Person: Dave Dormond, 33, boatbuilder
Place: Workshop at the Independence Seaport Museum, Tuesday afternoon
Thing: Checking the hull
Is she ready to launch? We’re about halfway done, I’d say. This is actually a restoration. It’s a 1970s Beetle Cat sailboat.
To make me a better runner, John Goldthorp is making me roll around on the floor. Curious daytime gym-goers are staring as I struggle—truly, truly struggle, like a two-month-old—to roll from a supine position over to my belly without using my legs. This is a core reawakening, Goldthorp tells me. It’s much harder than I expect.
Of course, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Goldthorp, the spiky-haired, 36-year-old running coach and personal trainer at Optimal Sport Health Club, a gym in the basement of the Curtis Center. Goldthorp’s become something of a miracle worker for clients suffering from chronic stress fractures or personal records that haven’t budged in three years. His devotees run the gamut, from a 66-year-old who wanted to win his age division in the Boston Marathon (he came in third, but isn’t done yet) to a woman who worked her way from limited post-surgery mobility to a half-marathon training plan.
I was curious about his lauded techniques, but didn’t really think I needed his help. I’ve been running consistently for the past dozen years, and while I’m not picking up the speed I once did, I figured my fundamentals would be fine.
Now, I’m not from here. (I know. Four words like four nails in the coffin of my credibility.) So when I moved to Philly in the summer of 2011, the way everyone talked about “water ice” intrigued me — like it was some transcendental experience that I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else in the U.S. I pictured mercurial frozen nectar served up glowing in a paper cup.
“Is it like Italian ice?” I’d ask. “Kind of,” the drooling Philadelphian would respond. “Sounds like sorbet,” I’d speculate. “A little bit,” they’d answer.
But it was more special than that, I was assured. Everyone had a memory of a favorite childhood wooder ice stand. No one could identify exactly what made water ice so unique, so very Philly, but the blind devotion was enough to convince me to try it.
There are some truths that Philadelphians hold to be self-evident: Wawa is awesome. Our cabs are crap. Water ice is the sweet summer nectar of the gods. But we found some people who disagree. (Prepare to be enraged.)
To read the rest of the heresies below, buy the July 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine, on newsstands now, or subscribe today.
Shut Up. Philly Cabs Are Great.
Enough With Rendell, Already.
Person: Brionna Williams, 20
Place: Kimmel Center
Thing: Auditioning for season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance
Why do you want to be on the show? I wanted to audition for the experience, and to be exposed to the commercial scene.
Season 11 debuts this month. Are you a big fan? When it started. I watched maybe the first eight seasons.
Lorraine Cephus read about the first-ever Broad Street Run in the Daily News. It was 1980, and she’d been running for a few years at that point, entering the many 5Ks and 10Ks that were popping up around Philly in those early years of a national running boom. So she clipped out the registration form from the paper, mailed it in with the registration fee—two dollars—and showed up at the start line alongside 1,575 other runners. Well, almost alongside them: Her train stalled just before the Olney station, and she had to sprint to make the run. She missed the starting gun by five minutes.
PERSON: Ted Zeta (a.k.a. Will D. Cat), 21
PLACE: The Pavilion, Villanova
THING: Getting ready for game time
Is the suit uncomfortable? It takes a while to get used to. It’s warm. You sweat a lot.
Person: Goldi Fox, 24
Place: The Trocadero, Friday night
Thing: Performing with the Peek-a-Boo Revue burlesque show
How did you decide on your stage name? My grandma’s name was Sylvia, and her sister’s name was Goldi. Also, my mom’s imaginary friend growing up was Foxi. So I took a family name and added “Fox.”
How long have you been with Peek-A-Boo? Two years in March.
How did you get into burlesque? I was going to the University of the Arts for modern dance and decided to take a semester off and move to Paris. When I was there, I discovered it all, going to Crazy Horse and Moulin Rouge and the Louvre to research art history. I like to sing and dance and act, and burlesque offers all that to me.
Was it weird being so, uh, exposed at first? It sort of depends on the theater. On a big stage like the Troc, there are so many people that it’s equivalent to zero. But it’s different in an intimate venue. Dancers look at their bodies differently; you either cherish it or you’re modest. I’ve definitely never been modest.
You have your Valentine’s Day show coming up. We usually do some kind of lovey-dovey burlesque sweetheart show. We’re twisting it this time: It’s going to be called “Fatal Follies” — a deadly twist on that woman you’re infatuated with.
I’ve never done well in thrift stores. Medium sweaters mix with size fours. The DVDs aren’t organized by genre. The bare feet of a total stranger were in those shoes at one point? The clutter and charming chaos that make so many people giddy these days still give my Gap-covered hide hives.
Today, in 2013, my inability to breeze out of a vintage shop with a monocle I can turn into a brooch or an oversized gingham shirt for fashioning into a fetching fall dress feels like my biggest style handicap. If Sex and the City is to be believed, 15 years ago women my age coveted Manolo Blahniks; now, the youthful fashion ideal is far more ambiguous, and style success is measured by the elevation given to odd found items, not the designer labels stacked in your closet. To the extent that I get jealous of other people’s stuff, I’m less envious of what my friends have than of their seemingly effortless ability to make it.
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