Archive for May, 2007

Trying to Manage the Problem…

Fresh off being swept in three games by the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, the calls to local sports talk radio stations regarding the firing of Phillies’ skipper Charlie Manuel have again heated up. And while there is a very good chance that Manuel might very well succumb to either boredom or old age before the season ends, the chances that this year will be his last with club are increasing more and more everyday.
(cue: sigh of relief)

It’s never too early to look to the future and the Phillies, if they were smart, should be looking for new managers to replace Manuel right now. With a definitive lack of interesting things to write about this week (except Chase the Consistent leading National League second basemen in All Star voting and enticing numerous Philly women to eat more Tasty Cakes, thanks to the new billboard on I 95) I thought I’d explore some possibilities for a new manager.

Join me, won’t you?
(cue: begrudging moan followed by a long, drawn out ‘okay’)

1.) Joe Girardi. This seems like the most logical choice. Just look at what Girardi did with a young, inexperienced Marlins team last year. He took a team lacking discipline and direction and got them in NL Wild Card race, being rewarded for his efforts with the NL Manager of the Year award and a pink slip. Girardi was fired, citing numerous disagreements with Marlins management. He has a tough style and is old school in his belief of how a club should be run. A couple of months ago, the talk was that Girardi would replace Joe Torre as manager of the Yankees. But with the emergence of Donny Baseball on the Yanks’ bench, it’s looking like Girardi might be available after all. He’d be a perfect match for the Phillies, a team like last year’s Marlins, that lacks discipline and direction. Now there is a good chance of a player rebellion, given the fondness Phillies’ players have for Manuel, and Girardi’s no nonsense style may bruise some egos. But you know what? That’s life. Sometimes you have to do stuff you don’t want to do and hear things you don’t want to hear, but in the end, both will make you a better person. I hate waiting for people to parallel park and long lines at the post office, but I’d like to think that both are teaching me to be better person. Or they’re teaching me to walk more and pay my bills on-line. I’m not sure. I am sure though, that Girardi and the Phillies would be a dynamite fit.

2.) Jimmy Williams. On Howard Eskin’s show this afternoon he went on a long tangent (very surprising) about the sorry state of the Phillies (even more surprising) and how ownership really isn’t concerned about winning baseball games because they’re still making a profit (not at all surprising.) Eskin also mentioned that when the Phillies brought in Williams as an assistant coach, the idea was for him to replace Manuel if they time came to replace good ol’ Charlie. Okay. So they’re replacing one old and detached southern gentleman for another. Interesting. Williams most recently was with Houston and before that Boston, both teams that significantly improved after he left. Like Manuel, Williams is well liked by players and manages with a relaxed style. But is he the answer? Well is getting generic Frosted Flakes at ACME really any different than getting regular Frosted Flakes? It’s the same colored box, the same amount of sugar, and ultimately the same cereal. Sure it costs a little bit less, but in the end you’re probably going to just waste that money on crap you don’t need (i.e. ice cream or Adam Eaton.)

3. Milton Street. I have no idea if Street knows anything about baseball (or politics), but come on, just think about the press conferences he’d give! And imagine Uncle Miltie running out onto the field to argue with an umpire. Let’s face it. The way this team is going, they’re going to need entertaining figures to draw people to the park and unfortunately it will take much more than the Phanatic or the ball girls. This will only increase once Ryan Howard prices himself out of Philly and Cole Hamels blows his arm out after being moved to the bullpen and being overused by Manuel (is this really that far-fetched?).

4.) Tom Gordon. This move would be made strictly for economic reasons. He’s still on the payroll, already has a uniform and probably a parking spot. Might as well do something with him because we haven’t heard a peep about him since he went on the Disabled List in April.

Other possible candidates: Lenny Dykstra (why not?), John Kruk (he’d at least be funny), Snoop Dogg (did you hear what he did with his son’s peewee football team?), Tom Berenger (he did a good job in the Major League sequels), Tom Knox (money didn’t buy him the mayor’s office, but it could buy us a decent bullpen).

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens. In the meantime, we have Barry Bonds and the Giants coming to town this weekend. Let’s see if he plays this time. Let the Bonds bashing begin!

Giddy up!

Philly Drink of the Week

Let’s start a new feature. Since everyone works so hard, some of you (those that drink) may want to unwind by having a cocktail, so let’s open this up to everyone out there. If you have a favorite drink and you think others might like it, shoot me an email at phillymb.drink@gmail.com and tell me what it is. Include the drinks name, what is in it and how to make it and it could be featured here every week.

This week’s drink of the week comes from our good friends over at Drinknation and it is the Latin Dream.

3/4 oz. Apricot Brandy
2 tsp. Cointreau
1/2 oz. Orange Juice
I scoop Vanilla Ice Cream
1 slice Orange

Shake all ingredients together, without ice, and pour into glass. Garnish with the slice of orange.

Hope you all enjoy and check back next week to see what will be Philly’s Drink of the Week.

The Inky says, “Yo, Mike!”

The Inquirer is looking for short essays, around 150 words or so, that answer this question…

If the Democratic nominee for mayor materialized across your kitchen table, giving you his undivided attention for two minutes, how would you complete this sentence, “Yo, Mike! The one thing I really need you do is…”

You can send it either by e-mail or submit it via the project blog.

Michael Nutter will review all submissions, and respond to a sampling.

This is your opportunity to tell Michael Nutter what you think the most important thing he could do for the city is. Don’t miss out.

Late Afternoon at the Fairmount Water Works

Yesterday I finally made it to the Fairmount Water Works, which is much closer to Center City than I ever realized. It’s only a very short walk past the Museum of Art when you’re following the path by the Schuylkill River.

With my husband and his parents who are visiting this weekend, I convinced everyone to go for a walk at the golden hour. Here are a couple of photos from the walk.

I wasn’t the only person walking around with a dSLR, and in fact, I had the smallest camera and definitely the smallest lens out there. We walked out on the gazebo and found several photographers with big cameras and big lenses and fancy filters all set up on tripods. I definitely won’t feel shy about going back there and bringing my tripod.

It was a gorgeous walk, but slightly warm and there was high traffic on the pathway with lots of other walkers, runners, and bikers. I’ve been running along the path in the morning, and I have to say it is so much less crowded then and much more enjoyable! (But let’s keep that a secret between me and well, all of you. I wouldn’t want the path to get too crowded!)

Modo Mio

Yesterday, I got an email from my friend Lara, with the subject line, “Passing along a good tip…” She and her husband live in Northern Liberties and eat out frequently. They are deeply knowledgeable about the Philly restaurant scene, and so when they endorse a restaurant, I trust their recommendation. Which is why I pass along her tip to you all.

We finally went to Modo Mio, the new Italian restaurant at the corner of Hancock and Girard. We had tried on a previous Saturday night but there was too long a wait. It is a BYOB and the chef used to work at Rembrandts (Art Museum).

Well the food was excellent. Really delicious. They have a price fixed menu that offers and appetizer, pasta, entree and dessert for $30. Ken and I could not eat that much on this given night but both tried the crab cake appetizers and a pasta entree. I had gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce and Ken had an artichoke ravioli with pecans. Both were exceptional and the total bill ran us $29!!

Strongly suggest checking out this place. Delicious and a wonderful bargain.

There you have it. If you get to Modo Mio, leave a comment and let us know if you agreed with Lara and Ken or not.

Sephora is coming to Chestnut Street

Opening pretty soonFor the last three or four years, I’ve been saying to my friends, “You know, I really can’t believe that there isn’t a Sephora in Center City someplace.” I’ve only been able to get my fix of that make up mecca on trips to King of Prussia (a place I hate visiting) or Cherry Hill (I’m not too fond of it out there either). Two years ago I took a trip out to Pittsburgh with a couple of friends and was stunned to discover that even they had a small Sephora located in one of the neighborhoods. I began to think that the Sephora Corporation had something against Philly.

Sephora!
Then, walking down Chestnut Street on Saturday evening with my friend Shay, on the way to see Lookingglass Alice, I saw a sign that made stop short and gasp. Sephora is coming to the space where Pay/Half used to be. This is slightly dangerous for me, as that is a mere three blocks from my home. But I’m thrilled to know that I’ll no longer have to trek to the suburbs for my Sephora fix. It’s also another interesting sign of the way Chestnut Street is changing to become more akin to Walnut Street.

What’s up with Flexcar?

A couple months ago, I was walking down Walnut Street when a huge bunch of balloons floated in front of me from one of the parking garages. As I got closer I noticed the shiny fleet of new silver hybrid cars, and I was immediately approached by people handing out flyers and coupons for Flexcar. Now, at the time I was on my way to the PhillyCarShare pod at 13th and Locust to pick up my car for the day, and was completely not interested in anything to do with Flexcar.

Since then, I’ve been bombarded with Flexcar: billboards for Flexcar, posters on the sides of SEPTA buses, cars parked at their designated pods. However, while I often catch people driving their PhillyCarShares, I have yet to actually see a Flexcar on the road.

So, what’s the deal with Flexcar?
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Foster’s Cook and Home stores consolidating

Foster's Postcard

I’m more than a little sad at the prospect that in a few short days, there will no longer be a Foster’s Cookware in Reading Terminal Market. I love wandering around that packed store (even if they occasionally send an employee to the back with me to ensure that I do not shoplift–I never thought I looked that unreliable).

I am, however, excited at the prospect of having a brand new, extra-large (10,000 square feet!) store to wander to my heart’s content at 4th and Market.

Philly food in the national press

Have you checked out the June issue of Food and Wine magazine yet? The edition that is currently on newsstands features the Philadelphia food scene prominently (and calls us a Great Food City). While it doesn’t tell us anything that we don’t already know about the vibrant restaurant movement we’ve got going here, seeing Philly get raves is always a thrill.

The most satisfying component of the online version of the article is that it credits Philly Mag food editor April White for writing the essay that caused Food and Wine to reevaluate our city as a food town.

Lookingglass Alice is spectacular

Friday afternoon, a friend who was on the cusp of moving out of town, offered me her tickets to Saturday night’s performance of Lookingglass Alice, at the Arden Theater Company. I accepted, because I try never to miss an opportunity to see live theater and almost everything I’ve seen at the Arden has been quite wonderful (The Syringa Tree was particularly amazing).

My friend Shay and I had a dinner of Franklin Fountain ice cream for dinner before entering the theater. Neither of us knew what to expect when we sat down. The set that we could see was a rough approximation of an drawing room, complete with fireplace, clock and mantelpiece mirror. A black curtain hung lengthwise across the middle of the stage, dividing the space into two. We couldn’t see what was on the other side of the curtain, but we knew that half the audience was sitting over there, and that the mirror was actually a gilded frame with no glass, giving a narrow view of the other half of the theater.
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