The Friday 5

Here’s 5 things I’m reading/listening to/watching this week.

  • I randomly stumbled across this buzzfeed article from 2013 this week, and HOLY SHIT is it an amazing read. It’s about how a sweet young kid became a medic during the War in Iraq and suffered severe PTSD, came home, and started robbing banks. It’s heartbreaking, and just brilliantly written. It’s a grim reminder of what a complete catastrophe the War in Iraq has been for everyone involved (except, of course, the people who made money on it).

Paper bag of lucha libre inexplicably by the door at Dirty Frank’s.

  • After last weeks podcast interview (with Ange Branca, co-owner of Sate Kampar, the critically acclaimed Malaysian restaurant on Passyunk), we headed down 13th street with Fergie to Dirty Frank’s. Fun crowd, and a perfect bar. Most places are aiming for the level of authenticity that Frank’s has. The beauty of Frank’s is that it’s not aiming for anything except to be what it is. Here’s a great piece that Drew Lazor did about Frank’s for Vice a few years ago. One of my favorite places in Philly to grab a drink.
  • Watched the 3-part Bill Gates doc on Netflix this past weekend. It’s really terrific. It was somewhat pro-Bill, but not a fluff piece by any means. He’s a really complex guy, and he’s a supreme intellect, and this doc shows both. I’ll say this: in terms of the biggest computer pioneers of our time, I think Bill Gates has a sincere desire to leave the world better than he found it. I don’t feel the same way about Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.
  • I’m a big fan of lyricism, singers who can paint a picture with words, and people who tell the stories of the down and out, so needless to say my favorite genres are hip-hop and outlaw country. Last week I talked about Ka, this week I wanna shout out one of my favorite outlaw country singers, Guy Clarke. Just stumbled across him a couple of years and haven’t stopped listening since. A few of his songs that I especially love are Dublin Blues and Stuff That Works, the latter a song which reminds me a lot of one of my grandads. And just absolutely love the following verse:

I’ve got a good friend who’s seen me at my worst

He can’t tell if I’m a blessing or a curse

But he always shows up when the chips are down

That’s the kind of stuff I like to be around.

Says pretty much everything you need to know about friendship in just four lines.

This last one is just me showing off: on Thursday night I got to go to the Hershey Hotel to host an event. What a cool place! My wife and I had gone about ten years ago and had a chocolate martini at the bar, and I was excited to go back for the event. The highlights of the place are the amazing atrium (above, which incredibly was originally the parking garage), the Hershey Gardens (just past the entrance to the hotel, an awesome garden and butterfly exhibit), and the Iberian Lounge, the hotel bar that opened in 1934 and basically hasn’t changed a thing in the 85 years since. There’s a kind of cool secret at the Lounge…the road on the painting behind the bar….follows you as you walk from one side of the bar to the other. It’s an amazing optical illusion. If you have a chance, step inside for a drink and check out not only the bar but the atrium, both of which are open to the public even if you’re not staying there. Extremely cool.

The Iberian Lounge.

Alright, that about does it for this week. Until next week, be sure to follow me on twitter, instagram, and facebook. And be sure to shoot me a line if you wanna liven up your work event, wedding rehearsal dinner, or holiday party.