Nick Stuccio’s Live Arts and Philly Fringe Picks

It’s damned unfair to ask the guy who spends his whole year handpicking the most amazing performers from around the world for our Live Arts Festival to choose favorites—but we got producing director Nick Stuccio to do it anyway. (And while we were at it, we made him predict three standouts from the 190 Philly Fringe offerings, too.) His picks got us really excited about this year’s festival, which runs from September 2nd through 17th. Check for performance dates, times and venue details. Read more »

Stephen Starr’s Best of Philly


Best Philly discovery: Smith playground in Fairmount Park.

Best block: Delancey between 3rd and 4th.

Best concert ever seen in Philly: Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at the Tower Theater.

Best food trend of 2011: Aimee Olexy and Talula’s Garden.

Best sandwich: The turkey sandwich at Top of the Hill Cafe [in Chestnut Hill].

Best hairstylist: Whoever can see me in five minutes.

Best Shore town: Stone Harbor.

Best Phillie: Chase.

Best place to take out-of-towners: Reading Terminal Market.

Best Philly legend: Mario Lanza. Read more »

Q&A: Adam Mansbach

Your hilarious new book—a bedtime story about one frustrated parent’s attempts to put his kid to sleep—is blowing up the buzz meter. The legend goes that this project began as a gag on your Facebook page. Yeah, I put up a status thing, like “Look for my forthcoming children’s book called Go the Fuck to Sleep.” I joked around for a couple of weeks with this idea, all the while getting slightly more serious about doing it. Read more »

In Defense of Philly Pizza

There’s something wrong with the pizza in Philly …

If you’re a stranger to that lamentation, you obviously haven’t lived here long enough. Or haven’t been paying attention. It’s usually phrased a little more colorfully, sure—like with the authoritative disdain of a pie-eating journeyman who calls Tacconelli’s “an expensive joke,” or with an air of exasperation verging on misanthropy, such as that of the Foobooz commenter who declares herself “sick of people thinking the garbage in Philadelphia is decent pizza.”

But that’s just the mild stuff. Because apparently we live amidst pizza slices so deficient that the mere memory of them fuels the revenge fantasies of budding arsonists: “Marra’s,” wrote another commenter, “sucks so bad I want to burn that place down.” Read more »

Photo of the Day

Photography by Sam Oberter

Where: English Village, on the 2100 block of Saint James Place.

What: A soaring, skylit, 98-square-foot greenhouse.  Who: Architect Tim Kerner of Center City’s Terra Studio and cottage owners Heather and Michael Ascher, a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society board member and a begonia buff, respectively.

Why: To many urbanites, a private garage is a luxury. To the Aschers, theirs—so narrow only a pre-1990 BMW could squeeze in—was an opportunity to recreate scenery from the Philadelphia International Flower Show. The sunny space, with Devonian bluestone flooring over hydronic radiant heating, thermostatically controlled glass louvers, custom shelving and skylight framing, a window to the kitchen and French doors to the dining room—plus countless plants from Horticultural Society gem Meadowbrook Farm in Abington Township—is a sustainable shelter for a botanical bonanza.

Text by Lauren McCutcheon

More Photos From The Shore Issue

As we promised last week when we unveiled our 2011 Shore Issue, we’ve got some special online extras to keep you lusting after a Jersey beach vacation. (Have you rented your Shore house yet?)  Click through to see beautiful black-and-white outtakes from photographer Ryan Donnell‘s lifeguard photo shoot. Whether you’re in it for the eye candy or the scenic ocean shots, there’s no way this won’t make you consider jetting out of work early to pull up a patch of sand.
Read more »

Q&A: Bart Winokur, Partner, Chairman and CEO of Dechert LLP

You’re going to keep practicing law, but you’re stepping down as Dechert’s CEO this month. Why now?
I’ve done this job for 15 years. That’s a very long time.

Growing up in West Oak Lane, did you want to be a lawyer?
My dad was a lawyer. He came home from work every day, sat at the dinner table and told stories. They all had drama to them. But I wasn’t going to go to law school. I was going to graduate school to study Chinese. Read more »

Photo of the Day

Photography by Ryan Donnell

Person: Corey Furlan, 29
Place: The parking lot outside PPL Park
Thing: Marching with the Sons of Ben into a Philadelphia Union match

Are you an original member of the Sons of Ben? Yes. I’m one of the elders now, the game-day coordinator/capo—the guy who leads all the songs and chants.

Is this howling victory walk a recurrent thing? We march into the stadium before every game, hooting and hollering the whole time.

Feel guilty for cursing in the chants? Do parents get angry? Sometimes, yes.

Nice jersey. Authentic? It is. My lovely girlfriend bought it for me, like, a week after the white jerseys came out.

Do you wear that scarf in the heat? Of course. I always wear it, no matter how hot it is.

I heard that to get tickets in the Sons of Ben section, you have to promise to stand and cheer the whole time. That’s part of the whole thing to be in that section. You have to be a paid member, so you know what’s coming.

Any game-day essentials? Scarf, for one. Cough drops so you can deal with the sore throat you get from singing. A bottle of water and your voice. Be ready to sing for 90 minutes.

Text by Morgan Zalot // Photography by Ryan Donnell

The Shore Issue Has Arrived

The weather may have just turned toasty, but around the Philly Mag offices, it’s been feeling like summer for weeks. We’ve been hard at work putting together our annual Shore issue—available just in time for you to hit the beaches for the long Memorial Day weekend. This year, we’re reminding you of everything there is to love about the Jersey Shore, from the trashy t-shirts to totally-worth-it waits at Uncle Bill’s. We’ve also got photos of lifeguards from all your favorite Shore points. They’re spilling their guts about why they love what they do. (And if you like those, check back here next week when we’ll reveal our behind-the-scenes images from the photoshoot.) There’s also lots of info about the newest places to stuff your face—no matter where you’ve set up your umbrella. Finally, we’ve got a look at the quintessential Shore experience courtesy of the Giuntas of West Chester, who have been renting a big, old beach house as a (growing!) family for 40 years. Our writer crashed their party and brought back funny, touching stories. They’re the perfect beach read.

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