The Utterly Fabulous (and Totally Boring) Life of Laurentius

Laurentius Purnama and his son, Jude. Photograph by Christopher Leaman.

Laurentius Purnama and his son, Jude. Photograph by Christopher Leaman.

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 »

Day in the Life: Tenaya Darlington

Photography by Jauhien Sasnou

Photography by Jauhien Sasnou

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 »

The Best Philly-Area Spas to Help You Reboot for Spring

Inside the Moorestown Mall, the sprawling Rizzieri Salon & Spa is ideal for groups looking to primp in tandem. Photograph by Courtney Apple

Inside the Moorestown Mall, the sprawling Rizzieri Salon & Spa is ideal for groups looking to primp in tandem. Photograph by Courtney Apple

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 »

Your Shame-Free Guide to the Best Philly Sex Shops

Condom Kingdom | Photograph by Christopher Leaman

Condom Kingdom | Photograph by Christopher Leaman

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 »

Day in the Life: Christopher Dodson

Photography by Jauhien Sasnou

Photography by Jauhien Sasnou

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 »

Reuben “Big Rube” Harley Is Philly’s Most Beloved Hustler

Photograph by Adam Jones

Photograph by Adam Jones

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 »

Day in the Life: Palette Group Founder Nate Nichols

Nate Nichols | Photograph by Jillian Guyette

Nate Nichols | Photograph by Jillian Guyette

I wake up at 6:30 a.m. to work out. I get to my studio by 8:30. The first thing I do there is boil water for pour-over coffee. I only drink single-origin varieties from Central or South America. ReAnimator Coffee is the office favorite.  Read more »

The Philly Guy’s Grooming Manual: Best Barbershops and Salons for Men’s Cuts

Barber on 24th’s buzzy shop, far left, and pomades to recreate the look at home. | Photos by Jauhien Sasnou

Barber on 24th’s buzzy shop, far left, and pomades to recreate the look at home. | Photos by Jauhien Sasnou

For the Reluctant Groomer: Meister’s Barbershop

If the temptation to DIY is strong, defer to the five-person team at this intimate shop. For the uninitiated: It’s first-come, first-serve (they don’t take appointments; expect a line), and the near-uniform approach to cuts — subtle gradational fading on the sides, full on top — is universally flattering. Tip: The longer wait for scissor time with owner Rob Baumiester is totally worth it. // Starting at $26; 1810 East Passyunk Avenue, East Passyunk.  Read more »

The Best Indie Toy Shops in Philadelphia and the Suburbs

Ardmore's Puccimanuli is packed with toy cars, board games and plush animals. | Photo by Jauhien Sasnou

Ardmore’s Puccimanuli is packed with toy cars, board games and plush animals. | Photo by Jauhien Sasnou

For One-and-Done Shopping: Puccimanuli // Odds are your giftee list spans different ages and interests. Tick ’em off in record time at this all-encompassing toy emporium, where the owner — who regularly hits the toy-fair circuit for new, special finds — stocks enormous stuffed animals, art kits for burgeoning creatives, a mind-boggling assortment of dolls, and even a tightly curated lineup of artisan-made goods (like wooden tops and puzzles). Bonus: Gift-wrapping is complimentary. // 35 Cricket Avenue, Ardmore.  Read more »

A Day in the Life: Fashion Maven Beth Buccini

Photography by Courtney Apple

Photography by Courtney Apple

You’ve likely heard Beth Buccini’s name before—whether it’s being touted alongside her über-successful boutiques, Kirna Zabête, or simply because her standout style is regularly photographed. What you probably don’t know, though, is that the fashion maven is also a local gal, taking up residence in nearby Chadds Ford with her husband and four children. She also just opened the newest outpost of Kirna Zabête in Bryn Mawr. This month, we chatted with Buccini to get the scoop on her closet workhorses, her favorite eccentric accessories and this year’s holiday card.


Read more »

« Older Posts