Tag Archives: Philadelphia magazine

The Friday 5

I stuck my cheesesteak card into the Cheesesteak ATM and withdrew 4 cheesesteaks.
  • What I’m reading: Articles about infamous Philly Daily News columnist Pete Dexter, who now is better known for writing the novel Paris Trout and the screenplay for Mulholland Drive. This profile of him in Philly Mag in 1979 is terrific, though his life would get even more interesting two years later, when he and Tex Cobb got beat up together in Gray’s Ferry. He would quit writing for the News after that and started writing novels.
  • What I’m watching: my son is really into Halloween. Definitely his favorite holiday, and has been ever since he was two. Dunno what it is, but he loves mystery and horror. It started with Little Red Car (don’t watch this link unless you want a terrible song stuck in your head for, uh, roughly forever). He soon moved onto Scooby Doo, which is pretty fun to watch. But I wanted to see if he was ready to step up his horror game, so I recently showed him this cartoon of the Fall of the House of Usher. It’s read by Christopher Lee and it’s a really fun Halloween watch, whether you’re 5 or 50. He digs it, and the other night we watched a short bio of Poe. I’m really excited for him to become a Poe fan.
  • What I’m listening to: Sometimes I check in to see who is coming out of Camden musically. If ever there’s any hope that something good can come out of the most brutal of circumstances, it comes from forgotten towns like Camden. One of the guys I like the most right now is a young dude named Mir Fontane. As I’ve expressed on the past two editions of the Friday Five, I’m a huge fan of people who can paint a picture, and this young guy does it incredibly well. Especially powerful is a song of his that simply titled “Camden.” The cast of characters he describes in the first verse is nothing short of Dickensian:
RaVicky gettin money 
Cause he got a little set now
Shae lost her baby

So she back smokin that wet now
Pooh got booked

I heard he workin with the feds now
Til Tony caught him slippin’

Shoulda never turned his head round (BANG!)
Keisha still fuck around with Crackhead James
Heard he sold a flatscreen

So he could buy more caine.
And Jermaine sit on the block

Snd it’s a shame cause he smart
His momma crying every day

And say he breaking her heart
The whole hood shed tears

When they heard Diggs got killed
It’s been two whole years

And no bids got dealt
A n***a that I called my homie
Fucked around and changed on me
Pulled the heat from off his hip
And tried to make it rain on me
This what y’all call hell
But this what I call home
And I’m gonna grind until I get it

And once I get it I’m gone
The white folks want the drugs,

So they come and spend their bucks here
Til they ain’t got no bus fare,
Now them n***as stuck here
  • New Philly Blunt podcast dropped this week: An interview with Ange Branca of Sate Kampar. She grew up in Malaysia, but moved to Philly in her early 20s. After working in the financial sector, she got bored and decided to open her own restaurant, cooking Malaysian food unlike anywhere else in the city. A great listen if you want to hear how Philly looks to someone who not only didn’t grow up here, but grew up half a world away. You can check out Sate Kampar here on IG (and go by there and try the Rendang Daging.)
Punkin pickin.
  • Place I’m checking out: The last one is kind of expensive but yet at the same point totally worth it. We love the fall around here: as I stated earlier my son loves the Halloween season especially, but my wife has always loved pumpkins, fall leaves, the whole thing. So on Sunday we headed to Shady Brook Farm in Yardley. It was $18 each just to enter (!) but once inside it was a great place to take a 5 year old. There was a hayride to pick apples and pumpkins, a big playground, speed pitch (I got up to 60 mph, which I was fairly happy with), inflatable castles. And for adults, they also have an outdoor bar serving pumpkin beer and so forth. We went during the Eagles game (they were playing the pathetic Jets, so I thought it would be a good one to miss) which was a strong move. I’m sure it’s much busier when the Birds aren’t on. There is also a corn maze but I have a terrible sense of direction and I hated it. At the end of the day it’s too expensive but I’m sure insurance there is a bear and when you and your family have a great day it’s hard to put a pricetag on it.

Until next week, be sure to follow me (and argue with me!) on twitter. And if you’re a sports fan, be sure to follow Shibe Sports on IG. Just did a photo shoot last weekend and gonna be posting some great photos over the next few weeks. Finally, if you enjoyed the Friday 5, be sure to click like below. Have a great weekend!

Quizzo Overrated Says Philly Mag.


Philly Mag is a magazine written for Lower Merion moms, who as a demographic don’t play a lot of quizzo. So I don’t think Philly Mag’s assessment of quizzo as “Overrated” will really affect my bottom line a whole lot, but I do think it’s a bit of a low blow. For one thing, I was asked by a Philly mag staffer (who shall remain nameless, but is a good friend of mine who runs a certain local food blog. But again, no names) asked me to help give him some overrated/underrated ideas, which I gladly did. Then, after spending my time (free of charge, mind you) sending them ideas, quizzo gets trashed in their overrated piece?

Apparently par for the course for Philly publications. A few years ago, Philadelphia Weekly asked me to help rate their top 50 bars. I gladly did so, only to pick up the issue and that in that very same article they had listed Fergie‘s as the best quizzo in town. Was everyone who makes editorial decisions for local publications raised by wolves? Manners, people, manners.

But that’s not what really bothers me about this. What really bothers me is that the assessment of “Overrated” doesn’t make any sense. Overrated how? Is quizzo overrated because of the non-stop media coverage? The numerous corporate sponsorships? The people rioting over it in the streets? Furthermore, how does anyone on the Philly Mag staff know if it’s overrated? I don’t think they have quizzo at (Insert Flavor of the Month Scenester restaurant here), where the draft beers are $8 and the passenger pigeon terrine is “to die for”, so I’m not sure what they’re basing it on.

Quizzo is what it claims to be. A simple way for friends to have an excuse to drink a couple of cold ones at the bar on a Tuesday and hang out for 2 hours. How can that be overrated? If you’re gonna say that I’m overrated, or Irish Jon is overrated, or what have you, then you at least try to have an argument. But I’m not sure how quizzo itself can be construed as overrated. That’s like saying that beer is overrated or a night on the town is overrated.

Furthermore, your magazine is called Philadelphia magazine, and you’ve never run a piece on quizzo (that pic of me in Philly mag a couple of months ago was awesome, but the article was about the Phillies, not about quizzo), which has gone from a small Irish bar tradition among friends to a multimillion dollar national phenomenon in the past 20 years, and which started for all intents and purposes right here in Philly. That would make it different from some of your overrated things like cheesesteaks and Rocky, which you’ve written about, oh I don’t know, every single month for the past 35 years.

But that’s not what really pisses me off. What really pisses me off is that they have both Cole Hamels and the Palestra as “Rated”. Cole Hamels is the most underrated World Series MVP in history (he got booed earlier this year AT HOME) and the Palestra is half-full for most games despite being the coolest basketball arena in the country. I know most of you don’t get a chance to watch sports while you’re drinking French 75s at Swanky Bubbles**, but then goddamnit all hire somebody that knows something about sports. I know a guy, and as much as he rails against it, he loves passenger pigeon terrine. Furthermore, he was raised by wolves.

**Is that place even still open?