Archive for September, 2007

Robin’s Books Chestnut location closing this week

Back in May, I was walking by Robin’s Books Chestnut Street location, when I noticed a big “For Lease” sign in the window. I went in to ask about it and they told me that they had decided to close the store because while they owned the building, they could make more money renting it out to another business than they could running it as a bookstore. At that time, they didn’t know when they’d be closing as it depended on when they found someone to lease the location.

Four months later and the time has come for the location to shut it’s doors on September 28th. I will be so sad to see it go, as it was a fixture in my childhood. Every time we’d come to Philadelphia to visit family, my grandmother would take us in there and let us get whatever we wanted. I loved that it always had a quirky selection, along with back issues of interesting magazines.

Robin’s Books on Chestnut, you will be missed.

Restaurant Week Review: DiNardo’s Seafood

Restaurant week began last night, for those that don’t know what restaurant week is I’ll give a quick explanation. Basically participating restaurants provide a set price menu ($30 for three courses) for people to come in and try out their food. It provides a nice way to try out some of the pricier center city dining establishments.

Anyway I decided to participate this time around and had heard good things about DiNardo’s Seafood (3rd and Race). Our reservations were at 7:45PM and upon arrival a little early we checked in and had a drink at the bar. Drink pricing was pretty standard for a center city bar ($6-$10 a cocktail). At promptly 7:45PM we were seated and I was kind of shocked to see that this “fine dining establishment” had tables and chairs I might see at McDonald’s but that’s a different story. Our menus were placed before us (the special restaurant week ones and the regular ones) and after glancing through both I decided to eat off the restaurant week menu, getting the broiled tilapia in white wine sauce. My wife got blackened shrimp alfredo. We also ordered a side of what the menu referred as “the best fires”, which while they were hot, I have had better. My cup of lobster bisque came out and it was decent. By this time we required a refill on our drinks, something that did not happen until well after our meal had been brought out. The broiled tilapia was very good but my wife’s shrimp alfredo had a weird orange tinge to it and a strange taste. Finally we got refills on our drinks and then desert was proposed, unfortunately they only provided three choices, all chocolate which kind of left my wife out in the cold as she is allergic to it. We asked if there was a non-chocolate alternative to which we were met with an evil stare and an “I’ll check”. She did check and revealed they have vanilla ice cream, so my wife ordered that. MY Dark Side of the Moon cake was good, although very rich and I actually never finished it because it was so rich. My wife’s ice cream on the other side seemingly came out of the freezer it had been stored in since the restaurant opened with giant chunks of ice and a funky taste to match. Overall I wouldn’t recommend DiNardo’s the food was good but not worth the price of even the set price of Restaurant Week.

Terrible days for dogs.

I was shocked to see this violent crime on the new this morning, in a rather upscale part of Mount Airy. A man walking his dog was held at gunpoint. When he did not have any money to give the assailants, one of them shot the family dog in anger. Then he was pistol whipped and told to run. Carpenter’s Woods Town Watch posted a heart-breaking first-hand account from the victim’s wife.

Up at the other end of Wissahickon Park, a hiker found two dead pit bulls in the bushes in Chestnut Hill near Forbidden Drive and Bell’s Mill Road; two bullet shell casings were found nearby as well. These were obviously bodies dumped following dog fights in another location. The PSPCA is offering a monetary award for information leading to an arrest in this situation.

“Dog fighting is a heinous crime and it is our intention to have those responsible prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Howard Nelson, chief executive officer of the PSPCA.  “We need the public to help us with this case before more innocent dogs are harmed or killed.”

What Happened in Jena, Louisiana?

Jena, Louisiana, a small town of approximately 3,000 residents, heavily saturated in racial tension has recently become the center of national controversy regarding six young black youth accused of attempted second degree murder.

Last year, black students at Jena High School asked their principal if it would be alright to sit under a big shady tree where white students congregated on a regular basis. The principal ok’d the request – though it’s unfortunate these students felt the need to ask to sit anywhere they were fully within their right to. On September 1, 2006, upon a return trip to the big oak tree, the students discovered three hangman’s nooses neatly arranged as a sick reminder that the black students better think twice about where they sit.
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We’re looking for a few good writers

It’s that time of year again. When the leaves change, the pumpkins start to appear at the markets and Metroblogging Philadelphia looks for some new writers.

Do you have something to say about Philadelphia? Whether it be about crime, sports, the arts scene, music restaurants, architecture or TastyKakes, we want to give you a place to say it.

Unfortunately, this gig doesn’t pay in cash, but the inner rewards are many. Leave a comment if you are interested, or even if you just want a little more information, and I’ll get back to you.

Phillies only 1 1/2 back in the NL East…

Oh my Jesus…it’s terrible! The Eagles, yes…E-A-G-L-E-S are 0-2. The season is over! McNabb’s going to get benched for that youngster Kolb who probably isn’t even shaving yet! We waited all summer for this??? What are we going to do NOW???

Well, we could watch the Phillies.

Yes, the Phillies.

The Phillies who are currently only 1 1/2 games back in both the NL East and the NL Wild Card. The Phillies who swept the Mets last weekend in Shea and have already won 2 straight versus the Cardinals. The Phillies who just got the Mighty Cole back. The Phillies, who despite a bullpen that gives up as many runs as the Eagles secondary gives up points, are still fighting and in the fighting to make the playoffs.

Ah…okay. Those Phillies.

The team wraps up it’s series with the Cardinals tonight, before heading to DC to protest the war and destroy those annoying Nationals. Then it’s back home for the last week of the season. Three games versus the played out Braves and then their final three games versus those still annoying Nationals.

So yeah, the Eagles look terrible right now. That’s a bummer. But hey, the sun’s out and the weather is amazing. If you’re starving for football, go outside and toss one around. It’ll be fine, just watch out for dog poop!

And in the meantime, while we patiently wait for the Eagles to turn the 2007 season around, we have the Fightin’ Phils deep in the middle of a pennant race. It’s pretty simple. An easy to do! All you have to do is watch, support, cheer, groan…

Make it happen.

Big Ry will be happy you did.

Another reason to love Ritz Theaters

Last night I walked from my place (near Rittenhouse) down to the Ritz Five wearing sneakers without socks. They are fairly new sneakers, but are cute Mary Jane-style ones that seem to be designed to be worn sans hosiery, so I didn’t think much of it. However, by the time I got down to 3rd and Walnut, I had worn an angry red welt into my right heel. Worrying about the walk home, once we got into the theater I went up to one of the Ritz employees and asked if they possibly had any band-aids. I explained the developing blister and the woman looked at once sympathetic. She told me to wait, and a few moments later, came out with a nice, sturdy band-aid.

In my book, this adds yet another reason to love the Ritz Theater chain (even if they were recently purchased and have become slightly more corporate). Good movies, reasonably prices snacks and band-aids when needed.

Plastic Bag Ban

Councilman Frank DiCicco, council representative for the 1st district in Philadelphia, plans to introduce a bill restricting large chain supermarkets and drug stores from using plastic bags. While I believe that smaller stores should not be exempt, at least the Councilman’s plan is a step in the right direction.

Question is – will it pass?
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Late Friday Linkage

Treehugger, that bastion of eco-blogging, noticed that PhillyCarShare now has more than 25,000 registered users. One more step in changing our city’s reputation from an environmentally backward, aging, industrial city to something just a bit more hip and aware.

You know you like living in Philly, but how often do you think to put a list together of 30 reasons to love it? Well, now you don’t have to, as Jael McHenry has done it for you over at Intrepid Media.

The Philly Geeks/P’unk Ave/Indy Hall get together once again to plan the Philadelphia tech revolution and there are pictures to prove it.

If you’re looking for ways to entertain yourself this weekend, the Fall Fine Arts Show is holding court all around Rittenhouse Square. If you have transportation and would like to get out of the city, think about heading out to West Chester on Sunday afternoon for the Chester County Restaurant Festival from 12 noon until 5:30 pm.

Welcome Back Guys! Try Not To Suck This Year

Flyers training camp opened today with a few new faces in attendance and some old standbys gone. The biggest addition would be center Danny Briere who will be centering Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble. The over-rated Mike Richards will center newcomer Scott Hartnell and Sami Kapanen. Coach John Stevens has organized a three day round robin tournament for his guys, splitting them up into three teams. The new emphasis this year will be on gameplay – something they seemingly didn’t do last year. You know, actually play the game. The tournament will give the coaching staff a good idea of what they have in terms of overall talent and just about everyone will be playing for their job (although some are safer than others).

In other Flyers news, there is now a new all you can eat service at the Wachovia Center (in case you were extra special hungry) and for those that have the scratch to go to some games, individual game tickets go on sale tomorrow.

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