One of my favorite parts of any Rocky movie is the training montage. Specifically, I enjoy watching Rocky run the streets of Philadelphia (I and II) or on the beach (III) or in the snow (IV) or whatever happened in the fifth movie I’ve erased from my memories. Of all the Rocky training montages, though, the run in Rocky II is my favorite.
What’s always amused me about this scene is how absolutely little sense Rocky’s route makes: South Philly becomes North Philly becomes the Italian Market becomes North Philly again, and so on. Obviously, the montage isn’t meant to be taken seriously as an actual workout; it’s just a few scenes strung together so “Gonna Fly Now” can play and Rocky can finish at the top of the Art Museum steps.
But, I wondered, what if this roadwork were treated as one actual run? How far would Rocky go? Well, I decided to find out. I pieced together the routes Rocky could have traveled from scene to scene in this training montage and calculated distance. All distances were mapped out by using the USA Track and Field distance-measuring tool recommended to me by my friend and Philadelphia magazine managing editor Annie Monjar. She’s a better runner than I am, so I trust her. However, I’m not sure she could take Rocky in a footrace, at least Rocky II-era Rocky. Let’s see how far he went.
Walk down Chestnut Street in University City and you lose count of the churches. There seem to be two on every block. There’s even one called the Church of God, at 41st. “A gospel-spreading church.” Keep going and you hit the old church where the steeple collapsed about a decade ago. Across the street is a strip mall. The neon beckons.
FINE WINE AND GOOD SPIRITS.
Yesterday, a fancy new state store (aka, Fine Wine and Good Spirits) store opened at 43rd and Chestnut, in the strip mall location previously occupied by Risque Video. It had been a while: The old state store at 41st and Market closed in January 2012. It was small and dingy. The LCB attempted to open a new location at 43rd and Walnut, but community concerns—general NIMBY anti-drug protests, plus there’s a mosque across the street—derailed the idea. The zoning board rejected the 43rd and Chestnut location in 2012 before reversing itself.
Preseason games are over. The final cuts have been made. Finally, the Phillies won’t be the only sport to watch in this town.
We are less than a week to the start of Eagles season. With the NFL back, Sundays aren’t about relaxing to prepare for the work week or hanging out with your best friends anymore: They’re about getting infuriated enough to throw your shoe through your TV when the Eagles manage to screw things up again. Aren’t you excited?
It’s almost Labor Day, which for the past two years in Philadelphia has meant one thing: Closing off our version of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées for a concert festival sponsored by a beer brand owned by Belgians. Despite its name, I like to think the Made in America Festival is as much of a European tribute/imitation as the Sons of Ben.
The event’s a corporate fest in the middle of the street; it’s going to be a little lame. And it’s an inconvenience for the people who live along the Parkway. Maybe it doesn’t make the city any money and tramples the fields on the Parkway. But there is something useful here; this thing could be a annual Labor Day event that people come to Philadelphia for. It could be something that makes us look good every year.
It was perfect because the general reaction from Phillies fans to Manuel’s firing was sadness. It might seem odd that the 69-year-old manager of a team that went 5-19 since the All-Star Break would get such a sendoff, but a large segment of the fanbase wanted him to stay. Or, at least, they wanted general manager Ruben Amaro fired instead for assembling a team that two days after Manuel’s firing trotted out position players that would be hitting .167, .185 and .143 by the end of the game. But fairly or not, the coach or manager usually takes blame for these types of situations. I know people who had parties when Andy Reid was fired. And let’s be clear: They were banging parties. Read more »
Summer is nearing its end. There’s about five weeks left until the solstice, but we all know the unofficial end of summer is what really matters. Labor Day isn’t even sneaking up on us: The stores are filled with Halloween candy. Bars are already stocking pumpkin beer for the messed-up people who think it’s okay to drink pumpkin-flavored things in August.
That means it’s time for an update! As part of Philly mag’s ongoing ownership of tacky Wildwood boardwalk T-shirt coverage, I headed down the shore this weekend. And it turned out the popular T-shirts have changed much since my last piece at the beginning of summer.
When I was a little kid, all the Saturday cartoon characters got together to tell me not to do drugs. They did it in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, a weird one-off special that included Bugs Bunny warning the viewers to avoid smoking crack.
It seemed like an odd message for a 7-year-old — no one was offering me crack or any other drugs in third grade, even in 1990 — but damn if I don’t remember this special very well. I remember it because it was all my favorite cartoons teaming up, but since then I’ve also had an odd fascination with TV public service announcements.
There’s evidence certain PSAs are effective, but (despite their noble intentions) many of them come off as just plain silly. As such, I went to YouTube and found some of the best PSAs set and made in Philadelphia. Enjoy! Read more »
Okay, it’s not actually back just yet. But in a year where both the Flyers and Sixers missed the playoffs and the Phillies have played .500 ball all season, we’ll take Eagles training camp as a sign of hope. Sure, they’re the Eagles, so they’ll let us down in the end. But who cares! In July, we can believe.
With all due respect to Mr. West and Ms. Kardashian, the royal baby is a much bigger story than little North. For one, he won’t be born premature. And second, he could one day be king or queen of England! As an American, I know I’m supposed to hate British royalty. But I’ve been a fan ever since I saw the queen’s incredible cameo in The Naked Gun when I was a kid. (Note: This may have been a Queen Elizabeth impersonator.)
Admit it: The Phillies are getting you a little excited.
That’s probably foolish: They’ve been outscored by 44 runs this year, which means their 45-46 record is actually outperforming what’s expected of a team that far behind in the run column. But they have Chase Utley back, and Cole Hamels has finally won two games in a row, and even center fielder Ben “Never Hit a Home Run” Revere is starting to hit (mostly singles, of course). Read more »