins in a row Flyers tonight but really you don’t care about that, what you really want to know is how I got my internet call sign – Kariyanine. Well I like hockey. I happen to like it a lot and have played quite a bit since I was seven years old. My favorite player at the time I began playing hockey was Wayne Gretzky but as I got older and realized he was revered by everyone and I picked a new “favorite” player. That player would be Paul Kariya, then of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Shortly thereafter I began using the internet more frequently and thought I need something a little more flashy than ChrisScott as a call sign, so I created one. Using Kariya and his uniform number 9 I came up with Kariyanine. So there you have it the story behind the call sign I am most recognized by. It goes without saying I will be watching the game tonight to catch my “favorite” player in Philly.
preds11292006.jpg

(f)Utilities

Comcast is using the cost of on demand and HDTV as an excuse to hike up their cable rates 6.5% in certain markets. Guess who wins one of those lovely rate hike prizes? Philadelphia! So, despite that fact that most customers do not have and cannot afford an HDTV system, we’ll all pay for it anyway. The other lucky winners include Washington state, San Francisco and Richmond, Virginia thus far.

It’s fairly well known that inside Philadelphia the only gas provider available is the horrific PGW. If you’re lucky enough to be outside the clutches of what must be one of the worst utilities in the country, you might want to go with PECO for gas – they’re actually lowering their rates 4%. Yes, that’s right, lowering! Wait, what was PGW’s rate hike for 2006? Oh yes, 19.4%.

Philly’s Fifth Gift to the World: Cheesesteaks, Tastykakes, and Soft Pretzels

“Man, I could really go for a cheesesteak.” Take any Philadelphian, move them more than a 2-hour drive away from the city, and within 2 months this is what they’ll say. Move them more than a 2-hour flight away and this will be followed by the sad, mournful, “Too bad you can’t get ’em around here.”
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Photo of the Day: Philadelphia

Sorry to be posting so late in the day, but after I pulled an all-nighter last night I was hardly functional during the day. Of course, during the night while I was working, I did take a break to look through my Philly Flickr feeds and in Philadelphia: The Charm of the City, I found this gorgeous photo of City Hall, looking northing from Broad Street, taken by Lars Willem Veldkampf.


Photo by Lars Willem Veldkampf

Clearly this photo has had a bit of processing done to it, so I sent Lars a FlickrMail to ask if he’d mind if I posted this and to find out a little bit more about what he had done in processing. His reply showed me that there were even more details, like that the buildings on the right are clones of the ones on the left!

He wrote

The building on the right is distracting because it leans
forward, got rid of it by mirroring the left part. Added
some sky to it. Bumped up the contrast by using some simple
curve operations. Finally used the red channel from the
original pic and pasted it into the bumped up version
(luminosity setting). This toned down the bumped up colors
and reveals detail in the shadow areas. Final step was to
add some noise.

Well, the part about the sky not being real I already knew. But the rest was fun to learn. As for the absence of cars on the street, he told me that this photo was taken at 6:30 am, so the streets were fairly empty.

Compare the photo above to the original and check out the changes Lars made to it along the way to the final version.


Please add your Philadelphia photos to the Metroblogging Philadelphia Flickr group. Readers’ photos will be featured here on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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