The founder of ad agency Quaker City Mercantile has long been involved in Philly’s booming spirits scene, but now he’s adding a twist by partnering with Kensington’s New Liberty Distillery on new liquors and turning his Old City boutique, Art in the Age, into a booze-and-barware-only spot. Read more »
On Saturday, January 28th, as eyewear brand Warby Parker feted the grand opening of its sparkly Walnut Street storefront, seven demonstrators stood outside, pumping candy-colored signs into the air and doling out cards emblazoned with “FUWP.” While the rest of the city was dizzy with excitement over the brand’s arrival, the ragtag group picketed, imploring Instagram followers to take photos with a #FUWP sign and post them online with the corresponding hashtag; randomly selected winners would win a free pair of Philly EyeWorks specs. For a protest, it was kind of, well, cute.
Leading the resistance was Philly EyeWorks’s Clifton Balter, who first faced off against Warby Parker back in 2012, when the latter parked its school bus — a roving eyewear shop on a cross-country “class trip” — outside InnerVision, his Rittenhouse eyeglass boutique, for two consecutive Saturdays. Sales tanked during this time (falling to about half the average, Balter says), and his anger was stoked. Adding fuel to the fire: He then had to stand by and watch as Warby Parker’s profile skyrocketed. (Launched by Wharton students who soon fled Philly for NYC, the start-up quickly vaulted to unicorn status, achieving a $1.2 billion valuation.) Read more »
Since becoming director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in 2012, Sadao, a Rittenhouse resident, has used her keen eye and business acumen to help catapult the University City museum to national recognition. Here, the acclaimed aesthete shares the places, people and things on her radar. Read more »
It’s 4 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon, and I’m sitting in a butter yellow Queen Village kitchen, watching six-year-old Jude Purnama as he slurps up his after-school snack of bubble tea, a weird milky concoction dotted with gummy-like blobs that he hunts with a spoon. The kitchen, like the rest of the house, is a riot of homey clutter that teeters on messy but lands just this side of lived-in. A bright green credenza teems with tchotchkes; vintage canisters are clustered on the tops of shelves; cabinets are papered with Jude’s artwork. A speaker atop the fridge plays a schizophrenic loop of music: Billy Joel, Lady Gaga, the Beatles, Katy Perry. In the brief interludes between songs, there’s the faint mewing of cats — a trio of them, Spot, Maude and Charlie Chan — who slink through the house and periodically wind around my ankles. Katy Perry belts out her fiery fight anthem, all about rising and roaring, but the whole scene calls to mind a more down-to-earth soundtrack: Our house is a very very very fine house with two cats in the yard. …
Even amidst all this color and clutter and noise, I’m drawn mostly to Jude’s hair, a silky brown mop that crests over his ears and falls just below the nape of his neck. It’s beautiful, in the way most little-kid hair is: shiny and bright, of a shade that women spend hundreds of dollars to get in a salon. It’s the color of a coffee bean, but under the kitchen light, I notice streaks of reddish gold. They’re subtle but unmistakable. “Like lava!” Jude says. I mention how beautiful they are.
“Oh, that’s not all natural. I highlighted his hair! Babylights! It’s a light bayalage, just to give it some dimension,” his dad, Laurentius, says. Jude nods, plucks a gelatinous bubble from his glass, and pops it in his mouth, as if this is all perfectly normal. But in this family, a six-year-old with bayalage highlights that cost more than some people’s rent is normal, because Laurentius is Laurentius Purnama, a 43-year-old former hairstylist to the stars and the owner of one of the most high-end hair salons in Philadelphia, a sleek white-and-glass sanctuary that caters to the city’s most well-known — and well-off — citizens. Read more »
I wake up just before dawn, stretch for 20 minutes, and then fix a cup of Steap and Grind’s Black Tea with Coconut with a slosh of Green Aisle’s raw milk. By 8 a.m. I’m on Google Hangouts with my brother, André. We’ve written two books together, The New Cocktail Hour and TCM’s Movie Night Menus. Read more »
For Frill-Free Relaxation: Chung Dam Spa & Fitness
Though its strip-mall location is short on charm, this cult-favorite Korean spa is worthy of a visit thanks to its lineup of body scrubs, massages (they’ll tiptoe on your back by request) and reflexology, all of which ring in under $100. Services come with a pass for the spa’s facilities, which include herbal steam baths, a charcoal room and a dry sauna. Pro tip: Prepare to strip down; most guests unwind in the buff. 41 Cheltenham Avenue, Cheltenham Read more »
1. Condom Kingdom
437 South Street, Queen Village.
If Disneyland went X-rated, it’d be something like this South Street stalwart, which mixes bachelorette-party kitsch (penis-shaped candy) with fetish gear (nipple clamps) in a cartoonish space that looks like a cross between a kinky cave and an ancient castle, with stone walls, ponds, and a condom-bedecked tree. Corny? A tad. Fun? Absolutely. Go here for: A user-friendly, accessible playground for entry-level enthusiasts. Read more »
I wake up around 5:30 a.m. If it’s an OR day, I start my first case around 6:30 at the Rothman Institute. In the operating room, I listen to ’90s and 2000s R&B. Sometimes I’ll see some of the older patients smile when they hear it before they fall asleep. Read more »
I don’t want to get my picture taken.
It’s a soupy Wednesday afternoon, and I’m four months pregnant. I’m exhausted, pasty-white with nausea, and wearing the only pants that fit, which are so stretched in the legs that even my knees look bloated. I tell Big Rube I’m not camera-ready as soon as I see him, which is at the Starbucks at 19th and Chestnut. He’s impossible to miss, a 300-plus-pound guy in a Big Bird-yellow rain jacket that envelops his massive frame like a tarp. As always, he has a camera looped around his neck. He smiles and smothers me in a bear hug.
“Nah,” he says. “We shooting you today. You stylin’.” Read more »