Archive for June, 2007

Trey Popp blows my sushi secret

I have a favorite sushi place, just around the corner from my apartment. It’s a small shop, just a few chairs for dining, and a wide window sill to sit on while you’re waiting for your to-go order. The owner and his wife are friendly and they make amazing, inexpensive sushi. One night, about two months ago, I was hanging out with some friends, when we experienced a need for sushi. We spent $75 on take-out sushi. There were five of us, and we were all stuffed by the time we were done eating, and there were still a few pieces leftover (a fact that made my heart sad, but I just couldn’t eat anymore). That is an amazingly good price per person for the level of sushi gorging in which we engaged.

You may be asking yourself why I haven’t written about this place before. I admit, I was being selfish. I didn’t want to share the secret of Sushi by Vic with the Metroblog readers, for fear that it would become too crowded and I wouldn’t be able to get my sushi when I wanted it. However, Trey Popp wrote a glowing review of Vic’s in the City Paper yesterday, blowing the secret of my tiny sushi wonderland.

So now I add my voice to the growing chorus of admiration for Vic’s. The rolls artful and tasty. The pieces are generously sized and flavorful. The service is terrific and the atmosphere is comfortable. They are on Sansom Street, between 20th and 21st, on the north side of the street. Check ’em out.

Septa Approves 36.7% Increase

I know you just read in the Inquirer and from other news sources it was an 11% increase. I disagree.

If yesterday I paid with a token $1.30 to get on a bus/subway and bought a transfer for $.60 that would be a total of $1.90. Under the new system I will pay $1.30, there are no more transfers, and another $1.30 for my connecting bus. Total $2.60. $2.60 versus $1.90 an increase of $.70 or 36.7%. You do the math.

Which proves again, “Figures don’t lie but liars can figure.”

The 11% number comes from only the increase Septa will impose on weekly and monthly passes. Regional rail will have increases from 11% to 16%.

All You Can Eat Super Scooper is here!

The 9th annual Super Scooper is this weekend- a great way to support pediatric leukemia research, and cool down on a hot summer day. Entrance with a 5 dollar donation to the Joshua Kahan Fund will get you all you can eat ice cream. Just make the trip over to the Great Plaza on Penn’s Landing at Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street.
The ice cream festival will take place June 29th • Noon – 5:00pm & 6:00pm – 9:00pm, June 30th • Noon – 5:00pm & 6:00pm – 9:00pm, and July 1st • Noon – 5:00pm.
For more information visit the website here-

Welcome American Interactive Map

Earlier today I put up a post about the Sunoco Welcome America Festival and some of the events that are occurring around the city from now until July 4th. That post got the attention of a guy named Jim, who works for the Microsoft group that teamed up with the folks from Welcome America. They’ve put together an interactive map that can help you navigate the different locations of all festival events. They say…

This is a great collection that highlights the best spots to find parking near the festival, where the venues are for the different events that are taking place throughout the week, restaurants and bars for after the events and a live traffic feature – so you won’t get caught off guard before leaving the house.

Check it out, it’s a pretty neat little feature.

Opera in the Square and Rocky on the steps

The Sunoco Welcome America Festival starts today, and they are kicking things off tonight with Opera in the Square (Rittenhouse Square, that is) from 6:30-8:30 pm, followed by the screening of Rocky on the steps of the Art Museum at 9 pm. I’ve been to both events (although not in the same years) and always had a good time.

The Opera in the Square is a great people watching opportunity, as folks from all over the city come out for a chance to hear some free opera (I think most of the performers are students from the Curtis Institute).

One tip if you’re going to attend the Rocky screening–make sure to bring cushions, those steps get hard on the behind after the first half-hour.

For the full calendar of events (the festival runs through the 4th of July) click here.

Melrose Diner changes hands

I have finished off many an evening out with friends with a trip to the Melrose Diner for coffee and food. We’d slide around one side of the shared tables (I took an out-of-town friend there one night and he was rendered speechless by the concept of sitting across the table from someone you didn’t know ) and scan the menu. Most nights we’d get the dirt-cheap desserts (I don’t think that there’s a thing on the dessert menu that costs more than $4), everyone getting something different so that we could taste a variety of things. We’d chat with the waitresses, most of whom have worked there since the Nixon administration and finally take our individual bills up to the cashier. It always a nice way to wrap up an evening.

And now the Melrose has changed hands. Here’s hoping that the new owners won’t change it too much (let’s keep those desserts cheap please!). The new owner also owns the Mayfair and the Country Club, so he’s no stranger to our Philly diners. I have high hopes that he’s treat it well.

Melrose has new owner

Smoking Bans Galore

These smoking bans are confusing. This is an issue I follow very closely as I am a staunch anti-smoker. As of today the state passed a ban that would override the Philadelphia ban with a whole lot of exemptions. Some of them almost make sense, like cigar bars. There is one, however that is absolutely absurd. It allows smoking in small private day care centers! Smoker or no, I think everyone can agree that no one wants their children exposing children in an environment filled with smoke all day.

A few other places the state would like to allow smoking: nursing homes, mental hospitals and and adult care facilities. These are just about as bad as the day care center. The patients are sometimes just as helpless as children and deserve a clean, safe environment as well.

Phillies notes…

In last night’s Phillies & Reds game, Ryan Howard hit his 100th career home run. Howard did this in only his 325th game, making him the youngest player to reach the 100 home run mark.

Other Phillies notes…

If anyone knows of the whereabouts of leftfielder Pat Burrell, please let me know. I’m very worried. He hasn’t been around in weeks. Part of me thinks that Burrell and embattled third baseman Wes Helms skipped town together and possibly joined the circus, but until that is confirmed, I will remain on the look out.

The Force That is Utley, Phils’ second baseman Chase Utley is leading vote getter for NL second baseman in this year’s All Star game and barring any kind of freak run from anyone else, will be starting in the all-star game. At this point, it looks like Utley will be the only position player making the trip, with shortstop Jimmy Rollins failing to crack the top 3 in shortstop voting. No word on pitchers, but it looks like either Cole Hamels or Adam Eaton will be making the trip.

Phils’ skipper Charlie Manuel reportedly ate 15 doughnuts in one sitting. While this is not confirmed, it is highly suspected to have happened…probably on more than one occasion. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice. At least he knows how to do something right…

The Tolling of Pennsylvania

It appears the idea of making the 314 mile long I-80 a toll road has been taken seriously. From experience I can tell you Pennsylvania has some of the worst roads South of Maine, North of Florida, and East of Tennessee. Our roads are terrible, too narrow, cracked, bumpy, ill lighted. I was just astounded on recent trips, coming home from other states, how you could be driving along at a decent speed, eating up miles safely, then you get into Pennsylvania and you are back in the 19th century. When it is raining it is even worse with poor runoff, pooling, treacherous roads.

I do not know if the toll idea will work to raise money in order to improve our roadways but I don’t think it can be dismissed out of hand. Harrisburg is trying to figure out how to exempt local traffic from the toll. They basically want to collect from out of state users. On I-80, which runs from California to the George Washington Bridge in N.Y., seventy-five percent of drivers are from out of state!

Lots of problems with the idea. Does it go against the inter-state commerce laws and other details have to be worked out. I am just glad they are beginning to deal with the problem.

Philadelphia Boathouses

Wow, it’s been blazingly hot the past couple of days, hasn’t it? My walking commute over the Schuylkill leaves me pretty sweaty, and running has pretty much been out of the question. Even on days that are 10 degrees cooler I still have visions of throwing myself into the Schuylkill just to cool off. But I am told that I might not be so happy with the quality of the water, so I have resisted the urge to jump in so far.

But here is a photo I took last weekend of the boathouses on the Schuylkill. And I have to say, the water still looks pretty appealing. Or maybe it’s just that the heat has entirely gone to my head.

Philadelphia Boathouses

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