Archive for the ‘Essential Philly’ Category

Orchestral Snub

The Philadelphia Orchestra didn’t make Gramophone’s Top 20 list of the world’s best orchestras. I guess that’s the led-by-a-guy-dressed-like-a-penguin-music world’s BCS standings or something. I guess Philadelphia was knocked out by Boise State or didn’t win enough in-conference Vivaldi concertos.

Maybe it’s the Curse of Riccardo Muti or Eugene Ormandy?

Don’t fret, woodwinds. None of the other cities listed in the Top 20 won the World Series this year.

Suck on those fermatas, Vienna.

– AP

Goodbye, Wanamaker’s Cafe

Today  was the last day for the cafe.  The first restaurant inside a department store was in the original Wanamaker’s Grand Depot.

I bought out all their wonderful scones (to freeze) and had their carrot cake for lunch. Wednesday, I had my last tea there, complete with tea sandwiches.  I will miss the cafe…


25 (well, almost) Things to Do This Weekend!

This MUST be one of the top weekends for planning outdoor events in Philadelphia. I mean, there are tons of things I want to attend, and I hope I can get to half of them.

Friday is National Bike to Work Day. Dust it off! Nutter gives out free coffee and bagels: 7:30 – 9:30 a.m., while supplies last.

Saturday, I’m getting up early, because of the day’s lineup. First off, there’s a flea market at Gloria Dei Church (Old Swede’s, at Columbus & Christian), from 8-3. Behind the brick walls lies one of the area’s oldest churches and cemeteries. You can get a tour of the church, hear the Mummer’s Choir at noon, indulge in some chili, hot dogs, and, of course, soft pretzels. “The Best Fleas at the Oldest Church”

Another Flea Market: 10th & South, 9-5.

Next up – The Italian Market Festival. You should know where this is: south 9th Street. (Saturday & Sunday, 10-5). I went last year, and was surprised at the diverse performances of dancers, singers, etc. There are all types of arts & crafts, foods, and wares in general being sold on the street. Tasty!

I wish I could be 3 places at once. (more…)

Theater Season in Philadelphia ON SALE

Every Philadephian and visitor to our city should know about Philly and funsavers. The site gives you great information about what is going on in Philadelphia and if you sign up for funsavers you can get half-price tickets for many of the events.

Tomorrow, Tuesday August 27, they are offering half priced tickets for entire theater seasons for the Arden, Walnut Street Theater, Peoples Light and Theater Company, Flashpoint Theater Company, Theater Exile, Theater Horizon, Luna Theater Company, Curio Theater Company, Lantern Theater Company and others.

Theater is so expensive but not if you purchase these specials. They start at $7.50 a play with many topping out at $12.

The Walnut Street season which is the most expensive offers 5 plays at $25 each. That is about what you would pay for the tax on a NYC ticket. But you will see productions of Les Miserables, Peter Pan, The Price, The Odd Couple, and Man of la Mancha, for the price of one $125 seat in NYC.

With the money you saved you can treat yourself to a pre-theater dinner. Check it out

Restaurant Week in Philadelphia Sept.2007

If you have been away on vacation, or just avoiding going out in the heat or rain, I want to remind you Center City Restaurant Week starts September 23 and goes to September 28.

106 restaurants are participating and you better stop what you are doing and make a reservation now. Some of the best reataurants in Philly are offering three courses for $30. A great chance to taste food from a restaurant that normally would be out of your price range or a restaurant you just wanted to try.

Alma de Cuba, Amada, Bistro St.Tropez, Davio’s, Xochiti, Le Bar Lyonnais, Tangerine, to name a few are going to make you say wow! Tourists, if you are smart, you will take advantage of this opportunity. But folks, you have to reserve now or you will miss out.

Hope to see you out and about during Center City Restaurant Week.

Jury Duty in Philadelphia…more stuff

Each year, summonses are mailed to Philadelphia residents using a combined list of all registered voters and adult licensed drivers.
In order to qualify for jury service, you must meet the following requirements:
You must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
You must not have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.
You must be physically and mentally able to perform the functions of a juror.
You must be a United States citizen at the time you are summoned.
You must be a Philadelphia resident and at least 18 years of age.

If you are not mentally or physically able to serve as a juror, provide medical certification in the remarks section of the questionnaire. If you are requesting to be excused for a job related reason, your employer should certify the hardship in the remarks section.

If you are no longer a resident of the City and County of Philadelphia, please indicate your new address in the remarks section. You are not be required to report.

Q. How often must I serve?
A:If a person serves for one or two days, they need not serve again for a period of one year. If service is for three or more days, the exemption period is three years.

Q. Why have some people never been called for jury service and I’ve been called more than once?
A:As mentioned earlier, selection is a random process. As such, there is always the chance that a person may never be called while another may be called several times. It is truly the “luck of the draw”. However, if your name appears one way on the voter list and another way on your driver’s license, your chances of being called increase. The court is not permitted to make changes to these lists.

But the point being made by Sherri W. is. If you must speak English in order to serve on a Jury why would there be a question in Spanish asking you if you speak English with a box for you to check YES? A box for NO makes sense but not a box for YES.

Philadelphia Folk Festival August 17-18-19 2007

If you have never been to the Philadelphia Folk Festival you are missing a very special yearly event. It is not just about a variety of good folk music but the friendly family atmosphere. This will be the 46th festival.

During the three day period over thirty-six musicians will perform for nearly seventy-five hours. But it is not just music. There is Texas Swing dancing, Cajun-Creole dancing, Square dancing, Polka dancing and more. You do not even have to know how, fun free lessons are available. You don’t have a partner? Bet you will meet one in this family party atmosphere.

Attend great workshops in, guitar, banjo, sea shantys, fiddle tunes, writers, story telling, celtic, more than I can list.
There are also Crafts that you can learn and buy. And again it is all free with admission

You can go for an evening, an afternoon, a full day, or camp for the weekend and immerse yourself in it all.

Personally, going for the entire weekend and camping out is an experience you will talk about for years and would be my first choice. It is great when you are single and great when you are married with children. At the very least get out there for a day or evening concert. You are going to love this festival.

Buy your tickets early and save money. Be sure to explore the website. It gives ton’s of important information.

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.


Today, March 27th, the weather people are promising a magnificent Spring day. If you work or are near the Municipal Services Building at 16th and JFK Blvd. then make it a point to celebrate the birthday of Philadelphia’s Civic Flag. There will be a jazz band, a school chorus and other festive events. What better way to celebrate a beautiful day than to join together with fellow citizens in our great city, learn about our city flag, and support our flags motto, “Let Brotherly Love Continue”. The celebration is brought to you by The Partners for Civic Pride.

A Gift of Music

No Valentine’s Day or any romantic moment can happen without music. I have often thought life would be more interesting if I had a programmable chip in my head with all the music I like. The background music of my life would be there whenever I wanted. iPods, I suppose, come close to that idea but without subtlety.

In my home and in my car, my radio is often on 88.5 FM WXPN. If you have not tuned in or are unfamiliar with the station you really must give it a try. Be it Kids Corner, Funky Friday, World Cafe, Sleepy Hollow, or one of the many other shows, you are bound to find one you enjoy.

A new show started in 2006 and I want to bring it to your attention. Its air time is Saturdays from 6 to 7 PM and it’s called, ‘The Geators Rock and Roll Rhythm and Blues Express’. The perennial ‘yon teenager’, plays Rock and Roll music you will not hear anywhere else. Jerry Blavit, The Geator, gives you more then the music, he also gives you the history behind the music. He usually has a theme to the show such as, ‘Girl Groups’,’ The Spector Sound’, ‘New Orleans’. Each week is different. There is probably no show on radio in the entire country that is going to entertain you like this. My gift of music to you, 88.5 and the Geator. Happy Valentine’s

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