Maybe Philly Drivers and Bicyclists Actually Like Fighting With Each Other

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A few weeks ago, after tipping back a few too many beers, a friend of mine opened up about his girlfriend and their loving but altogether contentious long-term relationship. The one constant? Non-stop arguing over topics big and small (mostly small). Though they’re rarely super-serious, purée-each-other’s-emotions heavyweight bouts, the scraps are consistent enough to merit front-and-center billing on the cute, weird Pinterest board that is their romantic life.

Talking, and drinking, about it helped him come to a realization.

“Dude,” he said, eyes bugging in terror like he’d just spotted the crest of Godzilla’s head rising from the bay. ”I think she actually likes fighting.”

This got me thinking about two local groups whom I’ve long suspected secretly get kicks out of battling each other: Philadelphia’s motorists and Philadelphia’s bicyclists. Now that the weather’s finally broken, plenty of locals are pumping their tires and greasing their chains in preparation for three full seasons of city biking. And just as quickly as the bipedal crowd has emerged from the freeze, so too have the bad attitudes. Bikers screaming at drivers! Drivers screaming at bikers! Pedestrians screaming at both of them! Quick, everyone — corner the urbanite closest to you and tell them how much they fucking suck!

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Dear L.A.: Here’s What You Can Expect from Jay Z and Made In America. XOXO, Philly

Photo | Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Photo | Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Early this week, word leaked that Live Nation and Jay Z were exploring the possibility of bringing the Made in America festival to Los Angeles, sparking a hearty dose of conversation rabble-rabble-rabbling over the prospect of 50,000 people in Deadmau5 heads scurrying all over the city’s revitalized downtown.

L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti’s office seems stoked on the possibility of the two-day concert, which, if it happens, will reportedly run in tandem with Philly’s event over Labor Day weekend this year. The director of Grand Park, which would serve as MiALA’s home base, described Hova’s involvement as “pretty rad.” (Aw, California.) But the proposal has earned the ire of city councilman Jose Huizar, who’s raised formal concerns about all the issues that arise when you deliberately invite a bunch of people who like molly to the same place at the same time.

All kidding aside, the fact that MiA targeted Philly in the first place is a big civic compliment, and there are numerous positives to consider. In its two years, the public opinion surrounding MiA has shifted significantly — many who cried surefire shitshow from the beginning came out impressed by the fest’s execution, not to mention the economic booster shot and six-figure sum ticket sales raised for charity (the United Way, last year). But an event of this magnitude also has its problems, and now that we’ve got two in the books and Bud has said it wants to host the fest here for the foreseeable future, we’re well-qualified to discuss them.

Here’s a small sampling of what Angelenos should expect if we become music festival eskimo brothers.

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Exposed: Philly’s Big Banana Peel Problem

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“When I’m walking with friends, they tell me it’s a little awkward for them,” says Frank Danay. “They’re the ones standing next to the guy who’s in the gutter taking pictures.”

Danay’s buddies know better than to compromise the process. He’s simply chronicling another day of potassium-rich existence on the streets of Philadelphia, an apparent national leader in the field of wayward banana peels.

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The Philly Instagram Hall of Fame: The 15 Shots Everybody takes

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Philadelphia, like most cities populated by smartphone users with a little too much time to kill, boasts a thriving Instagram community, and its members are not afraid to show off their surroundings.

We have the pleasure of living in a photogenic town, rich with opportunities to pic-share stuff more interesting than dashboard thermometer shots and butchered Starbucks cup names. But with so many active ‘grammers out there flexing their Valencia, Sutro and Earlybird skills, it’s only natural that some shots are cropping up more frequently than others.

Here, in no particular order, is a rundown of the Philly-centric Instagram shots I come across the most. Let me preface this roundup by stating for the record that I’m personally guilty of most, if not all, of these moves. Now join me in celebrating the Philly Instagram Hall of Fame’s inaugural class.

See Drew Lazor’s Philly Instagram Hall of Fame after the jump »

20 Signs that Spring Is Actually Going to Happen in Philadelphia

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Begone with your Punxsutawney guesswork and horticulture-based projections — this super-beautiful weekend has me convinced that spring is precariously close to sprung. I base this not on unreliable barometers like ”scientific weather data” and “experts who know what they’re talking about” — instead, it’s the pure power of Philly observation that’s informed this airtight conclusion. After the jump, 20 excuses to check out mentally 20 reasons why I think we’re ready to leave this shitty winter behind, once and for all (more or less).

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Top Five City Lists We’re Happy Philly Didn’t Make

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Philly doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to negligibly constructed rankings of American towns. For three consecutive years, we came up dead last in the “attractive people” category of Travel + Leisure‘s “America’s Favorite Cities.” (We’ve since risen a few spots — suck it, Anchorage.) Our airport stinks. We’re pretty dirty. Apparently, we suck at saving money — but we’re top 10 in infidelity!

It’s my hope that most people take these types of pieces for what they are — silly, link-baity barroom argument fodder, built with data collection processes that are easy to overlook in favor of the punchline. (Take The Echo Nest’s super-viral “most distinctive artist by state” roundup, which many have taken in passing to mean that Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros is Pennsylvania’s most popular band.) Still, regardless of their value, there are a number of city-list features that either low-rank or completely skip over Philly, and we should be damn happy about it. Here are just a few:
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5 Philly Tumblrs You Should Be Following

As I recently discovered during an innocuous search for Thor GIFs, Tumblr can be a mind-altering place, populated by obsessive, combative Internet users who specialize in off-putting fan art, grainy photos of people drinking coffee in bed and ludicrously detailed theory writing about the CW show Supernatural. But it’s also a repository for some incredible stuff! Like adorable dogs who paint to raise money for animal charities and that’s all I’ve got at the moment. Perusing Tumblr is a bit like spelunking without a headlamp — for every awesome stalagmite garden you uncover, you’re bound to endure at least two to three flesh-eating troglodyte attacks.

There’s also some excellent local representation on the blogging site that might not be well-exposed to non-Tumblr users, since you can’t wade through the tags and archives without a login. Here are five Philly-centric pages to check out that, to my knowledge, will not chill you to your vulnerable core. Remember that this is just a small fraction of worthy local Tumblrs — don’t hesitate to link up more in the comments.

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How to Brew Your Own Coffee with Nest Cafe

How to Brew Your Own Coffee with Philadelphia's Nest Cafe

Illustration by Melissa McFeeters

Fresh beans!

Most bags of beans feature their “roast date,” which is vital to your brew. “Under the two-week mark is the ‘Goldilocks zone,’” says Ultimo Coffee’s Aaron Ultimo. “After that, it starts to taste dirty and it starts to taste boring.” Never ask for your beans to be pre-ground unless “you plan on literally using all of that coffee within the same day or less,” says Lilly Vamberi of Federal Donuts.

Spend low on a brewer.

For home brewing, pros are fond of affordable pour-over tools, such as a Chemex, Bee House or Hario V60, that rely on gravity for quick brews; Bodhi Coffee’s Tom Henneman is fond of the classic French press. If you’re set on a dripper, One Shot’s Melissa Baruno suggests a Bonavita, which brews with multiple streams of water.

Spend high on a grinder.

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End The Philadelphia Inferiority Complex Now!

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

I’d only lived in Philadelphia for about three years when The New York Times published the article everyone is still pissed about. Yes, the one that, despite its largely positive portrayal of Philly as an attractive urban destination, contained the phrase “sixth borough.”

I’ll take a brief pause here to allow you to dust off your pitchforks and light your torches.

That piece came out in 2005 and it’s still brought up in casual conversation, usually preceded or abutted by some half-muttered, bile-filled variation on “FUCK NEW YORK.” Though I’m of the mind that the statute of limitations on such traced-back hostility should probably be shorter than a near-decade, I understand why. Without using the R-word, it’s a byproduct of that locally cultivated chip on our shoulders, the same geographically granted spirit that motivates us to wear shirts like this and post that Coach Kelly clip on Facebook.

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No Ordinary Joe: The Best Coffee in Philadelphia



Rival Bros. Coffee Roasters

West Philly / Rittenhouse • “People are slowing down and enjoying coffee culture more than ever,” says Jonathan Adams of the industry-wide trend of consumers happily exchanging a few extra minutes for a quality cafe brew. Turns out this still applies when there’s no actual cafe in play—Adams, along with partner Damien Pileggi, proves as much with Rival Bros., which dispenses its line of coffee and espresso from the window of a glossy tricked-out truck. They’re adding a brick-and-mortar location at 24th and Lombard. 33rd and Arch streets and 500 South 24th Street.

elixr-Coffee_03Elixr Coffee ➜

Center City • California native and coffee fiend Evan Inatome introduced Elixr to Center City in 2011. He’s since relocated to a larger looker of a space, one as driven by the ambitious ideas of his staff as it is by his sharp coffee curation, which includes beans he roasts himself: “I give the baristas a lot of control to express themselves creatively,” Inatome says. Such expression manifests itself in the form of events like art openings and a recent coffee-focused cocktail competition attended by hundreds. 207 South Sydenham Street.
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